The uniform matchup for Super Bowl LI between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons is official — the Falcons are the designated home team in this year’s Super Bowl and have decided to wear their home uniforms, so the Patriots will be in white. If I’m going to be totally honest, I’m going to say that this definitely won’t crack my personal list of the best-looking Super Bowls, but maybe the quality of the football itself will be good, right?
Since this is the Super Bowl, that means that people are going to over-analyze every tiny bit of statistics and detail when it comes to determining which team has an edge, and we here at sportslogos.net are no different. So the obvious question now is which team will consider their uniform choice as a lucky omen?
If you’re a Patriots fan, then you’re probably feeling more confident than you usually would, because teams who wear white in the Super Bowl are on a nice little hot streak at the moment. Over the past 12 Super Bowls, the team in white is an astonishing 11-1! This includes two occasions where the designated home team chose to wear white — the Broncos wore white last year because their Super Bowl history in orange is absolutely horrific, and the Steelers wore white in Super Bowl XL because they had worn white throughout the entire playoffs and just decided to roll with it. So much for “home, sweet home.”
As far as this season is concerned, Patriots fans have another reason to feel confident in this uniform choice — they finished a perfect 7-0 while wearing white this season. Granted, it’d be very hard to find blemishes on a team that finished a season 14-2, but the Patriots have shown that it doesn’t matter what they’re wearing or where they’re playing: They’re going to be in prime position and very prepared to pick up a victory.
When it comes to their red uniforms, the Falcons have had a very solid season — they finished the 2016-17 season (including the playoffs) with an 8-2 record in their red uniforms, with the only two losses coming way back in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and in Week 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs. The 8-2 record includes two games away from the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome — the Falcons wore red for their Week 3 rivalry tilt against the New Orleans Saints, and also got to wear red in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams. Both of those games were convincing victories for Atlanta, so the Falcons are clearly comfortable in red no matter where they are.
The Falcons may have a good record in red this year, but how have teams historically fared in the Super Bowl while wearing the bold color? Let’s just say that the history is about as even as a red-and-black checkerboard that you’ll see on a park bench somewhere. Since Super Bowl IV back in 1969, nine teams have worn red (I’m including Washington’s burgundy from Super Bowl VII because, come on, look at it) in the big game and on five occasions, the red team ended up taking the Lombardi Trophy. The most recent team to win a Super Bowl while wearing red jerseys was Atlanta’s rival in Florida — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who took home Super Bowl XXXVII in convincing fashion. Meanwhile, the most recent team to wear red in the Super Bowl may want to forget it, as the San Francisco 49ers lost a heartbreaker in Super Bowl XLVII.
The quality of those nine games has varied widely as well. There have been close games — such as the epic Super Bowl XXIII between the 49ers and Bengals — and there have been complete laughers — like Super Bowl XX, which is a game that makes longtime Patriots fans extremely grateful for their recent history of dominance.
So, what does this mean as far as the actual game on the field is concerned? Absolutely nothing. The uniform colors won’t decide the result of the game — the 22 various players on the field will. Still, it’s fun to look into the numbers of stuff like this, right? However, the obvious takeaway is that if the uniform choice did actually play a factor in the matchup, then the Patriots may already have a leg up in this year’s matchup.
Credit to gridiron-uniforms.com for the links and © Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports