Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Northeastern Huskies (1982-86)

During its 77 years of football, Northeastern could never settle on a color combination. Red and white, red and black, black and silver, red and silver, black and white ... Every few years, the Huskies would inevitably change their look. The only constant was the black helmets, and those featured a new logo every few years.

After wearing red jerseys from the late 1960s through 1981, Northeastern donned black shirts with silver pants for the rest of the decade, kind of like the "Dirty Birds" Atlanta Falcons of the 90s. The Huskies first unveiled this look in 1982, but didn't use a compatible road uniform that year; the roads were identical from previous seasons, right down to the jersey names (the home blacks had no names) and white pants. Some schools (Maine made an art out of this) would wait a season to change to matching the road jerseys, presumably for financial reasons, but the Huskies decided to keep the old road pants, as well. At least the socks were consistent; as the decade went on, lower-cut socks became more prominent.

Northeastern schedules from 1984 (top) and 1987 (above).

The 77 for the uniform graphic isn't for the lifespan of the Huskies' program; it was the number worn by Sean "Spider" Jones, who went on to a 12-year NFL career with the Los Angeles Raiders, Houston Oilers (talk about the football graveyard) and Green Bay Packers. He made a pair of Pro Bowls and ended his career on the highest note possible -- a Super Bowl victory in January 1997. 

Sean Jones in 1984, from the '85 Cauldron yearbook. The caption
proved prophetic, but did that "Spider" nickname follow him to the NFL?

Jones' final game was a memorable one, with a Super Bowl victory
over the Patriots. This photo (from an eBay listing) actually brings back sad memories for me ...

Starting in 1987, Northeastern used plain black helmets -- no logo, no stripes, no nuttin' -- for the next few years before a monochrome uniform with the "paw" helmet was introduced in the early 90s.

Next up: A trip to Vermont.

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