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Redskins 80th Anniversary uniforms point to a glorious past and a bright future

Redskins 80th Anniversary uniform
The Washington Redskins unveiled its 80th Anniversary uniforms Friday in a ceremony at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia.

Designed by Nike, the uniform is a reinterpretation of the 1937 Redskins uniform worn when George Preston Marshall moved the franchised from Boston to Washington, DC. The Redskins won the NFL Championship that season with rookie sensation and future Hall of Famer, “Slingin'” Sammy Baugh.

We hope that is an omen of things to come! The association of Slingin’ Sam to RG3 isSammy Baugh on Madden custom cover surely dancing in Daniel Snyder’s head. It’s a vision I very much want to share. 

The jersey returns to the darker true burgundy color worn by the team when I first attended live games. I will not date myself, but here is a hint. Norman Snead was the quarterback. The helmet bore a single large feather on the top center.

That uniform was the flashiest ever worn by the burgundy and gold and is still my favorite. Alas, that color did not translate well on black and white TV and looked rather drab in analog color.

Vince Lombardi altered the uniform to a brighter shade of red, that he still called “burgundy,” and to yellow pants that he called “championship gold.” Unfortunately, he changed the helmet from burgundy with the popular arrowhead & feather logo to Green Bay Packers yellow with the Circle R.

Those who came of age at that time find the combination appealing. But, Redskins is Redskins, Packers is Packers and never the twain shall meet as uniforms. Lombardi aimed to change the losing mindset of the team and fan base, but we wanted to imitate the Packers’ performance of earlier that decade, not their uniform.

Lombardi did turn the team around and he might have led them to unlimited heights if not for his premature death in 1970. George Allen continued what Lombardi started and he changed the uniform to the version we are familiar with today.

Steelers 80th Anniversary uniformAt first glance, the Anniversary unies look to be as much a hit as Washington’s 75th Anniversary uniform was a throwback miss — that jersey color wasn’t even close to the true burgundy of old. Its one saving grace was the return of the arrowhead & feather logo. (That logo and color scheme was adopted by the Florida State Seminoles who still use it.)

The Redskins say they will wear the Anniversary uniform twice this season. Betcha one of those games will be against the Pittsburgh Steelers (Sun Oct 28, Heinz Field). Last April, the Steelers unveiled their own 80th Anniversary uniform with a hideous bumblebee jersey. On that basis alone, the Redskins win.