Ladies and gentlemen, it is happening. The Los Angeles Chargers announced on Twitter Tuesday evening that they will be bringing back their powder blue uniforms. Not only are these uniforms as beautiful as any in the NFL, but they also hold a special place in the hearts of many NFL fans.
you're welcome. pic.twitter.com/CSLCALd289
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) April 16, 2019
Los Angeles Chargers Bring Back Powder Blues
The Chargers’ powder blue uniforms bring back a pleasant nostalgic feeling that warms the hearts of the vast majority of NFL fans. The inception of the Chargers’ franchise featured the iconic powder blue jersey with white pants back in 1960 — Los Angeles’ inaugural season. Los Angeles stuck with this combination for 14 years, making a few slight tweaks to it along the way. The team laid the uniform to rest in 1974. Fans would have to wait an even 20 years before seeing them again. The Chargers brought the powder blues back as an alternate uniform in 1994 and used them as such until last season, 2018.
Over the 20-year absence of the iconic powder blues, the Chargers flipped between a few different uniform combinations. Starting in 1974, the first year in which there would be no Chargers powder blues, the team donned a navy blue jersey, yellow pants with a white stripe, and a navy blue helmet with a yellow lightning bolt. It would be five years until the uniforms changed when a slight tweak was made in 1979. The Chargers swapped the white stripe on the yellow pants for a white lightning bolt.
In 1985, the uniforms changed again. The jersey became a darker shade of navy blue and the pants changed from yellow to white, with a blue stripe with a yellow lightning bolt on it down the side. Three years later in 1988, the color scheme was adjusted once more. The primary color of the lightning bolt logo switched from yellow to white, changing the entire look and feel of the uniforms. The pants stayed white, but the yellow lightning bolt was removed from them, leaving the pants with a thin blue stripe.
The Build-up to the Long Awaited Return
In 1990, the then San Diego franchise would make a brand new addition to their uniforms: navy blue pants. The franchise had worn white pants for the first 30 years of its existence, so this was a major development. These navy blue pants were quite simple, however, as they were an exact opposite of the 1988 white pants with the blue stripe. Instead, these pants were navy blue with a white stripe. The team stuck with this for two years until 1992. In ’92, San Diego brought the lightning bolt back to the pants. The navy pants featured a white bolt, while the white pants stayed with their same blue bolt.
Two years afterward, the Chargers figured it was finally time to pay homage to their first ever uniforms, bringing the powder blues out of retirement in 1994. San Diego included the powder blues as an alternate uniform, which was better than nothing. In 2007, San Diego put the navy blue helmets to rest, committing to white helmets with a yellow lightning bolt full-time. The uniforms would continue to make the slight tweaks for the next few years up until 2016 when the NFL introduced a theme for Thursday Night Football: the “Color Rush”. The color rush uniforms were made to “light up Thursday night,” and they did just that. The uniforms featured one color and one color only, the colors ranging from all white to all black, to neon green — looking at you, Seattle.
Many would agree that the Chargers revealed one of the NFL’s best-looking color rush uniforms. Los Angeles dropped an all navy blue uniform, with yellow numbers and accents, coupled with white helmets that featured their iconic yellow lightning bolt logo and yellow facemasks. These uniforms, as well as the classic powder blues, would be used as alternates until now. Now, Los Angeles is back to the powder blues full-time, 59 years after their inception as a franchise, 45 years after retiring them for two decades, and 25 years after using them as alternates.