Throwback Uniforms Green Bay Needs To Wear
In Week 1 of the 2010 season, the Packers traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in a season opening showdown.
The game was to be something of a coming out party for Kevin Kolb, anointed in the offseason as Philadelphia's starter. They'd jettisoned Donovan McNabb in the offseason, making way for Kolb to ascend to the starting role.
This is notable because it was Kolb that Clay Matthews chased down and sacked brutally in that game, leaping onto his back as Kolb rolled to his left and pinning his arms to his sides in such a way that Kolb could not cushion his fall at all. He took the full force of the impact on his chest and head and would leave the game with a concussion, opening the door for Michael Vick to begin his redemption tour in earnest.
The play sticks in my mind for a couple reasons. First, because it was an excellent play by Matthews, fully displaying his unique pass rushing skills, but second, because you can't see a replay of that play without immediately noticing the fantastic throwback uniforms the Eagles wore that day.
The Kelly green look is legendary in Philadelphia, and the Eagles periodically kick around the idea of bringing it back full-time. I'd fully support the idea, but for now, the color is associated with nothing more than a memory of the beginning what would be an especially awesome season.
The Packers, of course, debuted their most recent throwback uniform that season too, bringing out the big yellow circle jerseys in a game against the 49ers, which I happily attended. That game has its own unique highlight in my mind: Donald Driver's semi-miraculous catch-and-run that featured 47 missed tackles by San Francisco, give or take.
The Packers have pulled out the uniform on two other occasions: last year against the Browns and three years ago against the Rams. I love it with the chocolate brown helmet, but I'm meh on it with the yellow helmet.
All the throwback related talk, though, had me thinking this week: with the NFL's "safety-conscious" (heavy sarcasm) ways ever more at the forefront, what are some Packers throwbacks that wouldn't run afoul of the league's "one helmet" rule?
I can think of three obvious contenders, with a fourth option on the table, too.
First, GIVE ME SOME SOLID GREEN UNIFORMS. Yes, there's a precedent, and yes, they'd be awesome. Or...maybe they'd be awesome, I'm not sure how this electric green would really look under the lights at Lambeau, but it could be fun.
Second, could I interest you in an increased dose of yellow with your Packers uniform? This would go pretty well with the existing yellow helmet, and the uniform itself is different enough to provide a striking visual contrast to the Packers' standard getups. (The Packers also wore a solid yellow outfit at least once in their history...but that seems like a bit much).
Thirdly, I think the little used "midnight green" alternate uniform from the 50's could be a fun look, especially given how rare it was. As best I can tell (thanks to the excellent Wearing of the Green (and Gold) blog) and some of my own sleuthing, this gem was only worn twice: once in 1956 and once in 1958.
Both times it was paired with a white helmet (a WHITE helmet!!!) and white pants. The white pants would do, but the white helmet would have to be yellow. Small sacrifices for a unique look. It actually reminds me a bit of the non-bumblebee throwback the Steelers used to wear.
The fourth option would be less a throwback and more a change the Packers could consider if they'd ever want to overall their look permanently. Yes, that'll never happen, but bear with me.
If that were to somehow happen, I'd advocate for a hybrid return to the Lombardi uniforms: no collar stripes, three sleeve stripes, three sock stripes, and gray facemasks. That seems like a fair balance between old and new.
The sock stripes are just neat, I think, but they'd have to be reduced to match the sleeve stripes. With the minimal fabric available on modern uniforms, there's just not room for five stripes. Doing away with the collar striping would free up a little space for the shoulder numbers, which seem to have been getting a bit crowded the last few years as uniform tops shrink and shrink.