Fourteen months ago, the Los Angeles Rams released new branding and redesigned uniforms fit for a new football palace.
Now, they're prepared to welcome fans to their new home with a special jersey that very well could rocket up the charts as one of the sharpest in the NFL.
Los Angeles introduced its alternate top, which it termed the "modern throwback," on Tuesday:
Contradictory title aside, this jersey is gorgeous. The Rams turned back to their lengthy history of playing with horns on their sleeve caps -- an element that was notably missing from their redesign last year (more on that later) -- by returning the horns to the caps in a bold, but familiar fashion. This accomplishes the "throwback" portion of the name of the new jersey, while the elements first introduced in 2020 carry over to this jersey, checking the "modern" box in the process.
The jersey includes the same numbering typefont as the Rams' usual home and road jerseys, bringing with it a similar chest patch reading "RAMS" in blue lettering on a white background. Los Angeles' ram head logo also appears on the back-neck tag, which falls in line with the team's placement of its logos in the same location on its usual home and road tops. The same typefont carries over on the jersey's nameplates, as well, and based on promotional photos, it appears as if the jersey will only be paired with Los Angeles' Sol pants, keeping continuity with the uniform of which the Rams are intending to inspire memories.
You're probably wondering why a team with a typical colored home jersey and white road top is introducing a third jersey that is also white. Ah, if only it were that simple, grasshopper.
When the Rams redesigned their uniforms last year, they made waves with their color palette choice, which included Rams Blue, Sol (also known as yellow or gold, depending on your vernacular preference, and means "sun" in Spanish) and an interesting third shade -- bone.
Call it off-white if you will, but the Rams were very excited to debut what they saw as something that was certainly not just plain old off-white. The tone should remind fans of the color of an actual ram horn, or the sandy beaches of Los Angeles, the team said at the time. When lined up against white -- something that doesn't happen on a field, but does show up within the Rams' full uniform when the team pairs it with Bone pants that includes an actual white stripe down the side -- the difference in color becomes apparent.
It's unique, sure, and also creates an avenue for Los Angeles to wear legitimate white as an alternate. The choice in color harkens back to a uniform set worn by the team from 1973 through 1999, when the Rams carried their trademark blue and yellow scheme with them from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to Anaheim, and finally, to St. Louis.
During that span of time, the Rams wore the white top with blue ram horns on the yellow sleeves and paired it with their yellow pants featuring a blue-white-blue three-stripe pattern down the sides of the pants. They won Super Bowl XXXIV in these uniforms over the Tennessee Titans, and they'll be wearing their modern take -- the modern throwback -- on these uniforms against those very Titans in Week 9 this season. Los Angeles will also wear this alternate jersey in its season opener against the Chicago Bears, and in Week 10 at San Francisco, a meeting that will also feature the 49ers' red throwback jerseys, which were throwbacks when they were first introduced in 1994 as part of the league's 75-year anniversary celebration.
One of the most interesting elements in the Rams' usual road jersey is the presence of sleeve numbers, a dying detail in modern football uniforms, especially with sleeve real estate shrinking by the decade as players opt for more freedom at the expense of available material. Those are gone in the modern throwback, replaced by Los Angeles' trademark ram horns on the capped Sol sleeves, which falls in line with the style of the Rams' usual home jersey.
The new white top and Sol pants pairing might end up being Los Angeles' best look in a collection that offers plenty of variety. It will undoubtedly pop under both the Los Angeles sun and stadium lights, no matter where the Rams take the field. Before long, some might even see it as Los Angeles' best road option.
For now, though, it's an alternate, and one Rams fans will be able to see their team wear three times in the 2021 season.