If you were a fan of your favorite team’s throwback uniforms that were utilized throughout the 2009 NFL season, you may be in luck come the fall of 2022.
In a memo that was reportedly released on June 24, 2021, the NFL approved the use of alternate helmets starting in the 2022 season, paving the way for the league’s 32 teams to expand their uniform artillery and bring back old-school jerseys from decades past.
According to NFL.com, “the revised policy allows teams to utilize a second (alternate color) approved helmet to pair with their Alternate, Classic and/or Color Rush uniforms,” and franchises must follow certain protocols during training camp and at practices related to player safety, as well.
A slew of teams had been limited by the league’s one-helmet rule recently, hindering their attempts to honor their history while simultaneously looking for an update to their look.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to mind immediately, with their old pirate logo and their “creamsicle” jerseys representing an era that’s remembered fondly by the franchise’s fanbase.
Given the team’s recent success after Tom Brady’s arrival and their first Super Bowl win in nearly two decades, it makes sense that nostalgia would start to kick in.
The Denver Broncos also pop up in this nostalgia-based conversation, with many fans clamoring for the team to bring back the John Elway-era blue helmets with the letter “D” and their corresponding orange jerseys.
The franchise did win a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning less than 10 years ago. But, it makes sense that those in Denver would be looking for a return to the greatness that Elway provided in the 1980s and 1990s, especially as the team tries to figure out its next move at quarterback as they prepare for the 2021 season.
Speaking of a return to glory, Philadelphia Eagles fans would love nothing more than the revival of the team’s kelly green look, which Randall Cunningham and company famously wore in the 1980s and 1990s. Fans last got a glimpse of the kelly green in 2010, and have been itching for another appearance ever since.
The New England Patriots’ success as a franchise has been with their navy jerseys for games at Gillette Stadium, and their white uniforms for road games. But, fans in Massachusetts love to wear the brighter blue jerseys that Drew Bledsoe made famous before Tom Brady’s arrival, and the red AFL jerseys the team donned in 2009.
The one-helmet rule didn’t really prevent the Patriots from dusting off those Bledsoe blue jerseys. But, it did hinder their ability to rep the white helmet-based uniforms from their AFL days.
As 2022 inches closer, it wouldn’t be surprising to see those red jerseys back in the fray as an alternate, especially when comparing them to the new uniform sets they implemented in 2020.
Last, but certainly not least, the Seattle Seahawks represent a team that likely welcome this rule change for the 2022 season. The Seahawks serve as the home to arguably the boldest jerseys in the league with their use of lime green, and they aren’t shy to switch things up as it relates to their uniforms.
Their old-school helmets represent an era that came well before their success in the 2010s. But, the throwback look often helps fans differentiate those who have supported the team since its infancy from those who hopped on the “12th Man” bandwagon when the Legion of Boom led the franchise to a Super Bowl win in 2013.
Fans of any of these teams may have to be patient as it relates to the new two-helmet rule, since franchises will have to inform the league of their plans for the 2022 season by July 31, 2021.
Either way, the league is guaranteed to see a variety of its teams take advantage of this rule change in the coming years, both in a performance-based attempt to refresh and rejuvenate a franchise and in a financial-based effort to boost jersey sales.