Great Plains: History of the Kansas City Chiefs Jersey

The Kansas City Chiefs jersey has changed very little since the franchise’s inception as the Dallas Texans back in 1960. Despite the fact the team both relocated from Dallas to Kansas City in 1963 and in turn, changed the name from Texans to Chiefs, everything spanning from the colors to the uniforms have remained consistent.

An interesting note here is that the Chiefs’ Sea of Red seen at every Chiefs’ home game at Arrowhead Stadium almost didn’t happen. The team’s original owner, Lamar Hunt, initially selected the colors of Columbia blue and orange for his franchise, but since Houston Oilers’ owner Bud Adams already selected Columbia blue, Hunt was forced to change the primary color of his team to red and white, with golden-yellow accents.

 

==> Click Here for the Kansas City Chiefs Helmet History <==

 

Dallas Texans Era

Kansas City Chiefs Throwbacks
Kansas City Chiefs participating in throwback weekend as the Dallas Texans against the Dallas Cowboys back in 2009. Photo by: Bigcats lair. Original uploader was Bender235

When the team debuted as the Dallas Texans in 1960, the team’s home jerseys were plain red with white, block numbers on the home look while the road look consisted of an inverse.

The team went on to wear this look again during the NFL’s 75th anniversary in 1994, and again in 2009, when the eight original AFL teams wore classic uniforms for select games to commemorate the AFL’s 50th anniversary season.

 

 

==> Click Here for the Kansas City Chiefs Team Profile <==

Kansas City Chiefs Era

Chiefs current road jersey

When the team moved to Kansas City to become the Chiefs, they kept a near-identical look to the old Dallas Texans, with the only change occurring on the helmets.

In 1968, a white-yellow-white combination of horizontal stripes appeared at the sleeves’ base while the road jersey bore a red-yellow-red combination, the very same combination we see on the jerseys today.

Finally, in 1970, the team added yellow outlines to the numbers on both the home and road jerseys.

Except for minor changes, such as commemorative patches throughout the seasons and the addition of the NFL shield at the jersey collar, the Chiefs’ jerseys have remained essentially the same.

When teams adopted a third jersey starting in the early 2000s, the Chiefs have yet to debut one on the field despite selling yellow jerseys with red numbers as well as black jerseys with red numbers and yellow outlines at team outlets.

When the Color Rush debuted in 2015 and became official in 2016, the Chiefs were one of few teams not to participate, instead opting to pair their current home jersey with red pants, one of very few NFL teams to do so.

And, as mentioned above, the team has worn throwbacks as third uniforms only when participating in special occasions, such as the NFL’s 75th and AFL’s 50th anniversary seasons in 1994 and 2009.

 

Shop for Kansas City Chiefs Team Gear at FansEdge.com

 

My Take

The Chiefs have one of the best if not the best uniform combinations in the NFL, and the jerseys play a huge part in it. It’s refreshing to see the Chiefs as one of the few NFL teams not to mess with their uniform in any fashion except for the minor changes mentioned above.

Hopefully, the team’s so-called “third jerseys” sold at team shops remain fan merchandise, and nothing more than it needs to be.

If I did have one nit to pick, it would be cool to see the team bust out the old Dallas Texans look more often, as even in today’s league where the NFL mandates strict rules on throwback uniforms, the team can pull off the look. But again, I’m picking nits at this point.

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4 comments

  1. Interesting information you have presented here. I’m not sure why but I have always been interested in the history behind changes to uniforms and jerseys, especially NFL. 

    Like you, I also like the fact that Kansas City hasn’t changed their look much all these years. It gives them a little bit of authenticity in some ways. Can fans still find the original jersey for sale? Or are the throwback jerseys the only ones available anymore? Thanks!

    1. I’m the same way, Shannon. I’ve never really known why I have such a fascination with this topic, but it’s been so ever since I was really young, like before I even learned to read! The Chiefs have some of the most historic looks not just in the NFL, but in the Big Four North American Pro Sports Leagues. Throwbacks might be for sale at their team shop, but some alternative outlets would definitely have them. 

  2. Very cool post. My step-dad is a huge Chiefs fan (even worked a few games at Arrowhead stadium back in the day). I had no idea they used to be the Dallas Texans, I’ll have to bring that up to him and hear some more about that. I’ll agree with you though, they have one of, if not the best, color combination in the NFL!

    1. Hi, Dereck, they were indeed based in Dallas between 1960 and 1962. In fact, they won the AFL Championship in 1962, their final season in Dallas. When they moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs, they ended up winning Super Bowl IV to cap off the 1969 season.

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