Saturday, November 19, 2016

Infographic: Packers at Washington Preview

The Packers head to Washington for Sunday Night Football, and Packers.com is ready with a preview infographic.

Friday, November 18, 2016

1940 Packers Film in Color!

Absolutely have to share this - Ryan Dowgin posted this amazing video to YouTube, showing the 1940 Packers in full color!



Based on the unusual and short-lived helmets the other team is wearing, this footage has been identified as being from the September 29, 1940 game against the Chicago Cardinals at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis.

What a rare treat.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

70s Grounds Crew Jacket on eBay

This eBay listing caught my eye, purporting to be a Lambeau Field grounds crew jacket from the 1970s:


The jacket itself is fairly unremarkable, a simple green nylon shell with sheepskin lining.


The jacket features a single-bar gray facemasked helmet graphic common to the period. What's uncommon, and what caught my eye, is the logo on the helmet: the green and white are reversed.


Ordinarily, this might be considered the mark of bootleg merchandise, except that the Packers themselves used a reverse-colored logo on occasion. The earliest example I can think of was in 1962, when the watch given out in lieu of a championship ring featured a reversed logo.


That was only one year after the logo itself was introduced. More recently, the 1997 stock certificates also featured this green-on-white logo.


For a while, the reversed logo was even seen on the side of Lambeau Field, such as this glimpse from the 1980s:


So it's certainly possible that this is an authentic grounds crew jacket. Is it worth $559.99 plus shipping? That is entirely up to you.

Monday, October 31, 2016

#PackersPumpkin


Happy Halloween, everyone. I've no doubt that we'll have lots of little Packer players trick-or-treating all across Wisconsin today. For those of us too old to get away with wearing a helmet around our neighborhood, Packers.com offers these jack-o-lantern stencils for pumpkin carving.


That Matthews stencil looks appropriately scary.

You can check out the results on social media, including Twitter:


Good fun!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Golden Ghost's Golden Socks?

This photo shows Tony Canadeo, the "Gray Ghost", during his final season.

Tony Canadeo veteran Green Bay Packer halfback, bolts 10 yards for a touchdown in Packers' 42-14 victory over Dallas Texans here, Sunday Dec. 1, 1952, in Green Bay second quarter. Canadeo, honored by fans on his special day, also caught a pass for TD and led both teams in ground gaining. (Associated Press)
Metallic gold helmet, gold jersey, pants, and socks, all with green stripes. Or are they?

The socks are of particular interest to me; photos from the period tend to show green socks with gold stripes.


Is it possible that what we see here is a green sock with two gold stripes, the white sanitaries pulled up to the bottom of the second gold stripe, making it look as though the gold continues underneath?

That's certainly very possible, although it doesn't explain the top of the sock. It sure looks in this photo as though there is light-colored material, presumably gold, above the top green stripe. Perhaps Canadeo is wearing some sort of strap, as Don Hutson is in this photo:


Again, more research is needed.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Good Guys Wear White, Again: Packers Color Rush Review

Although our modern eyes are accustomed to seeing road teams in white, that wasn't always the case. The Green Bay Packers managed to get through the first nineteen seasons of their existence without a white jersey at all.

In 1938, the Packers unveiled the first white jersey in team history.

Curly Lambeau introduced it as an alternate to his preferred navy blue because of the "color clash" caused when the Chicago Bears came to town in navy jerseys of their own.

Last night, nearly eighty years later, the Bears came to Lambeau Field and the home team again wore white. Lots of white.


I'm still opposed to the whole "Color Rush" promotion, but the Packers should be given a great deal of credit for not using it as an excuse to create another "authentic" jersey for retail. The only new elements are uniform pieces that aren't sold to the public. The team seems to have made an attempt to thread the needle between conforming to the NFL's mandate while respecting their own æsthetic heritage. Plus these new pants didn't look all that bad.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) calls a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
As many people have pointed out in recent days, this is the first time the Packers have worn white at home in 27 seasons, since the first two games of the 1989 season.

As we expected, the pants were white with a green/gold/green striping pattern down the side. This matches the pattern first revealed on Monday, not the one originally announced last month, which would have added small white stripes to replicate the road jersey striping.

photo credit: Evan Siegle, Packers.com

The pants stripes looked so much better than the sleeve stripes, in part because the white stripes serve only to muddy the design. In heraldry, this is the rule of tincture; you don't place white and gold next to each other. There just isn't enough visual contrast to distinguish the two, so the pattern blurs and blends at any distance.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
The second reason the pant stripes looked so much better than the sleeves is that they were dyed in to the fabric and not screened on.


That's something I've never liked about the current Packers jerseys; the cheap-o painted-on stripes. The Steelers can have their sleeve stripes sewn into the jerseys, so why is the Pack stuck with this retrograde 1980s technique?

There was another antecedent to the Color Rush uniforms; the Packers briefly wore white socks at the dawn of the Vince Lombardi era, who included them in his original 1959 uniform.


Those striped socks, which only lasted one single season, would have looked great with the similarly-striped white pants.

On the whole, the "Color Rush" effect was striking. Solid white certainly stood out against the field, the stands, and the drab black-ish blue Bears players.

photo credit: Sec19Row53, boards.sportslogos.net

That's not to say that the Packers' Color Rush uniforms were entirely uniform. There were some minor deviations from the all-white "shoulder to toe" look.

photo credit: Evan Siegle, Packers.com

Several players wore gold shoelaces. Wide receiver Davante Adams took it a step farther with gold shoes.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) celebrates after making a touchdown catch during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
WR Randall Cobb wore gold sanitary socks.

photo credit: Evan Siegle, Packers.com

They appeared to be at least two separate socks, layered on top of one another.

photo credit: Evan Siegle, Packers.com

In addition, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix wore Pinktober shoes.

photo credit: Evan Siegle, Packers.com

Mercifully, he was the only one.

The overall effect of this "Color Rush" uniform reminded me more of soccer than football.

photo credit: Mirror Online

Although the white pants weren't all that bad, I really hope to never see them on the field again. The Packers just don't look right without their gold pants. The beauty of Lombardi's uniform is matching the pants to the helmet, gold with green and white Braisher stripes. There is one lasting effect I'd like to see, though; last night reinforced my feeling that it's time to bring back the original road jersey striping pattern.


There is an opportunity to fix the current jersey's flaws while reclaiming Lombardi's visual legacy.


It would look better, it would honor the team's glory days, and I can even make a crass commercial argument in favor. I don't know how many white jerseys the Packers sell, although anecdotal evidence suggests it is a distant, distant second to the home greens. This could be an opportunity to change that in some small way.

Come on, Packers. The franchise's 100th Anniversary is on the horizon, and let's see if we can't right this wrong before then.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Strategery Behind Whitewashing

Tonight, the Packers will step on to the Lambeau Field turf wearing white jerseys for the first time since 1989. In that season, they wore their road jerseys for the first two games, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 10 and the following weekend against the New Orleans Saints.

This was the subject of a question posed to "Ask Vic" back in 2014 by "Mark from Fairfax, VA":
Vic, a few days ago while surfing YouTube for Packers videos, I came upon highlights of the 1989 Packers season when they were QB’d by Don Majkowski, went 10-6 but didn't make the playoffs. In one of their home games against the New Orleans Saints played at Lambeau Field, the Packers wore their white road jerseys. Might you know why that was done? And why did Green Bay play Dallas, an NFC East team, in that regular season twice? I’ve posed these questions on a couple of Packers sites but no one has answered.

(Packers.com senior writer Mike Spofford): Your question intrigued me, so team historian Cliff Christl and I put our heads together and did a little research. Turns out the Packers wore their white jerseys at Lambeau for each of the first two games in ’89, against the Buccaneers and Saints, and haven’t since. Cliff found a Press-Gazette article in which head coach Lindy Infante said it was planned in advance to beat the potential early-season heat by keeping the Packers out of their dark green jerseys. There was also talk of Tampa Bay QB Vinny Testaverde’s color-blindness, and his difficulty distinguishing reddish colors against green grass. The Bucs had switched before the ’89 season from wearing their orange jerseys at home to wearing white, but they were forced to wear the orange at Lambeau. The following week, the Saints wore their supposedly heat-absorbing black.

As it happened, the game-time temps were only 66 and 71 degrees, respectively, for those two games. Testaverde had a solid day, going 22-of-27 for 205 yards with one TD and no interceptions in beating the Packers, 23-21. The black-clad Saints may indeed have worn down, though, as the Packers rallied from a 21-0 deficit for a 35-34 victory, one of the biggest comebacks in team history.
So the results were mixed. Let's start with the first game, against the Bucs.

PewterReport.com

If the Packers were hoping to confuse Testaverde in that first game, it didn't work. But how awesome is it today to see those Creamsicle uniforms?

As Spofford mentioned, the Pack had more luck in the second game. Here's a view of the teams at midfield:


What's up with that gold "G" on the 50-yard line?

I always like seeing the classic single-gray-bar helmet graphic. The Packers continued to use it for years after the facemasks were changed to green. Here we see the graphic in the endzone:


Some things are constant, though; the gold railings at Lambeau Field are iconic.


Again, if the Packers had intended to place the Saints at a competitive disadvantage by making them wear black jerseys, they were unsuccessful. Mother Nature apparently didn't get the playbook, and the temperature at kickoff was very mild and clement. The Packers clawed back from that early deficit to win, but the white jerseys didn't help them.

And with those mixed results, the grand experiment was over and the Packers went back to wearing their dark jerseys at Lambeau Field. Until tonight.