The Dolphins logo and uniforms remained fairly consistent from the team's founding through 2012. The team's colors were originally aqua and orange, with the original logo consisted of a sunburst with a leaping dolphin wearing a football helmet bearing the letter M. At their debut in 1966, the dolphin's head was near the center of the sunburst. By 1974, the dolphin's body was centered on the sunburst. The uniforms featured white pants with aqua and orange stripes, paired with either a white or aqua jersey. On the white jersey, aqua block numbers and names were outlined in orange, with aqua and orange sleeve stripes. These uniforms were used as the primary uniforms for road games and daytime home games, due to the extreme heat of South Florida. The team also had an aqua jersey used mainly for night home games or road games in which the opponent chose to wear white. The aqua jersey featured white block numbers and names with an orange outline, and orange and white sleeve stripes.
An update was given to the logo in 1997: the sunburst was simplified and the dolphin was darkened and given a more serious game-face expression. The uniforms remained the same, however a different block number font was used and navy drop shadows were added.
On very rare occasions, an orange jersey was used for primetime games. The uniforms essentially swapped the location of orange and aqua from the aqua jersey. The orange jersey was first used on a Sunday night in 2003 against Washington, a Dolphin win. In 2004, the orange jersey was brought back for an ABC Monday Night Football match pitting the 2-11 Dolphins against the 12-1 defending champion New England Patriots. The Dolphins scored a huge upset win after trailing by 11 points with less than 5 minutes remaining. Due to the unusual orange jerseys, the game has become known within some Dolphin circles as "The Night That Courage Wore Orange". The orange jerseys were used for a 2009 Sunday night win against the New York Jets. However, the Dolphins would lose a 2010 Sunday night matchup with the Jets, their first loss in orange, and the jerseys would not be worn again.
The Dolphins' final game in the original style uniforms with block numbers and the iconic leaping dolphin logo was the final game of the 2012 season, a 28-0 shutout loss to the New England Patriots in Foxboro. The white jerseys were worn for the game, and as rumors of a new look had been swirling, many fans watching knew that it would likely be the last time their team would wear the leaping dolphin logo.
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