Why Color Rush Uniforms Aren't Good For Green Bay
The gap between free agency and the NFL Draft suddenly has some buzz, thanks to a leaked graphic supposedly showing the colors each team will wear during the NFL's ongoing effort to force feed us its "Color Rush" idea.
The graphic shows a solid yellow box next to the Packers name, leading reasonable people to assume that the Packers will be wearing solid yellow uniforms for one game this season.
In a vacuum, I have absolutely no problem with the Packers wearing a yellow uniform. There is actually a pretty long history of Packers teams wearing yellow over yellow. Both the 1947 and 1948 teams wore yellow jerseys with blue numerals over yellow pants (along with some fabulous yellow socks).
The 1950 team did almost the same thing, except with green numerals on the jerseys and some awesome green socks with yellow stripes, which would be pretty awesome to see today. (1950 also saw the Packers debut some awesome solid green jerseys, which would have been my preference for Color Rush, but nobody asked me and they're likely to continue to not ask me.)
To that same end, yellow "fashion" jerseys have been available to fans for years, dating back to at least 2003 if memory serves correctly. The junior high version of me briefly coveted a yellow Ahman Green jersey (Green and yellow, get it?), but I'd rather not talk about it.
My point is, nobody should have a real problem with the Packers wearing yellow. But I do have a problem with the NFL forcing the Packers to wear yellow, and you should too. Here's why.
The NFL has been slowly marching the 32 member teams toward near-total homogeneity for some time now, and that shows in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. The Color Rush mandate is a very obvious move, but the league has also pushed teams to adopt very similar websites across the board, pushing more people back towards the NFL brand, rather than the individual team brands.
You can see this effect popping up in other uniform-related areas. Around the time Nike took over as the new uniform provider for the league (perhaps a little earlier), the NFL made a big move regarding the types of alternate uniforms a team could use, when they could use them, and how exactly they could be carried out on the field.
The most obvious effect of this policy was the NFL's move concerning throwback-style helmets. No longer could a team use an alternate helmet for a throwback or alternate jersey. Teams were required to use their standard helmets no matter what alternate uniform they wore, because safety or something.
But now, the NFL has struck another blow against the local-level control of team identity. It's one thing to restrict the uniforms that a team can wear over fear (real or imagined) of diluting their brand. It's another to force them to wear a different uniform because the league wants to promote some new theme for its prime time games.
And that's why you, the fan, should care. With every Salute to Service and its camouflage, Color Rush with its bizarre uniforms, and A Crucial Catch with its pink, your favorite NFL team becomes less a regional representative of the shared interests of a community, and more a local subsidiary of a multi-billion dollar corporation.