The 1920's brought us some of the National Football League's must prized franchises. The uniforms of this era are a dime a dozen. So many teams changed their look from year to year. It was not unusual for a franchise to buy their uniforms used. That's what the Chicago Cardinals did their first year. Jerseys were often a real thick material like wool. Football helmets were still not mandatory in the league; so many players did not wear them. br>
A few more of the great NFL franchises were born early in the decade. During the 1930's, wearing a helmet became mandatory. Jerseys are still made of thick material and are usually in basic colors. More teams start to put numbers on all the jerseys for identification purposes. The first games played inside took place during the 30's. br>
In the 1950's we had the birth over overtime in the NFL. By the end of the decade the Greatest Game Ever Played would take place. NFL teams are starting to gain a sense of style. Plastic helmets gain popularity and are the norm by the end of the decade. The NFL starts to gain more fan support and the demand for more teams is high.
Many new teams are formed in the AFL during the 1960's. Eventually all the teams will be a part of the NFL when the two league merge. With the new teams come a huge variety of interesting uniforms. The 60's become the beginning of the modern day uniform. The 60's gave birth to possibility the best uniform ever: the San Diego Charger's power blue jerseys. The downside of the decade is the birth of the Denver Broncos' brown and mustard colored jerseys that came equipped with vertical striped socks. Facemasks on the helmet become more common.
The 1970's were just as wild on the field as it was off. The style and colors of the 70's started to show up on the football field. The 70's gave birth to color combinations that were almost unusual to see on the gridiron. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their bright orange jerseys are the eyesore of the decade. Facemasks are the norm by the end of the decade. They continue to get larger as well.
Many of the current uniform designs become finalized in the 1980's. There are no expansion teams during the decade, the first time in a long time. The Chargers lost their original uniform design and moved on to deeper and darker colors. The Baltimore Colts pack up and move in the middle of the night, the Oakland Raiders move to LA.
The 1990's was the beginning of the uniform boom. Jersey sales become one of the biggest markets in pro football merchandise. Lots of unexpected moves also came in the 1990's. The Cleveland Browns move to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Ravens. The Los Angeles Rams move to St. Louis, Missouri. The Houston Oilers move to Tennessee to become the Tennessee Titans. Two expansion teams are established in Jacksonville, Florida and in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Cleveland Browns are resurrected in 1999. Many teams make uniform changes, including the Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots.
The 2000's are birth to a new expansion team with the Houston Texans. Many more uniform changes are made. The league allows a alternate uniform that can be worn up to three times a year. Throwback uniforms become a tradition on Thanksgiving Day games.