As we near Super Bowl LV, it provides a good excuse to examine the uniforms that teams wore in the previous 54 seasons’ final showdowns. Here is an entirely accurate, and in no way subjective, ranking of every Super Bowl uniform matchup.

 

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55. Super Bowl XL: Steelers vs. Seahawks

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The Seahawks’ regrettable uniforms in between their Cortez Kennedy and Russell Wilson eras marred a Super Bowl that soon became marred by officiating. While the Steelers are not to blame for this, they are dragged down because of their opponent’s misguided 10-year fashion experiment. 

 

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54. Super Bowl XV: Raiders vs. Eagles

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A similar case. The Raiders’ third Super Bowl trip came against an Eagles team struggling through a uniform run. Philadelphia’s designs in between the Chuck Bednarik and Randall Cunningham periods were a few cuts below. Unfortunately, the Eagles missed the Super Bowl in their Kelly Green years. Their first trip featured monstrous stripes and a blander green, making for less aesthetically appealing (for non-Rod Martin fans) NFL Films highlights.

 

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53. Super Bowl XXXIV: Titans vs. Rams

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This may or may not be a dissenting opinion, but the Titans spent most of their existence in bad uniforms. Maybe they were not that unpleasant in a vacuum, but coming after the franchise’s marvelous Oilers attire, seeing this concept showcased in a Super Bowl in Year 1 of the new identity dragged down the Rams’ final game in their finest road uniform. Had Tennessee upset Kansas City in last year’s AFC championship game, the Titans would have looked (literally) better on the sport’s biggest stage.

 

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52. Super Bowl XXIX: Chargers vs. 49ers

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Though whichever team represented the weaker AFC in 1994 was in big trouble, San Diego was a Super Bowl-record 18.5-point underdog. San Francisco covered, but this was another example of success overshadowing attire. While the 49ers showed off their top-notch standard uniforms in four prior Super Bowls, the 1994 team had used its 1950s throwbacks — which featured a different shade of red from the modern helmets they still wore — for most of that season. The white pants especially were a major misstep. The 49-26 loss notwithstanding, the Chargers wore superior uniforms. In attendance on that Miami night, Jerry and Newman surely agreed. 

 

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51. Super Bowl 50: Broncos vs. Panthers

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The Broncos are 0-4 when they wear orange in Super Bowls. So when they won the AFC in a year the conference had the uniform choice, the team’s dull white-on-white look resurfaced. The choice ended up working — against a Panthers team in its top uniform — but the Broncos using their orange-on-white primary home uni would have their gritty, defense-fueled conquest better for casual viewers. Denver uses its alternate blues twice and its Clemson-y Color Rush kits once annually; its primary home unis are only guaranteed five cameos per season. The Broncos’ white uniforms that were shaky in 1997 remain so today serve as their primary look. 

 

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50. Super Bowl XLIII: Steelers vs. Cardinals

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The second Super Bowl “Steelers, Italicized” (1997-present) at least featured the better of the Cardinals’ two standard uniforms. The Cards did not accomplish much in their previous Rod Tidwell look , but they have done a disservice to Larry Fitzgerald by forcing him to wear their current model for all but one season of his career. Again, the Steelers are dragged down by an opponent. However, that was not exactly the focus in one of the best Super Bowls ever.

 

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49. Super Bowl XXXIII: Broncos vs. Falcons

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We return to a Denver-on-the-road issue. The Broncos being forced to wear their away whites made this a rough watch (again, from a pure aesthetic standpoint). The Falcons wore one of their best kits in Tampa that night. While that was not the story in John Elway’s finale — a game in which the Broncos dominated — the Falcons certainly dressed better in the 20th century’s final Super Bowl.

 

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48. Super Bowl XXXV: Ravens vs. Giants

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Baltimore fans surely feel differently, but the Ravens have struggled on the uniform front. These white-on-whites were the then-relatively new purple buffs’ best option, but they were a lower-end NFL uni at the time. The Giants switched to their old-school blue-on-grays in this 2000 season, and while they got the job done, the throwbacks were not spectacular enough to lift a Ravens Super Bowl into the upper reaches of a big-game uniform list.

 

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47. Super Bowl LI: Patriots vs. Falcons

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Issues stopping Eli Manning perhaps did the Patriots some good; they no longer wear their home blue uniforms in Super Bowls. The white-on-blue road unis, while obviously not on Pat the Patriot’s level, presented the modern dynasty in a slightly better light. Had this game featured the inverse — the Pats’ Tom Brady-era blues vs. the Falcons’ then-chaotic white-on-whites — it would have been a candidate for the Super Bowl’s worst uniform matchup. 

 

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46. Super Bowl XXXVI: Patriots vs. Rams

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Just after the Rams won their first Super Bowl, they changed their uniform. However, the move from yellow to gold was not as bad as people remember. Until St. Louis started to venture away from its gold pants, the car was still on the road. Said pants were fine on this New Orleans night, but neither the Rams’ nor Patriots’ uniforms were top-class outfits. This was New England’s first of four Super Bowls in these. Another great Super Bowl with so-so attire.

 

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45. Super Bowl V: Colts vs. Cowboys

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This unusual, 11-turnover game would have at least looked better had the teams swapped home and road identities, but both Baltimore and Dallas wore their inferior 1970 uniforms. Making the Cowboys wear these was like the 2018 Patriots telling the Rams, “You’ll wear that mismatched white uniform and you’ll like it!” Just as they are today, the Colts’ white-on-white with gray facemasks are perhaps too minimalist — bordering on Penn State-level blandness — and the Cowboys obviously prefer their home whites. The Cowboys have adjusted their blue jerseys many times; none have produced a true winner capable of competing with their defining look.

 

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44. Super Bowl VII: Miami vs. Washington

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This matchup occurred 10 years later and featured each side wearing better uniforms. But Washington, which have avoided its home reds for the better part of the modern era, loses points for ditching a superior design scheme in this 1972 season. The Dolphins deployed one of the better white-on-white looks in NFL history, but their aqua jerseys still would have been preferred. They surely would have had more fun celebrating their 17-0 season in them.

 

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43. Super Bowl LV: Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

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In these teams’ Week 12 Tampa tilt, the Bucs wore their superior red-on-pewter uniforms, and the Chiefs donned their underappreciated white-on-red scheme. Unfortunately, the Bucs (who held top uniform dibs for this Super Bowl) will ride their recent road momentum and treat fans to each of these teams’ second-best uniforms for their home Super Bowl. Alas, the Chiefs will now be 0-for-4 in bringing red pants to Super Bowls. But at least the Bucs’ 2020 uniform change prevented this from happening. Of course, we all know the real premier uniform matchup this series could bring. Someday, Tampa Bay. Someday. 

 

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42. Super Bowl XXXVIII: Patriots vs. Panthers

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The Patriots’ second Super Bowl in these uniforms kept their Spygate-era momentum going; it also marked the final time New England won a Super Bowl in them. Again, these Pats kits are adequate. But they are just far off the franchise’s best work on the fashion front. Carolina’s first Super Bowl featured the team’s solid-from-the-jump color scheme, which has always brought vital stripe synchronization. A brutal illegal procedure penalty cost the Panthers, but their road whites did not let viewers down in Houston.

 

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41. Super Bowl XXXVII: Raiders vs. Buccaneers

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Just like their 1980 team did, the Raiders in 2002 found themselves without a quality uniform dance partner. This recently revived design scheme is probably the Bucs’ second-best — behind Bucco Bruce and ahead of the Jameis Winston-era threads — but it is far from one of the premier uniforms worn in a Super Bowl. This made Tampa Bay’s 2020 uniform pivot rather sad, with the franchise leaving the creamsicles on the shelf. No complaints about Oakland’s road attire, which remains one of the league’s best looks.

 

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40. Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots vs. Seahawks

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The Seahawks debuted their modern home uniform in a Super Bowl in the Marshawn Lynch “what if?” game, teaming with the 2010s’ most common Super Bowl threads (the Patriots’ road whites). An immeasurable Seahawks improvement from the previous time they brought their home attire to the big stage, but the Patriots’ merely adequate threads limit this classic contest from an especially high ranking on this list.

 

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39. Super Bowl IX: Steelers vs. Vikings

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Steelers Classic makes its first appearance on the list. While the Steelers went to five Super Bowls in this design scheme, this marks their only Super Bowl appearance in their old-school road whites. They went 1-0 on this stage in them. No big issues with these, though the team’s pants stripe was too big then and too big now. But the Vikings’ vintage home uniforms lagged behind their under-appreciated road attire.

 

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38. Super Bowl XXXI: Patriots vs. Packers

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Using one of the wackier design schemes to see a global audience, the Drew Bledsoe-era Patriots met up with a far more established brand. The Pats only used these uniforms for seven seasons, 1993-99. It is indeed difficult to get past the massive Patriot on the sleeves — which was only a thing for five seasons. If only the Patriots had run into the Packers in their Pat the Patriot unis; that would have been a majestic sight. 

 

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T-36. Super Bowl XLII: Patriots vs. Giants

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This Super Bowl was so good the fashion mattered little. The Giants deploy a sneaky-strong away-from-home scheme. Perhaps these uniforms’ reputation is enhanced by the two Super Bowl wins, but the Giants’ road attire uses their four-color ensemble well. The red socks are an underrated component, and thanks to David Tyree’s moment, this look will be immortalized throughout football’s existence.

 

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T-36. Super Bowl XLVI: Patriots vs. Giants

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Other than a much blander Super Bowl logo (as is the current, and unfortunate, custom), the Giants and Pats ran it back four years later.

 

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T-34. Super Bowl XXXIX: Patriots vs. Eagles

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The two Patriots-Eagles encounters occurred 13 years apart but involved almost exactly the same uniforms. In an even year, the 2004 Eagles opted for their home greens, which made their Super Bowl debut in Andy Reid’s sixth Philadelphia season. The Giants’ road uniforms outflank the Eagles’ current home gear, but the Patriots dress better when they pack their away whites, giving the Pats’ second NFC East Super Bowl rematch the nod.

 

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T-34. Super Bowl LII: Patriots vs. Eagles

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Although the uniforms Donovan McNabb wore to Jacksonville featured a slightly different collar than the ones Nick Foles wore in Minneapolis, that is not enough to differentiate these Pats-Eagles matchups.

 

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33. Super Bowl XLVII: Ravens vs. 49ers

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In 2009, the 49ers were a ways away from relevancy. So the franchise’s switch from an unnecessarily busy scheme to its current design went less noticed than, say, the rival Rams’ 2000 change. But the 49ers’ present look is a top-class NFL uniform. San Francisco’s current gold pants outflank their Joe Montana classics. Unfortunately, the Ravens being their dance partners in New Orleans lowered this Super Bowl’s uniform ceiling.

 

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32. Super Bowl XXXII: Broncos vs. Packers

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Brett Favre’s Super Bowls came against some of the weirdest-looking opposition, with the full-on stirrup Broncos coming after the super-shoulder patriot Patriots. The Broncos’ radical 1997 redesign changed the game. Teams at all levels got into the stirrup business. Denver’s first season in them produced a Super Bowl title, and the scheme remains. The blue-on-white choice was the better of the Broncos’ two options at this time, but this game unfortunately validated a wrong turn for the franchise. 

 

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31. Super Bowl XI: Raiders vs. Vikings

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The most recent Vikings Super Bowl invitation featured a second run for their purple home uniform. The NFL’s lone purple bastion for 35 years, the Vikings went 0-2 in purple and 0-2 in white in Super Bowls. They just looked better in white. The Raiders’ renegade status and three relocations are not indicative of their attire reliability. Since the franchise deviated from its black-and-gold scheme in the early 1960s, it has featured one of American sports’ defining designs.

 

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30. Super Bowl XXV: Bills vs. Giants

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The most patriotic Super Bowl not involving the Patriots presented the Giants in their finest uniform. New York’s NFC team lightened its blue in 1989, separating this Super Bowl from the Giants-Broncos clash four years earlier. The Bills only wore this all-white uniform in one Super Bowl. While Buffalo’s home kits of this era were the better look, this Super Bowl certainly went better than the franchise’s subsequent outings in the home blues.

 

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29. Super Bowl XXI: Broncos vs. Giants

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Even if the Giants’ darker blues of the mid-1980s slightly trail their Rodney Hampton-era design, the Broncos’ road whites pre-1997 were better than the Bills’. Denver wore these in a Super Bowl once, making them less memorable than its oranges of the era. But these away-from-Colorado whites — complete with a superior blue shade — dunk on the Broncos’ stirrup-y model they stubbornly refuse to ditch.

 

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28. Super Bowl XLVIII: Broncos vs. Seahawks

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Both Denver and Seattle adjusted their uniforms in 2012, the Broncos making their orange alternates their primary home jerseys upon Peyton Manning’s arrival and the Seahawks ditching their unfortunate scheme of the previous 10 years in advance of Russell Wilson’s rookie season. They showed off their new designs in the Super Bowl. Neither team sported its all-time best look that night in New Jersey, but this was a big upgrade from what such a Super Bowl matchup would have showcased had the 2005 Broncos won the AFC championship game and met the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. (The ’05 Steelers prevented a global-stage fashion disaster.)

 

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27. Super Bowl XXVI: Buffalo vs. Washington

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The Bills receive appropriate credit for their early-1990s persistence, but the uniforms they wear today outdo the ones they packed for Super Bowls. Nothing wrong with either theirs or the gear Washington preferred when it went 3-1 in Super Bowls under Joe Gibbs. A fine middle-of-the-pack matchup.

 

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26. Super Bowl I: Chiefs vs. Packers

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Two years after the Chiefs’ loss in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game (the Super Bowl’s initial name), they switched to red pants on the road. The Chiefs’ pre-1968 (and Marty Schottenheimer-era) all-white look doesn’t pop as much. The Packers won the game and the color scheme battle that day in southern California.

 

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25. Super Bowl III: Jets vs. Colts

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This storied January 1969 day featured the most disappointing loss in Colts history. While the 18-point underdog Jets completed a seismic upset that changed pro football henceforth, the Colts’ home uniform is consistently one of the league’s best. No exception here. The Jets of this era are probably remembered for these all-whites because of their accomplishment on this day, but their greens of the Joe Namath years were superior. Either way, a quality uniform duel in Miami. 

 

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24. Super Bowl XVII: Miami vs. Washington

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The Washington-Miami rematch brought a nice update to the teams’ meeting 10 years prior. Washington wore its traditional RFK Stadium threads this time, and the Dolphins’ aqua classics represented a nice pairing in the game best remembered for John Riggins’ championship-cementing run.

 

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23. Super Bowl XVIII: Los Angeles vs. Washington

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Washington’s attempted repeat featured the most recent instance of the Raiders bringing their famed black-on-silver uniforms to a Super Bowl. It did not go well for Washington, becoming the Los Angeles Raiders’ signature night (complete with John Facenda’s immortalizing narration).

 

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T-21. Super Bowl XXVII: Bills vs. Cowboys

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Excepting the one time the 1970 Colts forced them to wear their blues, the Cowboys have donned some of the finest uniforms in Super Bowl history. Their January 1993 return to the big stage was no exception. Jimmy Johnson’s bunch shined in Pasadena, and the Bills’ top Jim Kelly-years game suit complemented them well. 

 

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T-21. Super Bowl XXVIII: Bills vs. Cowboys

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This uniform matchup looked a little stale a year later, though. This remains the only time the same teams faced off in consecutive Super Bowls. Unfortunately, the sides did not try what would have been a fun fashion flip. The Cowboys’ dark blues of this period took a bit too much heat and may have distracted from this slightly less one-sided matchup in Atlanta.

 

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20. Super Bowl IV: Chiefs vs. Vikings

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The Chiefs debuted their home reds in a Super Bowl on this day in New Orleans, when the Kansas City’s second big-game appearance left the AFL-NFL Super Bowl ledger at 2-2 in perpetuity. Kansas City does receive much credit for being one of the NFL’s pillars of uniform tradition, but the franchise has altered little on its home design since this 1970 afternoon. This also marked the debut of Minnesota’s top look in a Super Bowl. The Vikings pulled off their purple and gold during their uniform heyday, the shoulder stripe cementing these as the franchise’s best.

 

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19. Super Bowl XLI: Colts vs. Bears

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The Bears sport one of the game’s finest uniforms. Chicago debuted its blue-on-white classics in a Super Bowl in 2007, upon meeting Indianapolis in that city’s first Super Bowl opportunity. A Colts blue-vs.-Bears white presentation would have produced a fashion-friendlier night, as the Colts’ all-whites are one the modern game’s blander looks. But still, not too much to complain about in the first rainy Super Bowl.

 

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18. Super Bowl XLIV: Colts vs. Saints

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The best possible version of this matchup, from a fashion sense. The Saints have enjoyed a love-hate relationship with their gold pants away from home, currently utilizing black pants and having donned all-white for periods during their 50-plus-year existence as well. But white-on-gold has always been the franchise’s premier non-Superdome choice. It came against the Colts’ famed blue-on-white design that, save for the facemasks going from gray to white to blue and back to gray, has not changed since Johnny Unitas was calling signals. 

 

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17. Super Bowl XLV: Steelers vs. Packers

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A truly complementary Super Bowl featured an unbelievable array of wide receiver corps. The Packers’ Greg Jennings-Jordy Nelson-Donald Driver-James Jones stable met the Steelers’ Hines Ward-Mike Wallace-Antonio Brown-Emmanuel Sanders-Antwaan Randle El group. All wore yellow pants (these trousers are much closer to yellow than gold, despite what these organizations would have you believe) in a flashy Super Bowl that has become a bit underrated a decade later.

 

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T-14. Super Bowl X: Steelers vs. Cowboys

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The Super Bowl’s most frequent matchup debuted in January 1976, the first time the Steelers wore their storied Steel Curtain-era home attire for a championship. This may be No. 1 for many, and arguments can be made these two uniforms together do the best to define football in the late 20th century. 

 

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T-14. Super Bowl XIII: Steelers vs. Cowboys

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They did this again three years later. 

 

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T-14. Super Bowl XXX: Steelers vs. Cowboys

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They met up again 17 years after that, with the only difference being the bluer socks the Cowboys wore in the Arizona meeting. 

 

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13. Super Bowl XIX: Dolphins vs. 49ers

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The 49ers’ first time using their iconic red-on-gold design in a Super Bowl. Perhaps a more even playing field would have involved the 49ers using their road whites against the Dolphins’ home aquas — which, at the time, were unlike anything else in the NFL — but this game was in Palo Alto. The 49ers owed it to their fans who made the drive south to deploy their NorCal look. While it is unfortunate the Dolphins did not make another Super Bowl in the Dan Marino era to show off their improved road uniform (circa 1985-96), their vintage scheme remains associated with the franchise’s peak.

 

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12. Super Bowl VIII: Dolphins vs. Vikings

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This might be high for most, but it is interesting in what may get the vote for the most boring Super Bowl featured such a fascinating color contrast. The 1973 NFL featured one possible purple-aqua matchup, and the Dolphins and Vikings each brought their best jerseys to Houston. Although this game featured only seven Dolphins passes and stood at 24-0 in the fourth quarter, the ahead-of-its-time color duel deserves credit. 

 

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11. Super Bowl XVI: Bengals vs. 49ers

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This would have been a less eye-popping Super Bowl had it occurred merely one year earlier. In 1981, the Bengals shocked the NFL landscape with their then-revolutionary tiger-striped concept. Cincinnati’s previous uniforms were quite basic and bore a strong resemblance to the other orange, Ohio-based team Paul Brown once led. The Bengals executed a strong pivot and still possess the NFL’s premier helmet. Going against a 49ers team showing off its threads for a Super Bowl audience for the first time helped the teams’ first big-game meeting stand out.

 

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10. Super Bowl LIV: Chiefs vs. 49ers

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While the better matchup would have been for the Chiefs to go with their white-on-red road look and the 49ers to then use their equally fantastic red-on-gold kit, it was surely a non-starter for the team with the color choice (the AFC champion has first dibs in odd years) to defer home red in the reddest Super Bowl in history. But these teams’ second-best uniforms are better than many teams’ top kits, making for fine visuals in Miami.

 

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9. Super Bowl II: Raiders vs. Packers

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Although the Packers’ Lambeau Field greens receive more acclaim, their road whites are one of the best away-from-home uniforms in NFL history. The second AFL-NFL World Championship Game matching them up with the Raiders, who were just finding the uniform footing that would shape their identity for decades, took the yet-to-be-named Super Bowl a step forward. 

 

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8. Super Bowl XXII: Denver vs. Washington

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Favored going into this game, the Broncos gave up 35 points in the second quarter amid a string of late-1980s Super Bowl misfortune. But the uniforms John Elway donned for most of …