The New York Jets will kick off the Monday Night Football schedule tonight by wearing their 1980s throwback “Sack Exchange” white uniforms against the Buffalo Bills.
The uniforms, which were originally worn from 1978-89, include a white jersey with two green stripes on the sleeves, contrasting green collar and green numbers, as well as white pants with a single green stripe down the sides and solid green socks.
They’ll be paired with the Jets’ standard Gotham green helmet, though they’ll swap the black facemask and their current logo for a white facemask and the retro “JETS” wordmark, which is italicized and features a jet extending from the “J.”
This marks the second throwback design for the Jets, who wore New York Titans uniforms at least twice every season from 2007-09, including a home and road version in 2009 as part of the AFL’s 50th anniversary season, as well as once in 2011.
Tonight’s throwback uniforms pay homage to one of the most disruptive defensive lines in NFL history, which notably featured ends Mark Gastineau and Joe Klecko and tackles Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam. The four earned the nickname of the “New York Sack Exchange” after they were unofficially credited with a league-leading 66 sacks in 1981, which led the NFL to establish sacks as an official statistic the following season.
The moniker was initially selected as part of a preseason fan contest held by a team magazine, but it officially stuck once Gastineau, Klecko, Lyons and Salaam were invited to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange later that year.
In addition to the throwback uniforms, the Jets will paint their retro logo on the 50-yard line at MetLife Stadium, which no longer features the NFL shield at midfield; they’ll also have throwback endzone designs and vintage wall wrap.
The Jets will wear these throwback uniforms again on October 1st against the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. Their black alternate uniforms will come out on November 24th against Miami.