The Seattle Seahawks are well known for their bright neon lime green accents on their uniforms. The vibrant green color has become a trademark look for the Seahawks, helping them stand out from other NFL teams. But when did the Seahawks first start incorporating lime green into their uniforms and gear?
The Origins of Lime Green on the Seahawks Uniform
The Seahawks debuted their lime green uniform accents in 2009, when Nike took over as the NFL’s official uniform supplier. Nike designer Todd Van Horne decided to use neon green as a way to give the Seahawks a bold, eye-catching look.
However, this wasn’t the first time lime green showed up on Seahawks gear. According to Seahawks team president Peter McLoughlin, the original inspiration came from the Seahawks fans themselves:
“The fans got it started. We’ve always called them the ’12th man’ and we wanted to come up with something that symbolized that for the fans. They already started wearing lime green as a way to show their Seahawks spirit and we thought it would be a great accent color for the uniform.”
Seahawks fans are known for being some of the loudest and most dedicated fans in the league. They started wearing lime green in the early 2000s to stand out in the crowd. When Nike came on board as the new uniform designer, they took that fan initiative and ran with it.
The Meaning Behind Lime Green
So why lime green? For the Seahawks, the neon green represents the energy and passion of the 12th man fan base. McLoughlin said the goal was to create a uniform as loud and vibrant as their fans.
Beyond that, lime green has a distinct meaning in the Pacific Northwest. The lush evergreen forests that cover the region inspired the neon accent color. Lime green connects the Seahawks back to their environment and geographical roots.
First Appearances of Lime Green (2009)
The Seahawks debuted their new lime green uniforms in April 2009. The launch coincided with Nike taking over as the official supplier of NFL team uniforms after Reebok held that role for the previous decade.
During the initial uniform reveal, Seattle showcased three new jersey designs:
- Home navy blue jersey with lime green accents
- Away white jersey with lime green accents
- Alternate bright lime green jersey
The neon green could be spotted on the sleeves, side panels, numbering, and stitching of the home and away kits. The Seahawks ditched their old blue pants in favor of white pants and blue pants with lime green piping down the sides.
The alternate lime green jersey became an instant fan favorite. Dubbed the “green machine” look, it featured blue numbering and logos to offset the bright green background. This bold alternate kit brought a new energy and identity to the Seahawks uniform lineup.
Expanding the Use of Lime Green (2012-2014)
After the successful introduction of lime green in 2009, the Seahawks steadily expanded its use over the next few years:
- 2012 – The Seahawks wore their neon green alternate uniform for the first time during the regular season. They previously only wore them for preseason games. Fans loved the look, fueling demand for more green.
- 2012 playoffs – The Seahawks wore the green alternates during the playoffs, bringing national exposure to their eccentric uniforms. They wore green for the famous “Beast Quake” win over the Saints.
- 2013 – The green alternates became their go-to uniforms, worn for six regular season games. The Seahawks won the Super Bowl while wearing blue jerseys with lime green accents.
- 2014 – Lime green continues expanding, as the Seahawks debut neon green cleats, socks, and other accessories.
Following their Super Bowl victory, the Seahawks committed fully to their neon green branding. The color became vital to their Pacific Northwest identity. Fans clamored for as much lime green merchandise as Nike could produce.
The Infamous Lime Green Gloves
One of the most iconic lime green accessories came in week 7 of the 2014 NFL season. The Seahawks faced the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football, debuting new bright lime gloves. The gloves provided improved grip in rainy Seattle conditions.
However, the internet roasted the gloves for their obnoxiously loud appearance. Football fans compared the Seahawks’ hands to tennis balls, limes, and radioactive slime.
Despite the social media mockery, the Seahawks got the last laugh by crushing the Rams 37-18 in front of a primetime audience. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 313 yards and 2 touchdowns while sporting the meme-worthy neon accessories.
Small Changes in Recent Years
Although lime green remains a staple of the Seahawks uniform, they have dialed back its usage slightly in recent seasons:
- 2016 – The Seahawks debut an updated darker shade of blue for their home uniforms called “College Navy.” The new blue provides better contrast with the neon green accents.
- 2016 – The lime green alternate jersey becomes their official Color Rush uniform as part of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football promotion.
- 2020 – For the new Nike “Vapor Untouchable” uniforms, the Seahawks shift to “Action Green” – a slightly darker shade of neon green.
- 2021 – The Seahawks tweak their blue home uniforms again, this time lightening the blue back to a more familiar “Seahawks Blue” hue.
While these changes are relatively minor, they demonstrate how the Seahawks continue fine-tuning their uniforms. Over a decade since it first appeared, lime green remains a core component of the Seahawks’ look and brand.
The Future of Lime Green
Don’t expect the Seahawks to ditch the neon green anytime soon. Lime green jerseys and accessories remain top-sellers among fans. The team also credits the vibrant color for helping attract younger generations to become Seahawks supporters.
In 2016, then-CEO Peter McLoughlin said the lime green alternate uniform “kind of became the brand identity of the Seahawks.” Lime green merged seamlessly with the team’s rabid fan culture and success during the Legion of Boom era.
When asked if the Seahawks might ever drop lime green, McLoughlin replied “I don’t think we can go back. That horse has left the barn.”
The Seahawks organization has fully embraced the unorthodox lime green accents that once started as a fan fashion trend. After over a decade of neon dominance, lime green feels intrinsic to the Seahawks identity. Don’t expect Seattle’s “green machine” to slow down anytime soon.
The Seattle Seahawks began incorporating lime green accents into their uniforms in 2009 at the urging of Nike designers. However, the original inspiration came from Seahawks fans who started wearing lime green in the early 2000s to show team spirit. Lime green has become an integral part of the Seahawks look, representing the vibrant energy of the Pacific Northwest. Despite some minor tweaks over the years, neon green remains a staple of Seattle’s uniforms and merchandise.
|Year||Lime Green Uniform Milestone|
|Early 2000s||Seahawks fans start wearing lime green clothing to games|
|2009||Nike debuts new Seahawks uniforms with lime green accents|
|2012||Seahawks wear lime green alternates for first regular season game|
|2012||Seahawks wear lime green jerseys for “Beast Quake” playoff win over Saints|
|2013||Seahawks wear blue jerseys with neon green accents during Super Bowl winning season|
|2014||Seahawks expand lime green to accessories like cleats and gloves|
|2016||Lime green alternate becomes official “Color Rush” jersey|
|2020||Seahawks tweak shade of green to “Action Green”|
|Present||Lime green remains an integral part of the Seahawks uniform and brand identity|