With the uncertainty heading into the 2020 season, I’ve made it a personal mission to continue looking back on the CFL and its great history. Whether that be watching classic highlights and games, looking up stats of former players, or in this case — seeing the history and progression of the Saskatchewan Roughriders uniforms.
Nowadays, uniforms are constantly being changed and tinkered with as there’s plenty of money to be made from new merchandise sales. The CFL is not exempt from this, undergoing league-wide changes in 2005, 2012, 2016, and 2019. That’s not including the various third jerseys released such as the CFL Retro uniforms from 2009–2012 and the 2014 “Signature” uniforms the league unveiled.
I’ve always been fascinated by sports uniforms. Everything from the origins of them to how they are perceived throughout time is, well, cool to me. The following list is purely my opinion and is open to discussion or debate. Without further ado, I present the top five Saskatchewan Roughriders uniforms.
5: CFL Signature Uniforms 2014–2015
These uniforms took many by surprise with the introduction of “blitz green” but in retrospect that was the idea behind the CFL “Signature” uniforms. And let’s be honest, the Riders could’ve ended up with the Bombers camouflage look that went over like a lead balloon.
While still highly debated, these uniforms pushed far enough outside of everyone’s comfort zone to make them worthy of discussion but not so far that fans wanted them shot into the Sun.
4: All-Black Alternate 2002–2006
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These Saskatchewan Roughriders uniforms have received mixed reviews over the years. The all-black set was a sharp departure from the classic green and white Rider fans were used to seeing. However, there are pockets of fans (including me) that would love to see these make a return. The comment section in the above Saskatchewan Roughriders photo of Reggie Hunt says it all.
3: All-White Road Uniforms 2012–2015
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This one caught me off-guard when it was first released. However, this combo with the white helmets was such a clean look. The only change I would have made would have been a white facemask to go with the rest of the uniform. Saskatchewan tried mixing it up and wearing the white helmet at home with their green jersey but it never meshed. This look was retired in 2016 when the Riders shifted back to green helmets full time.
2: Current Home Uniform 2016–Present
There are a number of those who don’t like the “dill pickle” look of the all-green set. However, what sets these uniforms apart is the proper lack of piping and stripes that really held the 2005–2011 and 2012–2015 home uniforms back. Here the Roughriders scaled back the extras and let the green and white do the talking.
1: The Retro Uniforms 1970–1984 (Primary) and 2007–Present (Third Jersey)
This is the obvious choice for the number one uniform in the history of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Many CFL fans in general, let alone Rider fans, have been clamouring for Saskatchewan to make these their primary set. The away set looks just as good, the Riders wore these in the 2010 West Final.
Perhaps it’s because they are such a treat the Roughriders reserve the use of them to special games like the Labour Day Classic or playoff games. Nevertheless, I’m not alone in saying the Riders could benefit donning these full-time.
If you look good, you feel good
What are some of your favourite Saskatchewan Roughriders uniforms? Do you hope for a day where they bring back the retro uniforms full-time? Or would you prefer they keep moving forward with more innovative and risky looks like the signature uniform? Let’s chat about it!
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