Thursday, September 15, 2016

"What's Up With the Sleeves?"

Sharp-eyed viewers noticed that cornerback Damarious Randall wore long sleeves in Jacksonville last Sunday, even though temperatures topped 100 degrees.

(Photo: Rick Wood, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

You may have wondered what possessed him to do that; fortunately the Packers have supplied us with an answer.


That's a new one on me.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Color Rush Reaction and Review

This morning, the Packers unveiled their "Color Rush" uniforms, which they will wear Thursday, Oct. 20, when the Chicago Bears come to Lambeau Field.

This league-wide promotion, introduced last year, involves the teams dressing in a single, defining color. And the Packers' defining color is... White.


This is the first time since the 1950s that the Packers will wear white at home, with the exception of the first two games of the 1989 season.

Here's the whole lineup. Click to enlarge:


And a closer look at Clay:


The Color Rush promotion dresses players in a single color, shoulder-to-toe (nly the NFL's "one helmet" rule keeps teams from matching their shells to the rest of the uniform). That single color must be drawn from the team's existing color palette, either a current color or one worn in the past. That means the options facing the Packers were: navy blue, forest green, kelly green, dark sea green, gold, or white.

That means the Packers could have used this chance to wear a 1950s throwback; in that decade the team wore a variety of monochromatic uniforms; all-gold, all-green and all-white.


To top it off, the current gold helmets, stripped of their decals, would have been period-appropriate for either the mono=green or mono=gold throwback. But alas, the Packers chose to go in a different direction.

Instead of designing a total throwback, the Packers will be wearing their regular helmet and road jersey, only with a new pair of white pants to match.


On the one hand, I appreciate that the Packers aren't just cashing in with a brand-new jersey to sell, as almost every other team has:


On the other hand, I hate the Packers' road jersey. And I dislike pairing it with a matching set of white pants. It's a further watering down of Lombardi's classic uniform, but to understand that we must first talk about where the current white jerseys look the way we do.

In the Beginning...

Young Packer fans may not even realize that the Packers departed from Lombardi's road design decades ago. When Vince took over in 1959, he overhauled the Packers' uniforms and colors. On the road, his team wore white jerseys with alternating green and gold stripes on the collar, sleeves and socks.


Coach Lombardi later tweaked the road uniform slightly, abandoning the road socks and simplifying the pants stripes to the green/white/green "Braisher Stripe" pattern found on the team's helmets. socks and home jerseys.


But the jersey stripes remained untouched, three on the neck and five on the sleeve.

1960s Boyd Dowler Green Bay Packers Game Worn Road Jersey
(Mile High Card Company)

Through five World Championships and the first two Super Bowls, this road jersey was an important part of the Packers' classic visual legacy.

80's "Improvments"

It endured until 1984, when former offensive tackle Forrest Gregg took over as head coach, and put his own spin on Lombardi's uniform.


In addition to adding gold stripes and numbers to the pants, he overhauled the jersey, adding "Dad" Braisher's "G" logo to the sleeves and adding thin white stripes in between the green and gold.

1984-86 Gerry Ellis Green Bay Packers Game Worn Road Jersey
(MEARS)

This brought the road jersey striping pattern closer in line with the Braisher stripes found on the home jersey. But where the green/white/green is bold and unmistakeable even at a distance, the green/white/gold/white/green pattern is muddy and unclear. There's not enough contrast between the white and gold, so they easily blend together into a light-colored blob.


Forrest Gregg didn't last long as the Packers' head coach, but elements of his design are still with us today. The Packers chipped away at it over the following few years, bringing back many elements of the 60s design, but left his road jersey striping design in place.

...Which Brings Us to Today


These road stripes are the only thing I can't stand about the Packers' uniforms, and I'm very unhappy that they're expanding it. I'm further concerned that these white pants will make their way into the regular rotation; I don't want to see them with the green home jerseys.

What Might Have Been

Since the NFL gave them no choice but to participate in the Color Rush promotion this year, I wish the Packers had considered a throwback to Lombardi's original striping pattern. A slight tweak would have made it so much better:


Could have been a win-win. This would have honored the Packers' history within the Color Rush promotional confines, not to mention given the Packers a new throwback jersey to stock at the Pro Shop.

Ah, the road not traveled. With a little luck, this will be a one-off, as easily forgotten as those previous two games where the Packers wore white at Lambeau.

Monday, September 12, 2016

White is the New Green?

We've seen some reports that the Packers' Color Rush uniform will be predominantly... white.

Last week, Paul Lukas of Uni Watch reported a little tidbit he'd received:
As for the individual designs, who knows? Some of the info that’s floated on Reddit turns out to be legit and some turns out to be nonsense. And just to make things more confusing, I received an email last night from someone who said these are the Color Rash jerseys being ordered by a Lids store in Indiana:

Check out the first line. Interesting.

Now we have this from Twitter user @NFL_Leaks. I've been ignoring most of the leaks but this one is made up of images found on Nike's NFL shop.


So those are the indications we have so far. We should learn more soon....

Friday, September 9, 2016

Infographic - Packers at Jaguars Preview

To kick off the new season, Packers.com has introduced its first game preview infographic:
This week 1 preview infographic takes a closer look at the Green Bay Packers' season opener at Jacksonville. Check it out:

I like the design, everything except the bottom right corner. Seems a missed opportunity to use the iconic Braisher stripes. Unless we're seeing a secret preview of the Color Rush uniform striping?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

2016 Uni Watch NFL preview

Paul Lukas has posted the annual Uni Watch NFL preview over at ESPN.com, and there's some information for us in it.
• The Packers will wear their 1940s throwbacks, which they debuted last year, on Oct. 16 against the Cowboys (further info here):
Also: Remember how Green Bay wide receiver James Jones routinely wore a hoodie on the field last season? He won't be doing that this year, because the NFL has banned it.

Well, damn.

There's also something for us in the Bears' section:
NFC North

• The Bears' uniform schedule shows that they'll wear their Monsters of the Midway throwbacks for two divisional games: Oct. 2 against the Lions and Oct. 31 against the Vikings.

Not new, but confirmation nonetheless. The Packers' "Color Rush" event will be in Week 7, October 20th, as they host the Bears on Thursday Night Football.

And finally:
Additional Notes

• The league's well-established month-long protocols -- pink trim for breast cancer awareness in October and camouflage trim to salute the military in November -- will be rolled out once again.

Sigh.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Did Madden Leak the Packers' Color Rush Uniforms?

Just saw this on Twitter:



That looks like the standard gold fashion jerseys that the Packers have sold off and on for about a decade.


The only difference appears to be that the Madden jerseys don't have sleeve stripes (now that's a development I can approve of).

I hate the gold jerseys, but love those striped socks. They look like alternating green and gold stripes without any white separating them, which is a throwback to Lombardi's original road jersey sleeves.


So what do you think if this these turn out to be legitimate?

Monday, August 29, 2016

Journal-Sentinel Pulls Archives From Google


I've written extensively about my love for Google's newspaper archives. You can peruse my old posts and see how many stories were inspired by browsing through old articles. It's an invaluable research tool, putting well over a century's worth of history at our fingers.

And now, it's gone. At least where Milwaukee is concerned.

As chronicled by Michail Takach at Urban Milwaukee, the paper's parent company has had its entire archive pulled down.
“Have you ever borrowed a book, thousands of miles away?” asked those visionary AT&T ads of the 1990s. “Have you ever learned special things, from far away places? You will.”

In 1993, this was mind-blowing science fiction. By 2008, we were already there. Google News Archive launched that year with ambitious plans to scan, archive and release the world’s newspapers in a single public access database. Anyone, anywhere, would now be able to read any edition of any newspaper ever printed. It was the closest thing to time travel in human history. Historians, librarians and educators rejoiced: the future was now!

When the project abruptly ended three years later, the project had scanned over a million pages of news from over 2,000 newspapers. Although nobody is entirely sure why the project ended, Google News Archive delivered an incredible gift to Milwaukee: free digital access to more than a century’s worth of local newspapers.

This wasn’t just a revelation; it was a revolution. Aligning perfectly with the rise of social media, Google News Archive content inspired Facebook groups, Twitter feeds, Pinterest boards, and more. By removing barriers to historical content, Google didn’t just trigger a passing interest in local history. Google triggered a groundswell of historical discovery, engagement and pride.

That was then. This is now: on Tuesday, August 16, the Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee Sentinel, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel listings vanished from the Google News Archive home page. This change came without any advance warning and still has no official explanation.

As a researcher and author, I relied heavily on Google News Archive to uncover the hidden history of LGBTQ Milwaukee for my recent book on that subject. For years, I’ve bookmarked thousands of articles and images for further exploration at a later date. In one lightning bolt moment, all of my Google News Archive bookmarks went from treasure to trash. There will be no later date. There will be no further exploration.

Google’s response to inquiries was chilling: “Google News Archive no longer has permission to display this content.” The response from a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel employee was even more chilling: “We have contracted with a new vendor (Newsbank.) It is unclear when or if the public will have access to the full inventory that was formerly available on Google News Archive.”

That’s right. If.

Google spent considerable time and money to digitize our history as a cultural contribution. As a for-profit company, Newsbank will essentially privatize these public resources through a paid subscription service. Unfortunately, our community champions for historical preservation – libraries, universities, museums, historical societies – are unlikely to pay the steep ransom price that would restore free public access. Will anyone?

Until someone pays up, local history might just be held hostage.
This is sobering development for all of us. It will severely hurt my own research, as it will anyone who loves Wisconsin and her history.

I'm interested to see what Newsbank has in mind for the archives, and sick at heart thinking how many stories may be lost because of a desire to lock those pages away.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

True Blue v. Dallas

Uni Watch blogger Paul Lukas has confirmed that the Packers will wear their throwback uniforms against Dallas:

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Girdiron Man, Finally in Canton

Scott Heckel, The Canton Repository via AP
Brett Favre waves after receiving his gold jacket at the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees' dinner on Thursday in Canton, Ohio.
This feels like the final end to a storied career. I know that there's a ceremony to be held on October 16th, but this is the big one. We all knew that we'd get to this moment, although we couldn't have seen the bumps and twists in the road to get here.

The Kid looks pretty good in that gold jacket.

Jim Matthews/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Following the recent controversy over who really owns his legacy, I couldn't agree more with this sentiment:


You can check out his full Hall of Fame speech here. A speech, incidentally, that set one more record while honoring a career full of them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

In Which the Hall of Fame Trolls Us All

This Saturday, Brett Favre will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but we've already been given a peek at his locker display in the museum. And it's pretty outrageous.


Yep, somebody thought that his last two years in Minnesota deserved "equal time".


I know that Brett had some hard feelings about his departure from the team, but this seems incredibly petty.