Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Spirit of Johnny Blood is Alive and Well

Today, almost nine months to the day after their unveiling, the Packers finally took the field in their throwback uniforms.

Inspired by the 1929 World Championship club, the first to "bring the bacon back to old Green Bay", and updated to reflect modern uniform specifications, it was the first appearance of the Packers' original color scheme at Lambeau Field since 1994's the NFL 75th anniversary throwbacks.

I don't know that there's much more to say, except that they looked as good as I hoped.

The coaches also got into the act on the sideline with their blue Acme Packers gear, although I'm still a little uneasy about compressing the 1921-22 sponsor with the 1929 uniforms into one Roaring Twenties package.

Bit of a shame that it wasn't sunnier - with brown helmets and khaki pants, the entire package was a bit muted under the overcast December sky.

I'm a big fan of the one-color socks. I don't know what purpose low-whites serve nowadays, except to give the uniform a small layer of clutter. The solid-leg color looks more elegant, especially with black shoes.

The lack of television numbers seems strange to my eyes, but I like it.

My only real complaint was with Aaron Rodgers's white compression shirt. I don't mind the terribly 21st Century piping in a retro uniform, but the color ruins it. The entire throwback uniform is simplified and streamlined, until we get to the white sleeves. How easy would it have been to issue him a blue shirt, incorporated seamlessly with the jersey to give the illusion of long sleeves?

That's been a pet peeve of mine for years. The Packers wear green compression shirts with white jerseys and white with green jerseys, ensuring that the uniform is as cluttered as possible, home and road. Swapping the two would go a long way towards fixing the (relatively few) problems I have with the Packers' standard look. Another thing to hope for when Nike takes over the leaguewide uniform contract.

Longtime reader Tim O'Donnell was curious about the manufacturer's label on the helmets - it appears to have been blue, a change from the customary green. Nice detail from Riddell.

Keeping with the helmets, it appears that equipment manager Red Batty left the new player number decals off the backs (the warning label was reversed to white knockout text, which is the standard for dark shells).

While I can understand why some people didn't care for the throwbacks, I continue to be in favor of anything that raises awareness of the Packers' grand sartorial history, particularly the pre-Lombardi eras.

Plus the tuques were a nice touch.

So that's it for the throwbacks in 2010. I expect that we will see them again next season; they will continue to remain on the NFL's books through 2015 as the Packers' only permitted alternate, by which time we'll be talking about the team's plans for their 100th anniversary in 2019.


Anonymous said...

I agree the overall look was fantastic. My main complaint/pet peeve is the NFL, American Flag and warning decals on the throwback helmet. (I believe Buffalo is the only team that leaves the helmet clean from extra decals on their throwback helmet.) Also, maybe they could have gone with a lighter brown color on the helmet to try and match the khaki pants since most of the leather helmets the packers wore appear to me to be a lighter tan color/brown.
Finally, I believe the low whites you refer to were worn over the top of the colored socks back in the day because they were actually stirrups.

A_Lerxst_in_Packerland said...

I also really liked the unis. Agree that blue sleeves would have looked better on Rodgers, and I do wish they would have gone with a slightly different helmet look to try and capture the old leather helmet vibe. At least the solid chocolate brown looked better than the times they've gone with solid yellow with no logo!

I like the dark navy blue jerseys, and the solid color socks really did look sharp. I look forward to seeing these again next year. said...

Are you sure that they wore a brown helmet back then? My grandfather told me Johnny blood wore a dark red/maroon helmet back then. I can't find any color pictures or references to the color before they were Yellow.

Chance Michaels said...

My understanding is that the leather helmets weren't standardized until the mid-1930s. Most before then were likely shades of brown. That could include oxblood, which would certainly account for the dark red.

Was your grandfather a fan, or did he have a connection to the team? Eyewitness accounts are both rare and precious. said...

My grandfather was a huge fan and played on his church football team in the Greenbay area in the 20's-30's. We have family pictures of "The Nashotah house" football team back then and some kind of receipt for showing a football movie. Oxblood describes the helmet color very good. And it has black trim on it.

Chance Michaels said...


I know the mid-1930s helmets, when the Packers started to standardize, incorporated black trim.

I'd love to learn more aboutthe early leather helmets, emblems of the game's earliest days.

Mrs4444 said...

I really like the blue :)

I stumbled upon your blog while looking for something else and plan to link to it tonight. I like your passion for The Pack!