Chiefs chairman won’t rule out alternative helmets: ‘Certainly more of a consideration than there ever was’
Alternate uniforms and the Kansas City Chiefs have never crossed paths, but the franchise could try something different for the first time in the organization’s 63-year history. The Chiefs are the only NFL franchise to never wear an alternate uniform, but a different colored third jersey or helmet can come into play.
Chiefs president Mark Donovan has seen all the alternate helmets and new uniform concepts introduced to the league. With the lifting of the “one-shell rule”, the Chiefs could embark on the foray.
“I don’t want to create hope where there’s no hope, but you kind of went through that with us. There’s an open discussion. There’s definitely more consideration than there is. there never was,” Donovan said Monday. “We certainly had good conversations about the opportunity. But as you can imagine, I think we’re the only team – maybe we’re part of a small group – that has never changed.
“When I say ‘never change’, we changed the stripe a bit or something because of the uniform change. It’s important for us too. It’s about finding that balance.”
The Chiefs have made minimal changes to their uniforms throughout their history, wearing white pants with their white road jerseys from 1960 to 1967 from 1989 to 1999. The white pants returned with the white jerseys in 2006. The red jerseys at home were worn with white trousers. until Andy Reid became head coach in 2013 when the franchise introduced an “all red” uniform jumpsuit. The Chiefs also avoided the “Color Rush” promotion the league ran in 2016 and 2017, wearing the “all-red” uniforms for home games.
With the lifting of the “single shell rule”, 13 teams launched alternative or retro helmets this offseason. Adding a second helmet allowed teams to find a helmet to match their alternate jersey or bring back a popular uniform design.
Donovan was part of a major change with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003, when he was the team’s senior vice president of business operations. That season, the Eagles introduced an alternate black uniform for the first time – one that is still the team’s alternate jersey today.
“I’ve been here for 14 seasons. The first two years I came from Philadelphia where we did it very successfully and I was really excited about it,” Donovan said. “After the first meeting to talk about it, I didn’t talk about it for a couple of years. But a few of our teammates on our side kept pushing me and we reopened the discussion. We’ll see. It’s definitely something something we will continue to discuss.”
If the alternate uniform works for Kansas City, the Chiefs look set to make a major uniform change for the first time. The franchise’s popularity grew with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, providing a unique opportunity to change the way the Chiefs dress on the court in the fall.