Last night, I watched NFL Films’ Top 10 Series. This particular episode focused on the NFL’s all-time Top 10 Uniforms. While I do not believe that uniforms play any particular role in a team’s success, you still want your team to wear something that is actually worth looking at. Some uniforms are just downright awful. Case in point: the blue and yellow Eagles uniform. I think they used that uniform to commemorate their 75th anniversary against the Lions back sometime in 2007, and it would be a crime if they ever wore that uniform again. I know that there are probably worse uniforms around, but I remember that I purposely chose not to watch that game just because I could not stand looking at that thing. Anyways, every Sunday, I wish I could play in the NFL, and when I see a nice uniform, that desire could not be any greater.
The Niners actually had their uniform appear on the list. Their 1980’s uniform made the list at #5. In essence, that uniform is associated with success. The Niners were the team of the decade in the 1980’s and they had a uniform to go with it. The team won four Super Bowls in that time and the Cherry Red and Gold were their colors. Red is generally thought of as a beautiful color, and Gold is a color that often represents success, power, and wealth. No other color could represent the Niners in a better fashion. Those colors made for a great combination which left an impression on the NFL and its fans.
The uniforms that the Niners flirted with in the 1990’s (specifically 1994) did not seem to generate any love from the team’s fans. In 1994, the team became the first to win five Super Bowls, but the uniform never caught on. The uniform did not last long and if it were today, I’d say the team changed their uniform just for the sake of change, but it was back in 1994, and I have no idea what the thought process was back then in regards to changing uniforms.
Speaking of changing uniforms, over the last couple of years, many teams have followed that route and have made alterations to their uniforms. No need to look far; the Niners went back to their look from their championship days in the 2009 season. The Niners have a “home” and “away” uniform and haven’t entered the world of wearing “alternate” jerseys. More and more teams are having third jerseys and the popular color for said jersey seems to be black. That holds true even if black was already either the home or away jersey (ex: Pittsburgh Steelers). The Jaguars, Cardinals, and Ravens, just to name a few, are all teams that have added black to their wardrobe. And it begs the question: Should the Niners get an alternate jersey, whether black or any other color? My immediate response is an absolute “NO”. When it comes to uniforms, I am a traditionalist in the sense that iconic teams need to stick with the uniform that showcased their glory years. The home and away jerseys that the Niners have right now are absolutely fabulous and there is no need to add a uniform or alternate/change the current ones. To me, teams that change their uniforms on a rather regular basis are teams that have trouble fitting in and are in desperate search for an identity. As bad as they have been recently, please do not tell me the Niners have trouble fitting in and need others outside of the football world to recognize them. The Niners are one of those teams that can be recognized even by those who don’t follow football regularly.
To date, I own one NFL jersey. It is with great shame that I admit not owning a Niners jersey. The reason why I own that jersey had nothing to do with my liking the particular team, player, or the uniform. It all had to do with the jersey being priced reasonably and at the time having sufficient funds to actually purchase. I have worn that jersey a grand total of one time. The jersey is at least a size too big for me. The jersey: a white, Tiki Barber, New York Giants jersey. The only time I wore it: the day after the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.