Last night's Rams-Seahawks game wasn't the best-looking Color Rush game of the season (that honor goes to October's Broncos-Chargers matchup), but in many ways it was the most intriguing uniform pairing of the Thursday night schedule, with both teams reaching into their uniform pasts and perhaps hinting at their futures.
The more dynamic look, of course, belonged to the Seahawks, who wore a full-body treatment of their neon-toned "action green" color (and you can bet they would have added a matching green helmet if not for the NFL's one-shell rule). This felt like the culmination of the uni-verse's long drive toward peak-neon that began in the early 1990s. That's when the Orlando Thunder of the old World League of American Football -- later rechristened NFL Europe -- wore a neon green uniform that looked outrageous for its era but seems pretty conventional compared to what the Seahawks wore last night.
Impossible to look at the Seahawks' Thursday-night uniform without thinking of the Orlando Thunder of the old World League. pic.twitter.com/httrwhdy5b— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) December 13, 2016
The Thunder were endlessly ridiculed for wearing that uniform design, which showed up for years in "Worst Uniforms Ever" lists. But in the quarter-century since, neon and fluorescent uni colors have gone from being garish and disdained to, well, garish and popular. A key step in that evolution was taken by the Seahawks themselves, who wore a neon green alternate jersey for one game in 2009.
More recently, neon tones have been adopted by a wide range of teams and individual athletes, so Seattle's move to go full-neon seems like the logical conclusion of this trend.
Assuming the Color Rush program is retained for next season, the Seahawks will presumably keep this uniform in their wardrobe. Would they ever consider re-designating the green jersey as their primary look? That seems highly unlikely -- their solid-navy "scuba suit" has become an institution. But with the popularity of neon tones still on the upswing, don't be surprised if the Seahawks find new ways to expand the role of green in their color scheme.
Now let's take a look at the Rams, who went with white helmet horns for the first time since 1972 -- their third horn color of the season (and no, that doesn't violate the one-shell rule, because the horns are decals that can be swapped out, just like a side logo or striping tape).
When Rams wear white helmet horns on Thurs night, it'll mark their third horn color this season. Pretty sure that's a single-season record. pic.twitter.com/7ndwZhUwZz— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) December 13, 2016
Those white horns, and the blue-and-white uniforms they were part of, are apparently a favorite among Rams fans. When the team announced its move from St. Louis to Los Angeles early this year, your friendly uniform columnist received an avalanche of emails and tweets that said, "Here's hoping they change uniforms and go back to the blue and white!"
That's somewhat surprising, on several levels. For starters, if you look at the Rams' uniform history, you'll see that they only wore the blue-white color scheme from 1964 through 1972 -- a short period, a long time ago. Moreover, the blue-white combo, while handsome, seems rather plain compared to the technicolor snazziness of the royal-and-yellow uniform that replaced it (although either design would be an improvement over the team's current primary look).
In any case, fans of the blue-white format have had a lot to be excited about this season. The Rams have worn solid white for many of their home games (not the same as the vintage blue-white design, of course, but it still has some of that old flavor), and much of the team's stadium signage and online branding has been rendered in blue and white. Toss in last night's revival of the white helmet horns and you end up with the obvious question: Is the team planning a blue-white makeover?
It's too soon to know for sure. The feeling here at Uni Watch HQ is that the Rams probably won't go for a full-scale redesign until they move into their new stadium in 2019. But a blue-white throwback in the interim? It's easy to imagine them going that route. Let's see if that happens.
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Paul Lukas pulled an April Fool's prank in 2009 about the Seahawks adding a neon-green alternate jersey -- and then it came true six months later! If you like this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.