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Redskins review their gold pants


(By Jonathan Newton - TWP)


"It's special, it's special to the country. That's why we're on Sunday night television. We'll get super ratings on it, but any game we beat the Cowboys is a great day in America." -- Bruce Allen, ESPN 980.

In March of 1979, the Redskins announced they were doing away with their traditional gold pants. The Post covered this momentous news in a story headlined "Redskins Sack Their Gold Pants." A story written by the paper's fashion editor, I might add. Ah, how times do change.

Anyhow, the team was going through a bit of a rough patch in the post-George Allen years, and GM Bobby Beathard -- "who tilts to bell-bottom jeans, running shoes and occasional Calvin Klein sweaters," according to the story -- thought it was time for a change.

"I thought the uniforms were pretty drab, that they could be improved," Beathard said at the time, noting that most of all, he "hated the gold pants with dark burgundy jerseys....When you've been in the same thing for so long and you bring in something new, sometimes it perks people up."

The change cost $11,400, and the perking up soon followed, in the form of four Super Bowl appearances in 11 seasons. Washington had worn gold pants at home for 18 straight seasons; after Beathard's War on Drab, gold was passe for most of three decades. But maybe it was time to perk people up again. And thus, Sunday night came the worst-kept secret of the offseason: the Restoration of Gold.

"Well, in talking to the alumni...and to the fans, they wanted to see the gold pants," new GM Bruce Allen said on ESPN 980's pre-game show. "And I think our players are really excited to be wearing 'em."

Indeed. The 1979 Redskins seemed to have mixed feelings about their new white pants -- "they may get awfully dirty," Dan Nugent observed -- but the current team seemed just about unified, with the possible exception of Stephon Heyer.

"He's an O-lineman, though," Lorenzo Alexander pointed out. "He doesn't know anything about fashion."

Even Nugent's concerns about cleanliness were apparently reversed in one golden stroke.

"You look good, you play good," Brian Orakpo told me. "We looked clean out there, man; we looked real nice."

I wasn't totally sure what "clean" meant in this context -- "the opposite of dirty," Casey Rabach suggested -- but either way, the reviews were shining. Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, the universe's prime source for such coverage, wrote that "all of a sudden the 'Skins have one of the best home looks in the league," and the players seemed to agree.

"I like it better than I do those Good Humor outfits that they wear, all white and stuff," said Sonny Jurgensen, who helped define the previous Gold Pants Era. "I liked this, oh yeah, I really did."

"Yeah, what the heck," Rabach said. "I'm not big into wardrobes or fashion or anything like that -- obviously, I've got a pair of slippers on and some jeans -- but it was cool, and a lot of guys were fired up about it."

"I love 'em, man," LaRon Landry said.

"Loved 'em," Chris Wilson agreed. "I look good in yellow pants. I run fast in yellow pants."

"I like the whole get-up," Anthony Armstrong said.

"A new, fresh look," Alexander proclaimed.

"I thought the pants were awesome," Chris Cooley said. "I'm a huge fan of anything different."

See, that's the key. In fashion, one day you're in, and the next day you're out. "It's like when a government changes, you have to have a whole clean sweep," linebacker Brad Dusek told The Post back in '79. Beathard helped usher in his new era, but Jim Zorn's Maroon and Black Era was marked by the faux pas, not the avant garde. The team brought in a new coach, a new GM and a new quarterback, and gold pants gave them the whole clean sweep.

"The socks, too," Wilson pointed out, praising the team's new hosiery. "Somebody needs to focus on the socks, too."

Players, by the way, didn't know for sure about the change until they entered the FedEx Field locker room on Sunday afternoon. Some then spread their new outfits out on the ground to admire them and make sure their accessories matched, "make sure they're color-coordinated to go out there and show everybody," as Rocky McIntosh put it.

Of course, I've now written like 14,000 words about gold pants over the past few months, and the gimmick may finally have expired, like so many dirty outfits from the early '70s. Sunday's team could have worn sequined polyester leopard-print pant suits under lambskin parkas, and the fans would have been satisfied as Alex Barron still grabbed Orakpo's neck.

"It doesn't matter," Landry said. "The uniform doesn't matter, man. Let's go out there and put 'em on and let's play."


(By John McDonnell - TWP)

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 13, 2010; 4:52 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

the gold pants are the greatest thing ever since those Joe Jacoby Theatervision ads

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlvPBo_HalI

Posted by: parkerbros | September 13, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The pants ARENT frickin' gold !! Gold is like the Rams, Saints or Notre Dame wears. I dont think anyone in the area gets this....zzzzzzzzz

Posted by: semilost44 | September 13, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Overall, a very nice look. My only suggestions would be (1) losing those Raggedy Ann- looking socks in favor of a solid burgundy, and (2) maintaining bolder stripes on the sides of the pants much like those found on the white ones from 1979-forward.

Posted by: MrRon | September 13, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, fan by birth, 1951, the pants looked great. Real football player uniforms. Not some "fancy schmancy" shinny junk we see today. After all, burgundy & gold are our team colors. Now lets get a decent helmet logo. I always loved the "lance" the best. Right at the "heart" of our opponents !

Posted by: budandjoyce1 | September 13, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I love the burgundy and gold look, all the fans love it, and all the players love the colors. So, I am sure Dan Snyder will order the Redskins this week to never wear this color combination again. Afterall, when faced with making a decision, I have grown used to this franshise making the 100 percent wrong decision!

Posted by: robertibbott | September 13, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I love the burgundy and gold look, all the fans love it, and all the players love the colors.
So, I am sure Dan Snyder will order the Redskins this week to never wear this color combination again. After all, when faced with making a decision, I have grown used to this franchise making the 100 percent wrong decision!

Posted by: robertibbott | September 13, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

814 words on the Redskins' pants. Is that giant sucking sound... Dan?

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | September 13, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Awesome, love the look and the result.

Posted by: DCFanatic | September 13, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I love the gold pants. Reminds me of the George Allen era. We won a lot of games back then and our defense led the way, then as now.

Posted by: bfjam | September 13, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

As a youngster in the former "gold" pants era, I loved 'em then and was really excited to see them brought out last night, and the socks as well. Just need to get the stripes on the jerseys to match ths socks stripes. As far as the helmets, either the gold ones with the "R", or the maroon with the arrow and feathers would be nice. Old school.

Posted by: Redman2 | September 13, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

As a youngster in the former "gold" pants era, I loved 'em then and was really excited to see them brought out last night, and the socks as well. Just need to get the stripes on the jerseys to match ths socks stripes. As far as the helmets, either the gold ones with the "R", or the maroon with the arrow and feathers would be nice. Old school.

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Posted by: strade24 | September 13, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I agree... the "SO CALLED" gold pants need the bolder stripes on the sides like the older white pants had (for some accent). I personally think they are french mustard yellow and would prefer to see them go a few shades toward old gold (with the stripes from the old white pants). BRUCE, PLEASE DO NOT ENTERTAIN ANY GAMES WITH ALL GOLD (FRENCH MUSTARD YELLOW) and retire the ALL WHITE UNIFORMS! Clarification: If the REDSKINS can make it literally impossible for visitors to win at FedEx Field when they wear the mustard and ketchup uniforms... I am totally happy with them. GOOOOOO REDSKINS and I expect wins over the Giants and Eagles at home.

Posted by: gype | September 13, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

i thought the team colors were burgundy and gold, not burgundy and yellow...guess gold color fabric is just too expensive for current economic situation.

Posted by: imageClass | September 13, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

These are classic Redskin unis. I expected either Sonny or Kilmer to settle under center. I remember the year they switched and hated the "Good Humor" look then. Now, the road units should have the white jerseys, gold striping, and gold pants.

Posted by: RobRoy1 | September 13, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

The Skins need to bring back Ron McDole, Chris Hanburger, Diron Talbert, and the rest of the Over-the-hill gang for a reunion now that the Redskins are once again The Burgundy and Gold!

Posted by: noslok | September 13, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

i loved em. old school look, old school toughness. i hope we see them for years to come. thought landry, orakpo, and hall looked especially bad ass.

sidenote: carlos rodgers has the worst hands in the nfl. perfect opportunity to prove everyone wrong, catch the ball, seal the game. stone hands as usual. unreal...wait, real

Posted by: macleod5000 | September 13, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

OK...so they were able to skirt NFL rules by wearing the throwback/alternate pants with the burgundy jersey. (It looked better than the burgundy jersey and pants combo they wore with the wrong socks against Pittsburgh, but I digress.)
I suppose you could continue to wear a kit where there are different stripe patterns on the helmet, jersey, pants and socks. I suppose you could do that. But that wouldn't make it right.

Posted by: MadMark59 | September 13, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

It's funny to see the fans support the ditching of a pants style in which the team won three Super Bowls for a style where they didn't win any. (Wanted gold pants? Fine, but it should have been consistent with the style they've been wearing for more than 30 years.)

This sort of reminds me of when the Phillies changed uniforms in 1992, ditching the look they had worn in the '70s and '80s for a modified version of their '5-s and '60s style. I joked they were effectively ditching Mike Schmidt for Putsy Caballero (a nondescript Phillies player of the '50s). Well, they did win the NL pennant in '93, and they finally won another World Series in those duds in 2008, so I guess it can work.

Posted by: VPaterno | September 14, 2010 4:02 AM | Report abuse

How you look doesn't help you win super-bowls, just gets fans excited.

I love the look for this year, lets touch it up next year with a consistent stripe pattern on the pants' jerseys and helmets. My vote is take the helmet 5 strip pattern and stick it on the pants and shoulders. The 2 strips is WAY too 80's.

Posted by: alex35332 | September 14, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The Uniform looks great but some changes are needed. Move the TV numbers to the top of the shoulder pads so the same type of stripe that are on the socks can be put back on the sleeves just like the real 70's version. Now unlike the 70's version leave the yellow outline on the numbers and leave the yellow facemask on the helmet. Take the white jersey and make it the opposite of my modified burgunday jersey, now that is a perfect uniform!

Posted by: jimbof | September 14, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

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