FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots tossed a firecracker of excitement into their offseason, announcing Wednesday that the franchise is bringing back its old red jersey and Pat Patriot logo at some point during the 2022 season.
The specific game(s) when the Patriots will don the popular uniform combination will be announced at a later date.
The club creatively broke the news with a "Back to the Future" theme.
And now for a jersey-based Patriots history lesson.
Wait a minute, Doc. Are you telling me the red uniforms are back? pic.twitter.com/X1pd6kpdpG— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 22, 2022
Uniforms and helmets didn't change significantly through the first 3½ decades of the franchise's existence, starting in 1960. Then, when Bill Parcells was hired as coach in 1993, a switch was soon made to royal blue jerseys and a new "Flying Elvis" logo on silver helmets.
By the 2000s, as Bill Belichick was arriving as head coach, the jerseys changed to navy and silver with the same Flying Elvis logo on silver helmets.
Over that time, the Patriots occasionally unveiled their old uniforms and white helmets as throwbacks/alternates, posting a 9-3 record from 1994 to 2012.
The last time the Patriots donned red jerseys was Oct. 21, 2012, in a 29-26 overtime win over the New York Jets.
As for why there has been a decade-long wait to see them again, it can be traced to a 2013 rule change imposed by the NFL that mandated every club stay with one helmet due to player safety concerns (that rule was amended this year while maintaining the same player safety standards). The Patriots didn't want to mix the old jerseys with their new silver helmets/Flying Elvis logo.
Over that time, fondness for the old jerseys and helmets grew among a segment of the Patriots' fan base.
Which explains why Wednesday's news was widely well received.