Friday, April 2, 2010

Our Page 2 Walk-On

A nice little tip of the cap from's Paul Lukas, using our 1940 newspaper photos as a springboard to talk about the NFL's color history:

Green Bay Packers to Wear Navy in a 2010 Game
by Paul Lukas
March 30, 2010

Courtesy of the Green Bay Packers
Can you imagine your Green Bay Packers in an outfit like this?

In case you missed it the other day, the Green Bay Packers recently unveiled a throwback alternate uniform, which they'll wear for one as-yet-unspecified game in 2010. The design is based on what the team wore in 1929.

If the sight of the Pack wearing navy instead of green is a shocker, it shouldn't be. They actually wore a variety of navy-based uniforms for the first several decades of their existence, like this 1940 design. The thing is, color photos from the NFL's early days are rare, so most fans have no idea what their favorite teams used to look like. Neither do many of the game's historians.

That's why a recent discovery by reader Chance Michaels is so amazing. It's a rare newspaper color insert from 1940, providing one of the best views available of the NFL's early color schemes.

Some of the teams are vaguely recognizable — that's an Eagles player at lower right, and a Redskin at lower left (Andy Farkas, incidentally, is generally credited with being the first player to have worn eye-black, even though he's not wearing it in that photo). But it's weird to see Mel Hein of the Giants wearing so much red — and even weirder to see him, as a center, wearing uniform No. 7!

Meanwhile, is that a Cardinals player at upper right? Nope — it's Perry Schwartz of the Brooklyn Dodgers, which was an NFL team for over a decade. And who's that in the center? It's Parker Hall of the Cleveland Rams -- the same franchise that later moved to L.A. and now resides in St. Louis. And they still wear blue and gold, even if the shades have changed.
Just spreading the word....

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