Does This Relaxed NFL Rule Mean We Will Finally See a Black Saints Helmet?
They were outlawed in 1969, but there's a chance we may see them on the field soon thanks to a relaxed NFL rule.
The New Orleans Saints have one of the best uniforms in the NFL, if not the best in all of professional sports. It's a uniform combination that has remained untouched since the Saints entered the league in 1967, but if there is one change that Saints fans have voiced a desire for in recent years, it would be for the team to take the field in an alternate black helmet.
I don't have any official data but the temperature on the black helmet hype seemed to really turn up amongst fans when the Saints began rocking their ominous black-on-black uniform combination regularly after Katrina.
The New Orleans Saints have worn black jerseys since entering the league in 1967. Black pants weren't introduced until the late 70s, but we wouldn't see the team wear the black-on-black combination until the 2000 season.
The Saints would shelve the look until bringing it back in 2006 when the team began wearing the black-on-black combo regularly throughout the Brees era.
If you're one of the Saints fans who have wondered why the Saints haven't ever had a black helmet in their rotation, you may be surprised to know they actually did wear black helmets once, but it was very short-lived. As a matter of fact, it was so short-lived that they never actually got to wear them in the regular season.
Back in 1969, the Saints ran out onto the field with black helmets during their preseason games. Everyone from the players to the fans loved it. There was only one problem. Then-owner John Mecom either forgot or simply failed to let the league know about his uniform change. The entire NFL merchandise line reflected the Saints' gold helmets, thus, league officials forced the Saints to scrap the new look and the black helmets were outlawed.
If I had to guess, black helmets worn with the all-black jersey and pants combo would be a hit with the Who Dat Nation. Could you imagine 70,000+ fans going wild in the Superdome as the team runs out of the tunnel wearing that intimidating look?
According to a tweet from Adam Schefter, it could soon become a reality.
While it won't happen this season, the NFL will reportedly allow teams to introduce "alternate helmets" for the 2022 season. Teams have to submit plans for their new gear by July 31 and there is one small catch according to SaintsWire.
alternate helmets are only available for era-accurate throwback uniforms or designs already in use for existing alternates or “Color Rush” variants. That means the popular Saints “Color Rush” uniforms could qualify for a matching white helmet, though there isn’t an official design in circulation just yet.
It's hard to decipher exactly what that means, but it seems like if the Saints want to bring back the black helmets, it will have to be with a uniform that they've previously worn them with (maybe???) which would be the throwbacks worn during their 1969 preseason. The Saints have worn the "black and gold" throwback unis twice in recent memory.
Once during a 2016 matchup against the Detroit Lions.
Before that, they wore them against the Houston Texans in 2011.
Will we see the black helmets in 2022? If Twitter is any indicator, the Saints would make a lot of fans happy if they decided to bring back the black.
We'll definitely keep you posted on any changes and if you've got any feedback or ideas, feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments.