Dolphins throwback jerseys: Out with the new, in with the old?

 

Lisa Johnson
Senior NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

In April, the Miami Dolphins released their full 2019 NFL schedule. Then in May, came the news many Dolphins fans were waiting for. Tom Garfinkel, CEO of the Miami Dolphins announced via Twitter and Instagram that the Dolphins will sport their very popular throwbacks.  He chose the September 15th home game.

At first, I thought it would be great to wear those against the defending Super Bowl champs, and the always a thorn in our side, New England Patriots. But as quickly as that thought came, it went. Was this a good idea?

Recently, the throwbacks started to gain some momentum. Then I remembered an excellent article my good friend Brian Miller of Fansided wrote on this subject. Brian had some excellent points that were pro-throwback, but mostly pro old logo. But to be frank, it’s just that everyone loves them!!  Even wide receiver Kenny Stills posted to his Twitter saying he wanted to make these permanent.

Which lead me to ask, why does everyone love them? What is it that pulls fans to the old jersey? I decided to go to the source and ask some long term, older fans. The fans that have been there since the beginning.

It starts back in 1972. You won’t find many true Dolphins fans, young or old, that don’t know the significance of that year. At that time team colors were listed as teal and coral.  It also had that signature slim Dolphins logo, though it was slightly altered throughout the ’70s and ’80s.

I asked everyone the following questions:

1. When you first saw the Dolphins wearing their throwbacks, what were your first thoughts?  2. Do you like the thought of bringing the throwbacks back permanently or could you care less about what the team wears?

Chris Shashaty of Phin.com @PhinsChris:  Chris is a long time Dolphins fans and sports guy.  When asked about the first time seeing them? He thought it was a brilliant adaptation of the team’s winning heritage to modern fabrics, cuts, and design. They may be the best Dolphin uniforms he’d ever seen. And in regards to keeping them permanent? He loves the idea of adopting them as the team’s primary uniforms. They’re that good. Spoken like a true longtime Dolphins fan. He wasn’t the only longtime fan that answered this way.

Barrie @Mar13ino pretty much said she preferred the older logo and throwbacks because of the history of the team and that it represents the team better.  She also adds that the new logo and uniforms just never felt right to her.

Bleed Aqua n Orange @defibl8  replied that there was no question needed. Old logo and throwbacks all day long. Saying that the past culture, the feel, the heart, and the grit the players seemed to have when wearing them. Not wearing them feels like they’ve lost a part of history.

HenryO @henry_oz said he actually liked both new and old. He felt the colors were a nice upgrade. He also admitted he has owned a jersey from every era. Henry seems like he is a true fan that adapts to every situation and changes the Dolphins make. Thank you, Henry, for participating.

Many of the longtime Dolphins fans seem like they want that of part history back.  It was a magic feeling here in Miami then.   Then I started thinking about how I can relate to these fans. I was a part of that history, so I get it.  Yet, then I thought, what about the fans that were not? Fans that don’t have a deep connection to the past like some of us do.  I reached out to some younger fans.

I knew the perfect person to ask, my partner in crime Luis D. Sung @LuisDSung, owner of the fan site PhinManiacs.com. Luis and I have sat many times together in the press box watching the Dolphins, doing our sports writing thing. And trust me, many times I have brought up the later 70’s and 80’s Dolphins.

Luis just lets me ramble on and then says, “You know I was like a baby during those times.”  I always seem to forget not all fans remember those glory days, or were even born then!!

When I asked Luis about his first impression of the throwbacks, he had this to say:

“I  thought overall that the throwbacks were an excellent change of pace, I appreciated the increased emphasis on the orange and the overall darker green color scheme as opposed to the bright aqua we had up until recently. The throwbacks are certainly easy on the eyes and they remind the fan base of a time when the Miami Dolphins were on top of the world.”

When I asked him about how he felt about the Dolphins bringing them back, this was his response:

“I wouldn’t say I care less about what the team wears, no one wants a repeat of those color rush jerseys that made certain teams look like a Christmas tree…or in Miami’s case, the word “creamsicle” was used a lot. That said, what the team considers to be their routine uniform doesn’t exactly fill me with passion or rage one way or the other.”

” I can understand why people want the throwbacks to be the new permanent design, but it doesn’t personally fill me with nostalgia as I didn’t become a fan until the team was wearing what’s considered one of the “worst” designs in team history. I won’t lose sleep over it, and I won’t jump for joy either.”

After speaking with a good mix of fans, I have come to the conclusion that the older fans, like myself, seem more emotional about the throwbacks, simply because of the history. The younger crowd seem to like changes once a year or so.

As far as making them permanent, I don’t want that. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but the history and the emotion of those glory days bring a charge to the team. Wearing them in very important games means something.  By not wearing them in all 16 games keeps them special. It’s a game where the lifetime fanbase can immerse themselves into the past. It keeps the memories of those years of greatness fresh and exciting.

That’s something I don’t want to see lost.

 

Talk Dolphins with Lisa on Twitter @LJ1303

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