Year after year, rabid Seahawks fans have been wishing for the team to wear its signature throwback uniform dating back from the inception of the franchise in 1976. But NFL rules have prevented them from doing so.
Starting in 1994, the NFL allowed teams to wear a throwback uniform to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the league. It was supposed to be a one-time thing, but the retro dreads were such a success that by 2002, the league decided to allow teams to have an alternate uniform they could wear once or twice a year.
Franchises such as the Jets, Chargers, Patriots, Buccaneers, and Titans wore throwbacks yearly until 2013, when the NFL instituted a one-helmet rule as a safety measure. Each player would only be allowed to wear one helmet per season, eliminating the possibility of any team using multiple shell colors.
This explains why the Seahawks, who began wearing a navy blue helmet shell in 2001, haven't been able to give fans what they want by wearing a throwback once a season. Their original uniform design featured silver helmets, and understandably, they weren't going to paint the helmets for one game.
However, the one-helmet rule may soon be reaching its expiration point. Joining the Dan Patrick Show, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians mentioned there was a possibility Tampa Bay's popular Creamsickle throwbacks could make a comeback in the near future.
Unfortunately, for fans hoping this would mean the Seahawks could wear their vintage uniforms as early as next season, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Pro Football Talk via e-mail that a change wasn't imminent and wouldn't happen until 2021 at the earliest.
“There will be no change for the 2020 season,” McCarthy wrote. “There are ongoing discussions for a potential change for the 2021 season, but no decisions have been made.”
Along with a large contingency of fans, count Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson among those who is keeping his fingers crossed the NFL ditches the rule, as he tweeted his desire to wear the team's throwback uniforms. He wasn't the only Seahawk to express interest in the retro look either, as safety Quandre Diggs tweeted, "My swag would be crazy in these!"
Time will tell if the NFL actually dumps the one-helmet policy, but given the potential financial windfall associated with providing more teams like Seattle the ability to sport throwbacks once or twice a year, don't be surprised to see the league allow multiple helmets to be worn by 2021.