Logos and uniforms of the New York Jets
The New York Jets' colors are hunter green and white. The team's current uniform and primary logo, in use since 1998, are modernized versions of the design used from 1965-77. The helmet is white with two parallel green stripes down the center, and a green facemask. The primary logo, which appears on each side of the helmet and on the jersey front by the player's left shoulder, is a green oval with the word "JETS" in thick white sans-serif italics over "NY" in outline serif lettering, and a white miniature football graphic at bottom center. The jerseys have standard one-color block numerals and serif lettering, alternating stripes on the shoulders, and opposite-colored sleeves and TV numerals. The team uses both white pants with two parallel green stripes from hip to knee on each side, and green pants with white stripes.
History of the Jets' Logos and Uniforms
The Jets began play in 1960 as the Titans of New York, whose uniforms were navy blue with old gold numerals, gold pants with two parallel blue stripes on each side, and navy blue helmets with a single gold stripe down the center and no logo decals. The white jerseys had navy blue numerals. The original Titans uniform designs resembled those of Notre Dame due to an affinity the franchise's original principal owner, Harry Wismer, had for the Fighting Irish. Wismer, who was considered a sportscasting pioneer, broadcast replays of Notre Dame football games prior to owning the Titans. In 1961 the Titans added UCLA-style shoulder stripes (gold and white on the blue jerseys, gold and navy blue on the white jerseys), changed the pants striping to a blue stripe flanked by white stripes, and employed a somewhat brighter shade of gold.
When a Sonny Werblin-led syndicate purchased the team prior to the 1963 season and renamed it the Jets, the uniform underwent significant changes. Navy and gold were abandoned in favor of kelly green and white; white pants and green or white jerseys. Werblin had embraced those colors because he was born on Saint Patrick's Day. The jerseys had opposite-colored sleeves with thick stripes on the shoulders and cuffs above and below the TV numerals. The pants were white with two parallel green stripes on each side, and the socks were green above the ankle with two parallel white stripes around the calf. The new helmets were white with a single green stripe down the center; the logo on each side was a silhouette of a jet airplane in green, with the word "JETS" in thick white sans-serif italics along the fuselage. In 1964, the single green stripe became two parallel stripes, and the jet-plane decal was replaced with a white football shape outlined in green, with the word "JETS" in thick green sans-serif italics in front of "NY" in green outline serif lettering, and a miniature football at bottom center. The decals were difficult to see from a distance (or on television), so the colors were reversed in 1965.
This design remained largely unchanged through 1977, apart from some variations to the numeral and lettering typefaces, the angle of the helmet decals, and adjustments to the shoulder and sleeve striping due to changes in NFL jersey tailoring and materials. The white stripes on the socks were eliminated in 1975. Also, for at least one game in 1971 the Jets used a variation of their white jerseys that had no green stripes on the shoulders above the green sleeves.
The Jets' first major design change was made for the 1978 season. The kelly green and white color scheme was retained; the new helmets were solid green with white facemasks, and a stylized "JETS" wordmark in white on each side. The mark featured angular lettering and a silhouette of a modern jet airplane extending horizontally to the right from the top of the "J" above the "ETS". The jerseys featured large TV numerals on the shoulders and two thick parallel stripes on the sleeves, while the pants had a single green stripe from hip to knee on each side. The team used both serif and sans-serif lettering for player names on the back of the jerseys in 1978 and 1979, then sans-serif only beginning in 1980. From 1985-89, the Jets wore their white jerseys at home as well as on the road; the green jerseys appeared only on rare occasions in road games when the host team wore white.
In 1990, the Jets modified this design by adding thin black outlines to the numerals, lettering, stripes and helmet decals, and changing the facemasks from white to black. The team reverted to using the green jersey as its primary home uniform, reintroduced the white stripes on the socks, and added a set of green pants to be worn with the white jerseys along with white socks that had two parallel green stripes around the calf. The team occasionally wore white pants and standard socks with the white jerseys from 1995-97. In 1995, player names on the backs of the jerseys were changed from black-outlined sans-serif lettering to one-color serif lettering.
Upon taking over as administrator and head coach in 1997, Bill Parcells took the initiative and began the process of re-forming the team's identity and redesigning the team's uniforms for the 1998 season. The team changed its primary uniform color from kelly green to hunter green, abandoned black as a trim color, and replaced the stylized "JETS" wordmark with a modified version of the 1965-77 logo, this one oval rather than football-shaped and with a somewhat "cleaner" appearance, with starker lines defining the lettering and football graphic. This logo was also added to the jersey front, by the player's left shoulder. The helmets were now white with two parallel green stripes down the center, the new primary logo decal on each side, and green facemasks. The jerseys and pants also resembled the 1963-77 uniforms, with alternating shoulder stripes, opposite-colored sleeves and TV numerals, and two green parallel stripes from hip to knee on each side. The socks were now solid green above the ankle, with no stripes.
This uniform has to date remained largely unchanged save for some variations in coloration and shoulder/sleeve tailoring, and the occasional commemorative patch. In 2002, the team introduced a set of green pants with two parallel white stripes on each side, along with white socks with green stripes resembling those used with the green pants from 1990-97. The green pants have since been worn with both the green and white jerseys. Although the white socks were meant to be worn with the green pants, the team tends to use them whenever the white jerseys are worn, with either green or white pants.
"Throwbacks" and Special Uniforms
In 1993 the Jets became the first NFL team to wear a "throwback" uniform, for a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1968 championship team. The jersey and pants mimicked the 1963-77 design, although the team wore its regular green helmets with a white-outlined version of the 1965-77 logo decal. Although it was a home game, the team wore white jerseys as it had done in Super Bowl III. In 1994, as part of the NFL's 75th Anniversary celebration, the Jets wore both home and road versions of this uniform in select games, again using their regular green helmets with the 1965-77 logo but with two parallel white stripes down the center, and a jersey patch by the player's left shoulder commemorating the NFL's 75th anniversary.
On October 14, 2007, the Jets celebrated their heritage with a special Titans Throwback Day, a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles. They also honored the four original Titans who played as Jets in Super Bowl III, Don Maynard, Bill Mathis, Larry Grantham and Curley Johnson,. These uniforms combined elements of the 1960 and 1961-62 uniforms, with navy blue helmets and jerseys, old gold serif numerals and helmet stripes, gold and white shoulder stripes, and gold pants with blue and white stripes on each side. New York wore these uniforms once more in December when the team played the Miami Dolphins at Dolphin Stadium.
The Titans uniforms made another appearance in 2008. Originally scheduled for the home opener against the Patriots, the throwback dates were changed to the second and third home games, against the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively. On October 26, 2008, the Jets honored the 1968 championship team by displaying a commemorative 40th anniversary Super Bowl III patch on their left chest. The team also held a halftime ceremony to honor the championship alumni.
In 2009, as part of the NFL's celebration of the 50th season for the original eight teams of the American Football League, the Jets wore their blue Titans uniforms in a home game against the Tennessee Titans, who dressed as the 1960 Houston Oilers, on September 27, 2009. The Jets also introduced a white-jersey version of the Titans throwbacks, with navy blue numerals and navy and gold shoulder stripes. The Jets wore these against the Raiders in Oakland on October 25, 2009, and again against the Miami Dolphins at home on November 1. Throughout the 2009 season, the Jets' jerseys featured their 50th anniversary patch; the Titans throwbacks also bore a commemorative AFL patch. Those throwbacks did not make an appearance in 2010 but were re-introduced a year later for a home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Since then the NFL has adopted a "one-helmet" rule as part of its concussion protocol, which precludes teams from using "throwback" helmets requiring a different-colored helmet shell.
On November 12, 2015, the Jets participated in the NFL's first "Color Rush" promotion on Thursday Night Football, at home against the Buffalo Bills. The uniform used the same basic template as the standard uniform but with kelly green in place of hunter green; green jerseys and pants with white numerals and stripes, and solid green socks. Although the jerseys had the regular shoulder inserts the sleeves were not inverted, i.e., they were green with white TV numerals. The helmet decals, stripes and facemasks were also kelly green, with a shiny chromed finish. Because the Bills wore solid red uniforms in the game, the matchup was problematic for fans with red-green color blindness. When the two teams met again the following season for Thursday Night Football/"Color Rush" on September 15, 2016, the Jets wore their standard white uniforms and helmet decals with white facemasks and solid white socks.
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