Atlanta Falcons to have new uniforms for 2020 season

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It began with Madden 2004.

Falcons quarterback Michael Vick appeared on the cover of the popular NFL video game in his trademark form: scrambling while keeping his eyes downfield, looking for an open target. Something was different about Vick's appearance, though.

He was wearing a new uniform.

The Falcons welcomed the 2003 season with a fresh look, rolling out a new set of uniforms to herald the initial years of what promised to be a highly successful era with Vick at the controls. Their clothing matched their quarterback -- sleek, modern, aggressive and ready to strike for the game-changing play -- and they were a hit.

No. 7 Vick jerseys flew off the shelves across America, as the younger generation of football fans gravitated to the dual-threat, left-handed quarterback who could only be bested by his virtual counterpart. And while Vick wasn't long for Atlanta due to his off-field transgressions, the uniforms remained as the team's look through the next decade.

Their run is officially over. The Falcons announced Tuesday they will be debuting a new set of uniforms this April to mark the start of a new decade of football in Atlanta.

Atlanta has worn a variety of red-and-black (and for a period, a hint of gold) threads since the Falcons' inception in 1966, beginning with a red helmet and black jersey. The uniform gained continuity in 1971 with a red helmet, red jersey and white pants with red and black trim, a look that lasted until Jerry Glanville's arrival with a "back in black motto" and switch to black and grey uniforms in 1990.

The Falcons wore the black-dominant look in 1998, a season in which Atlanta stunned the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game en route to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIII. The style remained through Vick's first two seasons, which included an appearance in the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs in 2002. Then, it was time for the franchise to enter the new millennium with the set that remained through 2019.

Like other makeovers that took place in the first decade of the 2000s, Atlanta's grew stale over time, even after the team ditched its all-black jerseys for the red alternate top that became its primary in 2004. Atlanta sprinkled in throwback looks over the last eight seasons, replicating the franchise's first look and creating a faux-throwback later in the decade with a pairing of a black helmet and black jersey, but neither fully replaced the set debuted in 2003. With the Falcons playing in a recently opened stadium and well overdue for a look that matches the conventions of the new decade, their upcoming release will be highly anticipated by the uniform community.

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