The NFL has announced that Nike will be taking over the league's uniform contract, beginning in 2012. Although Nike has taken some well-deserved heat for its designs, including its previous brief foray in the NFL, this has the potential to be spectacularly good news for the Packers.
Nike previously supplied the Packers' uniforms from 1997 through 2001, taking over the contract from Starter, which had been supplying the Green and Gold since 1992. The Nike era was relatively brief, coming to an end when the NFL eliminated individual team contracts and granted Reebok the first league-wide agreement starting with the 2001 season. The most notable change during the Nike era was the reduction of sleeve stripes from five to three, to fit the cap sleeves of the modern jersey cut:
So Nike is now back in the locker room, and we can hope that the Packers' sleeve stripes will be on their agenda once again.
In particular, I'm hopeful that this new manufacturing contract may result in the restoration of Lombardi's original design. Nike, after all, was responsible for Oregon State's throwback uniforms, which managed to blend 60s design and 21st Century uniform manufacturing:
I've been advocating a similar move for years. With Nike making the uniforms, the odds of it happening just went up.