Why the Calgary Stampeders’ new uniforms are awesome & should be worn beyond 2021

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

It’s been just days since the CFL announced that a shortened 2021 season will begin August 5, and we already have our first uniform reveal of the year courtesy of the Calgary Stampeders.

More than 14 months after the first teaser back in March 2020, we finally get a look at what the Stamps will be wearing on the field for a surprising six of their seven home games this season.

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

Overall, this uniform is a definite winner. While certainly retro-inspired, this 75th anniversary uniform offers an immediate upgrade over everything else the Stamps have in their current wardrobe.

Yes, they’re even better than the very popular black ‘outlaw’ uniforms the Stamps have been wearing since 2014. Those uniforms are overrated, and I’d be happy to see them retired (come at me, Stamps fans).

Alas, I’m assuming the one home game the Stamps won’t wear the new 75th anniversary uniforms will be the Labour Day matchup against the Edmonton Elks, at which they’ll likely
dust-off the ‘outlaw’ uniforms. Sigh.

Screenshot courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

To put it simply, there isn’t anything I dislike about this uniform. The striping across the shoulders may not be to everyone’s taste, but I like it. It’s unique, which, given that the CFL has had several of its nine team wearing the same uniform template for a number of years, is worth more than you might initially realize.

The jersey is consistent with the style of the team from late 40s and early 50s — including their only undefeated season, culminating in a 1948 Grey Cup championship — and the retro Stampeders logo on the sleeves is also a classic nod to the team.

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

Happily, the team has also released photos that include the uniform’s pants and socks, and they are also winners. No helmets have been shown by the team but as @OttRedandBlack points out, we have likely already seen the helmet the team will wear.

Contrasting the red jersey are white pants with a simple double red stripe, and the look is balanced with red socks. The pants are great, and before anyone comments on it: yes, these pants are a red version of the Riders’ throwback pants. But those are just a green version of the Indianapolis Colts’ pants. It’s a common pant design in football, and it works great.

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

I’ve saved the best point for last: this uniform has completely eliminated the colour black.

Playing in a league with a team called the ‘Redblacks’ means that red and black should be fully left to the Rouge et Noir. Ottawa wore black first and has always worn it better. The Stamps should embrace red and white and claim it as their unique look in the CFL.

I, as well as most uniform-conscious fans, have found games between the Stampeders and Redblacks to be nightmarish over the years with both teams wearing roughly the same amount of black, red, and white. The Stamps have gotten it right by sticking to a simple two-colour look with these new uniforms.

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

If the Stampeders really want to embrace a third element to their colour scheme it should be silver. These retro uniforms the team wore in 2010 and 2011 are still the best uniform in the club’s history, hands down.

Overall, these retro uniforms are a major success for the Stampeders. I’m certainly hoping that this uniform — or better yet, the red and silver beauties from ten years ago — become the basis for the team’s full-time home and away uniforms in 2022 and beyond.

Moving back to a focus on black would be an even bigger blunder than losing the 2016 Grey Cup in overtime to Ottawa (ouch).

Tim Hodge thinks about uniforms way too much. He’s the co-host of The BlueBomberTalk Podcast, a lifelong CFL fan, and father of twins affectionately referred to as "the Growds." Follow him at @CFLUniMonitor.