The Evolution of the New England Patriots Jersey

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Boston is a city of long-standing teams. The Boston Red Sox (1901), the Boston Bruins (1924), and the Boston Celtics (1946) are all charter or early expansion crews in their respective leagues. This reflects the legacy of a city that has been an essential part of the nation’s history.

The New England Patriots – in light of such sports history – don’t seem to fit. The last of the original franchises of the American Football League (AFL), the onetime Boston Patriots never had a home stadium in the city of Boston and were summarily disregarded for most of their early history.

This was partly because the Patriots were Boston’s fourth professional football team – the other three folded or left the area. However, despite being the only Boston area major professional sports team based outside of Boston, the Patriots have developed a passionate hometown reception that is arguably unmatched by any team in any league.

For those who love or hate the Patriots, the blue, red, white, and silver carry a lot of history and are certain to create an emotional response – good or bad. Fanatics has decided to look at the history of the Patriots’ jersey to understand how the Pats evolved to become one of the NFL’s signature teams.

Notable Uniform Changes

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1962: The initial home uniform is a red jersey with white-trimmed navy blue stripes running across the shoulders and white chest; it has television numbers at the shoulders and on the sleeves. The players wear a white helmet with a red-trimmed white stripe running down the middle, a tri-cornered hat logo on the sides, and the player’s number below the logo.

1964: During this year, the first significant change to the Patriots’ jersey occurs. Officials add a white-trimmed blue stripe to the sleeve at midarm. They also remove the shoulder television numbers, and Pat Patriot replaces the tri-corner hat on the helmets.

1971: The team’s jersey changes along with its name. The rounded neckline becomes a dipping one that’s common for other NFL teams; officials add a red, white, and blue ribbon to the collar. A similar ribbon replaces the ribbon at the cuff. The helmet number is also removed.

1976: The team’s jerseys undergo another remodel this year. For the white away-game jersey, the red number blocks are now outlined in blue. The collar ribbon is removed, and the sleeve ribbons are replaced with a wide blue ribbon with thin red outline ribbons. The player number on the helmet returns this year.

1978: The sleeve ribbons on the away jerseys remain navy. The team’s indecision about the helmet number also continues, as the team removes them again this season.

1984: The 1984 home jersey features white block numbers highlighted in blue on a red background. The sleeve ribbons move to the shoulders and become a blue stripe bordered by equal-sized white stripes.

1993: This is the first season with the redesigned logo: a stylized profile of Patriot Pat’s head in motion. The final year before the Kraft administration, this year marks a complete redesign of the home jersey. Gone is the red jersey; in its place is a navy blue jersey with the NFL Shield at the base of the collar, red number blocks with white borders on the chest, white shoulder numbers, and “Pat Head” logos on each sleeve. The “Pat Head” logo also appears on a new stripeless silver helmet; this marks the first time the team dons silver as a Patriots color.

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Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots Fanatics Authentic Autographed Speed Replica Helmet

1994:For the NFL’s 75th anniversary, the Patriots introduce a modified version of its 1969 away jersey as a throwback. Unlike the original, the shoulder ribbons end at the yoke seam. The throwback features the NFL Shield on the collar and the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Patch on the left shoulder as well.

1996: This year features the Patriots wordmark underneath the collar’s NFL Shield, the number blocks now feature a different font and a drop shadow, and the shoulder numbers and sleeve logos switch places. The player’s number returns to the back of the helmet.

2001: The home jersey for Brady’s introduction is a shade of navy called “Nautical Blue.” The shoulder ribbons are reintroduced as solid silver bands; the white number blocks have a new font, no shadows, and a red outline. The collar features a silver band, capped by the NFL Shield.

2003: The 2003 home jersey sees white with silver and red trim number blocks, and the front and back panels of the jersey also outlined in red. The team replaces the collar’s NFL Shield with an “NFL Equipment Patch” symbol – standard for all post-2002 jerseys.

2004: This year is the introduction of the current Patriots jersey. The away jersey, for example, features “Nautical Blue” numbers outlined in white and red, a blue stripe running along either side of the jersey – also outlined in red – and a “Nautical Blue” collar. The home jersey features a “Nautical Blue” background, white numbers outlined in silver and red, a silver shoulder ribbon and collar, and a red outline on the front and rear panels’ seams.

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Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots Nike Game Jersey – White/Navy Blue

The Red, White, Blue, and Silver

If you are a New Englander, this is a good time to be a sports fan. All four major teams in the area have won their respective championships in the last 10 years, and Boston is currently undergoing a golden age of sorts.

While some find cause to dislike the red, white, blue, and silver that represents the team, there’s a level of respect that’s inherent. This is likely due to the fact that they are preparing to go to their seventh consecutive AFC Conference Championship (and their 14th overall) after dismantling the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. After a franchise-fifth championship win last season, they’re hoping to represent the AFC in the big game in back-to-back years, just like they did after the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Are you a part of the #PatsNation? To show off your Patriot pride, Fanatics has a complete line of essential gear, including Brady jerseys and bobbleheads.

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Tom Brady New England Patriots Bobblehead

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