Like everything else, Patriots Day looks different this year. The Boston Marathon has been postponed and Patriots players are reporting to work virtually instead of heading back to Gillette Stadium.
Despite this, the Patriots managed to give a gift on the holiday that shares its name.
The Patriots unveiled the team's new uniforms Monday morning, the first change to the primary uniform in 20 years. What was previously known as the Patriots alternate uniform has been promoted to the team's home primary, and an entirely new version has been unveiled for away games.
The switch is a step to modernize the Patriots look, a process that started more than two years ago.
The blue-on-blue home uniforms made their debut in 2016 under the NFL’s “Color Rush” campaign, and while the league discontinued "Color Rush" before the 2018 season, the uniforms lived on as the team's alternate uniform through 2019.
Starting this season, the 2020 blue home uniforms are mostly identical to the "Color Rush" uniforms, with small tweaks made to the fonts on both the numbers and nameplates and red, white, and blue color-blocked socks making their debut. The navy-on-navy combination is then complete with bold red and white stripes on the pants and the sleeves, where the Patriots' "Flying Elvis" logo is featured prominently.
While the home uniform is largely the same as the "Color Rush" design, the Patriots will have an entirely new look for away trips. The white road jerseys have gotten a fresh upgrade to match their blue siblings.
The blue pants will remain the same for both uniforms, but the away jersey is now complementary to the home with strong red and blue stripes on the shoulders and blue numbers outlined in silver and red.
When the "Color Rush" uniforms debuted, they received a warm reception from players, fans and within the organization, and with the Patriots having a 6-1 record while wearing them, it sparked the discussion to promote them to the team's primary look.
With the league only allowing changes to uniforms every five years, conversations to change began in 2018. Jen Ferron, the CMO of Kraft Sports and Entertainment, said when it came to updating the team's uniform, there was no need to reinvent the wheel.
"As we started to think about the 2020 season and a new decade, we began to envision what we wanted our uniforms to reflect," Ferron said. "The success of the 'Color Rush' uniform that we've worn for the past couple of years had us thinking that we didn't need to make real substantive changes, rather we could make modest changes to our home uniform and then use a complementary version with those same aesthetics for our away uniform."
The look for the initial "Color Rush" uniform was inspired, in part, by the uniforms of Patriots past. The strong, bold stripes on the sleeves are a nod to the red throwback uniforms. In a teaser on Friday, the Patriots shared a video with a cryptic clue about the uniform reveal: "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue."
With the alternate uniforms now becoming permanent, the new road uniforms, the stripes, and of course, lots of blue, the reveal fits neatly into the well-known rhyme.
Several other NFL teams changed their uniforms ahead of the 2020 season, and while there was speculation that the Patriots change might revive the popular red uniforms of previous decades, a current NFL uniform rule makes it impossible to wear the red throwbacks while respecting the integrity of that uniform.
NFL rules state that teams can only use one helmet for the season, and silver helmets have come to represent the modern era of the New England Patriots. A silver helmet with the "Flying Elvis" logo just doesn't work with the red uniforms, which, of course, feature a white helmet with the iconic "Pat Patriot" logo.
Ferron did leave the door open that, if the NFL ever changed the rule to allow more than one helmet per season, the red uniforms could certainly make a comeback as the team's alternate.
"Our primary uniforms in the modern era have been blue and white and they will remain so," Ferron said. "We recognize that fans also have an affinity for the red 'throwback' uniform and we hope to incorporate that into our uniform rotation in the future."
In the meantime, there are two additional jersey styles that can be added to your own rotation of Patriots gear. Check out the Patriots ProShop website to get yours now.
Blue on blue at home and an all new away uniform. Check out the Patriots 2020 uniforms and order yours at proshop.patriots.com.