Why Are There Four Stars Under the “C” Patch on NFL Uniforms?

The four stars under the “C” patch on some NFL uniforms indicate the number of years the player has acted as one of the team’s captains, according to NFL.com. Players may be assigned or voted into the captain’s role, and for each year of service, one of the stars is colored gold. The captain designation is considered an honor, and players wear their patches with pride.

The NFL introduced the team captain program in 2007, allowing teams to choose up to six captains and officially recognize the chosen players’ leadership skills. Although not mandatory, most teams have implemented a version of the captain tradition to show respect and to honor the outstanding locker room and gridiron commanders.

In the 2013 season, the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks voted three players as captains. Veteran defensive end, Red Bryant, and special teams player, Heath Farwell, both earned their second gold stars in 2013, having also served as captains in 2012. Second-year starting quarterback, Russell Wilson, distinguished himself on and off the field, demonstrating strong leadership and commitment to excellence, and earning his first captain’s gold star. Each Seahawk captain is known for his ability to motivate the team in the locker room, rally the troops on the sideline and lead by example on the field.