Showing posts with label throwbacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label throwbacks. Show all posts

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"History Wins Again!"

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers looks to pass as Cleveland Browns' Paul Kruger applies pressure during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Today, the Packers wore their navy blue 1929-inspired throwback uniforms, the first time since Nike took over the manufacturing contract. And, as I reported yesterday, the standard gold shells required by new NFL regulations were accompanied by the regular green facemasks.

You can clearly see it here in this photo of running back Eddie Lacy. Click to enlarge:

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) is tackled by Cleveland Browns' Tashaun Gipson during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
As much as I appreciate the attempt to replicate leather helmets with brown polycarbonate shells, I prefer the look of the gold helmets. They certainly brighten up what could otherwise be a drab uniform, especially under cloudy, rainy skies.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns.(AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
Speaking of the helmets, Jermichael Finley took a hard hit to the head, suffering a neck injury that required him to be carted off the field and already leading to much speculation about helmet safety. Here he is earlier in the game:

Green Bay Packers' Jermichael Finley reacts after catching a pass for a first down during the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. (USA Today Sports Images)
The Packers looked pretty good, as they always do in these throwback games. These will remain the official Packers alternate uniform through next season, although I don't know if we'll see them worn again.

Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson (87) celebrates his touchdown catch with teammate Jarrett Boykin (11) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 31-13. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
The on-field uniforms were only part of the story. There was also a surplus of blue and gold on the sidelines:

And, when I got my win-or-lose postgame email from the Packers Pro Shop, they made sure to tell me where I could pick up all that gear:

"History Wins Again," indeed.

I think I should a little irritated about conflating the 1921-22 "Acme Packers" years with the 1929 chest-circle uniforms, but anything that spreads the word about the Blue and Gold glory days is probably a good thing. When I was a kid, I had no idea the Packers' history ever extended beyond green jerseys and gold helmets. Today it's not possible for any fan to say the same.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Still a Touch of Green with the Gold?

The Packers' website appears to be reporting that the Packers will wear their standard green facemasks with their throwback blue uniforms tomorrow:

The Green Bay Packers will wear the team’s third jersey, a re-creation of the historic 1929 uniform worn by the franchise’s first NFL championship team, during Sunday’s Packers-Cleveland game.

Due to new NFL helmet guidelines, the team this year will utilize its regular gold helmet without the logo and stripes. A similar helmet arrangement was used by the Packers during NFL “throwback” games in 1994 and 2001.
Although the NFL prohibits teams from wearing alternate helmets, there is no such rule requiring them to use the same facemasks in every game. We saw this in Week 2 when the Bears wore their throwbacks against Minnesota:

That's their regular navy helmet, stripped of its logo, but a throwback gray facemask.

The press release is mostly correct about past throwback helmets. In 1994, the Packers did indeed wear their regular green facemasks.

In 2001, however, they wore gray masks with their gold shells.

Personally, I'm hoping for the gray (or better yet, blue), but the team's graphic indicates we might see a replay of 1994.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Blue in the Face

As they have in past seasons, the Packers are marking this weekend's upcoming throwback game with a new (blue) splash page:

They've also created a retro logo to promote the game (as well as assorted tie-in marketing opportunities).

I really like this logo, particularly when compared to the "Acme Packers" logos they've been merchandising for the last several seasons. I especially love how they've incorporated the gold helmets they'll be wearing to conform to new league safety mandates.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bye-Bye Brown Helmets, Part II [UPDATED]

As I reported last night, the NFL has suddenly eliminated alternate helmets, causing at least one team to cancel a planned throwback event.

Paul Lucas at Uni Watch did some digging, and is able to clarify the policy. To a point.

This is what the Bucs' site had to say:
The league-wide guideline, which requires players to use the same helmet for all games during the season, was recently implemented based on the strong recommendation by the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee as well as the Player Safety Advisory Panel. … Due to the new regulations, Buccaneer players will wear their standard pewter, red and white uniforms in place of the classic Florida orange, red and white throwback attire that had previously been scheduled.
Uni Watch then quotes from an article released a few hours later on That article says the new rule "forbid[s] teams from switching helmets during the season." It also includes some clarifying quotes from NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy:
"This offseason, we communicated a recommendation from the Head, Neck and Spine Committee and the Player Safety Advisory Panel to those teams planning to wear throwback uniforms for at least one game this season. They recommended that players no longer wear different helmets as part of a 'throwback' or 'third' uniform. … Teams may continue to wear throwback uniforms under league guidelines, but players must wear their regular helmets. The outside of the helmet can be modified by removing or replacing decals, as long as it does not affect the integrity of the helmet."
Regardless of whether this is a "rule" or a "guideline" (and the NFL seems to be treating it more like the former), this is a pretty stunning turn of events. When exactly was the rule implemented? Couldn't have been that long ago, since teams still have throwbacks scheduled and the Buccaneers apparently didn't know until recently that they couldn't wear their white helmets.

This also indicates that, as I feared, the brown helmets will be eliminated from the Packers' throwbacks. Presuming that they just strip the logos and Braisher stripes from their current helmets, this is what we can expect Week 7 against the Browns:

(Photoshop by Phil Hecken)

I hope they at least swap out the green facemasks, unlike the 1994 throwbacks.

I'm in favor of the new rule, although I loved the brown helmets (and was hoping for a Washington-style leather print treatment this year). I've long argued that the NFL doesn't take head injuries seriously, even when they make lots of noise about concussions, but perhaps this is a signal of changing times.

Much more to come, I'm sure.

We have confirmation, from Jason Wilde at ESPN Wisconsin. That's exactly what we're getting:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bye-Bye Brown Helmets?

Breaking news - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that they're scrapping an upcoming throwback game over a brand-new NFL rule prohibiting (or at least discouraging) the use of alternate helmets.

This could mean the end of brown shells with the Packers' blue throwbacks.

Ironically, when throwbacks were first introduced to the NFL many teams elected to re-use their current shells, labeled with period-appropriate decals, out of these same safety concerns:

Ultimately, nobody was seriously injured wearing a throwback helmet, so all teams started wearing a second set with their throwbacks. But since we now know that concussions aren't the real problem, all those tiny cumulative hits are, the NFL looks to be reconsidering its previous stand.

So, presuming that the Packers will still hold their throwback game Week 7 against the Browns, it appears that they will have to wear the standard gold shells. That's what they did in 1994, removing the logo and Braisher stripes but retaining the green facemask.

It would also mean no leather-textured helmets for the Pack.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

1994 Team Photo

This team photo was handed out to the fans at Lambeau Field on their way in to see the Packers take on the Detroit Lions.

Despite the photo, the Packers wore their regular green-and-gold uniforms for the game.

The Packers won the game that day 16-12, holding the mighty Barry Sanders to minus-one yard rushing. The Green Bay Press-Gazette has a very good summary of the game.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Auction Gold - Brett Favre's 2001 Thanksgiving Throwback Jersey

Heritage Auctions comes through again.

This time they bring us this amazing throwback jersey from 2001, worn by Brett Favre in that season's "Thanksgiving Classic" game, and in the process give us a closer look at the details of on-field jerseys from that era.

2001 Brett Favre Thanksgiving Day Game Worn Green Bay Packers Jersey
Heritage Auctions
Throwback style worn as Favre claimed the coveted "Galloping Gobbler" Award

2001 Brett Favre Thanksgiving Day Game Worn Green Bay Packers Jersey. A late sixteen-point advantage for the Packers in this nationally televised contest threatened to heighten America's turkey stupor, but the winless Detroit Lions staged a noble fourth quarter rally, ultimately falling just a two-point conversion short of pulling even with Green Bay to finalize the scoring at 29-27. This first victory in five years for the Pack saw their future Hall of Fame quarterback doing most of the heavy lifting, completing eighteen of twenty-six for 252 yards and two touchdowns. "Hallelujah," Favre responded to reporters' questions about his team's narrow escape from disaster. "What else do you want me to say?"
Heritage Auctions
Within minutes of the final whistle, the Gunslinger was feasting on a turkey leg along with his teammate Ahman Green, who caught one touchdown pass and rushed for another to earn joint ownership of the Galloping Gobbler Award with his QB. Presented is the jersey worn by Favre throughout the nail-biting contest and turkey-biting aftermath, a "throwback" to the simple style worn by the 1939 NFL Championship team. The 2001 Thanksgiving contest would begin a four-year tradition of Turkey Day throwbacks, though the drama of this first edition establishes it as the most memorable of the series.

While several Favre 2001 throwbacks have surfaced in the collecting world, it's important to note that this is the one and only gamer, distinguished by several key Favre traits absent in the pretenders. Notably, this model boasts a deeper "double cut" of the spandex sides that the replicas do not, as well as a swatch embroidered with a number "1" at interior seam, an indicator of primary gamer status. Finally, two small areas of gold stitching, serving no purpose other than identification, appear at interior rear shoulder and tail, key attributes of a genuine Favre.

Heritage Auctions

Game wear is evident (including a nice hit mark on the green tackle twill of the rear numeral), though laundering has removed the most visible signs. our consignor confirms that marks evident on the jersey as Favre exited the field at the half remained as he reappeared for the third quarter, assuring that only one jersey was used that Thanksgiving day. Interior collar holds proper "01-52" year/size swatch.

Heritage Auctions

For those calculating investment potential, Favre is one of the best bets out there. His 2015 Hall of Fame induction is an ironclad lock, and the love lost during his uncomfortable departure from the Pack is steadily rebounding. He'll be getting standing ovations at Lambeau before you know it, assuring this is a commodity on the rise. Letter of provenance from Guy Hankel. LOA from Heritage Auctions. DVD of the game also included.
Guy Hankel is the most reliable authority on game-worn Packers jerseys of the last several decades. And this is a marvelous one.

The style is a throwback to 1939, when the Packers adopted a white alternate jersey.

The gold interior stitching is a new detail. The Packers sold "authentic" versions of this jersey, made by Berlin and with all the appropriate tagging, leading to the rush of jerseys on the collectible market mentioned in the description. This gold stitching separates the true authentic from the retail version.

What a game that was. I watched all sixty minutes on the edge of my couch.

And what an amazing piece of Packers history.

I'm insanely jealous of whomever gets to add this to their Packers collection.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What's "the Greatest Uniform in NFL History"?'s "Uniform Monitor", Dave Dameshek, is now running a bracket-style poll to determine the "Greatest Uniform in NFL History".

The Packers have two entries. Their regular uniforms are the 5 seed in the NFC Uniforms Bracket:

The 2010 throwbacks (which will make their first appearance since 2011 this season) are the 16 seed in the NFC Throwback Bracket:

Interestingly, in both brackets the Packers are matched up with the Philadelphia Eagles (regular and 1961 throwbacks).

The voting process is a little confusing; there are checkboxes for each team but no "vote" button, nor is there any indication that the vote has been counted. I've looked in two different browsers but don't see any sort of confirmation. Head on over to and tell me what I'm missing here.

We'll continue to give updates as the brackets progress.

Packer fans have come through before, securing nine consecutive victories in the Chunky Soup "Click for Cans" promotion before it was shut down. Time to do it again!

Monday, May 6, 2013

On You Blue and Gold to Glory, Again!

Green Bay Packers

Today the Packers announced that after a year's absence, they will be bringing back the 1929 uniforms for one game:
Packers donning throwback uniforms vs. Browns

The blue and gold is coming back to Lambeau Field.

After taking a break last season, the Green Bay Packers announced on Monday that they’ll bring back their 1929-inspired alternate uniforms during an Oct. 20 home game against the Cleveland Browns during the upcoming 2013 NFL season.

The Packers unveiled the third jersey during a 34-16 win over San Francisco on Dec. 5, 2010, and wore them again the following season during a 24-3 win over St. Louis before taking the 2012 season off.

The alternate jersey is based on the Packers’ 1929 jerseys, which were blue with the jersey number in a gold circle on the front. The modern version differs from the original model in that it uses a larger gold circle and also includes a full-sized number on the back along with the player’s last name, to conform with NFL uniform regulations

The alternate uniforms also feature tan pants and a solid brown helmet, representing the leather helmets that players of that era wore. The Packers won the first of their 13 NFL championships in 1929.
We knew that the throwbacks were in the NFL Style Guide last season, even after the shift from Reebok to Nike, but I hadn't heard any indication we'd see them again.

It's probably too much to hope that Nike will pair them with blue undershirts this time, but I do wonder if we'll see a new helmet treatment, utilizing the same leather-textured look that Nike and HGI whipped up for Washington last season.

Something to wonder about as the season approaches.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Blue and Gold Live On

New Era just posted this photo on its Facebook page:

In case you were worried that the "Acme Packers" merchandise had been retired.

The cap is now available at the Packers Pro Shop.

I'll give them this: at least they're closer to the original font than modern merchandise usually gets.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

But Can They Do Pleather?

The Washington Redskins have unveiled throwback uniforms to celebrate their 80th Anniversary:
Washington Redskins
This is worth our notice for the unique faux-leather treatment they've given the helmet:

Helmet treatments have been the bane of NFL throwbacks since the first ones were rolled out in 1994. When throwing back to an era before helmet logos and striping, the standard conceit has been to wear a plain, unadorned shell:

The originals look great, but the modern interpretations look unfinished and awkward. The rich texture of the leather is missing.

In an earlier post, I proposed a different approach to the blank brown shells with gray facemasks. Perhaps, I thought, if they added some subtle shading, a slightly darker shade of brown, it might hint at the old leather strips:

This takes my approach to its logical conclusion, and fixes what I think is the biggest problem with leather helmet-era throwback uniforms.

The Redskins didn't specify, but that leather-like finish is undoubtedly the work of Hydro Graphics Inc., Nike's standard supplier of custom finishes. HGI has already created helmets for the Giants in the last Super Bowl and commemorative helmets for the outgoing Jaguars owners.

Shame that we won't be seeing the Packers' throwback blues this season, but if and when they return for 2013, I expect that we'll see their helmets outfitted with a similar finish.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

How Nike Sees the Packers

These are Nike's renderings of the Packers' 2012 uniforms, taken right from the manufacturer's style guide.

Do those front numbers look a little small to anyone else?

The throwback blues are included in the style guide, although the Packers have announced that they will not be worn this season.

Here's where we get our first surprise: white swooshes. The Reebok vector was always gold on their versions:

I presume that they will be available at retail, even if not worn on the field, so we'll have confirmation soon enough.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 2012 Schedule, and the Death of the Blues?

The Packers unveiled their 2012 schedule tonight, and created this wonderful graphic of the first four opponents to accompany the release.

I love it, partially for the prominent Braisher stripes but mostly for the uniform renderings. They make text superfluous: home to the Niners and Bears, then at Seattle, then home again to play the Saints. Bonus points for using the new Nike templates.

I wish they would give the full schedule this treatment, but they're using the same basic format as last season:

The Packers have five games in prime time, which is good news for us out-of-market fans.

There was also some Packer uniform news released yesterday, in this case from the schedule's accompanying Dope Sheet:

This little bit of news was buried down at the bottom:

That's a shame. I was looking forward to seeing them with the rubber NFL shield instead of the EQUIPMENT patch. Wonder if the Pro Shop will still be carrying them, or if the blues are done for good?