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  • The Rams were quick to announce that they will wear their blue-and-yellow throwbacks in Super Bowl LIII. Given the superstitions around jersey color in the Super Bowl, is it the right decision?
By Jonathan Jones
January 24, 2019

What’s in a jersey color? Everything when it comes to the Super Bowl.

The Los Angeles Rams wasted no time Sunday night announcing they will play Super Bowl LIII in their throwback blue-and-yellow jerseys, much to the delight of their fans and all viewers with good taste. This season the team re-introduced the blue jerseys, which the Rams wore between 1973 and ’99 during much of its previous time in Los Angeles. In all three of the team’s Super Bowl appearances, including their victory over the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, the Rams have worn their white jerseys.

Los Angeles wore its throwback jerseys for five of their home games this season, transitioning away from the gold since the move from St. Louis—the team plans to unveil new uniforms in 2020 to coincide with the opening of their new stadium in Inglewood. After checking with Jim Steeg, the NFL’s senior VP of special events from 1979-2005, it’s believed that only the ’94 49ers have worn throwbacks in the Super Bowl. That year the league celebrated its 75th anniversary and San Francisco wore its 1957 red throwbacks for most of the season, so the Niners kept it going en route to their 49–26 spanking of the Chargers.

As for the Patriots, they’re back in white. In their previous 10 Super Bowl trips, New England has worn their white tops five times and have a 3–2 record while wearing them. With the AFC winner getting the choice last year, the Patriots jumped at the opportunity to wear white in last year's Super Bowl since the Patriots were 3–0 in the Belichick-Brady era in white (they lost Super Bowl XXXI to the Packers in white), but we know how that turned out. As for the other uniforms, the Patriots are 2–2 while wearing blue and 0–1 in red.

There’s a ton of superstition when it comes to jersey color in this game. In the past 14 Super Bowls, the team in white has won 12 times. Only the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV and Patriots last year have not won the big game in white jerseys. The Broncos wore their white jerseys in Super Bowl 50 after posting a 0–4 record in the Super Bowl in orange jerseys.

The outcome of next week’s game will either reinforce the jersey color superstitions or spawn a whole new batch of them. Based on what recent Super Bowl losers wore, here are my suggestions if they make back to the game.

Atlanta lost Super Bowl LI in red and XXXIII in black. Falcons have to go with the whites next time. Carolina lost Super Bowl 50 in black and XXXVIII in white, so the alternate electric blues should be up next. And Seattle dropped both XLIX and XL while wearing blues. If the Seahawks can’t get white in their next trip to the Super Bowl, they’ll have to suit up in gray or, God forbid, those neon threads.

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HOT READS

NOW ON THE MMQB: Andy Benoit on the 20 most important players in this Super Bowl. … Yours truly on what’s next for Patrick Mahomes, who has the NFL in his hands. … Robert Klemko writes about how Maryland players at the Senior Bowl are being offered condolences from NFL teams. … and more.

WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: Is the NFL too hard to officiate? … Alex Smith was traded last year during Super Bowl week. Here are five players that it could happen to this year. … The Patriots are underdogs in their own minds, and that’s all that matters.


PRESS COVERAGE

1. The Athletic’s Joe Person writes the Panthers are mulling a scheme change to a 3-4 defense.

2. Cowboys WR Cole Beasley cleared up (or walked back?) comments he made this week suggesting the Dallas front office dictates who gets the ball in the offense.

3. Rappers Meek Mill and Jay Z are launching a criminal justice reform organization in association with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

4. A week after hitting a hole-in-one while golfing with former President Obama, Larry Fitzgerald announced he will return for a 16th season with the Cardinals.

5. Saints cornerback P.J. Williams was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with driving while intoxicated.


THE KICKER

This Super Bowl is a nightmare for the good people of St. Louis.

Question? Comment? Story idea? Let the team know at talkback@themmqb.com

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