As the Buffalo Bills prepare to unveil on Friday night their new uniforms, which already were inadvertently disclosed by the folks at EA, the team’s official website tells the tale of why the team changed in the 1980s from white helmets to red helmets, which apparently will be changed on Friday back to white.
Per Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com, quarterback Joe Ferguson was color blind. So with four teams in the AFC East having white helmets at the time (Pats, Dolphins, Bills, Colts), Ferguson was struggling to separate receivers from defenders.
“We needed to do something to distinguish the white helmet,” said Bills equipment manager Dave Hojnowski. “We found that Joe saw the red helmet differently than the white. I’m not sure if it was a darker gray to him, but it was easier for him to distinguish and that’s the reason why we made the switch. That was under the head coach at the time, Kay Stephenson.”
With the Bills apparently going back to white helmets, a color-blind quarterback in the AFC East will once again have trouble. Though the Colts are gone and the Pats have switched to silver, the Jets have traded green helmets for white and the Dolphins fortunately have never switched from white to aqua or circus peanut orange.