The Tennessee Titans jersey history can be split into two eras:
The Houston/Tennessee Oiler era between 1960-1998, and the Tennessee Titans era from 1999-present.
Chronologically, I’ll begin in 1960 with the Houston Oilers, before moving onto the Tennessee Titans.
As the Houston Oilers
When the Oilers debuted in 1960, the team colors were Columbia blue, red, and white. The team’s home jerseys were Columbia blue with round, white numbers containing a red outline, displaying sleeve numbers.
The road look contained a white jersey, Columbia blue numbers with red outlines, and sleeve numbers.
In 1961, the Oilers tweaked the numbering to a block format and discarded the blue in favor of red. This lasted until 1965, when the team returned to white numbers and added three horizontal stripes to the sleeves.
In 1969, the Oilers added red outlines to the numbers and two horizontal stripes to accompany the white. The team also re-inserted TV numbers, this time on the shoulders.
The Oilers again took off the sleeve/shoulder numbers, but kept the Columbia blue numbers and red outlines. The team also changed their sleeve striping pattern, this time placing two thin horizontal red stripes both above and below a thick horizontal blue stripe along with white space separating the red and blue.
It was around this time the Oilers’ jersey started taking on the familiar appearance of the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1979, the team reinserted TV numbers, this time to the sleeves and just above the stripes.
This look remained constant throughout the 1980s and throughout the team’s final years in Houston in the early to mid-1990s.
When they moved to Tennessee and remained as the Oilers for two seasons, a chest patch was added depicting an oil rig along with elements of the Flag of Tennessee.
As the Tennessee Titans
In 1999, to better identify with the City of Nashville, the Oilers changed their name to the Titans, as Nashville has been nicknamed the Athens of the South in addition to its repuation as the Capital of Country Music.
The new Titans introduced two new jerseys, featuring a home look of navy blue with a new form of Columbia blue called Titans blue on the shoulders, white numbers with a new font and Columbia outlines.
The road jersey was white with Titans blue on the shoulders, navy numbers, and Titans blue outlines.
Red was abandoned on the jerseys, appearing only in the team’s helmet logo, while an alternate logo of a T-shaped sword accompanying elements from the Flag of Tennessee.
In 2003, when the NFL encouraged teams to adopt a third jersey, the Titans’ alternate flip-flopped their shades of blue, with the bulk of the jersey being Titans blue with navy on the shoulders, white numbers, and navy outlines.
The team made little changes to this look from 1999 to 2017, with the only changes occurring when the team decided to wear their Titans blues as primaries while the navies were relegated to alternate status in 2008.
In 2015, the team returned the navies to primary status while the Titans blue look again became the team’s alternate.
In 2018, the Titans gave their jerseys a complete makeover and in April, debuted the look at a team gathering in Nashville.
The new jerseys consisted of navy primaries with a numbering font supposedly inspired by Ancient Greek script.
The shoulder panels are now silver, which now more closely resemble swords. The numbers are white with a Titans blue outline along with Titans blue panels that run halfway down the sides.
Red has also returned as an accent color.
The whites consist of navy blue numbers, Titans blue outlines, the same silver on the shoulder panel, and Titans blue side panels.
Finally, the team’s Titans blue alternates include navy numbers and silver outlines with the same sword-like shoulder panels along with navy side panels, said to pay homage to the old Houston Oilers.
Wow—the old look really wasn’t bad as long as white pants are worn. In fact, the team did kind of sort of resemble the old Oilers when pairing the white pants with the Titans blue primaries/alternates. But if the team wore navy or Titans blue pants, which often happened, a peculiar leotard look plagued the jerseys.
But the Titans had a chance to change things up here, perhaps even give a greater nod to the old Houston Oilers than Titans blue alternates with navy numbers, and they blew it.
Worse yet, the leotard look still plagues the uniform often, giving it the look of an arena football team.
For these jerseys, there’s little good and a lot of bad. And I mean a lot of bad.
Let’s hope another overall occurs before the 2023 season.
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