Could the 49ers be looking to replace their all-black alternate uniforms with a throwback ... of a throwback?


Niners Nation reported on Thursday that the San Francisco 49ers might be getting set to introduce a new alternate uniform for the upcoming season, possibly replacing the black alternates which debuted in 2015. Fan opinions of the all-black uniforms with red numbers have always been mixed with most feeling strongly one way or the other. The media has been particularly critical of the design due to how difficult it is to read player names and numbers – especially from the press box.

If true, a new (or old) design could be introduced to fans as early as Wednesday's State of the Franchise event.

There have been rumors circulating for some time now that the 49ers were working on a new alternate uniform design but details have been scarce outside of whispers and hearsay. It was unknown if the rumored project was an effort to improve upon the current configuration or something entirely different. It wasn't even known what season the team was targeting. NFL teams often spend multiple years working on and finalizing new uniform designs.

The discussion surrounding the possibility really gained steam when Niners Wire speculated that the 49ers' new duds could resemble the uniforms the team wore during most of the 1994 season, which also happened to be the last time San Francisco won a Super Bowl.

Chris Biderman noted the following banners hanging on Levi's Stadium's exterior, which promote the campaign slogan of "Faithful then, Faithful now" for the upcoming season.


Former 49ers greats Steve Young and Jerry Rice are depicted on one of the banners. The team could have chosen photos of the two players wearing the traditional and iconic classic uniforms (Young wore the classic uniform from 1987-94 while Rice wore it from 1985-94), which were the basis for San Francisco's current jersey design, but instead choose to depict the duo in their 1994 jerseys.

"Connecting the dots would indicate that's the direction San Francisco is going with alternates they could wear up to twice a year," Biderman wrote on Friday.

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports


The 1994 uniforms were actually throwbacks of the team's 1955 uniforms in celebration of the NFL's 75th anniversary. NFL teams wore throwbacks for a few games that season. San Francisco chose the 1955 design because it was one of the few uniforms in the team's history that truly distinguished itself from the others. The 49ers went on a nice little win streak while wearing those throwbacks, so head coach George Seifert and the team sought permission from the league to continue wearing them.

Again, at this point, this is all just speculation. The team could decide to go with something completely different, a tweak of its current alternate uniforms, or no change at all.

In February, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin asked fans their opinions on a mockup of an all-white alternate uniform, which shared a passing resemblance to the team's 1994 throwback away uniforms. Teammates like linebacker Eli Harold were fans of Goodwin's proposal.

We decided to ask fans which alternate uniform they would prefer. The black ones used for two games in each of the past three seasons (except last season when it was worn just once) or the throwback versions from 1994. On Twitter, two polls – one created by the official 49ers Webzone account and the other by writer Zain Naqvi – revealed that fans were overwhelmingly interested in seeing the return of the 1994/1955 version. 80 percent of the combined fans polled voted that they would prefer the throwbacks (as of this post).

We also asked fans to comment on which they would prefer on 49ers Webzone's official Facebook page. Again, the overwhelming preference was the 1994 duds.

Two polls just aren't enough, though. So below, you can find a third where you can vote on which alternate uniform you would prefer to occasionally see during the season.

Poll

  • Which uniform design would you prefer the 49ers use as an alternate?
  • Current all-black alternates w/ red numbers
  • 1994/1955 throwbacks
  • Something completely different