Jacksonville Jaguars Helmet

Cats of Florida: Jacksonville Jaguars Helmet History

We’re in for a unique one today as the Jacksonville Jaguars helmet stands front and center, and what an evolution it is. What most NFL fans fail to realize is the fact the Jaguars oh, so nearly looked quite different from the traditional teal and black palette they’re used to seeing.

From those proposed helmets and uniforms from 1993, to the infamous two-toned look from 2013 to 2017 to a return to tradition in 2018, they may be a young franchise, but their helmet history is one that makes an outsider believe this team has lasted for decades.

And that’s where our story about the Jaguars’ helmet begins.

 

Pre-1995: The Proposed Look

Jacksonville Jaguars Unused
Jaguars proposed helmet.

When a shocked Wayne Weaver was awarded the Jaguars, he held up the proposed teal jersey and silver helmet, whose leaping Jaguar logo drew ire from Ford Motor Company, who owned the Jaguar. Ford claimed the logo too closely resembled the Jaguar and as a result, the Jaguars redesigned their helmet and uniforms.

This original helmet consisted of a silver shell, a gold leaping jaguar, with a teal and gold helmet stripe.

The brand was one that looked hot with expansion teams adopting teal or purple as part of their color schemes in the late-1980s and early-90s. Among these teams were the Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Vancouver Grizzlies, San Jose Sharks, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers (Carolina blue which is close to teal), Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

However, toward the latter half of the 1990s, black became increasingly marketable, prompting the switch to a black helmet and black as the main color for the Jaguars after the redesign.

 

==> Click Here for the Jacksonville Jaguars Team Profile <==

 

1995-2012

The Jaguars 1995-2012 helmet.

From the team’s debut in 1995 until 2012, the helmet consisted of a black shell with a snarling jaguar head, replacing the unused leaping jaguar. The teal tongue was Wayne Weaver’s way of “feeding the Panthers to our Jaguars,” acknowledging the team’s expansion brethren, the Carolina Panthers.

A fun fact can be made that this almost became the case in 1996 as both the Panthers and Jaguars came within one game of reaching the Super Bowl in just their second season of existence, the only time expansion teams had gotten this far in the four major sports leagues since 1970 until the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL reached the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season.

In 2009, the Jaguars redesigned their uniforms to a simpler shade of teal, but kept the helmets intact. The only difference to the helmet from 2009 to 2012 occurred when the helmet would turn teal when light hit it at a certain angle. This, to date, is the only time a team has designed helmets like this in NFL history.

 

2013 to 2017: The Infamous Two-Tone

The Jaguars’ infamous 2013-2017 helmet design.

Some regard it as the worst helmet in NFL history, and I agree. In 2013 the Jaguars did something new in the NFL and introduced a two-toned helmet along with a newer, updated version of the snarling jaguar logo.

To the team’s defense, the new logo was an upgrade over the first, which bore a lighter shade of gold, a teal nose, and teal eyes.

The downside, however, was the mustard shade of gold in the back half of the helmet, which was panned all over the sporting landscape, giving the Jaguars the look of a collegiate or arena football team. Per NFL rules, the team was forced to wear these helmets for five seasons before they could escape the abysmal lid for good.

 

==> Click Here for the Jaguars Jersey History <==

2018: Return to Normalcy

The Jaguars overhauled their uniform once more in 2018 and the all-black shell returned while the logo remained intact. The uniforms became among the simplest in the NFL, which matched the helmet and gave the Jaguars an aesthetically pleasing look.

Many have lauded the return to normalcy, myself included, and the Jaguars will be required to continue with the look for another four seasons before introducing another redesign if they so choose to.

 

Shop for Jacksonville Jaguars Team Gear at FansEdge.com

 

My Take

I’m just glad to see the black helmets return. I was four when the Jaguars entered the NFL and they quickly became one of my favorite teams due to the teal and black uniform combination along with the helmet. I even had some Jaguars merchandise while growing up, including the Jaguars’ mini-helmet. Since my Cleveland Browns were officially suspended from 1996-1998 due to the relocation of personnel to Baltimore, the Jaguars filled the void as my AFC team.

So, I can at least state how glad I am to see the team return to the all-black shell and I hope it remains for quite some time. If I had to rank the NFL helmets in 2017, they would’ve been 32nd, but this new look is easily a top-15 one and it’s refreshing to see that the fans in general took kindly to the change.

 

Conclusion

The Jaguars might have a short history that only gets interesting in the team’s early years, the team does have a long, long history of different helmets and jerseys, even before their inception. However, this might pertain as trouble to teams like the Jaguars, as some will continually rebrand due to failure to find a true identity; the same might be true with the Jaguars.

A uniform change before they even took the field to avoid copyright infringement is one thing, but to have not one, not two, but three complete overhauls within two and a half decades says a lot; the team simply can’t find an identity to win over fans, where fan support in Jacksonville continues to be an issue.

Perhaps stability has come to the team with a newer, plainer look, but until the Jaguars can continually hold onto a look that might one day achieve iconic status, they will go through the same thing; a design, then a redesign five seasons later, as per the NFL rules.

One can only hope that this team, now well into its existence, can hold an identity both today and for years to come, but history is not on their side. Time will tell.

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12 comments

  1. I agree with that two-tone look was just freaking horrible. This is a pretty cool little history on the Jags as well, some things I never knew, but in my defense when you where 4 I was drinking heavily and fighting in stands at Raiders games. 95′ first year back in Oakland. Sorry talking about the Jags and the dismal colors of teal that baby poop colored back end of a helmet oh my. What I really dislike is the teams going black in the later ’90s and most teams still market themselves that way, I think you know why I’m griping about that but again neither here nor there. Thanks for the HX lesson Love reading your articles on specifics of teams I appreciate that as a fan of football.

    1. Hi, Jason, it was the absolute worst helmet in modern NFL history. I’ve always agreed on the black as well. Not necessarily in just the NFL but across the four major sports. Thankfully, many teams are receding back to brighter (and traditional) colors.

  2. This is a great review and history of the Jaguar helmets. I am in Australia and we play a different type of football here which doesn’t require a helmet!
    It’s interesting how the bright colours came in fashion for many teams during the 80’s. I quite often look back at the big hairstyles and fluro colours of that era and it makes me cringe “what were we thinking?” lol.
    Good to see that the Jaguars have made a sensible decision with their colour choice now. You can never go wrong with black! It looks very sleek and modern.

    1. Very sleek, the Jaguars’ helmet is once again after ditching the infamous two-tones! I do like the teal a lot, though it’s dated these days as it was a big deal in the late-80s and early-90s. Either way, it’s a unique look in NFL circles.

  3. Cool history of the helmets. I wish I could see that compared to the rest of the teams. I know the Jaguars are a fairly new team, but the uniforms and helmets are one of my favorites. Thanks for showing me the history. My favorite, the first season.

    I’m going to have to check out your store. 

  4. Todd, I enjoyed your post about the Jacksonville Jaguars helmet design history.  It seems that the aesthetics of a team’s uniform can get quite controversial!  That does make sense, given the emotional involvement of the fans and everybody else involved with the teams.  

    It just goes to show that everything can have a great story fraught with drama and tension and implied meaning.  Cool!

    Keep up the good work….

    1. Netta, they can get very controversial, especially these days when uniform manufacturers want to go hog wild. It’s cool for college teams, where kids should get a nice collage of uniforms over their four seasons but the NFL is definitely a different story. But I think things are starting to cool down now as Nike, the NFL’s primary manufacturer is turning more toward throwbacks and less toward innovation, realizing fans both young and old want to see some of the old stuff. 

  5. Hi!  Excellent article!  It was actually a very informative and entertaining read…

    I don’t even care about sports and I was fascinated!  

    I was just curious what their old uniform looked like back before the mid-90s.  It’s crazy to see some of the old designs.  Curiosity killed the cat, but instead, I learned something new today.  LIke why the Jaguar’s tongue is teal!  Thanks for the fun post.

    1. Hi, Jade, I’m actually going to do a post about some unused uniform concepts that teams planned to use prior to 1995, and both the Jaguars and their expansion brethren, the Panthers, have a rather unique history that I can’t wait to share. A couple proposed teams during the early-1990s when the NFL announced it would expand were the St. Louis Stallions, Baltimore Bombers, and Memphis Hound Dogs. I can’t wait to cover this! 

  6. I had forgotten about the two-tone Jags helmet – maybe my brain blocked it out as a way of coping with that visual trauma!  This was interesting to read even though I’m not a Jaguars fan.  I didn’t realize the NFL required teams to stick with a helmet design for at least five seasons before changing it; that’s a good thing, in my opinion.  Hopefully the Jags stick with this one for longer than that, I think a lot of times when teams change their look it’s for the worse (I’m a Patriots fan and still miss the ’80s helmets).

    1. Beyond visual trauma! Those helmets belong in the deepest depths of NFL history. The NFL does, but sometimes it’s not for the better. For instance, my Browns’ would’ve gotten rid of those eyesores they’ve been wearing for the last half-decade if the NFL didn’t have this rule in place. I’d love to see Pat Patriot return, and perhaps it will after Brady’s playing days end. 

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