Super Bowl

Why Teams in White Super Bowl Jerseys Hold an Advantage

If history is any indication, the Rams hold an advantage in Super Bowl LVI

USA TODAY Sports

What colors come to mind when you think about the Super Bowl?

The silver shine of the Lombardi Trophy. The bright splash of a Gatorade bath. The shower of confetti that matches the winning team’s scheme.

While those elements add to the overall look of the Super Bowl, one understated color has an underrated impact on the game: white.

All 55 Super Bowls have featured one team wearing a white jersey and one team wearing a jersey of a different color. Sifting through the course of history, the team wearing white went on to become champions surprisingly often.

The Los Angeles Rams will be wearing white as the "road team" in the 2022 Super Bowl.

Is that just a coincidence, and does history influence what color a team chooses to wear in the game? Let’s examine the Super Bowl’s true colors:

How do teams choose their uniforms for the Super Bowl?

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Even though the Super Bowl is scheduled at a neutral site, there are still “home” and “away” teams.

The “home” team alternates between conferences each year and gets to choose its uniforms, leaving the “away” team to settle on a contrasting jersey. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the home team in Super Bowl 55 – both figuratively and literally since the game was played at their home stadium, Raymond James Stadium – and chose to wear white jerseys with pewter pants against the Kansas City Chiefs, who wore red jerseys with white pants.

For the most part, NFL teams wear a darker jersey at home while road teams wear a white one. When it comes to the Super Bowl, the record suggests that a white jersey is the way to go.

How many Super Bowl winners have worn white?

Through 55 editions of the Super Bowl, the team that wore white jerseys lifted the Lombardi Trophy a resounding 35 times.

It was mostly an insignificant factor through the first four decades of the Super Bowl, but teams wearing white started a staggering stretch beginning with Super Bowl XXXIX. 

The New England Patriots’ win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 6, 2005, kicked off a six-game winning streak for teams wearing white. The Green Bay Packers bucked the trend in Super Bowl XLV with a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers before teams in white jerseys strung together another six-game winning streak from 2012 to 2017 

That streak came to a halt when the Eagles got revenge on the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. White-jersey teams and other-color-jersey teams have alternated as champions since that game.

Here are the 35 Super Bowls where teams in white jerseys came out on top:

II: Packers 33, Raiders 14

III: Jets 16, Colts 7

V: Colts 16, Cowboys 13

VI: Cowboys 24, Dolphins 3

VII: Dolphins 14, Washington 7

IX: Steelers 16, Vikings 6

XI: Raiders 32, Vikings 14

XII: Cowboys 27, Broncos 10

XV: Raiders 27, Eagles 10

XVI: 49ers 26, Bengals 21

XVII: Washington 27, Dolphins 17

XX: Bears 46, Patriots 10

XXII: Washington 42, Broncos 10

XXIV: 49ers 55, Broncos 10

XXVI: Washington 37, Bills 24

XXVII: Cowboys 52, Bills 17

XXVIII: Cowboys 30, Bills 13

XXX: Cowboys 27, Steelers 17

XXXIII: Broncos 34, Falcons 19

XXXIV: Rams 23, Titans 16

XXXV: Ravens 34, Giants 7

XXXIX: Patriots 24, Eagles 21

XL: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10

XLI: Colts 29, Bears 17

XLII: Giants 17, Patriots 14

XLIII: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23

XLIV: Saints 31, Colts 17

XLVI: Giants 21, Patriots 17

XLVII: Ravens 34, 49ers 31

XLVIII: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8

XLIX: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24

50: Broncos 24, Panthers 10

LI: Patriots 34, Falcons 28 (OT)

LIII: Patriots 13, Rams 3

LV: Buccaneers 31, Chiefs 9

How many teams have won the Super Bowl wearing non-white jerseys?

Only 20 Super Bowl winners wore non-white jerseys.

The longest stretch of non-white-jersey winners came from 2002 through 2004. The Patriots won Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII in navy blue, while the Bucs won Super Bowl XXXVII in their traditional home uniforms.

Since then, only three squads have won the Super Bowl while wearing a colorful jersey: the Packers (XLV), Eagles (LII) and Kansas City Chiefs (LIV).

Here is a full look at the 20 winners:

I: Packers 35, Chiefs 10

IV: Chiefs 23, Vikings 7

VIII: Dolphins 24, Vikings 7

X: Steelers 21, Cowboys 17

XIII: Steelers 35, Cowboys 31

XIV: Steelers 31, Rams 19

XVIII: Raiders 38, Washington 9

XIX: 49ers 38, Dolphins 16

XXI: Giants 39, Broncos 20

XXIII: 49ers 20, Bengals 16

XXV: Giants 20, Bills 19

XXIX: 49ers 49, Chargers 26

XXXI: Packers 35, Patriots 21

XXXII: Broncos 31, Packers 24

XXXVI: Patriots 20, Rams 17

XXXVII: Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21

XXXVIII: Patriots 32, Panthers 29

XLV: Packers 31, Steelers 25

LII: Eagles 41, Patriots 33

LIV: Chiefs 31, 49ers 20

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