While the Denver Broncos helmet has gone through numerous changes, the team’s overall identity has followed from what might be the strangest AFL/NFL uniform ever in the early 1960s to the dated redesign of 1997 that remains true here in 2019.
Who the Broncos are today aren’t the same team they were in the early 1990s and ditto for those teams of the 1960s and 70s. In fact, overall color schemes and in recent memory, color shades, have transformed the Broncos by the generation.
When the Broncos debuted in 1960, their shades of mustard yellow and barnyard brown became that of a laughingstock, which bode true to their helmets, which were plain brown with a white numbered decal on the sides.
In 1962, the infamous color scheme and helmets changed to orange as the primary color with royal blue as the secondary. The helmet logo consisted of a white bucking bronco within an orange shell and gray facemask.
In 1968, the Broncos added more royal blue to the color scheme, debuting their orange crush uniforms that have since become synonymous with the team’s nickname. This facilitated a change in helmet color from orange to royal blue, with an updated bucking bronco within the confines of a capital ‘D.’
These helmets remained for the Broncos except during the 1994 season when NFL teams wore throwback uniforms to commemorate the NFL’s 75th anniversary, whereas they wore their 1962-1967 design.
In 1997, the Broncos, like many teams in the late 90s and early 2000s, debuted a radically redesigned look featuring darker colors, which were becoming popular during the turn of the century.
This consisted of a navy blue helmet shell with a bronco’s head and an orange mane. Blue became the primary color with orange now fully relegated to secondary.
This helmet has remained with the team ever since, but upon debuting their color rush look, the Broncos revived the old bucking bronco within the capital ‘D’ to pair with their navy helmets for a combination of a classic look with a modern twist.
I’m honestly in love with the color rush helmets, which as I stated above, provide an epic combination of modern and classic. If I had my way, these helmets would be promoted to full-time while the current helmets would fade into the past.
My argument here is the Broncos’ current helmet and overall uniform is so outdated I’m surprised there aren’t jokes stating ‘1999 called, they want their uniform back.’ It’s a dated Reebok design that went out of style somewhere in 2008-09, when teams started, for the most part, reverting back to classic threads, a trend that continues into 2019.
While I would lobby for the old royal blue helmet, the color rush version works and even if the Broncos didn’t redesign their uniforms to go along with the helmet, it would still be a decent fit with the current uniforms nonetheless.
If the Broncos are listening, bring them back!