SEEING RED: Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have one common ground — the color red.
Both teams sport red uniforms at times and they are more than a little similar. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, said, “They are exactly the same shade of Pantone red — 186C. There is really no distinction in the color, unless there is something someone sees on their screen because the way their computer is monitored or on their television set.”
As the home team — a first in the Super Bowl’s 55-year history — the Bucs have opted to wear their white jerseys with pewter-colored pants. The Chiefs will sport red uniforms, as was the case at last year’s Super Bowl, which they won.
Noting how the Bucs have opted to wear white jerseys with red numbers and lettering, Eiseman said one had to make a distinction. “If they were both wearing red, there would be mass confusion about who was on the right side.”
Both NFL teams favor “power red, which makes for a level playing field as far as color is concerned,” she said.
Curious about how the match-up will appear color wise on the screen, Eiseman said pure white is also perceived by the human eye as being a brilliant color. “It’s not that the white is diminished so much. It’s going to have the red numbers on it and their names as well. It’s not like one team is totally giving up on the red. But they had to make that distinction so that you could tell who is who on the playing field,” she said.
Research indicates that red can be physically invigorating, and the color is intrinsically understood as an aggressive and dynamic shade.
”I don’t think there is any place that you can go in the world that people don’t understand that inherent message of strength and power that red has,” Eiseman said. “It’s so much tied into our own ancient human history…it is tied into, for example, blood. The fact that it can be life empowering as blood is, at the same time it can say danger. If you lose too much blood, you’re in trouble. It’s interesting that that dichotomy exists. It’s a life force, but it’s also life threatening.”
Red’s connection to the human heart and romance will become more prominent in varying degrees with Valentine’s Day approaching. Eiseman said, “If you reduce red down to pink, it becomes a much softer, easier form of romance. There is that passion that is always intrinsically connected to red whether it’s sexual passion, or any kind of passion — passion for a cause.”
As for the idea that the greatest athletes have real heart in that they never give up, Eiseman said, “That’s true. These expressions and concepts that we have often come, because there is some basis of fact to it.”