The Evolution of the San Francisco 49ers Jersey

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The San Francisco 49ers got their start in the ’40s – not in the NFL, but in the All-America Football Conference, a rival league to the NFL and one of its early competitors. Founder Tony Morabito worked hard to bring his idea of a San Francisco football team to fruition, and once he joined forces with a few other forward thinkers, the AAFC was born… and so too was the San Francisco 49ers.

The team name, of course, came from those who traveled west during the California Gold Rush, during which San Francisco became a boom town and saw its economy soar. The effects of the gold rush was so massive that it helped usher California’s admittance to the United States as a free state in 1850, which made the 49ers a perfect moniker for the new football franchise.

After four seasons of operations, the AAFC folded, and three of its teams were merged into the NFL. In addition to the Niners, AAFC’s Cleveland and Baltimore were awarded NFL franchises and the rest, as we say, is history.

Success in San Francisco

The 49ers have had quite the history, winning five Super Bowls (1994, 1989, 1988, 1984, 1981) in six appearances (their only loss occurring just a few years ago after the 2012 season). They also have had plenty of superstars on their roster over the last seven decades, including Hall of Famers Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Jerry Rice, as well as other standout players, like Frank Gore and Terrell Owens.

To go along with their success on the field, the team has maintained a general color scheme over its decades of play, but there have been a few changes here and there – check them out below.

Notable Niners Uniform Changes

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1946: When the 49ers took the field for the first time in 1946, they sported plain white leather helmets paired with a plain red jersey which featured white numerals in a traditional semi-block font. This color scheme would stand the test of time, although it would go through a few tweaks later on.

1950: The Niners had switched to a silver helmet with a red stripe in 1948, but abandoned said stripe by the time they joined the NFL. For a game against the Rams, they wore jerseys adorned with triple white stripes.

1958: This was the year TV numbers were added to jersey sleeves for the 49ers.

1962: A 49ers helmet logo finally appears. Player helmets (both sides) sport a large red oval with a thin black outline with a white SF nestled inside.

1964: The 49ers make a final switch from silver to gold for both the helmets and pants.

1970: Last names appear on the back of the Niners’ jerseys for the first time, where they will stay.

1996: Major changes were made this year, starting from the top, where the helmet logo is tweaked a bit to feature a gold outline that is surrounded by a thicker black outline. Not to be outdone, the stripe pattern undergoes a couple changes, including a thick red stripe flanked by thin black stripes. TV numbers? Relocated to the shoulders, and all numbers are changed to a double outline. The SF oval logo is superimposed over the triple sleeve stripes, and pants go from gold to white and a black-red-black stripe pattern. They also celebrate their 50th anniversary with a patch over the left breast.

1998: The name on back lettering goes to a single outline, and the pants go back to the gold standard with a side stripe pattern of red-black-red.

2009: This year ushers in a switch back to the older style of decades past, with helmet stripes going back to a red-white-red pattern and face masks popping back to grey after being red for a number of years. The red of the home jerseys (and the red numbers on the away jerseys) are brighter than they had been since 1996, and the 49ers wordmark is placed above the front number. The numbers and names are a single solid color (no more outlines) and the triple stripe pattern on the sleeves are truncated due to modern sleeve cuts.

2015: The all-black styling of a Niners alternate uniform makes its debut. The jersey is paired with plain red numbers, and the pants feature a single red stripe down the side.

If you have a hankering for a sweet 49ers jersey to sport this NFL season, Fanatics.com is your one stop shop. Whether you’re looking for a throwback Montana jersey or a sweet all-black alternate, they’ve got you covered.

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Strategy Game Changers: Buddy Ryan

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Getting to Know Buddy Ryan

Buddy Ryan, the inventor of one of the greatest defenses in NFL history, was born in 1931. At 17 years old, he enlisted in the National Guard and landed on Korean shores Christmas Day 1951, where he would go on to serve as a master sergeant.

After the war, Ryan enrolled at Oklahoma State University and lettered all four years as a guard and linebacker. Once graduated, he immediately began coaching at the high school level and would eventually climb his way up over the next several decades.

The 46 Defense Dominates Football

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Buddy Ryan is best known for orchestrating the 46 defense as the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears. The strategy gets its name from strong safety Doug Plank, who wore No. 46 when he played under Ryan. Similar to the 4-3 defense, it calls for four defensive linemen (two defensive ends and two defensive tackles), three linebackers, and four defensive backs (two safeties and two cornerbacks). The linebackers are shifted toward the offense’s weaker side to put more pressure on the backfield.

The 46 defense was super effective at disrupting a team’s running game, which forced opposing quarterbacks into throwing the ball more often. Buddy Ryan’s legendary defensive scheme was a huge part of the reason the 1985 Bears pummeled their way to a victory in Super Bowl XX.

A Career Full of Achievements

While Ryan is perhaps best known for his work as a defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears – which resulted in a Super Bowl victory – he would go on to become the head coach for other teams, taking some to the playoffs (most notably the Philadelphia Eagles, who went three times). He also worked as a defensive coordinator for the Houston Oilers between head coaching jobs, where he helped the team advance to the divisional round before they were defeated.

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Today, the 46 defense isn’t incorporated much into the modern defensive game plan. While it was a very effective formation overall, it was especially good at stopping up gaps and running lanes and negating the run game. Although defenses have evolved over time, this defensive strategy does occasionally pop up; Buddy Ryan’s contributions to the game will be remembered for a long time to come.

If you’re feeling inspired by Buddy Ryan’s amazing defensive legacy (one that lives on with his twin sons, who are both defensively minded coaches in the NFL), you’ll love the gear that Fanatics.com has on hand. From the Chicago Bears to the Arizona Cardinals, Fanatics has you covered.

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Living Legends: NFL

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Some NFL players become legends who stand the test of time. Most casual fans are familiar with the greats of the past, such as Walter Payton and Joe Greene, and they’re definitely familiar with newer Hall of Fame inductees like Brett Favre and Jerry Rice. One of the most appealing things about the NFL is the possibility of watching someone who is destined for greatness. The following three players are right in the midst of amazing, legendary careers.

Terrific Tom

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is considered by many to be the “Greatest Quarterback of All Time.” This four-time Super Bowl champ has a ton of other accomplishments, as if Super Bowl champ four times over isn’t enough, he’s grabbed quite a few other honors, including three Super Bowl MVPs, two first-team All-Pro selections, and has been selected to 11 Pro Bowls. Oh, and we have to mention that he is the current active leader for passing touchdowns, playoff games, game winning drives, and comebacks.

Brady was selected in Round 6 of the 2000 NFL Draft and was the 199th player overall. To say he flew under the radar is an understatement, and the six quarterbacks that went in the draft before him didn’t exactly become household names – in fact, only two experienced solid playing time in the NFL.

Brady’s career stats are very similar to a few very well-known legends themselves, including Dan Marino, John Elway, and Joe Montana, all of which have been inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. There is little doubt that Tom Brady will also be selected once his playing career is over, likely on the first ballot.

All Hail J.J. “Swatt”

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J.J. Watt is a popular defensive end with a huge wingspan, well known for his aggressive playing style and his ability to bat down passes even with two offensive linemen hanging off him. His efforts have not gone unnoticed, either. He’s snagged the AP Defensive Player of the Year award three times, has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times and has also landed four selections to the first team All-Pro. These are terrific honors, considering he only entered the NFL in 2011.

Watt was selected by the Houston Texans in the first round (11th overall) and made an impact right away, clocking in 20.5 sacks his second season (the most in the league, which he again achieved in 2015 with 17.5 sacks). He was also awarded the Bert Bell Award (Player of the Year) in 2014 and has even brought one interception back to the house (after barreling down 80 yards of field).

His game stats closely resemble a few other amazing players, notably Muhammad Wilkerson, Geno Atkins, and the mighty Warren Sapp, who was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2013. While defensive players aren’t always as well-known as their flashier offensive counterparts, J.J. Watt is one of the most easily recognized defensive ends in the game. He has many good years left in him, and will likely continue to make a positive impact on his team (and the game as a whole).

All Day

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Adrian Peterson (nicknamed “All Day”, or “A.D.”) was drafted in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft and has basically never looked back. The agile, quick, and deceptive running back has smashed his way through defensive lines for the past nine seasons. He was selected as the Offensive Rookie of the Year in his inaugural year and is the current active leader for rushing touchdowns and rushing yards per game.

The honors don’t stop there, though. Peterson has been selected to the Pro Bowl seven times, to the First Team All-Pro four times, and was the 2012 AP Offensive Player of the Year. He snagged the league-wide rushing title three times, and topped out at 2,097 yards in 2012 (incidentally, only six other players have ever topped 2K, and Peterson was very close to securing the top overall spot that year).

Peterson’s style and stats are similar to other players, such as Clinton Portis, Shaun Alexander, and Eddie George. Whether any of these fellas wind up in the Hall of Fame is still up in the air, but “A.D.” may wind up with a bust of his own one day considering his continued success (his last rushing title was last season, in fact).

The Legend Continues

Living legends are definitely a sight to see, and it’s a good idea to claim your seat if one of these guys rolls into town. There is no telling the future, but it’s a safe bet that these three players have already secured their places in the history books.

If you’re looking to stock up on Brady, Watt, or Peterson gear, head to Fanatics.com. They’ve got you covered so you can be covered – in the best football gear, that is.

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Fantasy Football for Beginners

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For some fans, football exists only on game day. On this day, they cheer on their favorite team, tailgate (whether at the stadium or at their own home), and celebrate a win or quickly forget a loss.

There’s a subset of fans, however, who make football an everyday experience. Seven days a week for the entire season, those who play fantasy football take a casual interest and turn it into an obsession.

Going from rooting for your favorite team to playing fantasy football involves some prerequisite knowledge. Much like a rookie at training camp who is picking up the playbook, you’ll want to practice before jumping in. Just because you’re a Cleveland Browns fan, doesn’t mean you need to draft Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson, or Terrelle Pryor. We’re here to help you think outside your team’s locker room. Our Fantasy Football for Beginners Guide will have you going from dud to stud – even if it’s your first season.

Fantasy 411

Fantasy Football isn’t a solo activity; you’ll need to join a league on one of the many popular sites – ESPN, Yahoo, NFL.com, CBS Sports – with as many as 15 other “owners,” individuals or groups that are running a team (usually friends or co-workers). In reality, you’ll see between 10 and 12 owners in most leagues.

There are different formats that dictate how players are selected – or drafted – by the owners in your league. The most common format is a Standard League, in which the first player to select in round one picks last in round two (“snake draft”). This process repeats until each team completes their roster, picking the minimum number of players by position and reaching the maximum team size.

The game takes place weekly, pitting you head-to-head against another owner. Typically, players will log on and set their lineups early in the week. Then, using the associated website or mobile app, they will follow their fantasy team’s performance as the games are being played in real time. The fantasy season coincides with the NFL season with most leagues taking their top four, six, or eight teams with the best head-to-head records into the playoffs during weeks 14, 15, or 16.

Assemble Your Team, but Know the Score

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It’s important to read through your league’s scoring system! This directly affects your strategy heading into drafting players. On draft day, you need to fill a minimum number of players in each position. In most standard leagues, it goes as follows:

  • Quarterback: 1
  • Running Back: 2
  • Wide Receiver: 2
  • Tight End: 1
  • Flex: 1
  • Defense: 1
  • Kicker: 1

Starting with nine total players (1 Quarterback, 2 Running Backs, 2 Wide Receivers, 1 Tight End, 1 Flex spot for a Running Back, Tight End, or Wide Receiver, 1 Defense, and 1 Kicker), you’ll end up with some extra bench players, usually seven. This allows you to prepare for “bye” weeks – when your first-choice quarterback is potentially busy enjoying a Sunday on the golf course, and you need to substitute him with another starter. While you generate your first roster on draft night, you’ll be able to trade or pick up players throughout the season in case “sure things” don’t pan out and you need to make an adjustment.

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How these individuals perform in their games each week, determines if you’ll be a hero or zero. Each player receives positive points – touchdowns, passing yards, rushing yards, field goals – or negative points – fumbles, interceptions – for everything they do on the field. This generates a total overall score for you. In most standard leagues, a quarterback receives fewer points for scoring a touchdown than the running back or wide receiver. It is important to note that fantasy players draft team defenses, not individual players. Your fantasy defense will earn points based upon how well the actual team’s defense performs. Knowing how your league’s scoring works will help you prioritize your draft-day selections.

On the Draft BoardFantasy-Draft-Strategy

Looking at each position, here’s one player in each position that you should target:

  • Quarterback: Drew Brees. Coming off of a season leading the league in passing yards, Brees is primed to put on another show in New Orleans.
  • Running Back: Le’Veon Bell. With his three-game suspension, he might ride your bench for a few weeks, but once he returns, he could be the top player in the league.
  • Wide Receiver: Odell Beckham Jr. Targeted 288 times last season – 68 more than any other WR on the Giants – look for some big points from OBJ.
  • Tight End: Jordan Reed. A top scoring TE in 2015, the only question mark about Reed is his health. He’s missed 14 out of 48 games in the past three seasons.
  • Defense: Cardinals. It would be easy to draft the Denver Broncos, but you’d be reaching. Look to see if you can snag the “Bird Gang” after the Broncos go off the board.
  • Kicker: Roberto Aguayo. Even though he’s a rookie, the Florida State Seminole turned Tampa Bay Buccaneer is a “weapon,” according to their general manager. We agree.

Make the Call

Now that you’ve taken an introductory course on fantasy football, you’re ready to call the shots. Will you draft a big-name quarterback first, or will you stock the cupboard with running backs and wide receivers? It’s up to you to make those decisions.

Get ready for draft day and the 2016 NFL Season. It’s that much easier with the best officially licensed team merchandise and apparel from Fanatics.com.

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The Evolution of the Indianapolis Colts Jersey

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The Indianapolis Colts are an NFL franchise established in 1953. Originally located in Baltimore, the team played as members in the All-American Football Conference before merging into the National Football League (NFL).

Just five years after their inception into the league, the team won the 1958 NFL championship – the first game ever to utilize the overtime rule. With friction brewing in Baltimore, the franchise struggled to perform and revenues were dwindling. After years of discussion, Colts ownership agreed to move the team to Indianapolis with a famous story in which moving trucks swept away any remains of the team from Baltimore in the middle of the night.

The Colts have found a place to call home in Lucas Oil Stadium, which currently seats about 67,000 fans. The Wild Horses have appeared in four Super Bowls, and emerged victorious in two – one in Baltimore and one in Indianapolis.

We decided to take look into the details of this town-changing team, and unraveled the transformation that occurred throughout their long history. Continue reading to see how the renowned Colts blue has been modified over time.

Logo History

1953–1960: The Colts start out as a team based in Baltimore. The first logo depicts a bucking horse donning a football helmet while leaping through a field goal post. The team name is accented in blue with gray fill.

1961–1978: Drawing inspiration from the first logo, the Colts remove the intricate background and settle for a leaping horse accented in blue and white with the team’s helmet attached.

1979–1983: The Colts ditch the horse for a simple horseshoe logo.

1984–2001: The logo is carried over from the team’s time in Baltimore.

2002–Present: The team lightens the shade of blue, but keeps the same logo.

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Indianapolis Colts 29” x 43” Glitter Suede House Vertical Flag

Notable Jersey Changes

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1953: The team’s first jerseys take a simplistic route, sticking with a solid blue jersey and plain white numbers. The helmet was blue with a white horseshoe on the back.

1956: The Colts make small adjustments to the previous design and change things up with inverted helmet colors.

1958: Indy’s white away jersey features blue numbers on both the center of the jersey and the sleeves. Stripes move to the shoulder area, and a blue horseshoe is moved from the back of the helmet to the side – where it still rests today.

1968: The Colts lower the stripes around the shoulder area and shrink the sleeves down. Player numbers also now appear on the back of the helmet, which is still around today.
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Riddell Indianapolis Colts Revolution Speed Full-Size Authentic Football Helmet

1969: The blue home jersey changes little from 1968 to 1969. The sleeves become longer and a patch is placed onto the left shoulder, celebrating the NFL’s 50th anniversary.

1970: The length of the sleeves shrinks slightly on the white jersey. The helmet design utilizes a smaller metal cage – adding extra protection for the players.

1984: Once again, the jerseys see little change, but an added horseshoe with the player number is placed on the pants. The team also adds a blue belt and some additional blue trim to the pants.  

1988: The horseshoe on the pants is removed and the double-stripe design returns to provide consistency between the shoulders and pants.

1993: A patch on the left shoulder is added to celebrate the team’s 10th anniversary. The NFL shield is also added on the neckline of the jersey – following the footsteps of most teams.

1997: A horseshoe is placed on the left shoulder of the jersey to honor the passing of late owner Robert Irsay. His son, Jim, still manages the team.

2004: The Colts make minor adjustments, including darkening the shade of blue from royal to “speed” blue and adding white stripes to the socks.

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Nike Indianapolis Colts Vapor Jet Light Speed Gloves

2010: The Colts wear 1955 throwback jerseys during the team’s 2010 preseason debut. The jersey features a dark royal blue color with matching helmets, and the horseshoe is placed on the back as tribute to the 1950s style.

2012: Following the NFL’s partnership with Nike, jerseys receive minor alterations to reflect a modernized feel with subtle nuances.

Looking Back to Look Forward

Traditionally, NFL teams tend to retire the jersey numbers of legendary players who have taken the field in their name. This trend lives on through the Colts, as a whopping eight jersey numbers have been put to rest since the team’s inception into the league. As the team progresses into future seasons, fans eagerly await what number will have the honor of being retired next. Possible candidates in the mix for retirement include No. 63 (Jeff Saturday) and No. 87 (Reggie Wayne) – both key players in securing the 2007 Super Bowl win and the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

No.18 Peyton Manning

No. 19 – Johnny Unitas

No. 22 – Buddy Young

No. 24 – Lenny Moore

No. 70 – Art Donovan

No. 77 – Jim Parker

No. 82 – Raymond Berry

No. 89 – Gino Marchetti

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Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts Nike Retired Player Game Jersey – Royal

As it appears, the future for the Colts seems to be shrouded in an optimistic light. With five of their eight home games already filled to capacity, the hype around the 2016 season has radiated throughout each player on the team. Needless to say, everyone is excited to see what’s in store for this historic franchise.

Do you bleed blue and white? Be a true Fanatic, and support #ColtsNation by rockin’ the latest fan gear to the next sold-out showdown!

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The Wonders of The Wonderlic Test

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Professional football players are assessed in many different ways by teams and the league when entering the NFL. They gauge the momentum and explosiveness of a 40-yard dash, examine how quickly a player can change direction at high speeds with a three-cone drill, and test strength and endurance with their weight and reps on a bench press. However, that only covers the physical traits of a player’s game. When they want to know if their brains match the brawn, they turn to one test: the Wonderlic.

You’ve heard the name of this test, but what it is and how teams and the league use it to evaluate players remain a mystery to most people. Beyond that, which players are MVPs with their scores, and who couldn’t make the practice squad with their result? We’ve demystified the Wonderlic, and now it’s your turn to learn about it and then test your mettle to learn your score.

How would you do? Find out now!

Before reading up on the history of how the NFL has made use of the Wonderlic, and if it translates into professional success for players, take our version of the Wonderlic to see how you compare with actual NFL players.

Which player do you compare with? Let’s dive into the history of the wonderful Wonderlic test to see how this test first came about and how it is used to measure performance on today’s fields.

What is the Wonderlic?

The Wonderlic, which is both the name of the test and the company that created it, contains questions that “assess cognitive ability as a part of athlete evaluations since the 1970s.” More specifically, the NFL uses the Wonderlic Personality Test (WPT-R). This assessment focuses on the abilities of the test taker to learn new information, reason out problems, and follow instructions provided.

This isn’t about seeing a player’s ability to recite Shakespeare or solve physics problems. It’s about their ability to make lightning-fast decisions that can directly impact the outcome of a game. Would they be able to step up to the line, read the coverage, audible out of the play, and execute a perfect pass under pressure? Performance on the Wonderlic should give us an understanding of who should be more successful in these high-pressure situations.

Does success with a No. 2 pencil translate to professional success?

With over 40 years of results, there have been studs and duds when it comes to Wonderlic scores. There has been a perfect score (just one in total), and there have been players looking for a redo after setting new low scores. If you want to see perfection, look no further than Pat McInally, former wide receiver and punter for the Cincinnati Bengals (1976–1985). McInally is the only known player to achieve a perfect score on the Wonderlic, but some current players have come fairly close.

Two current players – New York Jets’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Baltimore Raven’s tight end Benjamin Watson – both were just two points shy of lining their scores up next to McInally’s. Receiving a 48 out of a possible 50 on the Wonderlic is still an impressive feat. But would they be your first pick during your fantasy football draft this year? Players that might, like Super Bowl champion and league MVP Aaron Rodgers, put up performances worthy of recognition regardless of a lower Wonderlic score (35).

On the low end, turning in the worst scores we could find, were the five-time Pro Bowler and running back for the Indianapolis Colts, Frank Gore, and the Dallas Cowboys’ 2012 first-round draft pick, cornerback Morris Claiborne. Their scores, 6 and 4 respectively, didn’t stop them from being team contributors.

So while a high score is a great mark and accomplishment, the best performers on the test haven’t always been the MVPs on the gridiron. This test is just that – a single datum point to be compared with a multitude of different results. It simply helps teams make the most informed decision when drafting a pick.

Don’t just be smart, or have the Wonderlic score to prove it; look smart when you get the best NFL gear – jerseys, hats, and shirts – at Fanatics.com.

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The Evolution of the Atlanta Falcons Jersey

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The Atlanta Falcons are a member of the NFL’s National Football Conference (NFC). They joined the league as an expansion team in 1965.

Along with the Miami Dolphins, the Falcons are one of the oldest teams in the South. The Falcons, known as the Dirty Birds, reached the Super Bowl just once in 1998; they have yet to win the big dance. Many fans have doubts about their success during this upcoming season, but one thing is for sure – they always look fashionably good on the field.

The team currently plays in the Georgia Dome, with a state-of-the-art stadium (Mercedes-Benz Stadium) expected to be completed for 2017. The team’s jerseys orbit around red, white, silver, and black colorways.

Soar through the skies, or through history, as we take a deeper look into the transformation of the #FalconsNation jersey over time.

Logo History

1966–1989: The franchise’s first logo is a black falcon outlined in red trim. The positioning of the head and talon gives the bird the appearance of the letter “F.”

1990–2002: The Falcons remove the red trim from the logo and keep a minimal black-and-white coloring.

2003–Present: The organization remasters the logo for a more modern, aggressive design. The bird receives vibrant red shading on the body and feathers, and the angling of the logo is slightly tweaked as well.

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Atlanta Falcons WinCraft 27’’ x 37’’ Primary Vertical Banner Flag

Notable Jersey Changes

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1966–1967: Atlanta’s original home uniform opts for a sleek black appearance with white pants. The numbering is white with red trim, and two logos are printed on the shoulder pads. The helmet is painted red with a black-and-white stripe down the middle. The away uniform features the same white pants, but with inverted colors on the jersey.

1969: The team adds red-and-white stripes to the sleeves of the home uniform. A patch on the left shoulder also marks the NFL’s 50th season.

1971: The Falcons depart from the black home uniforms and inverted colors to use red as the primary shade.

1978: Atlanta debuts silver pants with both uniforms instead of the traditional white ones.  Additionally, the sleeves receive the team logo. On the road uniform, the numbers are colored in red instead of black.

1980: The red jerseys receive a slightly darkened gray numbering instead of white. A red belt is also added for a touch of color.

1986: The white uniform receives a red-and-black trim along the neckline and sleeves.

1988: The main difference on the uniform this year is on the sleeves. The Falcons’ logo is placed over the stripes, and the stripes encompass the entire sleeve with a much bulkier appearance.

1990: For the team’s 25th anniversary, the Falcons reverse the red color pattern and go with black jerseys and a matching black helmet. Stripes on the helmet, neckline, and sleeves are removed, but the uniform maintains a hint of red trim. The silver pants also remain.

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Deion Sanders Atlanta Falcons Mitchell & Ness 1992 Retired Player Vintage Replica Jersey – Black

1994: The Falcons unveil black numbering again on the road jerseys along with the return of the red helmet. The uniform combination is a throwback to the team’s 1960s look to help celebrate the league’s 75th anniversary. A commemorative patch is also displayed on the left shoulder.

1998: The Falcons return to the red numbering, but the stripes on the sleeves are removed, and a black helmet is added to the white uniform. Additionally, the stripes on the pants change slightly.

2003: The organization sees its first major uniform overhaul. The Falcons redesign the logo with more red-and-silver coloring to reflect an aggressive-looking bird. Red trim is added to the side of the uniform, and the team mixes it up with black/white jerseys and black/white pants. The white pants are a departure from the team’s previous decision to wear silver. The Falcons also introduce a red jersey worn as an alternate uniform, which will later become the primary home uniform instead of black.

2004: The team opts to wear all-black uniforms for select games against divisional opponents/rivals. The Atlanta organization continues to do so with various combinations of black, white, and red to vary the team’s appearance.

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Riddell Atlanta Falcons Revolution Speed Full-Size Authentic Football Helmet

2009: The Falcons announce that the team will wear throwback jerseys, which reflect the 1966 season with classic red helmets.

2012: With the league’s new Nike sponsorship, team jerseys receive slight modifications to give them a fresh, vibrant appearance.

Looking Back to Look Forward

Along with other teams in the South, such as the Dallas Cowboys, the Falcons have chosen not to retire jersey numbers. Instead, they opt to remember legendary players by placing their names in the Ring of Honor – featured on the rafters running along the inside of the Georgia Dome Stadium. Only the best of the best make it up the ring; currently, only nine names wrap around the stands.

Recipients of the Falcons Ring of Honor are inducted by class year:

2004 (Inaugural Class) William Andrews,Steve Bartkowski, Tommy Nobis, Jessie Tuggle

2006 Class – Jeff Van Note

2008 Class – Mike Kenn, Claude Humphrey

2010 Class – Deion Sanders

2013 Induction – Gerald Riggs

Be a part of #FalconsNation today by gearing up with the latest Falcons gear and memorabilia! Look no further than Fanatics, one of the largest online retailers of sports apparel and merchandise, for all of your game day needs.

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The Evolution of the Dallas Cowboys Jersey

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An appropriate choice of name to represent the Lone Star State, the Dallas Cowboys were established in 1960.  

The Cowboys have one of the league’s most iconic uniforms with simple, yet recognizable blue and white colors. The team has changed it up over the years, but the blue uniform is still traditionally worn at home, while white is worn on the road – both of which use a silver helmet and pants.

Known as “America’s Team,” the Cowboys have five Super Bowl championships and are one of the most valuable teams in the world, with an approximate valuation of over $4 billion. You know what they say everything’s bigger in Texas!

Mounting our horses, we decided to trot down memory lane to see how one of the biggest teams in NFL history has changed their attire throughout years of gameplay.

Logo History

One shocking fact about the Dallas Cowboys is that their current team logo has only undergone one facelift. Typically, younger teams, such as the Houston Texans, are noted for having a few logo changes. Since their inception into the league, the Cowboys have continued to stay true to their home state by representing the blue star on the field.

1960–1963: The Cowboys use a blue star for the team’s first logo.

1964–Present: A simple border outlines the star to make it pop.

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Dallas Cowboys 28” x 40” Double-Sided House Flag

Notable Jersey Changes

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1960: For the team’s debut, the Cowboys rock a white helmet with a simple star logo and a blue-white-blue stripe down the center of the crown. The uniforms use simplistic two-tone coloring with a blue uniform at home and a white uniform on the road. Both jerseys display the team logo on the sleeves, but each uses inverted colors.

1964: The Cowboys opt for a more simplistic look that closely resembles the team’s current uniform. The socks and jerseys change to one solid color with three horizontal stripes on the sleeves. The logo on the shoulder area is removed. The helmet also changes to silver.

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Riddell Dallas Cowboys Revolution Speed Full-Size Authentic Football Helmet

1966: The jerseys are modified to feature only two sleeve stripes that are slightly wider instead of three. The lone star receives the blue-white outline, which gives the logo a bolder look. This appearance has seen little significant change ever since.

1970: Numbers are moved from the shoulder to the sleeves above the stripes.

1976: The helmet stripe changes to red, white, and blue to commemorate the United States’ bicentennial anniversary.

1981: The Cowboys incorporate slightly darker shading on the navy blue uniform. Additionally, the numbers change from white to gray with a trim outline. The border on the numbering reflects the border on the new lone star design.

1982: The pants receive a small circle that encloses the uniform number on the hip area.

1994: Dallas celebrates back-to-back Super Bowl wins with a special double-star jersey on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys also wear a throwback version of the team’s 1960 uniform to help the NFL celebrate its 75th anniversary.

1996: The addition of the word “Cowboys” is added to the neckline, which currently remains on the blue jersey.

2004: The Cowboys resurrect the 1960 uniform on Thanksgiving Day. This uniform becomes the team’s alternate jersey and is still worn during select games.

2012: Reflecting the NFL’s move to Nike, the uniform receives subtle design changes in detailing and coloring to give the appearance of modernity.

2015: The Cowboys unveil an all-white throwback version of the double-star uniform to be worn during the NFL’s Color Rush promotional night.

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Ezekiel Elliott Dallas Cowboys Nike 2016 Draft Pick Game Jersey – Navy

Looking Back to Look Forward

Setting themselves apart from the rest of the teams in the league, the Cowboys opt to induct players’ names into the Ring of Honor rather than retiring their jersey numbers. The tradition began on Nov. 23, 1975, and has since been known as “Bob Lilly Day.” Currently, 21 names of former coaches, players, and club officials wrap around the stands of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Bob Lilly 1975  

Don Meredith 1976  Don Perkins 1976
Chuck Howley 1977 Mel Renfro 1981

Roger Staubach 1983

Lee Roy Jordan 1989 Tom Landry 1993

Randy White 1994  

Tony Dorsett 1994 Bob Hayes 2001

Tex Schramm 2003

Rayfield Wright 2004

Cliff Harris 2004 Michael Irvin 2005
Troy Aikman 2005 Emmitt Smith 2005

Larry Allen 2011

Charles Haley 2011 Drew Pearson 2011

Darren Woodson 2015

Before charging out to AT&T Stadium, are you sure that you’re equipped like a cowboy? Saddle up with the latest Dallas Cowboys fashion and merchandise. Head over to Fanatics – your one-stop shop for all your Cowboys essentials!

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The Evolution of the Buffalo Bills Jersey

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Based out of New York, the Buffalo Bills are an NFL team that joined the league as a product of the AFL-NFL merger.

The team spent the ’60s in the American Football League (AFL) before joining the National Football League (NFL) in 1970.  

The Bills have not been the luckiest team in the league. The Northern New York franchise famously lost four straight Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993 and are the only team to do so. Another shocking fact about the team is they are the only NFL team to not have made the playoffs in the 21st century; the last time the team did so was in 1999. On the bright side, Rex Ryan – former New York Jets head coach – was acquired at the start of the 2015 season. And he’s been restructuring the team since.

Buffalo’s uniforms are based on a patriotic red, white, and blue color scheme, and have remained that way for the majority of the franchise’s existence.

We decided to see how the team’s patriotic roots came to be and examined the evolution of their Uncle Sam–approved jersey since their inception into the league.

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Buffalo Bills WinCraft Deluxe 3′ x 5′ Logo Flag

Logo History

1960–1961: For Buffalo’s first year in the NFL, the team utilizes a cartoon illustration as its logo. A blue background in the shape of a football displays a ball carrier, a pack of wild buffalo, and the city and team name in white.

1962–1969: Just one year later, the Bills transform the design to feature a more detailed illustration of a ball carrier in the team’s uniform followed by a realistic-looking brown buffalo complete with shading.

1970–1973: The Bills opt for a simple logo of a buffalo in red outline.

1974–Present: The modern-day logo is a more bold buffalo illustration in a stampede stance. The logo uses a red and blue two-tone colorway to add some freshness.

Notable Uniform Changes

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1960 – Buffalo’s first uniform as a member of the AFL is a simple design that consists of royal blue, white, and some silver. The silver helmets display each player’s number instead of a team logo. At the time, Buffalo’s owner held a share with the Detroit Lions, and many believe these jerseys drew inspiration from Detroit.

1962 – To differentiate from the Detroit Lions, the Bills change the color scheme to a patriotic red, white, and blue. Royal blue jerseys are worn at home and white is worn on the road. The addition of red and white trim helps make the uniform pop. The team also introduces the red buffalo illustration at this time to replace the helmet numbers.

1965 – A blue trim is added along the center of the helmet, and the shoulder stripes are replaced by a distinct combination of four white stripes along the sleeves.

1973 – The Bills introduce blue pants to the white jersey.

1975 – Buffalo unveils the modern-day logo of a charging buffalo with a red and blue colorway. The helmets also feature gray facemasks.

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Buffalo Bills Riddell Mini Speed Helmet – White

1984 – White helmets change to red, and the facemask changes from blue to white.It’s said that the color change is meant to help the Bills distinguish their own players from other teams with white helmets. At this point, the team also uses red socks instead of white.

1986 – The Bills begin wearing an all-white road uniform instead of traditional blue pants. The team also honors the Super Bowl with a patch.

2002 – The Bills introduce a dramatic redesign of the team’s home and road uniforms. The red, white, and blue color scheme remain, but the team begins using a darker shade of blue, which is accented with hints of gray. The white uniform features a blocky dark-blue splash on the shoulder area and red accents along the perimeter.

2005 – The Bills revive the standing red bison on the helmet as a throwback uniform. A red and white trim is added to the sleeves in reference to the design of Buffalo’s early 1960s flair.

2011 – The Bills unveil another major redesign, dropping the red helmet for white. This uniform is an updated rendition of Buffalo’s look from the ’70s and ’80s. The deep navy blue is swapped out for a return to royal blue, and the road uniform takes on a more minimalistic design.

2012 – As part of the league’s new uniform contract with Nike, the Bills receive minor alterations.  

2015 – Nike unveils special all-red uniforms for its “Color Rush” promotional games. The Bills don the all-red combination against the New York Jets, who wear all green. The teams face off in November of 2015 during the league’s first “Color Rush” game.

Looking Back to Look Forward

Throughout their long history, the Bills have had many legendary players leave their blood, sweat, and tears on the field while reppin’ the red, white, and blue. Players such as Bruce Smith and Jim Kelly keep the tradition alive throughout the organization with their many contributions even after stepping off the turf – keeping their roots intact. Although there have been many greats to play for this team, only two numbers have been retired:

No.12 – Jim Kelly

No. 78 – Bruce Smith

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Jim Kelly Buffalo Bills Nike Retired Player Game Jersey – Royal Blue

Heading out to the big game? Arrive at Ralph Wilson Stadium with all the latest Bills gear – that true red, white, and blue. Look no further than Fanatics.com for all things Buffalo Bills!

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The Evolution of the Baltimore Ravens Jersey

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Since the Ravens’ inaugural season, the team’s uniform has remained mostly unchanged.

Purple jerseys are normally worn at home, while white jerseys are worn on the road. The Ravens were based in Cleveland until the owner of the Browns moved the franchise after being enticed by the funding in Baltimore.

The home stadium for the team’s first two seasons was the previous home of the Baltimore Colts, a team that moved to Indianapolis. The Ravens would get their new stadium in 1998 – M&T Bank Stadium, with a capacity of 71,008 and solid home-win advantage for #RavensNation.

The team’s name was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, a poet, Boston native and Baltimore resident, who wrote a poem entitled “The Raven.” As a result, the color scheme of deep purple and black reflects the horror genre Poe was known for.

We decided to take a dive into the black and purple flock of the Baltimore Ravens to see how their jersey has evolved throughout the past 20 years.

Logo History

The Ravens are among the few teams in NFL history that don’t have many changes from the original logo debuted during their inauguration year 1996. The Poe-lovin’ team has only switched up their logo once to incorporate their mascot as well as the city of Baltimore.

1996–1998:

The team’s first logo uses a winged letter “B” to represent the city name. It’s encased in a gold shield that bears the team name along with more wings on the outside.

1999–Present:

The current logo cleaned up the previous design for a simplistic, aggressive Raven head with the letter “B” representing the city in a bold, gold font.

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Baltimore Ravens 28” x 40” Double-Sided House Flag

Notable Uniform Changes

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1996: The team’s first home uniform utilizes a purple jersey with a black helmet. The pants have a minimal white stripe, and the jersey features white numbering with purple and gold trim. The white road uniform follows a similar coloring with a white jersey, purple-block numbering, and black and white pants.

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Riddell Baltimore Ravens Revolution Speed Full-Size Authentic Football Helmet

1997: The team goes with a more classic look at home by wearing white pants instead of black.

1998: The Ravens adopt the white pants on the road to feature an all-white road uniform.

2004: The team introduces an all-black alternate design.

2008: The Ravens bring back black pants with the white uniform. The team also introduces a new combination of the alternate: a black jersey with white pants.

2010: The Ravens revert to black pants with purple jerseys for a few select games.

2012: As Nike becomes the official provider of NFL jerseys, team uniforms receive modern touch-ups but remain mostly the same.

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Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens Nike Game Jersey – Purple

2012: The Ravens don a patch to celebrate the team’s Super Bowl appearance during the big game.

2015: The team unexpectedly debuts gold pants to wear as an alternate uniform combination.

Looking Back to Look Forward

To the shock of many, the Baltimore Ravens are among the few National Football League teams to have not retired any jersey numbers.

Ray Lewis, legendary linebacker for the Ravens, rocked No. 52 on his back for all 17 seasons played as a purple bird. During his tenure, Lewis was selected to play in the Pro Bowl 13 times as well as seven first-team All-Pro lineups. Since his retirement after the 2012 season, the franchise dedicated a statue to Brickwall (Ray Lewis) in front of their home turf – M&T Bank Stadium. Critics claim that the placing of the statue makes up for not retiring his number, while fans are in agreement that No. 12 is one for the books!

 

Heading out to the next game? Be sure to be a part of the flock by representing #RavensNation with the latest gear and essentials! For all your purple and black needs, look no further than Fanatics – the ultimate sports apparel and fan gear store.

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