Pat Patriot is officially back! After a 10-year hiatus, the New England Patriots’ classic red-and-white look will return to the gridiron: as was announced by the organization on Wednesday, it will be wearing its red throwback jerseys at one point this fall.
No throwback games have been announced yet, but the teaser clip shared on social media will certainly leave fans both nostalgic and excited:
Wait a minute, Doc. Are you telling me the red uniforms are back? pic.twitter.com/X1pd6kpdpG— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 22, 2022
A rule change in 2013 prevented the Patriots from wearing their throwbacks over the last 10 years. With teams no longer allowed to wear multiple sets of helmets during one single season, throwback looks such as the one worn by New England became outlawed: the Pat Patriot uniforms used a white helmet compared to the silver one worn by the team as part of its regular setup.
The rule was introduced as a concussion countermeasure, but was modified last year to allow teams to wear two different sets of helmets starting in 2022. This paved the way for the (re)introduction of alternate looks such as throwbacks, so long as all proper safety protocols are followed and players will have ample opportunity to break in the other helmets during practice.
Given those modifications, New England was expected to bring its classic look back at one point in the near future. The Patriots Hall of Fame already made an announcement last December that it would indeed be 2022 — an announcement that has now been confirmed.
The red throwbacks will therefore be used up to three times this season:
The Patriots wore the red-and-white look from their inaugural season in 1960 until a design overhaul of 1993: Pat Patriot was replaced by the so-called “Flying Elvis” that has graced the team’s helmets ever since; the color scheme initially changed to blue-and-silver before another modernization ahead of the 2000 season. Between 2000 and 2019, New England used navy and silver as the main colors and basis for its uniform.
The organization made another change in 2020, moving to an all-blue look that was first introduced as a NFL Color Rush design in 2016.
The throwbacks, meanwhile, reappeared only now and then since the original change in the 90s: the Patriots wore them three times during the 1994 season and once in 2002, before returning them as a regular third outfit between 2009 and 2012.