In 1994, the NFL commemorated its 75th season with a sweeping and comprehensive program of throwback uniforms, culminating in the 49ers catching fire in their old-school jerseys and riding them all the way to their most recent Super Bowl win. In 2019, the NFL will celebrate Season 100 (you may have seen the logo, if you’ve opened your eyes at any point this year), but any throwback program will be hamstrung by a rule that has made the concept of alternate uniforms far less interesting in recent years.
The league, citing concerns regarding head injuries, began limiting players to one helmet per year earlier this decade. This means that any throwback or alternate uniforms must rely on the base color of the team’s one helmet.
On one hand, one helmet is good, because the ongoing Nikefication of the NFL surely would result in some teams having umpteen helmets. On the other hand, why not let players have a second helmet? If it’s the same make and model as the helmet the player already wears, what’s the risk?
Perhaps it’s an issue that the owners will take up at the May meeting, given that there’s still time to plan another widespread throwback program for the league’s 100th season, allowing teams like Tampa Bay to break out Bucco Bruce, New England to open up Pat Patriot, the Titans (not Texans) to slap oil derricks onto white (or sky blue) helmets, the Seahawks to resort to silver, the Eagles to mingle in Kelly green, and the Vikings to ditch the matte finish for old-school shiny purple plus two-dimensional horns.
I know there are others; I just got tired of listing them. But you can in the comments. Which throwbacks would you like to see, if the NFL decides to let players double the number of helmets they can wear?