Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Green and Gold Life has a fun article up now: "The 10 Best Green Bay Packers Pumpkins on the Planet".

Here are a couple of the highlights:

Check out the others at the link, and Happy Trick or Treating!

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Color Rush is Coming

Last night, on Thursday Night Football, the NFL unveiled the first glimpse of its "Color Rush" program. This is an attempt to make TNF an event of sorts by creating special uniforms to be worn for that one game only.

Details are still sketchy, but Jim Wyatt, Six-time Tennessee Sportswriter of the Year and senior writer and editor of the Tennessee Titans official website, revealed some new information about the program.

Wait, did you catch that? Look at the second paragraph:

Two things jump out:
  • "Players' uniforms will be flooded with color as they are draped from jersey to cleats in one of the team's current or historic colors."
  • "every club will have the opportunity to showcase its spirited fans and cities through color in primetime in 2016."
Monochrome. Ugh. And "opportunity"? Corporate marketing-speak or an actual option? We'd better hope it's the latter, because if not then we'll have to see our Packers in monochrome next season.

And now that we know this will eventually affect our Packers, let's take a closer look at the video. These are the four matchups in 2015:

More than just a clever graphic, those background colors tell us what the "current or historic color" will be for each club. And the quick uniform teases confirm.


We can see the shoulder and back collar. It looks like a straightforward color swap from their regular jerseys, with the blue and red reversed. Even down to the charging buffalo logo above the name on the back.

The jersey probably won't look that bad, but it's going to be brutal with red pants and socks. "(F)rom jersey to cleats" in a single team color, don't forget.


Again, two views of the jersey. That appears to be the left shoulder, seen from the back and then front. This time we not only have a color swap, their original kelly green in place of the contemporary forest, but the Jets' white sleeves have apparently been replaced by green. So this one is likely both a color swap and a click-and-fill on their current template.

We don't yet know if that's supposed to be two shades of green or if Nike is still having issues producing the color.

The Jets are also making minor changes to the helmet, the only team yet known to be doing so. They teased this photo today:

Are those metallic helmet stripes? Or is it just a Photoshop filter for effect? Maybe the tweak will be lightening the green to match their jersey.

Serious question: my uncle is red/green color blind. Is he going to be able to watch this game? Two teams in white helmets, one clad in red shoulder to toe and the other in all green. Surely the NFL has considered this, right?


Hard to see what if anything is different about these jerseys. The Titans wore Columbia blue jerseys and pants a couple years ago, and these photos seem to match what they already have in their closets. Note the navy yoke on the jersey and the Braisher stripes on the pants.

Still, there has to be a difference somewhere, right? How are they going to sell additional jerseys if they don't have a special Thursday-only design?


The Jags' color swap has been getting the most press today, with their gold jerseys. Nike's proprietary matte fabric doesn't handle metallic colors under the best of circumstances. Their bright and vibrant gold is reduced to a dirty mustard color.

I'm also not sure how those oh-so-angular number font will look in white against gold. Even with two outlines, there may not be enough contrast for the numbers to be clearly read.


Here's where things start to get a little interesting.

The jersey looks straitforward enough; it could even be their regular light blue third. And man, that silkscreened Panther logo looks as awful as the Packers' silkscreened sleeve stripes, which is saying something. Perhaps they'll tweak the jersey with black numbers or something to boost its merchandisability.

For the first time, we're seeing a glimpse of alternate pants. The Panthers have never worn blue pants before, and this is what the side stripes will look like when they do, matching the striping pattern on the shoulders.


Hmm. Only one look at the Cowboys' special "Color Rush" uniforms, unlike the other seven teams.

This could well be a return to the shoulder-star jersey worn by the Cowboys in 1994. Blue sleeves, large stars with double-outline on the shoulders. In order to conform to what we know of the promotion, they would have to pair it with white pants, perhaps the pants they wear withe their throwbacks, which have navy/white/navy Braisher stripes.


We do get two shots of the Buccaneers' jersey, but they're cheating a little bit; both are of the player's right shoulder. The gray yoke has been colored red to match the body, and the orange sliver between them is now black.

This will almost certainly be an improvement over their current mess, as the Bucs are among the teams most in need of a total overhaul. Let's hope they take the opportunity to do something about that awful number font, even if only for the one game.


The Rams seem to be striving for a two-for-one, combining a color swap with their throwback jerseys. The lack of number outline would seem to give that away. If so, it's actually an inverted version of the jerseys they wore from 1973-1999 with gold bodies and blue numbers/horns.

It's tempting to read something into this, as the Rams are rumored to be adopting a throwback look if and when they return to Los Angeles. But perhaps we ought not.

So that's the eight teams for 2015. The indications are that all teams will be required to participate in 2016, provided the program isn't scrapped almost immediately. If that's true, then what would the Packers wear?

It seems unlikely they'd go navy-over-navy, so the options are green pants, yellow pants and jerseys or - what? White-over-white doesn't seem likely to jibe with the "one of the team's current or historic colors" dictate. The Packers did have an all-white uniform in 1957, but that seems outside of the spirit of the promotion.

I think another throwback is far more likely. The Packers did have a "jersey to cleats" single color uniform, remaining in the basic shades of their identifiable and classic palette. It looked pretty hideous, but then again do many of these uniforms. Perhaps the Packers are going to party like it's 1953.

It checks all the boxes, so far as we know, and re-introduces a throwback look.

This may be the best we can hope for, barring a change of heart from the NFL's head office.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Check out this McDonald's commercial featuring Mike Ditka:

That's just... wrong.

Lifelong Yankee fan Jack Nicholson famously refused to wear a Red Sox cap while portraying a Boston gangster in The Departed. But now the man who has made a second career out of personifying The City of Big Shoulders has folded?

Okay, McDonald's. I believe Iron Mike would turn Packer Backer for fantasy football or whatever the stupid promotion is. But to already have a vest in his closet? That's straining the limits of our willing suspension of disbelief.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Not My Favorite Throwback

The Broncos have announced that they'll be wearing their alternate blue jerseys and white pants for this weekend's game, meaning we'll be treated to a visual rematch of Super Bowl XXXII.

Green Bay Packers

Funny, that's the one Super Bowl I have trouble remembering....

Starting with the 2012 season, the Broncos' blue jerseys were demoted to alternate status and the formerly-alternate orange version was made their primary. They have previously been wearing them with blue pants, meaning this will be the first time in four seasons that thei particular uniform combination has been seen.

Nice trolling, Denver. Hope the Packers make them eat those uniforms.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Crazylegs at Marquette, 1952

Cliff Christl's column is always a good read. In the most recent installment, he takes a quick look at a largely-forgotten period in Packers' history. David from Sonoma, California writes in to say:
I fondly remember going to a game with my dad against the L.A. Rams in October 1954 – it was probably a birthday gift to me from my dad – that was played at Marquette Stadium. Can you tell me the final score and rosters?
Cliff's response is interesting in its own right, but also includes a picture of the game in question.

Associated Press
The Packers played their Milwaukee games at County Stadium for the first time in 1953. On Oct. 11, they lost to the Rams, 38-20. On Oct. 17, 1954, they beat the Rams at County Stadium, 35-17, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter. The only year the Packers played at Marquette University’s stadium was 1952. On Oct. 12, they lost to the Rams, 30-28, in a game that will forever live in infamy in Packers history. In the last 12 minutes, the Rams scored 24 points and erased a 28-6 deficit. I’m taking my chances here that it’s more likely you remembered the site better than the year. If that’s so and you were there in ’52, you saw six future Pro Football Hall of Famers. Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin shared quarterback duties for the Rams. Elroy Hirsch and Tom Fears were their receivers. Andy Robustelli was a defensive end for the Rams. Tony Canadeo was in his final season with the Packers and rushed for 15 yards in seven carries. A few of the Packers produced some startling stats. Quarterback Tobin Rote passed for 214 yards and ran for 91 in 13 attempts. Billy Howton caught five passes for 156 yards, including a 70-yard TD. And Bobby Dillon held Hirsch without a catch. Gene Ronzani, in his third year as coach, concocted one of his exotic game plans and used Rote and Babe Parilli, his two quarterbacks, in the same backfield at times. No doubt, the P.A. announcer also had a field day with nicknames. The Rams’ roster not only included Crazylegs Hirsch, but also Paul “Tank” Younger, Deacon Dan Towler and Vitamin T. Smith. Attendance was 21,693. Packers Bob Forte and Ab Wimberly cried their eyes out as they walked off the field. Wish I could have tagged along with you and your dad if that was the game you were at. What memories to rekindle!
That must have been a very good-looking matchup, the Packers in their early 50s green and metallic gold and the Rams in their athletic gold jerseys. Certainly better than the gold-on-gold game Los Angeles fans got to see when the Packers played the rematch just ten weeks later.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Best Packer Not in the Hall?

This is Packers safety Bobby Dillon, who played in Green Bay from 1952 through 1959.

He was a truly great player who had the misfortune of being on some downright awful Packer teams, and only played one season under Vince Lombardi before retiring. Still, he holds to this day the team record for career interceptions with 52. And all with one eye, having lost his right eye at the age of 10 following an accident on his family farm.

Despite the overall quality of the teams he played on, Dillon was an All-Pro from 1954 through '57 and earned Pro Bowl nods from 1956 through '59. When Lombardi reviewed game film of the players he was inheriting, he identified Dillon as one of only three The Milwaukee Journal recently called him a "bright light during (a) dark period". When Ron Wolf went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past summer, he identified Dillon as the overlooked Packer most deserving of induction.

That photo above was colored for the 1955 Bowman set of trading cards, giving us an interpretation of what the uniform might have looked like at City Stadium.

It's classic early 1950s. The plastic helmets were new at the time, replacing leather. A version of this jersey is on display in the recently-renovated Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. You can find it in the uniform timeline display, where it's paired with green pants.

© Jeff Ash, used with permission

As for Bobby Dillon, Cliff Christl has a great piece on him up on Hopefully we can get him in the Hall of Fame where he belongs.

Monday, October 19, 2015

An Ugly Game, but a Good-Looking One

The Packers squeaked out a 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers at Lambeau Field yesterday. On national television, no less, so I was able to watch them live in their throwback uniforms.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) prepares to pass during a NFL football game between the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers during week six on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers beat the Chargers 27-20. (Todd Rosenberg/NFL)
The blue-and-gold combination is absolutely gorgeous, especially in the bright sunlight.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws before an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
I do wish the Packers would wear undershirts that match their jerseys. The white is especially egregious here, since there's no other white on the uniform, and blue would complete the throwback look.

As usual, many of the players had their jerseys customized for the fit they prefer. In the case of receiver James Jones, his neck was cut so tight that the NFL shield was bumped down below the gold yoke.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones (89) does a \"Lambeau Leap\" during a NFL football game between the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers during week six on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers beat the Chargers 27-20. (Todd Rosenberg/NFL)
Linebacker Mike Neal has his cut somewhere in between, resulting in a collar that matches the original uniform on which the throwback is based. (Which is how they all should look.)

San Diego Chargers' Branden Oliver (43) is chased by Green Bay Packers' Mike Neal (96) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
And, of course, the sideline gear was much on display.

Oct 18, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers calls out during warmups prior to the game against the San Diego Chargers at Lambeau Field. (USA Today Sports/Jeff Hanisch)
Gotta love that logo.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) salutes the cheering fans following an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers beat the Chargers 27-20. (Todd Rosenberg/NFL)
Added to the throwback goodness was the total lack of Pinktober nonsense. I can only presume that the Packers didn't want to double-up on the events, which is all the better for us.

Green Bay Packers' James Jones (89) runs past San Diego Chargers' Brandon Flowers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
I understand fans not wanting to move away from Lombardi's masterpiece, even for a single game. I understand fans wanting to see the Green and Gold wearing, well, green and gold. But for one shining Sunday in October of 2015, Curly Lambeau's Packers were back on the field. And I think anything which reminds people of the club's long and glorious history is a good thing.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Photo Gallery: Packers Locker Room Ready with Throwbacks has posted photographs of the the team's locker room, as the equipment managers are setting up for today's game against the Chargers.

Interesting customization on that jersey's neckline; the collar drops below the bottom of the gold yoke, creating an effect that better mimics the original jersey on which that throwback was modeled.

Looks so much better that way.

In accordance with NFL safety regulations, the Packers will be wearing their standard gold helmets stripped of their logos and Braisher stripes.

They will be keeping their green facemasks, although the team could switch those for gray or blue if they so wished.

Every player gets a copy of the game program along with his full uniform and pads.

I wonder how many page through it, read the articles, check to make sure their name is spelled correctly?

Finally, the equipment team finishes its work and the locker room is ready for players.

Looks like it's going to be a beautiful game.