Since the 1920’s the exhibition sport of professional football has had its hands firmly on the American heartstrings and has become the second eldest of American team sports only yielding its age to professional baseball. However, in the eyes of many fans, professional football has eclipsed professional baseball in every imaginable area as America’s most endearing and favorite past time. It’s no wonder that the Super Bowl has a larger annual viewership than the World Series.
With a history spanning over 90 years the National Football League has built a legacy for itself and also has helped to forge an untold amount of traditions that range from tail gating in parking lots before games to simple traditions involving a father and his son bonding over a common interest. That is the reason that football has endured as a purely American sport for as long as it has and it’s the reason it will still be just as important to the American consciousness in another ninety years.
As great a sport as football is, it has been driven to the forefront of the business world with strategic marketing that has seen a recent boom in sales due to the renewed interest in small market merchandising of official NFL jerseys. This is no coincidence as the history behind uniforms is as unique as the franchises and players themselves. Gone are the days of the padded leather helmets. Today’s stars have the benefits of 90 years of advanced technology to help protect them from the brutality that is professional football. Throughout the History of the NFL there has been countless changes in uniforms and either for nostalgic or superstitious reasons the older styles (or throwback) uniforms tend to make resurgence when most needed to boost team morale.
In 1968 The Denver Broncos donned their famous Orange Crush uniforms that saw a unique bright orange and blue color scheme that lasted through several Championship games but the big Super Bowl win eluded them. In 1996 they unleashed a more moderate color choice with darker blues and simpler orange accents. They won two Super Bowls back to back thus gaining instant approval from every fan across the world. However, on occasion, you’ll see a whisper of old number 7 on the field when the Broncos take the gridiron in their classic orange football jerseys.
In contrast the Cleveland Browns trotted onto their first professional football field in 1946 with leather helmets died white. In 1956 they moved to a dark orange helmet with a white stripe, which is their current helmet. Tradition has been a mainstay for the Browns but then again, the Super Bowl has eluded them for their whole existence so maybe an update to the uniform is due.
Regardless of the history of their favorite team every fan understands the importance of supporting their team and it often culminates in the wearing of their teams official NFL jerseys, which commonly has their favorite player’s number and name on it. No matter if it’s the current jersey, an away jersey or even a classic throwback that would make your grandfather proud it’s become an American tradition to don your teams colors on Sunday afternoon if only to live vicariously through your favorite player if for just a few short hours.