NFL Uniform History




History Loaded Weekend

Two throwback games made things fun this weekend. Chiefs vs. Cowboys and Broncos vs. Patriots. Coincidence that both games ended in overtime? Hmmmm.

The biggest news of both of these all throwback games was that the Denver Broncos wore their famous vertical striped socks from their 1960-61 seasons. The Broncos organization went all out and added 1960's flair to the whole game throughout the stadium. The end zones were painted with a white argyle-type design, the video boards showed much of the game in black-and-white, and there was a border around the screens to make them look like 1960s-style televisions.

Denver's cheerleaders were in sweaters and long skirts with big, fluffy pom-poms and danced to music from the era.

Broncos PR guy Dave Gaylinn was dressed in a mustard-colored blazer in the press box, with his press pass tucked in the headband of his fedora.

The game program also had an old-school design, with a classic Coca-Cola ad on the back.

The other all throwback game was between the Chiefs (Texans) and the Cowboys. The game made for an interesting afternoon because it paired the Dallas Texans vs. Dallas Cowboys. The Chiefs did not have as much fun as the Broncos' organization, but it was still fun to see. One interesting note was that both teams were wearing home uniforms. A rarity in the NFL.

The Chiefs' throwback weekend also prompted an interesting post on the Uni Watch Blog from J.J. Lauderdale:

The Chiefs’ wearing of their Dallas Texans throwback helmet snapped a 548-game streak of the Chiefs wearing nothing but their red shell, arrowhead logo, and white facemask — a streak that began on September 15, 1974, against the Jets. The Chiefs had worn gray facemasks in 1973 before changing to white in ’74.

This is the longest streak in NFL history for a team continuously wearing one helmet with no throwback, no change of logo, no change of facemask color, etc. If you ask people who had the longest streak, most people guess the Cowboys, Steelers, or Raiders and never get to the Chiefs. But many of the teams with the more classic helmets had their streaks broken during the 1994 throwback season (the Steelers, Raiders, and Cardinals, for example), when they wore throwbacks or blank shells. The Chiefs, however, wore their regular lids in 1994, keeping their streak intact.

The four next longest streaks in history are:

Cardinals, 1960-1994: They wore that bird head logo on a white helmet for 499 straight games before using the blank shell for a throwback game against the Browns in 1994.

Raiders, 1964-1994: Wore their current helmet for 446 straight games before going retro for the 1994 75th-anniversary season.

Browns, 1975-2005: 434 straight games for the white-facemask version of their helmet. Then they switched to a gray mask.

Cowboys, 1977-2004: 432 straight games between the 1976 bicentennial helmet (the one with the red stripe) and the first time they donned the white throwbacks.

Now that the Chiefs’ streak has been broken, the longest current streak belongs to the Bengals. They’re at about 238 games, dating back to 1994 (not sure exactly which week they last wore the 1994 throwback helmet, so it may be off a week or two).

The St. Louis Rams also got in on the fun and wore their throwback uniforms.


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