When the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots come running out of the tunnel for Super Bowl XLIX, they will have familiar logos and nicknames adorned on the sides of their helmets and across their chests. The designations go almost unnoticed unless there is change, making them mundane to the eye.
But how did the Patriots and Seahawks get their names and logos? What went into the making of the franchises?
For New England, it began as a charter member of the American Football League in 1960. The Patriots were named by the public, after the organization ran a contest through local media. Ultimately, 74 fans wrote in "Patriots" and won the vote, per the team's official website. New England was originally named the Boston Patriots and had a revolutionary soldier's hat with the uniform number above it on the uniform. The look only lasted one year until the team went to its famous "Pat Patriot" logo.
The famous image of the patriot hiking a football was created by Phil Bissell, a Boston Globe cartoonist who sketched the idea and ran it in the newspaper. Founder Billy Sullivan loved it and chose to make it the team's official logo, giving Bissell $100 for his contributions, per USA Today.
The angry patriot stayed on the white helmets until the 1993 season. Immediately before owner Robert Kraft took over the team, New England went through a radical uniform change. The Patriots made the helmets silver and began using the "Flying Elvis" logo, also putting the new badge in big print on the sleeves, and then the shoulders. The logo is actually representing a Minuteman, a historical figure from the 1700s. The pants also went from red/white to silver/blue, changing to a darker shade of blue in 2000 along with the rest of the uniform.
For the Seahawks, the name came about in the same manner. With the team slated to become a reality in 1976, the ownership had a public contest and received over 1,700 suggestions, ultimately settling with Clark McMillan's idea of "Seahawks."
The uniform originally was fairly plain. Seattle had white numerals, blue jerseys (white on road), gray pants and blue and green striping. The logo is not actually a Seahawk, but an Osprey colored with blue and green streaks. The uniforms remained mostly the same until 2002, with the only notable exception being the sleeves. Throughout the 1980s, the sleeves had the Seahawks logo in the striping, something added prior to the 1983 season.
In 2002, Seattle underwent an overhaul by drenching the uniform in dark blue. The helmet went blue, along with the jersey, pants and socks. There was also lime green striping added. Later, a lime green alternate jersey was created as well. The uniforms became more radical in 2012, when Nike decided to revamp the Seahawks' look once again. Wild striping was added down the pants, along with a font change on the numbers and striping along the shoulders.