Though the Cleveland Browns’ new uniforms received rave reviews after their unveiling in mid-April, fans couldn’t help but notice the lack of orange pants as an option. But as we hinted at the time, that’s because they were saving them for a special occasion.
Well, that day has arrived.
The Browns, who are set to host the Cincinnati Bengals this evening on Thursday Night Football (8:20 p.m. ET on NFL Network), originally wore orange pants from 1975-83. That includes a 31-7 win over the Bengals in 1980, which can be seen in the video shared above.
Cleveland exclusively wore white pants from 1984 until the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996, then again when the Browns resumed play in 1999 until the orange pants were reintroduced into the equation for the 2003-04 seasons.
Then, after 10 additional seasons in the closet, the orange pants returned when Cleveland underwent a significant rebrand ahead of the 2015 campaign. They were a regular part of the rotation for that set’s entire existence, worn both at home and on the road through last season.
Browns executive vice president and co-owner J.W. Johnson caught wind of the mild discontent following April’s uniform unveiling, and ever so slightly gave fans a hint of what was coming.
“Did people like the orange pants? I didn’t realize that. I didn’t know that that was something that was a big deal. Aw man, I guess we missed on that one,” Johnson said at the time. “I know orange pants have been part of the ‘Kardiac Kids’ and a lot of tradition, but I don’t know, we’ll have to just stay tuned and see what happens there. If we can find a way to talk Nike into getting us some orange pants we’ll get to work on that, we’ll see what we can do.”
Photo via the Cleveland Browns.