Color of Patriots Super Bowl jerseys
When the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers made the Super Bowl as a wild-card team, they made an unusual request to the NFL.
It was the AFC's year to wear the home -- i.e., dark-colored -- jerseys. But since the Steelers had worn white during their three road wins to get to the big game, they asked if they could wear white. The NFL agreed. And, if you believe in this sort of thing, it paid off: Pittsburgh beat the Seahawks and won the championship.
But maybe it was the color and not the karma. That was the second straight year the team wearing white won the Super Bowl. Since then, nearly every team that's won the Super Bowl has been wearing white. The only team to break the trend in the last 13 seasons was the 2010 Packers, who beat the Steelers while wearing their home green.
Maybe that went into the Patriots' thinking. Or maybe it's because their only two Super Bowl losses in the Bill Belichick Era came when they were wearing blue. But in any case, the Pats have been given permission to wear white in this year's Super Bowl against the Eagles, even though it's the AFC's year to wear their home uniforms.
Here's a look at the what colors the Pats have been in during their nine Super Bowl appearances.
1985: BEARS 46, PATRIOTS 10
The only appearance of the old Pat Patriot uniforms in the Super Bowl. The less said, the better.
Final record in red: 0-1
1996: PACKERS 35, PATRIOTS 21
The Pats' only Super Bowl loss in white came in Bill Parcells' last game as their coach. They had ditched Pat Patriot but the uniform hadn't evolved to what it is today: The Flying Elvis was an oversized logo that spilled over the shoulder pads. This would change before they came out again in white on football's biggest stage
Record in white after this game: 0-1
2001: PATRIOTS 20, RAMS 17
The beginning of the dynasty, and the first championship of the Belichick Era. The royal blue fit perfectly on what proved to be a perfect night for the Pats.
Record in blue after this game: 1-0
2003: PATRIOTS 32, PANTHERS 29
What was expected to be an easy win over the Cinderella Panthers turned into the biggest Super Bowl rock fight the Patriots have ever had. ("Most physical game I ever played in," Rodney Harrison -- who suffered a broken arm in the fourth quarter -- insists to this day.) But Adam Vinatieri's second straight last-second field goal brought home another Lombardi Trophy,
Record in blue after this game: 2-0
2004: PATRIOTS 24, EAGLES 21
The Eagles' curious time management as the game wound down -- they didn't go into their hurry-up offense despite trailing by 10 with about five minutes to go, prompting a befuddled Belichick to ask his assistants, "The scoreboard's right, isn't it? We're up by 10, right?" -- helped the Pats win in white for the first time, and become the second team in history to win three Super Bowls in four years.
Record in white after this game: 1-1
2007: GIANTS 17, PATRIOTS 14
If you believe in karma over color -- or just karma in general -- then this game, and the catch you're looking at, should have been enough to swear the Patriots off blue jerseys forever.
Record in blue after this game: 2-1
2011: GIANTS 21, PATRIOTS 17
And to drill that point home, the next appearance was deja vu: Another last-minute loss to the Giants wearing blue.
Record in blue after this game: 2-2
2014: PATRIOTS 28, SEAHAWKS 24
But the karma changed 180 degrees in the next one . . . and they were wearing white. Question is, was it that, or Malcolm Butler, that flipped it?
Record in white after this game: 2-1
2016: PATRIOTS 34, FALCONS 28 (O.T.)
The Pats' minds about which uniform to wear were probably made up after this one. When you make the greatest comeback in football history wearing white, well, it's like they say: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So they'll see you in their road whites on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.
Record in white after this game: 3-1