A look at the 10 best Super Bowl uniform matchups

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We’ve officially made it to Super Bowl Sunday, and the most important factor when it comes to the big game isn’t the tactical decisions that will be on display, nor the amazing physical feats that will surely be made at one point or another. If you’re reading this, then you probably care a whole lot about the uniforms, and we’ve got ourselves a decent matchup on Sunday. The Broncos are the home team, but they’ve chosen to wear all-white because of their absolutely horrid history of wearing orange in the Super Bowl. As a result, the Panthers will be wearing their black jerseys with silver pants for Super Bowl 50.

A mini-preview of today's uniform matchup from 2008
A mini-preview of tomorrow’s uniform matchup from 2008

Again, it’s a decent uniform matchup, but is it one of the best in Super Bowl history? Not in my opinion. In fact, I actually took the time to skim through all 50 Super Bowl uniform matchups and come up with my favorite 10. I’m not going to call it a top 10 because I figure that my opinion on the ranking would probably change by this time next week, so instead I’m going to go in reverse chronological order: From the latest Super Bowl on this list and all the way on down to the Super Bowl’s infancy. So, if you’re ready to go on a trip down memory lane, then let’s do this.

Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers

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This was a pretty interesting uniform matchup, as Baltimore’s modern classics were a nice compliment to the Niners’ revived classic uniforms. It’s a good thing that San Francisco’s run of success coincided with the return of their simple uniforms, otherwise we would’ve gotten this. It’s a decent matchup, but nowhere near as good as what we got under the roof of the Louisiana Superdome a few years ago.

Super Bowl XLV: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers

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This is the first time that we’re seeing two of the NFL’s most storied franchises on this list, and it definitely won’t be the last for either team. There’s not a lot to say here, other than the fact that these two teams also have classic uniforms that have stood the test of time, and whenever they get together, it’s definitely a matchup that is very easy on the eyes.

Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears

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Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts v Chicago Bears

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In my opinion, this was the optimal matchup between these two. The Colts’ all-white look is one of the best in the NFL, and the same could be said for the classic Bears home uniform. As a result, we were treated to a classic uniform matchup in Miami, and the rain couldn’t even put a damper on it.

Super Bowl XXXVII: Oakland Raiders vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Michael Pittman stopped by Tory James

Like Super Bowl XLVII, this was a matchup between a modern classic and an all-time classic look. The Oakland Raiders will probably never change their look, as it’s one of those rare looks that’s extremely simple yet striking to the eye at the same time. Meanwhile, I miss these Bucs uniforms so much, and we really should’ve appreciated them more before Tampa Bay decided to move on from them.

Super Bowl XXIII: Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers

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We’ve zoomed past the 1990s and landed in the ’80s, and this was a magical time when these Bengals uniforms were considered wild and cutting-edge. Nowadays we kind of take Cincinnati’s tiger-striped helmets for granted, but back then, these were some mind-blowing uniforms. Meanwhile, there’s not much to say about San Francisco’s uniforms — other than the fact that they’re gorgeous as ever.

Super Bowl XVIII: Washington Redskins vs. Oakland Raiders

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This is the first (and not the last) appearance of Oakland’s home uniforms, which are even better than their away uniforms. The simple-yet-intimidating look was paired up with Washington’s away uniforms, which we saw a lot in the Joe Gibbs era since that was their preferred uniform. As a result, this was one of the better uniform matchups in Super Bowl history.

Super Bowl XIII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

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These two teams squared off three times in Super Bowl history, but this was the best of the bunch for a couple of reasons. First, this was before Dallas’ uniform was turned into a mismatched mess of silvers and blues. Secondly, I just prefer the cleaner, patch-less look of this game (as opposed to Super Bowl X), so that’s why this particular game makes the list. Either way, this is still a solid uniform matchup and probably the best of the 1970s.

Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos

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The Broncos may have an extremely poor Super Bowl history in orange, but they can’t say that they didn’t look good. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Orange Crush uniforms, so they were bound to pop up on this list sooner or later. So naturally, I had to choose the game in which they were pitted against the Cowboys. I’ve already explained why the Cowboys’ uniforms from this era are great, so I won’t repeat myself. The game may have been ugly, but the uniforms definitely were not.

Super Bowl II: Green Bay Packers vs. Oakland Raiders

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Both the Raiders and Packers are back on this list, and these two teams came together for what was an absolutely fantastic uniform matchup in the second-ever Super Bowl. The Raiders in their marauding black uniforms? The Packers in their lovely retro stripes? Oh man, this is lovely.

Super Bowl I: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers

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The Packers make their final (or first, chronologically) appearance on this list, while the Chiefs make their only appearance. It feels like a bit of a cliche to put the very first game on the list, but what can I say? It’s a solid uniform matchup. The Chiefs have always had nice uniforms, and the Packers are the Packers.

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There you have it: Those are, in my opinion, the ten best uniform matchups in Super Bowl history. What do you think? Agree with it for the most part, or do you think that I’m way off base, here? Let us know what you think whenever you get a chance to pull yourself away from the surely brilliant pregame coverage.

(h/t to Gridiron-uniforms.com and their Super Bowl section for the mock-ups)