The Indianapolis Colts are an NFL franchise established in 1953. Originally located in Baltimore, the team played as members in the All-American Football Conference before merging into the National Football League (NFL).
Just five years after their inception into the league, the team won the 1958 NFL championship – the first game ever to utilize the overtime rule. With friction brewing in Baltimore, the franchise struggled to perform and revenues were dwindling. After years of discussion, Colts ownership agreed to move the team to Indianapolis with a famous story in which moving trucks swept away any remains of the team from Baltimore in the middle of the night.
The Colts have found a place to call home in Lucas Oil Stadium, which currently seats about 67,000 fans. The Wild Horses have appeared in four Super Bowls, and emerged victorious in two – one in Baltimore and one in Indianapolis.
We decided to take look into the details of this town-changing team, and unraveled the transformation that occurred throughout their long history. Continue reading to see how the renowned Colts blue has been modified over time.
1953–1960: The Colts start out as a team based in Baltimore. The first logo depicts a bucking horse donning a football helmet while leaping through a field goal post. The team name is accented in blue with gray fill.
1961–1978: Drawing inspiration from the first logo, the Colts remove the intricate background and settle for a leaping horse accented in blue and white with the team’s helmet attached.
1979–1983: The Colts ditch the horse for a simple horseshoe logo.
1984–2001: The logo is carried over from the team’s time in Baltimore.
2002–Present: The team lightens the shade of blue, but keeps the same logo.
Indianapolis Colts 29” x 43” Glitter Suede House Vertical Flag
Notable Jersey Changes
1953: The team’s first jerseys take a simplistic route, sticking with a solid blue jersey and plain white numbers. The helmet was blue with a white horseshoe on the back.
1956: The Colts make small adjustments to the previous design and change things up with inverted helmet colors.
1958: Indy’s white away jersey features blue numbers on both the center of the jersey and the sleeves. Stripes move to the shoulder area, and a blue horseshoe is moved from the back of the helmet to the side – where it still rests today.
1968: The Colts lower the stripes around the shoulder area and shrink the sleeves down. Player numbers also now appear on the back of the helmet, which is still around today.
Riddell Indianapolis Colts Revolution Speed Full-Size Authentic Football Helmet
1969: The blue home jersey changes little from 1968 to 1969. The sleeves become longer and a patch is placed onto the left shoulder, celebrating the NFL’s 50th anniversary.
1970: The length of the sleeves shrinks slightly on the white jersey. The helmet design utilizes a smaller metal cage – adding extra protection for the players.
1984: Once again, the jerseys see little change, but an added horseshoe with the player number is placed on the pants. The team also adds a blue belt and some additional blue trim to the pants.
1988: The horseshoe on the pants is removed and the double-stripe design returns to provide consistency between the shoulders and pants.
1993: A patch on the left shoulder is added to celebrate the team’s 10th anniversary. The NFL shield is also added on the neckline of the jersey – following the footsteps of most teams.
1997: A horseshoe is placed on the left shoulder of the jersey to honor the passing of late owner Robert Irsay. His son, Jim, still manages the team.
2004: The Colts make minor adjustments, including darkening the shade of blue from royal to “speed” blue and adding white stripes to the socks.
Nike Indianapolis Colts Vapor Jet Light Speed Gloves
2010: The Colts wear 1955 throwback jerseys during the team’s 2010 preseason debut. The jersey features a dark royal blue color with matching helmets, and the horseshoe is placed on the back as tribute to the 1950s style.
2012: Following the NFL’s partnership with Nike, jerseys receive minor alterations to reflect a modernized feel with subtle nuances.
Looking Back to Look Forward
Traditionally, NFL teams tend to retire the jersey numbers of legendary players who have taken the field in their name. This trend lives on through the Colts, as a whopping eight jersey numbers have been put to rest since the team’s inception into the league. As the team progresses into future seasons, fans eagerly await what number will have the honor of being retired next. Possible candidates in the mix for retirement include No. 63 (Jeff Saturday) and No. 87 (Reggie Wayne) – both key players in securing the 2007 Super Bowl win and the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
No.18 – Peyton Manning
No. 19 – Johnny Unitas
No. 22 – Buddy Young
No. 24 – Lenny Moore
No. 70 – Art Donovan
No. 77 – Jim Parker
No. 82 – Raymond Berry
No. 89 – Gino Marchetti
Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts Nike Retired Player Game Jersey – Royal
As it appears, the future for the Colts seems to be shrouded in an optimistic light. With five of their eight home games already filled to capacity, the hype around the 2016 season has radiated throughout each player on the team. Needless to say, everyone is excited to see what’s in store for this historic franchise.
Do you bleed blue and white? Be a true Fanatic, and support #ColtsNation by rockin’ the latest fan gear to the next sold-out showdown!