Monday, March 12, 2012

"Futuristic and fun", Part II

Not so fast on those concerns about Nike's new Packers uniforms, according to the Journal Sentinel's Tom Silverstein:
Manufacturer switch won't result in Packers uniforms changing

A lot has been made about the NFL's switch in uniform manufacturers from Reebok to Nike and what changes that might bring.

Here's one thing you can take to the bank: The Packers' colors aren't changing.

I've been assured that by someone in the league who has been briefed on the switchover to Nike. It is true that some teams will make drastic changes to their uniforms in the name of marketing dollars, but the only difference you'll see in Packers uniforms is the material from which they're made.

Nike is known for its futuristic color combinations and mesh look (see University of Oregon), so you can anticipate some change when the uniforms roll out April 3, as has reported. But most of it will only be noticeable from close up I'm told and from the stands or TV it shouldn't look that different.

Of course, that's from someone who hasn't seen the Packers' new uniforms but is going on what basic knowledge on the switch is around the league.

One could only imagine GM Ted Thompson's hair going from snow white to on fire if he was presented with a uniform that bore any difference than the one the Packers are wearing now, let alone a flourescent green one like Oregon's. He's such a devoted traditionalist that he would never stand for anything but the most minor of changes - if any.

Back in 1993, word got out that then-GM Ron Wolf was considering changing the base color of the Packers uniform from green to blue, but that created a firestorm of criticism from many different directions and the change wasn't made. Neither Thompson nor president Mark Murphy want any part of that.

The technological changes Nike is instituting should make the uniforms appear a little different, but the word is things will be as status quo as possible for the Packers. We'll know in a matter of weeks what Nike's interpretation of green and gold is, but if you see Thompson's head on fire between now and April 3 you'll know something has gone wrong.
Makes sense. The construction of the Packers' classic uniform will change, as we already know, but I'd be surprised if they allow anything more than the minor aesthetic changes resulting from that.

I think Mr. Silverstein is misremembering Ron Wolf's proposed 1993 change, though. While it was indeed rumored in the year leading up to it that the Packers would change team colors to blue and gold, by the time the Packers announced their new design they had scrapped that plan and instead designed a simplified green and gold uniform.

Green jersey, metallic gold helmet and pants, white numbers outlined in gold. Packer logo on sleeves, and no stripes anywhere. Ironically, the kind of design that would fit Nike's template perfectly, had Wolf followed through twenty years ago.

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