Saturday, December 26, 2015

Infographic - Packers at Cardinals Preview

As the Packers make their push for the playoffs, let's take a look at's infographic for the upcoming game in Arizona.
In addition to a breakdown of the Packers-Cardinals all-time series and the two playoff-bound teams’ season rankings, this week’s infographic takes a closer look at Julius Peppers’ place on the NFL’s all-time sack list and the rookie season of CB Damarious Randall.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Seasons Greetings From Gene and the Pack

Heritage Auctions

This card was sent by the Packers in the early 1950s. It recently came up for auction at Heritage.
Early 1950s Gene Ronzani Signed Green Bay Packers Christmas Card - Only Example Known!   Offered here is an original Packers team photograph Christmas card from the early 1950s signed by head coach Gene Ronzani. Signed in 6/10 green ink, it measures at 4.25x5.5". VG quality exhibited throughout.
That's a new photo for me, showing the Packers in their early 1950s green-over-green combination.

Season's Greetings to you and yours!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Infographic - Packers at Raiders Preview

This week's infographic is up at
In addition to a recap of the all-time Green Bay-Oakland series, this week’s infographic breaks down in great detail the Packers’ defensive success in recent weeks and the work of RB duo Eddie Lacy and James Starks last week vs. Dallas.

Canaries in the Coal Mine?

The St. Louis Rams played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last night, in the last of the league's Thursday Night Football "Color Rush" events. I haven't been terribly interested in these games, except in as much as next season they move from optional to mandatory, and they might give us a peek as to what the Packers will be wearing.

These uniforms are a modification of their regular throwback; the jersey body and number colors inverted and the shade darkened from royal to navy.

I do love the bright shade of athletic gold. The Braisher stripes are a little bit odd here, since there's no other white anywhere on the uniform.

So what does this mean for us? There's historical precedent for the Packers wearing gold jerseys and pants, and even though I think it's more likely that the Packers will end up in mono-green this could be a very interesting look for our Pack.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bears Feeling Blue in 2016?

Paul Lukas at Uni Watch is reporting some interesting news about Chicago's entry in the league's "Color Rush" promotion next season.
“I’m a member of the Chicago Bears Season Ticket Advisor Group,” says a reader who’d prefer not to be named. “At our meeting on Wednesday night, they informed us that every Thursday-night game next year will be a ‘color rash’ game [which we already knew, of course — PL], and that if the Bears play on a Thursday Night, they will wear mono-navy, not orange.” To my knowledge, the Bears have worn mono-navy only once before, for a Monday-night game against the Packers in 2002. They lost, and the party line since then has been that they’d never wear mono-navy again because of the loss. I think that type of superstitious thing is silly, and I can certainly think of other, better reasons for them not to go mono-navy (for example: looks like total fucking shit), but it’s nice to know that they can scrap their superstition in order to conform with a silly corporate costuming initiative.
Here's a photo of that mono-navy uniform in action:

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (L) and safety Mike Brown (R) close in on Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver (C) after Driver caught a Brett Favre pass in the first quarter, 07 October 2002 in Champaign, Illinois. AFP PHOTO/Tannen MAURY
There was one other time the Bears dragged out this particular uniform combination; the last game of the 2006 season, as the Packers beat them 26-7. The Bears were at less than full strength that evening, having already clinched the top NFC playoff seed on their way to the Super Bowl.

Running back Ahman Green #30 of the Green Bay Packers tries to break free from the grasp of Cameron Worrell #44 of the Chicago Bears as he runs with the ball in the first quarter on December 31, 2006 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. Credit: Jonathan Daniel
Of course, this time they'd have to add navy socks to it. In for a penny....

I don't like the Bears, but I do respect their visual heritage. I thought it was silly for them to wear that nonsense back in 2002, and it'll will be sillier for them to bring it back next year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Wearing of the Silver and Black

In this photo from Super Bowl II, Packers quarterback Bart Starr tries to get away from Oakland defensive tackle Dan Birdwell.

What's striking to me is that Oakland Raiders uniform. The Packers uni Starr is wearing is close to the one Aaron Rodgers will don this Sunday, but there are a lot of little differences. The gray facemask. The solid green/gold stripes on the sleeves. The sock stripes. All minor changes (and all of them downgrades), but changes nonetheless.

But that Raiders uniform. The Silver and Black. Exactly as it was when they took the field that day in 1968. Sure, the materials are different, and the helmets have taken on a new shape in the intervening half-century, but the design elements are as they always were.

They even had names on the back of the jersey in 1968, which was pioneered by the AFL in 1960 but wouldn't be adopted by the Packers until 1970. And that might be the only design change, the old letters replaced with a sans-serif font.

With such a steady uniform history, it's easy to forget that the Raiders actually started out their existence as the gold and black, in jerseys that owed a little something to the Chicago Bears.

That was short-lived, and after a few minor tweaks the famous black-and-silver was introduced in 1963. The helmet logo was tweaked the following season, and to this day, the Raiders have an almost-perfect home uniform.

If anything, I'd like to see them make a minor tweak to the roads, bringing back the silver numbers with black outlines they wore in 1963 and 1964.

This was the basis for the throwbacks they wore in 2009 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the American Football League, and it's an interesting departure. Other than that, it's hard to suggest improvements to Al Davis's classic design.

In a league increasingly eager to shed its traditional aesthetic to chase the latest trends, there's something wonderful about seeing two old-school teams taking the field. And with the Raiders possibly abandoning Oakland for Los Angeles (again), this is a rare pleasure for these two devoted fanbases to watch.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Hole in One

Packers running back James Starks had his share of carries in last night's 28-7 win over the Cowboys. His jersey certainly looked the worse for wear - by the second quarter, he had a small tear in the back of his jersey, right between the numbers.

Jim Biever,

I first noticed it when he ran for the team's first score. Here he is emerging from the stands after his Lambeau Leap:

Can't remember the last time I've seen the mesh fabric rip quite that way.

It's also not clear if he had it the rest of the game. I couldn't quite tell, but it doesn't appear to be present in the 4th quarter:

But this photo appears to have been taken at the end of the game, and the tear is once again clearly visible.

Jim Biever,

Something's certainly visible, although that could well be a quick stitch job. Perhaps it was hastily repaired during the game (at halftime?). Given how tightly these jerseys are stretched over the players' frames, not to mention pads, this makes sense. Pinch the fabric together, run a little back stitch to close the hole, that's probably easier than swapping out for a new jersey.

Of course, in the olden days the team would have just taken a needle and thread to it, sending him back on the field with it the following week. Today, he'll get a brand-new one and the torn jersey will be a great memento of an outstanding game.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Infographic: Cowboys/Packers Preview

Another great infographic from, previewing tomorrow's game against the Cowboys.
This week’s infographic takes a closer look at last week’s Hail Mary play, breaking down the Packers’ comeback and its place in franchise and league history, plus some social media statistics in the moments after the play. There’s also the usual look at the Packers-Cowboys all-time series, and a rundown of how well Green Bay has protected the ball on offense this season.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Uni Watch: "Packers Beat Rush to Mono-color Uniforms"

Last night, I remarked that the Rams' "Color Rush" uniforms reminded me of the Packers' gold-over-gold from the 1950s. Well, I wasn't the only one thinking along those lines; ESPN's Uni Watch has an excellent segment today as part of its "Friday Flashback" that all Packers fans will want to check out.

Uni Watch head honcho Paul Lukas reviews the Packers' uniforms of the late 1940s and 1950s to explore its relationship to Nike's modern marketing ploy:
Many NFL fans were surprised when the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions both wore their regular uniforms for their Thursday night matchup on Dec. 3. After all, the previous several Thursday night games had featured Nike's new "Color Rush" uniforms. Why hadn't the Packers and Lions gotten with the program?

The answer is that the mono-color uniforms are optional for this season's Thursday games, and the tradition-minded Packers decided to stick with their regular look. (Green Bay CEO Mark Murphy mentioned this at the team's annual shareholder meeting way back in July.) The mono-color uniforms become mandatory for next season's Thursday night games, so we'll presumably be seeing the Packers in either solid green or solid yellow in 2016.

But here's something that might surprise you: The Packers already have worn plenty of solid-green and solid-yellow uniforms. You just have to look back pretty far in the team's uniform history to find them.

According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, which is the definitive resource for NFL uni history, the Packers wore mono-green uniforms for parts of three seasons: 1935, 1950 (as you can see, they also went mono-yellow that year, among several other uniform configurations) and 1953. Color photos from those seasons are rare, but the 1953 squad wore the green garb while posing for its team portrait:

Color photos of the green unis from 1935 and 1950 are harder to come by, but the 1950 design is acknowledged on the uniform timeline that appears at the Packers Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field: As for going all yellow, the Gridiron Uniform Database indicates that the Pack went with that look -- complete with yellow socks and helmets -- in 1947 and 1948: The solid-yellow look also was worn in the 1949 preseason and, as we noted earlier, in 1950. In addition, there were many seasons when the Pack wore yellow jerseys with canvas-colored pants -- not quite mono-color but pretty darn close: Finally, it's worth noting that Packers actually wore mono-white on the road in 1957 and 1958. The solid-white look, which featured navy trim, even included a white helmet: So no matter what the Packers end up wearing for a Thursday night game next season, they were way ahead of the Color Rush curve.

(Special thanks to William Schaefer of the Gridiron Uniform Database and Chance Michaels of the Packers uniform blog The Wearing of the Green (And Gold) for their research assistance.)
Kind of him to throw the shout-out; although I disagree with some of his conclusions (I don't think those 1952 pants are canvas-colored) I was happy to give him what I had on the 1950s Packers.

That period fascinates me, as the team flailed around from uniform to uniform trying to find something to stick, right between two iconic looks. A reflection of the coaches, the players, the team, what have you.

Turbulent times created a turbulent visual history. One which, it appears, was a little ahead of its time.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Rams "Color Rush" Revealed

The Rams play their >ugh< "Color Rush" game next week, so tonight's the night to unveil what they'll be wearing.

It's hideous like all the others, but there are a couple things I do like about it. The first is the pants - even though the white stripe is stupid with no other white on the uniform, we can always use more Braisher stripes in the NFL. Even temporary ones.

It also reminds me of the Rams' 1950s uniforms, including the game in 1952 when the Packers wore their all-gold uniforms in Los Angeles against the Rams... in their gold jerseys.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Packers/Cowboys Game Program

The program for this Sunday's Packers/Cowboys game at Lambeau Field is now available from the Packers Pro Shop.

Solid design again - this time the cover boy is quarterback Aaron Rodgers. I was thinking they might save him for the last home game of the season; wonder what they've got in store for Week 17 against the Vikings?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Nike Uniform Template Revealed

Nike's PR Director just tweeted out photos of the new Pro Bowl uniforms:
This is interesting because the template, known as "Vapor Untouchable 2", will be brought to the NFL next season. I'm sure Nike will spin some happy horseradish about them being "20.00025% lighter" or something.

One more reason to be glad that the Packers have insisted on retaining their traditional template rather than blindly accepting the marketing gimmick Nike hands them.

Monday, December 7, 2015

48 Seconds of the 1936 Championship Game

Some amazing silent footage on YouTube:

December 13, 1936: Teams run onto Polo Grounds Field. Toss of coin. Packers throw back Boston team on kickoff play. Packer's Arnie Herber passes to Don Hutson for TD. Boston's star Cliff Battles leaves game with serious leg injury. Herber passes 52 yards to Johnny Blood McNally to eight yard line. Herber passes to Milt Gantenbein for TD and 14-6 lead.
Amazing catch by Hutson there.

The Packers scored first, and Boston came back to almost tie in, but in the second half the Bays pulled away and cruised to their fourth World Championship.

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Boston Redskins06006

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Auction Gold: 1960s "Put On" Sweater

I don't usually cover eBay auctions, but Uni Watch tipped me on to a beauty, ending this afternoon:

The auction description is skimpy and boring:
Totally sweet sweater for a Great Wall hanger in man cave. Perfect Xmas gift. Free from any smells or holes. Looks like it was hardly worn Zipper works says size 34 chest and size 18. The put on shop is in label.
The pictures, on the other hand, are great. Always love the single-bar gray facemask, and the sweater's oversized O-ring pull is fun.

This sweater was sold at Sears. Here's a vintage ad from the famed catalogue:

So here you go. Packers fans. Bid early, bid often. Your kid could look like one of the sporty young gentlemen in that photo. Kennedy haircut not included.