Saturday, August 1, 2015

Another Look at What Might Have Been

Courtesy of user thespungo on the sportslogos.net boards, this is a view of what Nike might have created for our Packers instead of just repeating Starter's mistakes with the 1994 throwback uniforms.


I love it. The yoke is perfect, ending above the collar point, and with shoulders more accurately replicate the 1937-1949 jersey.  We know the Packers wore actual gold pants with this uniform, not tan, so they're included as well. 

I could go either way on the sock stripes - the early version of this uniform had them, later versions did not - but this is definitely the throwback uniform we should have gotten.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nike Makes It Official

Nike has posted their press release announcing the new alternate uniforms, along with our first look at the full uniform. 


As I reported earlier, the Packers will be wearing their tan pants and navy socks with the jersey. 


The yoke looks better over pads, not as oversized. 


Note also the green facemask; these are the standard helmets with logos and Braisher stripes removed. 


The tan pants aren't exactly accurate for the period, but I do like the look. 


Here's the press release:

2015

GREEN BAY PACKERS GO OLD SCHOOL WITH NEW NIKE ALTERNATE UNIFORM

Tradition. History. Success. These words define the Green Bay Packers. The Packers own the most championships (13) in National Football League history, and since its founding in 1919, have honored tradition with a distinctive green and yellow uniform aesthetic.

Today, the Packers reveal a new Nike alternate uniform replicating the team’s 1937 design, which has not been worn on the field since 1994. The Packers have won two championships in this uniform that navy blue and gold jersey [sic], the Packers’ predominant color scheme over their first three decades; and their design will include a gold yoke across the shoulders, the distinctive feature of their uniforms from 1937-49. Completing the throwback uniform will be faded gold pants and navy socks.

The fan jerseys will be available for purchase on Nike.com and in select retailers beginning today.

http://news.nike.com/news/green-bay-packers-go-old-school-with-new-nike-alternate-uniform

I do love the uniform as a whole, although I wish they had re-designed the jersey rather than just grabbing Starter's imperfect 1994 design. 



The "Classic Jerseys" - What Might Have Been

Over on the sportslogos.net boards, user Sterling84v2.0 made this mockup of a more historically-accurate throwback jersey:



Small changes, but so much closer to the original than the 1994 reprise they went with.  



Confirmed - New Packers Throwbacks

The leak was legit - the new Packers alternate uniform will be a throwback to Curly Lambeau's classic uniform, the same jersey as worn in 1994. 



 I'm told that they will be wearing this with the same tan pants as the previous alternate, and blue socks with no stripes (which is the only difference from 1994. 

New Throwbacks Leaked?

It looks like the new throwbacks have been leaked: 


This indicates a return to the very first throwback uniform worn by the Packers, back in 1994:


If true, this is monumentally disappointing. I'm a huge fan of the Curly Lambeau era in Packers history, but the team could do so much better in recreating that classic uniform. 


For the team to wear an inaccurate throwback in 1994 was one thing. But today, they could do so much better. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Uni Watch Rankings 2015

Paul Lukas—Uni Watch blogger, ESPN uniform columnist and dean of sports æsthetics journalism—has posted his new 2015 NFL uniform rankings.

Given his well-known love of the classics, not to mention the colors green and gold, it should come as no surprise that the Packers continue to rank highly in his estimation. Not quite as highly as they did last year, when he put them at #2 behind the Chicago Bears.

I won't spoil the entire list for you, but will tell you where he puts our Pack: third-best in the league.

3. Green Bay Packers (-1)


Still the perfect autumnal color scheme for a fall sport. The Pack might have ended up one or even two spots higher in this year's rankings if not for some lingering ambiguity regarding their uniform set: They're scrapping their Acme Packers throwbacks and replacing them with a new throwback uni. No word yet on what that design will be or when it will be unveiled, so for now Green Bay's grade has to be considered a bit incomplete.
Check out the rest of the list, as well as video of Lukas explaining his top and bottom choices, on ESPN.com.

Monday, April 27, 2015

At Least They Don't Think We Play in Indianapolis

The Packers have unveiled the design for this year's Draft caps:

Ooo, shiny.

On the back, the golden NFL logo they're using this year to mark the Super Bowl 50.

The real treat is the underbrim of the cap. New Era is decorating those with the skyline of the team's host city:

This is a little more effective for cities like New York or Chicago, but it's still kind of fun.

I recognize the Tower Drive Bridge, although Wikipedia informs me that it was renamed the "Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge" in 2002. Shows how often I get back.

As undistinguished as Green Bay's skyline might be, at least we're not Jacksonville fans. Their cap's underbrim looks like this:

Only problem is, that's not Jacksonville's skyline. This is:

Those lovely teal-outlined buildings are actually found in Miami, 350 miles to the south:

The Miami New Times has this handy Photoshop comparison:

Whoops. New Era has fessed up to the mistake and promised it will be corrected by the time the caps hit stores.

Friday, April 17, 2015

R.I.P. Lee Remmel, Packers Historian

Sad news out of Titletown; Lee Remmel, who has been associated with the Packers since the Curly Lambeau days, has passed away at the age of 90.

Remmel was a true icon in a sport which tends to over-use the word. He started covering Packers games for the Green Bay Press-Gazette in 1945.

Reporters wait while the Packers’ board of directors meets for four hours in the Brown County Courthouse in Green Bay on Nov. 30, 1949, deliberating the fate of coach and general manager Curly Lambeau. From left are Lee Remmel, Art Daley and Dave Yuenger of the Green Bay Press-Gazette; Packers publicity director George Strickler, Don Arthur of radio station WDUZ, Bob Savage of radio station WBAY and Earl Gillespie of WJPG, the Press-Gazette’s radio station. (Press-Gazette Media archives)
For nearly thirty years, he reported on the ins and outs of the team, and when he finally left his beat in 1974, it was to join the Packers as their public relations director. Remmel's second career was as long and illustrious as his first, through the lean years of the 1970s and 1980s and finally renewed glory days that continue today. In February 2004, he was named team historian. Aided with an uncanny memory and a true gift for personal stories, he has done as much to educate modern football fans as anyone in the sport.

Lee Remmel stands next to the plaque erected in the Lambeau Field press box after it was named for him in August 2003. (Green Bay Packers archives)
The Press-Gazette has a wonderful gallery of Remmel's life. Of course, there are a few uniform gems in the gallery, including these two glimpses of 1950s uniforms. This period has been almost forgotten, lost between Curly's famous gold-yoked jerseys and the world-famous Lombardi design that endures (with a few tweaks) to this very day.

Packers fullback Fred Cone walks past Press-Gazette sports writer Lee Remmel, left, on the sideline at old City Stadium during the Packers’ 37-14 victory over the Baltimore Colts on Oct. 18, 1953. (Press-Gazette Media archives)
Press-Gazette sports writer Lee Remmel kneels along the sideline during the Packers’ 17-13 victory over the New York Giants in a preseason game at old City Stadium on Aug. 25, 1956. He’s flanked by Packers coach Lisle Blackbourn, left, and end Gary Knafelc. (Press-Gazette Media archives)
It's fascinating to watch the evolution of his career, as he starts out covering the players for the paper and transitions into working with them to manage that paper's coverage.

Press-Gazette sports writer Lee Remmel interviews Packers quarterback Bart Starr after Green Bay’s 13-10 victory over the Baltimore Colts in overtime in the Western Division championship game at Lambeau Field on Dec. 26, 1965. (Press-Gazette Media archives)
He flips from one side of the notebook to the other, but maintains the same intense look on his face.

Packers director of public relations Lee Remmel, second from right, stands between Press-Gazette sports writer Cliff Christl and Packers coach Bart Starr during an interview during the 1979 season. (Press-Gazette Media archives)
I love this look at a Lindy Infante's press conference, partly for the peek at 1989's sideline gear but also the guy next to Remmel wearing a Bucks jacket; you're more likely to find Packer apparel inserted in the background of unrelated sporting events than the other way around.

Lee Remmel, the Packers' director of public relations, stands at second from right as coach Lindy Infante meets the media during the 1989 season. (Press-Gazette Media archives)
For generations, Remmel has been a living link to the club's history. For people of my generation, it was to Lambeau and Lombardi. To younger fans, he was an official witness to those long-ago glory days of White and Favre.

Lee Remmel enjoys a laugh with Packers quarterback Brett Favre in the team's locker room during the mid-1990s. (Press-Gazette Media archives)
The Packers have created a tribute page to Remmel on their site with links to press releases and galleries covering his career (with an emphasis on his most recent recognitions). It's well worth a read.

Longtime Packers public relations man and historian and former Press-Gazette sports writer Lee Remmel talks about his life with the Packers at his home on Feb. 10, 2009. (Press-Gazette Media archives)
It is perhaps inevitable that loss seems to stalk any team with the long history of the Packers, as every year we lose one more human connection to that glorious past. I've long enjoyed reading Remmel's reminisces on that history, and we are the poorer now for his voice being silenced. R.I.P., Mr. Remmel.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Confirmed: New Throwbacks in 2015

We've known since November that the Packers were going to replace their alternate uniforms with a new design, but now the team has confirmed it. Via the Press-Gazette:

Packers plan to roll out new throwback uniforms

Weston Hodkiewicz, Press-Gazette Media
9:18 p.m. EDT March 25, 2015

PHOENIX – Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy confirmed that the team will debut a new third alternate uniform in 2015 during the final day of the NFL annual meetings on Wednesday.

Murphy said it will again consist of a throwback design that will be announced at a later date. The Packers wore the 1929-30 design the past five seasons. The replica uniforms, which represent the first year the Packers won the NFL championship, were blue jerseys with a gold circle in the chest.

NFL rules mandated it was the only alternate uniform the Packers could wear for a five-year period. Now that it's expired, the Packers are going to utilize a new old-school look.

"We're definitely going to do it, it will come up soon," Murphy said. "It's going to be exciting. It's going to be an old jersey. It won't be a modern jersey, a Nike… This will be from a past era. I think the fans like it. From what I've seen those games are always kind of fun and the players really enjoy it, too."

Teams are allowed to wear their alternate uniforms a maximum of three times per season, though the Packers traditionally have only chosen to wear it once a year.
Man, that's an awkward first sentence. He means to say that Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy confirmed during the final day of the NFL annual meetings on Wednesday that the team will debut a new third alternate uniform in 2015. We don't yet know when they'll actually unveil the design.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

All That Glitters...

Well, at least you can't accuse the NFL of underselling itself.

For those of us who've been wondering how the league would celebrate the 50th Super Bowl next February, today we learned the answer is two-fold:
  1. all season long; and
  2. with gold. Lots and lots of gold.
First off, we have the Super Bowl logo itself. We've known since last June that the NFL will be temporarily departing from recent practice of silver logos (not to mention its half-century history of Roman numerals) to bring us this subtle logo:

What we're learning today is that the logo was only the beginning of a new Gold Rush.

The NFL will be using a black-and-gold version of its shield logo throughout 2015.

Not just a gold shield, but also all 3D-ified, with gradients and everything.

That's not all; the various event logos used by the NFL, including Thanksgiving, Kickoff, Draft and playoff logos will also be decked out in the new color scheme.

The Pro Bowl uniforms will be black, white and gold.

(Okay, that one's actually an improvement.)

If that wasn't enough for you, the draftees will be walking down a "gold carpet" at the Draft next month.

Starting in Week 7, all teams will be wearing sideline gear with logos trimmed in gold. Here's the Patriots' version:

Yeah, that's going to look good with the Packers' logo. Best we can hope for is that they replace the standard athletic gold outline with this metallic gold one, rather than doubling them up. And what's the significance of starting this in Week 7?

For the game itself, the NFL has decided that the plain boring old Lombardi Trophy just isn't enough to mark this momentous occasion. The winner of the game will get an additional trophy, this understated and subtle thing:

According to the league, the "5" and "0" are bronzed and plated in 18-carat gold. They each weigh 33 pounds.

And finally, the 50-yard numbers will be painted gold at every stadium for every game this year. Just in case you can forget for a moment.

I haven't seen this much gold since James Bond had to save Fort Knox from Pussy Galore.

The fetishization of the Super Bowl era continues apace.

I often wish they put as much effort into remembering the real Golden Age of the NFL, but that would be admitting the existence of a time before we counted our championships by Roman numerals. Still, a boy can dream.