As a kid growing up in the 90s, one of my greatest memories was attending my first Atlanta Falcons game in 1996 when I was 6 years old. My dad, a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan, took me hoping that I would join him on the purple side, but I was drawn to the black uniforms of the Falcons. I’ve been a fan ever since but the memory I have for my first exposure to the team remains. Even more, I loved the black endzones the Falcons used through much of the 90s, before switching to a natural grass background for much of the 2000s. I can close my eyes and still visualize that Falcons 90s endzone look.
In 2020, both the black jerseys and black endzones returned as a norm for the Falcons. Although most of us weren’t permitted to see them in person due to the pandemic, on television I thought both popped on the screen and gave the team a unique look. On Wednesday night, Brett Jewkes, who is the Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer of AMB Group, appeared on The Falcholic Live to provide the group with insight into the inner workings of the team. That includes the end zones and some tantalizing thoughts about the team’s helmets.
Since 2013, the NFL has had the infamous “one-helmet” rule in place, limiting most teams from wearing throwbacks and mandating that team’s use the same helmet through the entire season. The Falcons were one of the lucky few who could still have a throwback uniform due to their old black helmet/logo combination, but it also prevented them from using red helmets, which they donned from 1966 until 1990 and also used during the 2012 season.
I think most people know that there’s an NFL rule on single helmets right now. There has been talk in the last couple years that it’s going to be amended. Without breaking any news tonight, I can tell you that the day that happens — the red helmet is pretty darn popular, not just outside our building.
We actually, when we did the uniforms, we looked at a couple schematics, just to see what it would look like with the new uniforms — there’s some pretty cool ones. There’s some stuff locked in a safe somewhere that, if we ever got a green light, I can tell you that there’s a lot of people who have an interest in the red helmet — and I’m one.
Jewkes went on to hint that he’d like to see the red helmet in the style of the current matte helmet, which would look amazing. It would also be the first time we’d see the more modern Falcons logo on a red helmet. They could be paired with the team’s new gradient “Rise Up” uniforms which debuted during the 2020 season against the Detroit Lions.
As mentioned above, the black endzones returned during the 2020 season which have received high praise from the fan base. It certainly takes extra work from the stadium operations team, but it is definitely worth it.
I’ll tell you this, the operations team at the stadium does not love the black endzones. They love how they look, but they are pretty hard to change over and clean up. Particularly when we have to do all of those quick turns — like if we have a soccer game the next day or a convention is coming in there. It takes a little longer to get that black off but guess what, it’s not going away I can promise you that. Everybody loved it.
The man himself said it; if you enjoy the black endzones, like I do, you’ll be happy to hear that they are here to stay. They honestly just add such a element to the field that stands out compared to what some other teams have.
We had a blast with Brett Jewkes on The Falcholic Live where we discussed everything from team owner Arthur Blank to Bruce Springsteen. Jewkes also gave us a deep dive into the uniforms, which took three years to create. We can’t wait to have him back on the show again in the future, and if you haven’t already, be sure to give it a watch.