The Los Angeles Rams jersey has, for the most part, kept an identical color scheme, however the shades of each color have changed substantially over the team’s 83-season existence.
Many are familiar with the royal blue look, which is by far the most iconic, but there have been several others over the past eight and a half decades; some good, some not so good.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Cleveland Rams Era
The Rams first took the field in Cleveland in 1937 and boasted a strange color combo during the team’s inaugural season, sporting black jerseys, red sleeve and shoulder panels, along with red numbers.
Navy blue took over in 1938 with a plain navy jersey with yellow numbering.
In 1939, the shade of blue was lightened to royal and yellow shoulder panels appeared.
In 1944, the Rams opted for plain royal jerseys and yellow numbers. A yellow jersey was introduced with blue numbers and shoulder panels while a third royal jersey came along with yellow numbering and white, feathered striping.
In 1945, the third jersey was dropped and in 1946, the team dropped blue shoulder panels from the yellow jersey, making it a complete inverse of the navy.
Los Angeles Rams (First Run)
In 1946, the Rams moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles after founding of the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), who proved to be the more popular team in both success and the fact coaching legend Paul Brown led the team in its formative years.
In Los Angeles, the Rams opted for red for the 1949 season, virtually taking the royal blue and implementing red with yellow numbering while the yellow jersey took red numbering.
In 1950, the Rams switched back to royal and yellow, adding blue Northwestern stripes to the yellow jersey.
From 1951-1956, the Rams only wore the yellow jersey before it became mandated that at least one team wear a white jersey and the other, a dark which allowed TV audiences to tell the two teams apart in the days of black and white TV. Thus, in 1957, the Rams debuted two new jerseys along with the yellow, which consisted of a white jersey with blue numbering and Northwestern stripes, along with a blue jersey with yellow numbering and Northwestern stripes. 1957 was also the last season for the yellow jerseys, perhaps due to the blue jersey bearing more color contrast to TV audiences than the yellow. TV numbers also appeared for the first time on the shoulder.
In 1962, the Rams tweaked their road whites, opting for vertical shoulder striping with a blue-yellow-blue combination.
The next major change came in 1964 when the Rams abandoned yellow, instead opting for a simpler blue and white look. The white jersey’s vertical stripes were reduced to one thick blue stripe in the shape of a ram horn while the blue jersey switched to white numbering and opted for two white horizontal stripes at the sleeves.
From 1964 until the early 1972 season, the Rams rarely wore their blue jerseys, instead opting for white at home, leaving some seasons, particularly from the midway point of 1967 to 1971, never wearing the blue look. It wasn’t until 1972 did the Rams start wearing blue at home again, a decision made by new owner Carroll Rosenbloom, who did not care for the team’s look.
Rosenbloom decided to revive the team’s old blue and yellow look, but with some modern upgrades for the era. While blue jerseys returned with yellow numbering, the nameplates on the back of the jerseys were white. On the shoulders, a yellow ram horn made up the shoulder stripe. TV numbers at the sleeve appeared within the ram horn.
As for the road look, the Rams went with white jerseys, a blue ram horn, yellow sleeve panels, and blue numbering. Blue TV numbers appeared inside the ram horn.
St. Louis Rams
The 1973 uniforms remained almost exactly the same and accompanied the team when they moved to St. Louis following the 1994 season, opting to keep the name rather than change it (presumably to the St. Louis Stallions, a proposed 1995 expansion team and the proposed name of the New England Patriots, whose owner at the time lobbied for a move to St. Louis in 1994).
In 2000, one year after winning their first Super Bowl, the Rams changed their entire uniform which would become synonymous with the dreariness of both the team’s home stadium, the Edward Jones Dome as well as the team’s performance come the mid-2000s which lasted throughout the rest of their time in St. Louis.
The new jersey consisted of navy blue with gold vertical shoulder stripes outlined on one side in white which simultaneously acted as side panels. The gold numbering was outlined in white, TV numbers migrated to the shoulders, and a new Rams primary logo took over the team’s sleeves. The white nameplates, however, remained.
The road look consisted of a white jersey, blue numbers, gold outlines, A gold, vertical stripe that acted as a side panel, blue sleeve panels, with the logo residing within.
Both uniforms were paired with gold pants, giving the Rams a mere upgraded feel initially.
In 2002 the team dropped the side panels but the following season introduced blue pants to be paired with the jerseys, adding more darkness to the already dark atmosphere of the Edward Jones Dome, whose lighting many compared to as warehouse lighting.
In 2009, to celebrate their tenth anniversary of the 1999 team’s Super Bowl, the Rams brought back the 1973-1999 jersey and uniform, which later became the team’s alternate look.
In 2015, the Rams became one of the first teams to adopt a Color Rush design, opting for a yellow jersey, blue numbering, a blue, vertical ram-horned-shaped shoulder stripe, with TV numbers on the sleeve.
Return to Los Angeles
The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis was routinely panned for being one of the worst NFL stadiums to play in, and after years of lobbying, the City of St. Louis refused to give in to the team’s demands, necessitating a return to LA. Upon returning to LA, the Rams wore their navy blue jerseys sparingly, instead giving a nod to the Fearsome Foursome (1964-1972) Era team by wearing white regularly both at home and on the road, wearing blue only when an opposing home team wore white.
In 2018, one season after making a switch to their helmets (moving back to white horns for the first time since 1972), the Rams’ navy jerseys with gold accents looked like a mismatch, where the NFL moved to allow the team to wear their alternate throwback jerseys seen from 1973-1999 as the primary home look.
The Rams went on to wear these jerseys throughout the NFL playoffs when playing at home or were the designated home team in the Super Bowl.
The Rams will be getting new looks in either 2020 or 2021 to commemorate their move into their new home stadium, a venue they will share with the Los Angeles Chargers. My guess is that both the Rams and Chargers will switch to classic looks, given the popularity of the team’s royal and yellow throwbacks, identical to the Chargers’ move back to powder blue primary jerseys in favor of navy, which the team had worn since 1988.
If the Rams stick to either royal and yellow or royal/navy and white, the looks will be winners.
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