Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mean Green Machine

In 1935, fifteen years before Gene Ronzani made the obvious-in-retrospect Green Bay connection, Curly Lambeau added green to his Notre Dame-inspired navy and gold color scheme. He sent his boys onto the gridiron wearing dark green jerseys with gold numbers over green pants.

The string bean look must not have been too pleasing; midway through the season, the Packers scrapped them in favor of kelly green jerseys with gold raglan sleeves and gold pants.

Here's the squad, most of which saw service in every game, which made the Green Bay Packers a deciding factor all the way in the National Professional league cahampionship.

At the bottom (left to right) are Mike Michalske, Bob Tenner, Nate Barragar, Ade Schwammel, George Svendsen, Lon Evans, George Sauer, Bob O'Connor, Bob Monnett, Trainer Bob Woodward.

In the second row are Buckets Goldenberg, Joe Laws, Tiny Engebretsen, Clark Hinkle, Arnie Herber, Roger Grove, Hank Bruder, Milt Gantenbein, Herman Schneidmann and Swede Johnston.

On top are Coach Curley Lambeau, Johnny Blood, Al Rose, Frank Butler, Champ Seibold, Cal Hubbard, Walter Kiesling, Claude Perry, Don Hutson and Ernie Smith.
These sharp uniforms would return for 1936 (and the Packers' fourth world championship), but proved to be short-lived. For the 1937 campaign, the Packers returned to their traditional blue with the introduction of Lambeau's classic navy-and-gold uniform.

Green remained in the Packers' scheme as an alternate color, but wouldn't again be on the home jerseys until after Lambeau left the Packers. Coach Ronzani, looking to looking to emerge from Lambeau's long shadow, would re-introduce a green-over-green uniform. It seems likely that he was unaware that Lambeau had done the exact same thing.

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