Monday, September 17, 2012

62 Years Ago Today?

The Green Bay Press-Gazette has this little nugget:

Packers started wearing green and gold 62 years ago today
10:52 AM, Sep 17, 2012

Green Bay Packers quarterback Bob Thomason kneels along the sideline with coach Gene Ronzani during a 31-20 loss to the Chicago Bears at old City Stadium on Sept. 30, 1951. The Packers started wearing green and gold uniforms a year earlier. Photo courtesy of the Tom Pigeon collection

It was 62 years ago today, Sept. 17, 1950, that the Green Bay Packers wore green and gold uniforms for the first time.

They debuted the new look in the season opener at old City Stadium. However, the Packers were routed by the Detroit Lions 45-7 that day.

Before that, the Packers had worn blue and gold, or gold and white uniforms.
It's a nice little "this day in history" story. Too bad it's flat-out wrong.

Although blue and gold were certainly the traditional colors during Curly Lambeau's tenure, they were not exclusive.

Lambeau experimented with green and gold as early as 1935.

For two years, including a World Championship season in 1936, the Packers wore green jerseys with gold raglan sleeves.
Here's a look at those uniforms in action at 1935's training camp in Rhinelander:

And against the Chicago Cardinals on September 13, 1936:

Off-tackle power play (above) gains ground for the Chicago Cardinals against the Green Bay Packers. The Cardinals, wearing light-blue pants and bright-red jerseys, have made a big hole for Al Nichelini, No. 43, their fast ball-carrying back. Harry Field, No. 31, Cardinal tackle, is cutting back toward the center of the line to block the Packers backfield men.
This is one of those things that drove me to start chronicling this stuff in the first place - there's so much bad information out there. Not to unfairly single out the Press-Gazette; even the Packers get their own history wrong (although the team's website does list "Packers introduce green uniforms" under "1950").

So, if you want to confirm things like when the Packers first wore green - try the chronological uniform database. It's not exhaustive (yet), nor is it infallible, but it would have helped avoid this error.

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