The Seattle Seahawks jersey has undergone three major changes in team history, with the latter two occurring in the 21st century. While the team’s helmet logo has remained essentially the same, the jersey has seen drastic changes over the course of the team’s existence for both the good and the bad.
1976-2001: The AFC Years
When the Seahawks were founded in 1976, they started play as members of the NFC West while their expansion brethren, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, started off in the AFC. After a single season, the Seahawks switched conferences and remained in the AFC until 2001.
During their time in the AFC, their home jerseys consisted of a royal blue base, along with emerald-white-emerald striping, white numbering, and white TV numbers on the sleeves.
The road look was white with blue numbering, and an emerald-blue-emerald striping pattern.
In 1983, the Seahawks dropped the traditional striping in favor of wrapping the helmet logo, based on Northwest Tribal Art, around the sleeves. The TV numbers also migrated to the shoulders.
From 1983 to 2001, the look remained exactly the same except 1994, when the team adopted their original jerseys for NFL Throwback Weekends.
Related Article: Seattle Seahawks Helmet History
2002-2011: Back in the NFC
With the expansion Houston Texans joining the NFL in 2002 along with the City of Houston’s ties to the AFC, the Seahawks became the only team to switch conferences during the NFL’s 2002 Realignment.
To commemorate the move back, the Seahawks introduced a new uniform and with it came new jerseys.
A new shade of blue, called Seahawks blue and often referred to as gunmetal blue, made up the bulk of the new jersey. Navy sleeve panels featuring an updated version of the helmet logo appeared above a single horizontal neon stripe. White numbers were outlined in navy blue. Often the team paired the look with Seahawks blue pants.
The white jerseys consisted of Seahawks blue numbers, navy outlines, Seahawks blue sleeve panels, with the logo embedded, above a neon green stripe. The team’s nameplate was also Seahawks blue with a navy outline. Both white and Seahawks blue pants accompanied the look.
These heavily criticized jerseys and uniforms saw little change throughout the decade except for the addition of navy pants often worn with both jerseys, further criticizing the look.
The look became even more of a laughingstock among NFL circles when the team introduced a neon green alternate jersey in 2009, which the Seahawks abruptly retired after the game, citing the fact that the team “didn’t win in them.”
2012 and Beyond
In 2012, the Seahawks again changed uniforms, as well as colors once more. College navy became the basis for the team’s home jersey along with gray numbers, known as ‘wolf gray.’ Action green made up the outlines and accents on the sleeve along with horizontal striping at the midseam that wrapped around the front of the jersey with the word ‘Seahawks’ embedded.
The road look included a white jersey, blue numbering, green outlines, blue sleeve accents and midseam striping, and the gray alternates bore the same look. An action green Nike swoosh was also embedded in the sleeve accents of these jerseys.
For the NFL Color Rush, the Seahawks debuted an action green jersey, which again resembled the gray alternates and road look in every aspect, save for the numbering outlines, which consists of gray rather than green.
The Seahawks had one of the best looks in football before they had to go mess it up. The colors of the 1976-2001 look were refreshing, with a deep royal blue, silver, and emerald green, which signified the Great Northwest and in my opinion, were by far the greatest uniforms of the era.
It’s always a tragedy to see such great uniforms go to waste but when it comes to NFL fans, a rekindling of the classics is becoming more of a trend as fans start to turn away from the crazier looks, instead preferring classics. Maybe Seahawks fans feel the same. If so, it’s time to switch back to the old AFC look.