This article previously appeared on Uni Watch on January 22, 2023. Early football uniforms were often plain garments, with a wool or cotton sweater in the school's dominant color topped off by striped sleeves or a letter representing the school name on the chest. By the early 1890s, a tradition developed, allowing those playing in the big games at the season's end to keep their jerseys. Those jerseys became prized possessions because so few earned the right to wear them. Of course, athletes in other sports wanted similar recognition and practice spread. However, some schools used distinct monogram designs and sizes by sports so everyone on campus could distinguish those who played football from those battling on the tennis court or golf course.