Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Return of an Old Friend

Uni Watch comes through with another great catch from Sunday's game against the Eagles (which I still haven't been able to watch in full). This time the find comes from reader Ryan Kuehn, who noticed the return of a classic Packers logo: the Packers were wearing the old "Heisman/Wisconsin" logo on their visor tabs.

The best shot I've been able to find so far is this picture of Cullen Jenkins sacking Philadelphia quarterback Kevin Kolb:

It's hard to see in action, but when magnified the logo is clearly identifiable.

Even in the magnification it's hard to say conclusively if the logo has been updated in any way or if they're using the original, but it appears to be the standard early 1960s design, including separate dots on the state marking both Green Bay and Milwaukee, the team's two homes from 1933 through 1994.

This was a particularly good catch, since so few players were wearing visors:

I've been pouring over game photos, and it appears that Jenkins and safety Nick Collins were the only two Packers wearing visors. You can just make out the tabs on Nick Collins's helmet (left):

The "Heisman/Wisconsin" logo (which really needs a catchier name - any ideas?) was introduced early in Lombardi's tenure.

Although it was never used on the uniforms, it was extensively used on cards, team publications, letterhead, game tickets, and the like.

It was also featured on some training and sideline wear, including this "Staff" jacket worn by Lombardi in December of 1965:

The logo was phased out after the Lombardi era as the helmet "G" began to be used more and more as the club's primary logo. It was rediscovered in the 1990s as teams became more aware of value (and, more importantly, the marketability) of their own history. Unfortunately, the poor state of pro football uniform research at the time often led to it being oriented incorrectly. Instead of the proper angle, the football was often placed on a directly vertical line, as seen here on an early Mitchell & Ness shirt:

That error seems to have been corrected, by and large. And to my knowledge, this is the first time the logo has actually appeared on a uniform, which takes all that merchandise out of the "throwback" realm and makes it current.

I love this logo. The rendering is somewhat crude, with the white-one-white-on-white player, but it's a perfect representation of Lombardi's "run to daylight" philosophy. The little guy looks like he's shrugging off defenders while executing a perfect Green Bay Packers' Power Sweep.

This logo seems to me to be a perfect candidate for an update. Give it a more detailed rendering, maybe along the lines of the Lambeau Field logo, and it's good for another few decades.

(h/t: Ryan Kuehn, Uni Watch)


Tory Swanson said...

Thank you for finding that, I noticed other teams having logos on their helmet and was wondering what ours was like. That is sweet.

Johnny O said...

What a great post about such an amazing find. Leave it to the readers on Uni Watch to come up with this gem.

As far as re-naming this logo, the only thought I had was "Holstein Heisman". "Holstein" obviously referring to the cows that make up Wisconsin's Dairy State image.

Great job again.

Chance Michaels said...


I like "Holstein Heisman," but I;d really like to find a term which doesn't actually reference the Heisman. The logo needs a proper name, and I don't see the Packers adopting one that incorporates a protected term.

Keep the suggestions coming!

Vince Prygoski said...

dang...i would totally LOVE to have that jacket that Coach Lombardi has on in the picture...especially seeing as how it has the first name we both share on the front!

Anonymous said...

You are correct aboutthe Stir-ups in the Lombardi play. They wore them like baseball players. Had to laugh at that. They also screw up on Dave Robinson's facemask. It's all wrong!

Packers equipment bags now have the Heisman pose on all the bags. Mitchell and Ness currently sells one similar to what the Packers have except on a smaller scale. It also does not have the words Green bay Packers on the bag like the current Packers have on their bags. Still a very nice reproduction for $40.00. You can see the Pics of the old duffle Packer Heisman bag on www.retrothrowbacks.com