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UNIFORMS

Rams uniform change likely

Rams executive Kevin Demoff says a change in both the current uniform and throwback uniform for the team is possible, if not likely, in the not too distant future.

"I think at some time in the next five years, you’ll see a complete uniform — throwback and current uniform" — change, Demoff said. "I’d be surprised if we didn’t have it."

Fans seem to be obsessed with uniforms, and the recent announcement that the team would wear its 1999 throwbacks against Tennessee and Tampa Bay this season sparked another round of discussion. Both about the current uniforms and which throwback to use.

"Like everything else, you’re trying to elicit emotion from your fans, and our uniform colors seem to do that on a daily basis," said Demoff, the Rams’ executive vice president of football operations. "There’s not a day that goes by that there’s not a uniform question or comment on the Internet."

Teams are allowed to wear throwback uniforms at two home games each year. Choosing the Tennessee (Nov. 3) and Tampa Bay (Dec. 22) games for the ’99 throwback uniforms was a natural, given the fact that the Rams defeated Tampa Bay in the NFC championship game and then beat Tennessee in Super Bowl XXXIV that season.

"If you were looking for a throwback home ‘schedule,’ this was pretty obvious," Demoff said. "Even we couldn’t (mess) this one up."

By league rules, once a team chooses a particular throwback style, it must wear the same uniform for at least five consecutive seasons. In the case of the ’99 throwbacks, the Rams started wearing them in 2009.

"This is the fifth year," Demoff said.

But a lot of lead time is required in order to change throwbacks, and the deadline has passed to change the throwbacks for 2014.

"So if we choose to wear throwbacks in ’14, we have to wear these current throwbacks as well; 2015 right now would be the first time we could change our throwback — and we have to make the decision by the end of the year."

And Demoff doesn’t see that happening. If that’s the case, then 2016 becomes the first year the team could change throwbacks.

"One of the things we’ve talked about is if we’re gonna overhaul the current uniform, doing that in conjunction with the throwback change," Demoff said. "So basically you unveil all of your new uniforms at the same time rather than doing it piecemeal.

"A lot of discussion, a lot of thought has to go into the brand. But the thing that will make people passionate about these uniforms would be winning. People will love the all-blue look if we just won a few more games in them."

Demoff and the Rams get plenty of "advice" from fans about uniforms, be it throwbacks or the current uniform. For example, there always has been some sentiment for a return to the blue-and-white of the "Fearsome Foursome" days.

"I think the blue-and-white is a great traditional, classic look for our club," Demoff said. "I like our current throwbacks. I like our current uniform. They all have a meaning in time. We’ve talked about long-term doing a uniform re-design, looking back at the throwbacks we’re using now, or the blue-and-white, or a different hybrid. Or maybe something new and completely different."

The color schemes have changed over the 76 seasons of Rams football, but with the exception of the early Cleveland Rams, the colors haven’t. Almost invariably, there has been some combination of blue, white, and gold. Not to mention those curly horns on the helmet.

"The horns have always been part of what we’ve done," Demoff said.

At least since 1948, that is. That’s when the Rams became the first NFL team to have a logo on their helmets. The horns were designed by a Rams player at the time — Fred Gehrke.

"If you look back over the arc of time, we have such a classic, traditional uniform that people love," Demoff said. "And it elicits great passion. We have so many Hall of Famers that have worn all the different types of uniforms. I think our fans relate to all of them, but they certainly have a preference for each individual one."

The one striking deviation from some form of blue, white, and gold came in 1937, the inaugural season of the Rams’ franchise. The ’37 Rams wore a sharp-looking red-and-black jersey.

"I love the red-and-black Cleveland uniforms," Demoff said. "I don’t think people ever look back at the Cleveland ones, but we certainly do as a potential unique throwback."

Here’s a link to check out the red-and-black Rams jerseys, as well as a history of Rams uniforms:

http://blog.heritagesportsart.com/2010/08/st-louis-rams-uniform-and-team-history.html