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Eddie DeBartolo Jr.'s forgotten 49ers uniform gaffe

Eddie DeBartolo Jr. will be enshrined for all eternity into the Hall of Fame this summer. This year marks the 25th anniversary of a mistake made by the much revered owner.

Eddie DeBartolo's time as the owner of the 49ers is looked at as the Golden Era, the time when the franchise became a dynasty. DeBartolo will be recognized this summer for his remarkable time with the team as he is inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo is adored by 49ers Faithful but he wasn't perfect, and there's one, mostly forgotten mistake that I'm sure he wished he didn't make.

Paul Lukas is ESPN's resident uniform expert and his article commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the "almost logo" is a fun read. The new design was met with such discontent from fans that only six days after it's unveiling, it was canceled. Since this was well before social media, let alone the internet, fans took to the phone lines to express their feelings. Head quarters was inundated with angry calls voicing their displeasure with the logo change. Only one caller actually expressed feelings of approval.

This happened in 1991, when the Raiders were still in Los Angeles and DeBartolo wanted to take the emphasis off of San Francisco and put it on the 49ers, as the Bay Area team. It was in the middle of the era when the team could do no wrong, Joe Montana and Steve Young were both on the team and the franchise was between their 4th and 5th Super Bowl wins.

If this were to happen in the current era, the aftermath would be staggering. As Lukas' article states, new logo and uniform launches are such events now, that they are ultimately irreversible. So much is produced before an actual launch that there is no turning back. If fan reaction to the black uniforms was comparable to the logo of 1991 it wouldn't have mattered because so many had already been produced for retail.

Stevens Wright, the artist who created the 1991 logo that never was, still has a logo used in the NFL. It is the one you see on the helmets of the Buffalo Bills.