Seattle Seahawks Helmet

Conference Nomads: Seattle Seahawks Helmet History

The Seattle Seahawks helmet looks drastically different today than when the team made their debut back in 1976. Since their first season, the helmet has gone through three distinct changes, the latest coming in 2012. They’re known by some to possess fresh looks with such changes, but reviews from NFL fans have been mixed.


NFC Seahawks Versus AFC Seahawks

The Seahawks are unique among NFL teams, having been the only team since 1970 to switch conferences twice, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers doing so once, playing in the AFC West before settling in the NFC Central.

In doing so, the Seahawks have completely revamped their helmets twice, going darker each time, as is mentioned in the sections below. In fact, the changes are so drastic the team almost looks like an entirely new NFL team not just from a helmet, but from a uniformed standpoint.

Just an off-topic fun fact: The Seahawks are the only team in NFL history to play in both the AFC and NFC Conference Championship Games, and all three variations of their helmets have appeared in the games.



Seattle Seahawks 1983-2001

When the Seahawks debuted in 1976, they unveiled a silver helmet with a silver facemask. The helmet logo consisted of a royal blue and emerald bird’s head based on Northwestern Native American tribal art.

In 1983, the team made a slight tweak to the helmet, changing the silver facemask to blue, as seen in the image to your right. This look held steady until the 2001 season, the team’s final year as a member of the AFC, as well as their final year playing their home games in the Kingdome.



Seahawks 2002-2011 helmet

The biggest change came in 2002, when the team revamped their uniforms to commemorate their move back to the NFC and to Century-Link Stadium, then known as Seahawks Stadium.

The new helmet consisted of a new shade of blue called Seahawks blue, a shade of navy called Seahawks navy, and neon green replaced emerald. Silver was all but phased out of this new look. The facemask was also in navy.

There were actually two helmets, one silver, and one Seahawks blue. The team held a fan vote to decide which helmet the team would wear after the NFL shot down their attempt to wear both helmets, silver at home and blue on the road.

This look held steady throughout the 2000s, but drew ire from fans and critics, especially the entire uniform, with many stating Seahawks blue looked too much like gunmetal, hence the term gunmetal blue, along with little color contrast between the ‘gunmetal,’ and accompanying navy blue.



When Nike became the NFL’s full-time manufacturer in 2012, the Seahawks opted for an entire uniform overhaul, including the helmet, much like the team did ten years prior when Reebok took over as manufacturer back in 2002.

This time, the Seahawks dropped the infamous ‘Seahawks’ or ‘gunmetal’ blue, as the helmet consisted of a navy blue (college navy) shell, with silver making its return to the color palette under the term ‘wolf grey.’ Neon green was tweaked into a new color called action green, which is shown only in the bird’s eye on the helmet.

For the first time in team history, crown striping known as feather trims, are featured on the helmet.


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My Take

No, go back, go all the way back to the old AFC days. The royal blue and emerald were refreshing, relaxing, calming, historical, bold, innovative, original, Great Northwest reminiscent, and big sky brilliant.

Though I’ll give the team this; at least the current helmets look better than the gunmetal blue debacle from 2002-2011. They were migraine inducing just looking at them, especially when they decided to pair the gunmetal helmets and jerseys with navy pants and no one can ever forget this.

Sure, the current helmets aren’t the best, but again, I’ll take them over the gunmetal any day.

But the Seahawks are a classic example of trying to fix an object that wasn’t broken. It was unique in its kind and again, while I understand the fact they wanted to commemorate their move to the NFC, the look was more than spot on; it was so unique in the fact no other NFL team had a better shade of blue.

They just had to screw it up in 2002. I’ll give them credit; at least they’re not still wearing it.



While the team’s overhaul may have been a nod to switching conferences and the latter one due to the fact Nike’s headquarters are located in nearby Oregon, what the team wore for the bulk of its history from 1976 to 2001 definitely has stood out among the far best.

Refreshing colors and a northwestern feel gave the Seahawks something unique and bold prior to the 2002 and 2012 overhauls. While the 2012 redesign could’ve been worse, it’s still a fary cry from an iconic look the team donned in its earlier days while members of the AFC.

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