The Sports Archives – How Did Player’s Names on Football Jerseys Come About?

Dingle and Berry Football PlayersHave you ever wondered how the idea of placing a player’s name on the back of a football jersey came about?  It is no stretch of the imagination to find out that television had something to do with it.

Evidently, in 1960 the Chicago White Sox‘s owner, Bill Veeck, was one of the first to suggest that player’s names be put on jerseys.  It allowed television fans to see the names of their favorite White Sox’s players even if people in the stadium could not. Having a player’s name on his jersey is a practice now standard by 25 of 30 clubs.

After this the American Football League picked up this idea and began putting player’s names on football jerseys.  The National Football League waited until 1970 to begin this practice.  College football trailed behind professional football leagues in placing names on the back of jerseys and some teams still don’t.

There is no NCAA regulation that requires college teams to have player’s names on the jerseys.  Some coaches believe it undermines the team’s spirit and cooperation.  Some want to keep the tradition of having no names on the jerseys alive for the sake of tradition; including Notre Dame, USC and Penn State.  There is also the financial aspect to consider if you are a small college on a tight budget.  If you are a small college that uses football uniforms year after year before replacement, you might not want to put names on the jerseys. Uniforms can be compromised after repeated adding and removing of names.

Football jerseys and team sportswear, have become a booming retail success story since the 1990s. At first people wore a jersey to show their passion for a particular NFL or college team.  Then young people, especially the Hip-Hop crowd, embraced the look.  Now people of all ages wear sport jerseys for casual and as a fashion statement.

Having favorite player’s names on football jerseys has become very popular with football fans.  Fans like to wear these jerseys to show their team pride.  Another new trend is putting your own name and number on a favorite football team jersey.  It fills that need of the individual who always dreamed of playing college or professional football.  Personalizing your football jersey with your name also gives you that one-of-a-kind, custom jersey.  There are many companies that provide personalized football jerseys for either professional or college teams.

About the author:  Jacklyn Owen is an avid writer on sports related topics.  Visit her website at

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1 Response to The Sports Archives – How Did Player’s Names on Football Jerseys Come About?

  1. Pingback: The Sports Archives – How do Sports Players Get Their Number? | The Sports Archives Blog

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