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‘C’ Section: The Raiders’ Odd Captaincy Patch Situation

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The Raiders wore their gorgeous Color Rush throwbacks last Thursday night. But as reader Kevin Werther noticed, there were some inconsistencies in their captaincy patches, with some players wearing the black “C” and other players wearing silver (shown above).

That seemed odd. So I looked at photos from a recent game in which they wore their primary white jerseys — Nov. 27 in Seattle — and found the same issue:

Hmmm. So then I looked at photos of their most recent home game — Dec. 4 against the Chargers — and, sure enough, found the same issue:

Let’s stop here and make a few observations. First, I was surprised to see the Raiders using white captaincy patches, especially on their black jerseys. I had recalled them using black patches. And second, after looking at a bunch of photos, it appeared that only two players were wearing the black “C”: quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Davante Adams:

Carr’s situation is a head-scratcher. As a longtime captain, he really should have a gold “C” with gold stars, which is what a player gets to wear after his fourth year of captaincy.

Adams’s situation is also puzzling, because he’s wearing four stars even though this is his first season with the Raiders, so he should have just one star. But teams have been deviating from that protocol for a while now, often giving multiple stars to newly acquired veteran players, so I guess it’s not so surprising, even if it’s confusing.

With all that in mind, my next step was to look at photos from last season, beginning with the home black jersey. As I suspected, they had black patches last year. Moreover, Carr had the gold treatment, while everyone else had the silver “C”:

Then I looked at the primary white jerseys from last year. Same thing — black patches, gold for Carr, silver for everyone else:

Finally, I looked up how they handled the Color Rush throwbacks last season. Turns out it was the same as this season: white patches with a black “C” for Carr (Adams wasn’t yet on the team), silver for everyone else:

So it appears that the Raiders decided to make several changes to their captaincy patches this season:

  1. They changed the patches on the primary jerseys from black to white, to match the Color Rush patches.
  2. They decided that Carr’s long-term captaincy would be represented by a black “C” and black stars, instead of gold. (I can see how black might feel more Raiders-y, although it’s definitely less Vegas-y.)
  3. For some reason they also gave the black “C” to Adams.

I didn’t note any of this in my NFL Season Preview because the Raiders didn’t wear captaincy patches during the preseason. Obviously, I wish I had noticed the changes sooner, but I don’t think I’ve seen a single down of Raiders football this year. Big thanks to Kevin Werther for spotting it in last Thursday’s game and sending me down this fun rabbit hole!

Comments (24)

    Do years as a captain not carry over/accumulate between franchises? The reason I ask is that there are others across the league (for instance Russell Wilson with the Broncos) who are in their first year as a captain with their new team but have corrected patches if you count their accumulated years as a team captain

    Do years as a captain not carry over/accumulate between franchises?

    They’re not supposed to, or at least that was the original idea. The stars were supposed to reflect how many years you’d been captain *for that team.*

    So, for example, when Brett Favre left the Packers and joined the Jets, he had only one gold star:

    But as I noted in today’s blog post, teams have been deviating from that protocol for years now.

    I always find instances like this so interesting, particularly within a league that, at times, can be so critical of discrepancies or deviations from what they wish.

    Solely judging by the pictures in the post, it seems like the 4-star captains get black C’s (otherwise gold on other teams), and other captains get silver. Are there any 3-star Raider captains to keep an eye on who currently wear a silver C that would get promoted to Black (Gold) next year?

    So glad my little email to you was worth pursuing! Immediately after hitting send I thought it might have just been to represent years of captaincy in silver instead of gold, handled in the anti-establishment tradition of the Raiders. But Adams didn’t make any sense to me. Then I thought well maybe they are honoring years he was a captain in Green Bay, but then never looked up to see if he actually was a captain in GB. Fun!

    To me this is just another reminder of how clunky the captain patch program (as well as the Walter Payton MOTY patch program) look on the uniforms.
    An alternative solution is the helmets. Obviously you’d first have to strip off all the other cluttered decals on the back of helmets today. But you could put a captain C on the back of the helmets. Ditto for the MOTY winners, in the same fashion they do for the MOTY nominees presently. And in both cases come up with better decals. Darth Vader is bad, and perhaps each team has their own specific captain designation sticker.

    Adams first time Captain in Green Bay in ’21. Raiders was one of 8 selected this year.

    These patches need to go or revamped. It was neat when they first arrived but now it’s just confusing.

    I’ve never really liked them to begin with. Just use a basic C or do away with it altogether.

    Josh McDaniels commented on this earlier in the year. My guess is that they didn’t want to wear gold and that sourcing their specific silver from The Emblem Source has been an issue for whatever reason.


    So I emailed you back on 10-31-22 Describing all the details about them using their color rush patches , and you are barely writing about it now and giving credit to someone else ?

    Paul is a busy guy. It’s not as he is waiting at his house all day just hoping someone writes him an email so he can write about it. People are busy, especially during Christmas time. And I am sure numerous people have mentioned it to him.

    Well I emailed him on Halloween , I doubt he was out doing Christmas shopping that night, maybe he was out trick or treating

    The gold C never looks good unless it’s a team color, and it gets lost in the specialty camo and rainbow patches. They should keep the ‘C’ and star colors team-specific (silver/blue for Detroit, black/yellow for Pittsburgh, red/pewter for the Bucs, etc),. However, I’m not holding my breath waiting for that change from a league that can’t figure out how to wear socks.

    as a lifelong die hard fan of the raiders and uniwatch i knew i would find the answers here. i had noticed it since game 1 of the season. i always hated the gold captains patch. while i agree its vegas’y it doesn’t belong on the greatest uniform in the history of sports. the silver C and black C look fantastic. and hopefully we never wear our white pants again. its bushleague and beneath us. but thats a whole other topic. RFL

    Why are multiple captains needed in football? It is only for the coin toss anyway or for talking to the referees. I say one captain and that is it. And get rid of those ridiculous stars that go with the C. They give me Boy Scout or Employee of the Month vibes. A true team leader does not need a C on a jersey.

    Though the NFL may have it’s own current standards, I know at various levels of football only the “captains” are supposed to communicate with the officials on the field, i.e. for clarifications, missed calls, etc. This would necessitate a captain for offense, defense, and possibly special teams.

    This has nothing to do with the fact that the C patches are in need of a change, just an explanation on why they (might) need captains.

    The gold “C” has always annoyed me a little for teams that don’t use gold anywhere else. I always thought it would be a cool idea to denote the 4 stars with some sort of secondary color while. Like with the Titans they would use a red “C”. But, that’s just me.

    Coach McDaniels said in a press conference they were not wearing the “C’s” in the first few games as they were working out new color combos and variations.

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