Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Another Uniform Oddity. The 1977 Pro Bowl

By John Turney
1977 season AFC-NFC Pro Bowl
As we await the 2016 NFL Draft, which finally comes tomorrow night, we take another look at an uniform oddity that stood out.

Beginning with the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970 (and all the way through 1987) the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl uniforms were, well, uniform.

The AFC had a jersey like this:

Sometimes the red numbers were plain, other years they had a thin blue outline.

The NFC had a jersey like this:

Like the AFC, sometimes the numbers were outlined in red, other years they were plain white.

That held true all except one year, the 1977 season Pro Bowl (played in January, 1978). In that game the AFC had blue numerals. And we've never know the reason for the switch. It's likely nothing other than someone wanted a switch. Or, perhaps, an error and the jersey factory. 
Bob Greise.

Joe DeLamielleure
Coy Bacon

Lyle Alzado
The following year, 1978 season Pro Bowl, both the AFC and NFC quit painting the helmets to match the uniforms. The players would bring their own helmets and the equipment crews would paint the AFC helmets red and the NFC helmets white. But, we suppose, that became problematic and that practice ceased and the players would wear the helmets as they brought them even if they clashed badly with the red, white, and blue Pro Bowl color scheme.

So, from the final season of the painted helmets is the mystery. Why the blue numbers? And and a sub-question. Why did they look so good?

So, here we reach out to uniform experts Paul Lukas of and Tim Brulia of Gridiron Uniform  to perhaps track down why this occured. It is certainly above our pay grade but we thought some readers mike like to see them.

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