The San Diego Chargers have redesigned their uniforms for the 2007 season. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports:
The powder blue framing the bolts on the helmets and the jersey is the only addition of that popular color, which many fans have opined should be the team’s primary color. The Chargers will continue to wear their powder blue uniforms twice each season. â€œThe powder blue hasn’t gone away,â€ said Jim Steeg, the Chargers’ chief operating officer. â€œIt’s now part of the color scheme. It was not before. It’s now part of us.â€
The new design is somewhat futuristic and somewhat nostalgic, with the primary goal of creating an identity for the current Chargers. â€œIt’s modern, but at the same time, it’s classy,â€ said quarterback Philip Rivers, one of a half-dozen players who has seen and tried on the new uniforms. â€œ… It’s kept the tradition of the colors and the bolts. But it’s done in a way that gives uniqueness to this team. It shows respect to the Chargers of the past. At the same time it says this is the Chargers of 2007. Hopefully we’re holding up the (Lombardi) Trophy wearing these uniforms.â€
Made of a fabric that is form-fitting yet elastic, it has fewer grab points for opponents, so the Chargers anticipate being held less often. It also will be less restrictive for players because of its elasticity. The jersey also is lighter and has air vents.
The main colors remain the same â€“ with navy being worn for home games, white on the road and powder blue for two â€œthrowbackâ€ games. The bolt now wraps around the shoulder rather than being on top of the shoulder, and the numbers have moved from the biceps to the top of the shoulder. The collar is no longer a V-neck but is more rounded. Around the collar on the home jersey is a white fringe. On the away jersey, the fringe is blue. Below the collar, the word CHARGERS has been added.
The helmet is similar to the one the Chargers have worn for years with the â€œthrowbackâ€ powder blues. The bolt is simply the new design and the player’s number will be in black on the back of the helmet above the neck.
The stripe on the pants stripe is wider, contoured, coming around from the rear. And the bolt has just two points instead of the current eight.
The team’s helmet and uniforms featured a gold bolt in the franchise’s first 28 seasons.
The team’s fourth major uniform redesign â€“ but first since 1988 â€“ also includes a major update of its all-cap â€œCHARGERSâ€ logo. The new design is less blocky, sleeker and includes a single blue and gold stripe running only through the letters versus all the way through as it has for almost two decades.
Since the Chargers changed their bolt from gold to white and their helmets and home jerseys from royal blue to navy blue in 1988, 13 NFL teams have completely redone their uniforms. That does not include the Tennessee Titans, who changed their name and uniform a year after relocating from Houston, nor expansion franchises Carolina or Houston.
The Chargers did shorten the lightning bolt on their jersey pants in 1992, and every team besides the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders have made at least one alteration to its uniform in that time, including expansion franchises Jacksonville and Cleveland.
Most have made numerous changes â€“ to jersey numbers, pants stripes, helmets and/or adding, subtracting or altering a logo.
It seems that the Chargers’ changes have been more frequent than other teams, since I don’t consider minor changes like the Cowboys and Steelers make from year-to-year significant. Of course, the Chargers at least continue to easily be recognized as the Chargers year in and year out, never going for the radical overhauls that the Broncos, Buccaneers, and others have done.
Casey Pearce of Chargers.com has more background.
The longstanding history of Chargers football began with Lance Alworth and John Hadl lighting up the American Football League in Powder blue jerseys and white helmets.
In the late 1970â€™s and early 80â€™s, Hall of Famers Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow ushered in a new era in royal blue duds accented by blue helmets with a gold lightning bolt. The early 1990â€™s saw Junior Seau and Stan Humphries lead the Chargers to three playoff appearances in four years, including the 1994 AFC Championship while donning the white lightning bolts and a more consistent navy color scheme.
LaDainian Tomlinson and company have now brought a new attitude and legacy, and the team has made some minor changes to the logo and the uniform to give the new generation of Chargers stars their own look.
I’ve liked just about all the Chargers unis over the years, although I do they’ve gotten a little worse over time. The 1980s-era unis with the lightning bolts on the golden yellow pants were probably my favorites overall. I love the powder blue jerseys, too, but think the white helmets from those early days were too plain.
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