The Oakland Raiders jersey has remained essentially the same despite the team bouncing between two, and soon to be three different cities.
However, the Raiders have seen some turbulence in their earlier days, including an original nickname that never really won the fan base over….the Senors, true story, look it up.
Anyway, if there’s one thing that has defined the Oakland/Los Angeles/Las Vegas Raiders, it has always been continuity.
Continuity as in the fact the team is one of very few to almost exclusively wear their dark jerseys at home, whereas many NFL teams opt for white early in the season to force opponents to suffer the late summer/early autumn heat?
It’s one of many reasons why the Raiders consistently have one of the best uniforms in the NFL, if not in NFL history.
So, let’s take a stab at the very few jersey changes the Raiders have made throughout NFL history.
The original jerseys for the Silver and Black were black and gold, featuring gothic-style numbers in favor of the traditional block style the team would later adopt. This look lasted from 1960-1962, featuring a black jersey with white numbers and a gold outline with three horizontal shoulder stripes on the sleeves.
The road jersey was white, consisting of black numbers, gold outlines, and black horizontal sleeve stripes.
There are conflicting reports regarding the Raiders’ number color on the home jerseys in 1961-62, with a few sources stating the number colors were changed to gold. However, taking a look at a few player cards from Fleer in 1961, it shows the Raiders’ dark jerseys featuring the same white numbers.
In 1963, it can be confirmed that upon becoming coach and general manager, Al Davis changed the colors of the team to their now-familiar silver and black, overhauling the uniform set for the first time in team history.
In 1963, the team’s white jerseys featured silver numbers rather than the familiar black we see today.
Very little has changed since the Raiders adopted the familiar black jersey with silver, block numbers as well as a white jersey with black numbers and if one looks close, the black numbers on the road whites contain silver outlining.
The team has brought back the silver numbered jerseys on occasion, such as during the NFL’s 75th anniversary season in 1994 and the AFL’s 50th anniversary in 2009. The team also uses a version of the silver numbered jerseys for their Color Rush version.
Other than the Color Rush, the Raiders are one of few teams in the NFL to adopt a third jersey.
One of the most traditional, timeless, and iconic looks in NFL history. The Raiders are the one team in the NFL that have made questionable decisions all over the place, such as the endless carousel of coaches, supposedly ending with Jon Gruden of all people, or the hiring of Mike Mayock (Matt Millen, anyone?) into the role of GM, his first role as an NFL executive of any kind.
Couple the questionable decisions with endless relocation, overreaching for draft picks on a routine basis, including the drafting of arguably the biggest draft bust in NFL history, the Raiders have been second only to my Cleveland Browns in terms of dysfunction.
But if there’s one thing the Raiders get it right, it’s in the NFL uniform department and whether the team is playing in Oakland, LA, Vegas, Mexico City, Tokyo, or wherever they decide to make their home both today, tomorrow, and fifty years from today, if the helmet and jerseys remain constant, they’re headed in the right direction.