Cardinals should ditch both alternate black uniforms
The Arizona Cardinals announced they’d be wearing them for this week’s game against the Rams.
Remember the excitement in 2010? The Arizona Cardinals were coming off back-to-back NFC West Championships, and an unforgettable wild card win over Green Bay. Despite Kurt Warner retiring, there was a lot of hope and expectations headed into the season. Then, the first alternates since the 1994 75th NFL anniversary throwbacks dropped.
They were crisp and a welcome sight to see after years of just red and white. Seeing the sharp contrast of the red outline the numbers was incredible. They made their regular season debut on Halloween 2010, home against Tampa Bay. It turned out to be a game where LeGarrette Blount ran absolutely wild over the Arizona Defense, beating them in a 38-35 decision.
Their next appearance was four weeks later, on a Monday Night Football Showdown against San Francisco. This was a bad loss, 27-6 and the team was even treated to booing on their home turf. So year one of the alternates went badly in a dismal 5-11 season.
The first victory
Week 9 of the 2011 season featured the Cardinals pitted against the then St.Louis Rams at home. Any Cardinals fan knows what happened in this game. This was the Patrick Peterson gutsy and epic punt return touchdown winner. This was the game that turned a 1-6 team into an 8-8 team that just BARELY missed the playoffs. The Early Doucet incompletion and Jerome Simpson flip still haunt Cardinals fans to this day.
To summarize the rest of the Cardinals’ games in alternate jerseys since 2010, I went back and found all 19 games in which they wore either black jersey. I have done research across the web, but no one to my knowledge has ever compiled their record when they’ve chosen to wear them. Here is a list of the results:
- 11/6/2011: Rams 19-13
- 9/23/2012: Eagles 27-6
- 10/6/2013: Panthers 22-6
- 11/10/2013: Texans 27-24
- 9/21/2014 : 49ers 23-14
- 10/15/2017: Buccaneers 38-33
- 10/13/2019: Falcons 34-33
- 10/25/2020: Seahawks 37-34 OT (primetime)
- 10/31/2010: Buccaneers 38-35
- 11/29/2010: 49ers 27-6 (primetime)
- 10/2/2011: Giants 31-27
- 10/14/2012: Bills 19-16
- 10/4/2015: Rams 24-22
- 10/2/2016 :Rams 17-13
- 11/09/2017: Seahawks 22-16 (primetime, color rush)
- 10/18/2018: Broncos 45-10 (primetime, color rush)
- 12/09/2018: Lions 17-3
- 10/31/2019: 49ers 28-25 (primetime, color rush)
- 11/19/20: Seahawks 28-21 (primetime, color rush)
What do we make of this?
In first ten years of black alternate uniforms for Arizona, they’ve wound up with an 8-11 record in black jerseys. The 2010 versions are the more successful, opposed to the color rush’s whopping 0-4 record. Say what you want about jerseys and records and how on one level it can seem silly to correlate Win/Loss records to the color that a team wears- History proves this otherwise.
Look at Denver and Tampa Bay, where both teams had home uniforms in orange that they wore for almost two decades each. In 1997, Denver changed to their current look. Tampa Bay did the same that year as well. Those teams went on to be pretty successful, earning some Super Bowl rings along the way.
Correlation does not equal causation. I am not saying that by getting rid of the black alternate uniforms that Arizona will suddenly win a Super Bowl. The biggest thing about these uniforms are that they don’t bring back good memories. Aside from the Peterson punt return and the OT thriller against Seattle this year, what game sticks out and that you can name the season of which it occurred?
They hold a 1-5 record in primetime slots. Every time I see the team post about it, I get a bad feeling about it, and the record so far doesn’t help either. This is also the first time they’ve worn black three times in a season. So maybe third time’s a charm? Time will only tell and maybe history might guide their decision.