Denver Broncos Going White?
The home or away designation varies each year by conference and yes, as the designated home team Denver Broncos are wearing white uniforms in Super Bowl 50 against the charging Carolina Panthers. The General Manger and Executive Vice President of Football Operations, John Elway mentioned this comment in one of his interviews that they have had tasted some good Super Bowl success in their white uniforms and they are looking forward to repeat the same again in Super Bowl 50. Denver Broncos won their last Super Bowl wearing white uniforms in Super Bowl XXXIII in 98 season. This will be the seventh Super Bowl appearance of the team under Pat Bowlen who is the owner of the team for 32 years now. This is the maximum number of appearances by any team under anyone’s ownership. This year the Broncos were 6-2 on the road going for the record for the most road wins in one particular season.
There is a history behind the selection of white color by the team and this not only limits to Super Bowl either. Super Bowl 50 will not see Broncos to wear white for the first time. They chose white for entire 1971 season which marked the end of Lou Saban, the head coach and general manager for over four seasons. In the next season John Ralston held the vacant seat and brought back the orange jerseys. The white jerseys have been chosen again for the first time since first three home games in of 1983 season which happens to be the rookie year of John Elway.
Broncos in previous seven seasons are 0 – 4 in orange, 1 – 1 in white and 1 – 0 in blue jerseys. On the other hand their Super Bowl foe the Carolina Panthers are going to wear black jerseys and they have lost both their play off games that they played in black jerseys, lost to San Francisco a couple of years ago and lost to Arizona seven years ago. The case of Broncos choosing white over orange for their home game is not the first case of a team opting for a jersey other than the primary home jersey when they have the choice. Back in Super Bowl XL, Steelers had the option to choose their jersey who went for white after three straight post season wins on the road. Then Pittsburgh beat Seattle 21 – 10 and New England also chose red at home in 1985 season instead of white in Super Bowl XX and lost their game to Chicago 46 – 10.
Denver Broncos are the forth team going for white colored jerseys for Super Bowl after Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII and XXVII and Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVII. For the record, designated home teams that chose to wear white jerseys in Super Bowl are 3 – 1 while designated home teams that opt for their colored jerseys are 17 – 28 and have lost 9 out of last 10 occasions. However, the call for wearing white jerseys by Broncos has bit deeper history than just Super Sundays.
In 1983 white jerseys where brought in the young head coach Dan Reeves against Eagles, Raider and Bangles. Then the Broncos where not seen wearing white in Denver for 20 years and after reappearing the league decided to punish them for taking wrong uniforms to San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium in 2003. However, remaining cool, calm and collected an easy win by 37 – 8 and after that Broncos haven’t worn whites at home whenever having a choice.
Dallas Cowboys has a role to play for Carolina Panther to choose white for their post season games. The Cowboys had lost a fair number of games wearing their blue starting from Baltimore Colts 16 – 13 then they lost to Cleveland in 1968 playoffs in blue, Rams and Eagles opted for white at home, the Rams lost in 1978 28 – 0 but the Eagles turn the tables a couple of years later beating Cowboys 20 – 7 to advance to Super Bowl XV. Dallas also lost to Washington Redskins 31 – 10 in their blues. Then Caroline Panther made their playoff debut in 1997 and roared past Cowboys 26 – 17 and defeated them again after 7 years. The Panther got caught up by Arizona 33 – 13 wearing black at home and five years later again wearing black they lost to 49ers. With this record they broke out their whites against Arizona and did the same this year taking their playoff record to 9 – 4, in whites, 5 – 0 at home and 4 – 4 in away from home games. The Broncos had the option to choose and after four straight defeats they were keen to bring white on.