[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul may be popping up here occasionally.]
By Phil Hecken, with Noah Friedman
Got another reader submitted article for you today, this time from Noah Friedman, who addresses an issue that’s been ongoing for years, and especially amongst fans of the Philly Iggles: Kelly vs Midnight. Enjoy!
Seeing Green: The Aesthetic Argument Regarding the Philadelphia Eagles
By Noah Friedman
In 1996, the Philadelphia Eagles made a bizarre choice: change the teams iconic “Kelly” green uniforms that had become synonymous with the franchise for a much, much darker shade in “Midnight” green. The reason for the choice, new owner, Jeffery Laurie’s, now ex-wife hated the “Kelly” green (hey, “happy wife happy life”, I guess). From that point on, up until recently there was a general consensus from fans of the team that the “Midnight” green should be scrapped, and “Kelly” green should be brought back. What happened recently that changed opinions? Well, for those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few years, the Eagles won their first Super Bowl in franchise history (their fourth NFL Championship, overall, but I’m not going to debate the whole “do NFL Championships predating the Super Bowl count?” thing because it’s a stupid and pointless debate) wearing Laurie’s “Midnight” green.
The story comes up about once or twice a year in Philadelphia the “Jeffery Lurie is Trying to Get the NFL to Change its One Helmet Policy for Throwbacks”, in traditional Eagles Fan Fashion, people take to the phones and start debating it. It has been a little over three years since the initial report of Lurie petitioning the NFL Competition Committee to overturn the One Helmet Rule, and the debate rages on to this day. Here is a quick look, from a fan and Uni Watcher’s perspective of the Eagles Aesthetic Argument. A look at all sides, the hurdles that would come with each option, and the history of why this debate is so bizarre. I am sure there are other fan bases that have similar debates throughout other sports (Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, New England Patriots, and Denver Broncos immediately come to mind). In the grand scheme of football and life does this matter? Absolutely not. In the uniform world does it matter? Yes. Is anyone innately right or wrong? Who the hell knows? Am I gonna look at it? Yes.
Faction 1: “If it Ain’t Broke”
The first faction in this debate are those fans who think “meh, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The birds won their first Super Bowl wearing the ‘Midnight’ green, so why bring back the ‘kelly’ shade? A lot of folks in this faction tend to be in the younger generations of fans, and they are not necessarily as vocal about their opinion on this matter because nobody really cares if they make a change. We have had nearly three decades in “Midnight” green, and the Eagles won the Super Bowl wearing the dark pantone. It is not a terrible shade of green, but it is not an overly attractive one (hell, I am the type of fan that would rather buy the BFBS jersey because the “Midnight” is not as aesthetically pleasing). But it was the uniform the Eagles won the Super Bowl in so there’s that element. The weirdest thing is, Lurie downgraded the uniforms when he bought the team because his wife at the time (now ex-wife) hated the ‘Kelly’ Green so he opted to change the color to make her happy (think if the Rams totally rebranded because Anne Kroenke ((neé Walton)) did not like the Blue and Gold color scheme).
Faction 2: Bring Them Back
The Eagles ‘Kelly’ green uniforms had been iconic for decades, and up until Lurie’s decision to make the change it was pretty much the team’s identity. Hell, so much as just a mention of the Eagles in uniform circles bring about conversations about the ‘Kelly’ green, and winged helmets (which, I’ve always loved). Whichever iteration of the ‘Kelly’ green aesthetic you believe to be the best is really up to you. Whether it be the Ron Jaworski/Harold Carmichael/Dick Vermeil Era Eagles Uniforms with the Green/White/Grey/White/Green Northwestern Stripe, or the Reggie White/Randall Cunningham/Jerome Brown/Buddy Ryan Era uniforms with the full bird on the sleeve. My personal belief is that the “Bring Them Back” option is ideal for most fans. A lot of folks love the lighter hue of green, and feel strongly about the return into the rotation.
Faction 3: The Hybrid/The Rams Method
This option is the one that requires the NFL to ease up on uniform regulations. The infamous “One Helmet Rule” (one shell) rule is the one factor holding up the Eagles (among other teams like the Patriots, Chargers, and that team from Dallas) from making this option a reality, and using either the ‘Kelly’ green or ‘Midnight’ green a throwback option. As it stands, the two shades of the same color cause a horrific clash and just simply do not go together, making a throwback/alternate unrealistic at best, and as horrible as the Eagles 75th anniversary uniforms at worst. Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie has been trying like hell to make this option the reality of the situation, but with the current rules in place, this is not an option that can be done in a reasonable manor.
The Hybrid option/”Rams Method” as I’m calling it is simply using one aesthetic as the primary and the other as the secondary/alternate throwback (that really becomes more like a primary). Obviously, the biggest hurdle is the NFL changing rules in regards to helmet shells, but the other would be demographic testing and fan polling simply due to the fact that this is a divisive topic within the fanbase. Whichever one doesn’t test as well with fans (obviously, both aesthetics would test well, but one would logically test slightly better) would become the throwback/alternate, and the better testing one would become the primary. Unfortunately, this method would be the most ideal option, but the most unrealistic one as the NFL does not seem to want to change the “One Helmet Rule” any time soon.
Ultimately, there is very little or no room for a good option here. There is no option in which the Eagles or fans can truly “win”. That is, unless something changes at the league level. If/when the NFL changes their one helmet policy then we could see a change for teams like the Eagles, Patriots, Chargers, Dallas, et cetera. The rule should change, as some NCAA programs will roll out a new helmet each week, and you’d think the people in charge of keeping the heads of young people safe would try to do that in the same method as the NFL. But what do we know? We’re just fans and uniform nerds, right? We aren’t paid thousands of dollars to reduce concussions. Also most players will go through multiple helmets in a season. So maybe the rule change could happen. Either way, the Eagles direction involving the aesthetic identity of the team will remain in limbo until Jeffery Lurie decides to do something. Sometimes, you can’t just sit around and wait for the higher ups to make the decision for you.
Today is my dad’s birthday, his support of some of my interests (including uniforms) is a huge part of what made this article possible. So happy birthday, Dad.
Thanks, Noah! I, myself, am and have been in the kelly camp for some time, and I thought once the Lurie split was finalized, he’d seek to bring the kelly back. We’re not there yet.
OK readers? What say you?
Cubbies v. The Burgh
Last night, in Williamsport, PA, the Chicago Cubs — playing as the “CUBBIES” — took on the Pittsburgh Pirates — who represented “THE BURGH.” What you see above are the caps the respective teams wore: the Cubs wore a royal blue featuring their “walking cub” secondary logo, while the Pirates went with a solid gold cap adorned with a modified version of their primary logo: the word “Pirates” was removed, and the bandanna was recolored from red to gold.
Williamsport, of course, is the home of the Little League World Series (which is currently taking place) and the game was what has become the annual version of the “Little League Classic.” In past years, the participating teams wore their ridiculous “Players Weekend” jerseys and caps, but this year, both teams got special jerseys to go with the modified caps:
Cubbies vs. The Burgh
— MLB (@MLB) August 9, 2019
As you can see, the jerseys are of the v-neck, pullover variety (so Jim Vilk and Chris Richards can rejoice), and both feature a pattern resembling that of the “Beach Blanket Bingo” jerseys of White Sox infamy (interesting they’d but the Cubs in these, but I digress).
The Cubs jersey was gray-based, with a light blue stripe over and under a large royal blue stripe with “CUBBIES” in large letters across the royal stripe. Letters were red outlined in white. The jerseys feature the Cubs “C” logo with the walking bear on the left chest. Both sleeves were solid royal blue.
The Pirates wore white jerseys which featured the same pattern, only the Bucs had a light yellow stripe atop and below the larger gold stripe; letters were black outlined in white, with both sleeves being solid gold. Like the Cubs, the Pirates jerseys featured a “P” logo on the left chest.
As in the past, the jerseys featured a “Little League Classic” patch on the left sleeve, and on the right sleeve, player jerseys featured a patch on which they could write the name or names of someone they wished to thank. They’d done this in the past too.
Most of the players wore NickNOBs (which they’ll also have for their Players Weekend unis). As in past years, many went into the stands to chat with the multiple players from the LLWS teams, who were also in attendance (a nice touch).
I watched a fair amount of this game, and I enjoyed both the festivities and the venue. It’s called (cue the advertiser…) BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, but it’s a pretty intimate venue and perfect for a game like this. The players (and all the kids watching) seemed to have fun (well, at least the Cubs did) and I wholeheartedly support this special uni game. Instead of a full weekend with 30 teams wearing clown suits, this should be the ONE game a year when the two teams chosen to play wear the “Little League” inspired unis.
Here’s a look a the uniforms on the field. I think they look pretty sharp! Both teams wore their regular home (Pittsburgh) and road (Cubs) pants — they also wore their normal batting helmets.
And some looks at the unis in action:
— MLB (@MLB) August 19, 2019
— Pirates (@Pirates) August 18, 2019
And a few of the NickNOBs the CUBBIES wore:
— MLB (@MLB) August 19, 2019
I love this. But all the good will built up from this will be lost next weekend when 30 teams will wear all black or all white. It was fun for one night.
Reds sweep through weekend with ’76 and ’90 throwbacks
Our own Alex Hider has been reviewing the various throwbacks the Cincinnati Reds have been wearing over the course of the year, and on both Saturday AND Sunday of this weekend, the Reds again threwback — both to World Series (and Dragon-Slaying) winning teams: the 1976 Big Red Machine, who swept the Yankees and the 1990 club, who took down the A’s, also in a sweep. Here’s Alex with his review. — PH
By Alex Hider
It was a busy weekend for the Reds equipment staff. A day after they wore 1976 Big Red Machine throwbacks, the Reds honored the 1990 wire-to-wire Nasty Boys throwbacks on Sunday.
At first glance, there’s not much of a difference between the ’76 and ’90 unis — both sets are white, with pullover jerseys and sansabelt pants. But the Reds took care to include piping on the pants and an extra stripe on the sleeves for Sunday’s game.
Just like the 1919 throwbacks that the Reds wore in June, the 1990 set is specifically based on what the team wore during World Series. The uniforms included a World Series patch as well as an American flag patch both the Reds and the A’s wore to honor the armed forces in the midst of the Gulf War.
Every Reds player went high-hosed on Saturday and Sunday — as has been the case with every throwback day this season. But Sunday marked the first game where high socks may not have been the most accurate representation.
While baseball wasn’t quite in the pajama era in 1990, pant length was certainly creeping downward. A Google Images search shows that most of the 1990 Reds wore their pants down to their calves, with stirrups barely visible.
Only a few players wore stirrups. SP Alex Wood wore non-era appropriate striped logo socks — just as he did for the 1967 game a few weeks ago.
Aristides Aquino wore plain red socks for last week’s 1969 throwback game. But he wore black-and-red striped logo socks on Saturday and Sunday.
The Cardinals played along with their light blue road alts on Saturday, which worked nicely as the ’76 Cardinals wore light blue on the road. The Cards wore their traditional gray roads on Sunday — but chose to wear navy caps and undersleeves. The Cards wore red caps on the road in 1990.
The Reds only have two throwback games remaining — they’ll wear 1995 sleeveless jerseys on Sept. 8, and will wrap up the program with the 1999 BFBS vests on Sept. 22.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
The game has returned! At least for a trial basis, but I got a lot of positive response to its return, so we’ll see how long we keep this one going.
Today’s scoreboard comes from reader “ojai67”.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
The location should be pretty easy but after that? There’s lots of clues on that scoreboard…
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
If you guys like this, please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
ICYMI: Oregon Ducks Unveil New Unis…
…and I know you’re shocked
On Saturday, the Oregon Ducks (yes, my love/hate relationship with this team continues) unveiled several sets of new uniforms to be worn for the 2019 season. The one pictured above is called …
…wait for it …
Yes, you read that correctly.
Johnny Ek had coverage of the new uniforms on yesterday’s Uni Watch, if you didn’t get a chance to check it out.
If there’s any *good* news about the unveiling, at least it appears the Nightmare Green (which is more like a dark olive, if you ask me) is replacing the BFBS uni from last season. That’s not to say it’s definitely gone (would anything about the Ducks uni machinations surprise you) — but it wasn’t a part of Saturday’s roll out. Now, is Nightmare Green any better? At least we probably won’t have to prepare for an onslaught of NGFNGS uni unveilings for other schools in the future.
By Jamie Rathjen
Baseball News: Dodgers 1B Cody Bellinger has been wearing teammates’ pants and cleats since last Thursday. We have a picture where you can clearly see Bellinger wearing cleats showing OF Joc Pederson’s No. 31 instead of his own No. 35 (from Tyler Obalak and Stetson Pevar). … The Pirates had a cardigan giveaway on Saturday. To go along with the giveaway, their tweets primarily quoted Mr. Rogers (from Robert Brashear). … Fort Monroe, in Virginia Beach, Va., has a World War II-era baseball jersey worn by a soldier stationed at the fort (from Max Weintraub).
Football News: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson apparently wore a helmet camera last night (from William Luck). … An odd Washington/Broncos Photoshop for QB Case Keenum, which is a lot more Broncos than Washington, can be seen at the top of this article (from Jon Solomonson). … Staying with Washington, early-’60s DE John Paluck added a cross to his helmet (from Gene Sanny). … This article explores the previous wearers of numbers chosen by Steelers rookies (from Jerry Wolper). … Reader Robert Brashear sent us a vintage NFL cup. … Illinois players apparently receive numbered towels (from Jeff Lagro). … The CFL’s Ottawa RedBlacks wore rainbow flag helmet decals (from Wade Heidt). … Fort Thomas Highlands (Ky.) HS painted the 22-yard line blue to honor the school’s former Kentucky and Giants QB Jared Lorenzen, who passed away last month (from multiple readers). … Lyndon B. Johnson HS, in Johnson City, Texas, incorporates the three medals Johnson earned while serving in World War II in its helmet design (from Brett Baker).
Hockey News: The Canucks added their 50th-anniversary logo to center ice (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade: the Calgary Canucks, of the Junior A Alberta Junior Hockey League, have a new logo and new shades of blue and green.
Soccer News: Manchester United released a black rose-themed third shirt on Friday. It looks just a little bit familiar (from Phil and Josh Hinton). … Several Leicester City players were missing Premier League sleeve patches. Some reappeared after halftime and some didn’t (very diligently tracked by Josh). … One more from Josh: Paris Saint-Germain became the latest team to wear their third kit from last season because they haven’t revealed this season’s yet. … You can see more on Josh’s Twitter feed. … In Germany, Hoffenheim midfielder Lukas Rupp was missing his badge (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: the league assist leader for each five-matchday period in the Czech First League now wears a yellow number for the next five matchdays, starting with Slavia Prague’s Petr Ševčík. … My brother Nate Rathjen points out that Bundesliga TV graphics, which refer to most teams using their cities, use “Berlin” for both Berlin teams, Hertha and Union, presumably until they play each other. … Some Union Berlin fans paid for extra tickets to bring in pictures of deceased fans that never got to see them play in the Bundesliga. The pictures were counted in the attendance figure, meaning the attendance exceeded the Stadion an der Alten Försterei’s capacity.
Grab Bag: The Brazil women’s volleyball team wore a charity logo above the numbers this weekend (from Jeremy Brahm). … Jeremy also has for us a new kit from men’s club volleyball: the third-tier Japanese team Toyota Mobility Tokyo Sparkle. … This weekend’s Rugby World Cup warm-up games featured a blue-vs.-blue matchup between Scotland and France, which also saw Scotland changing kit as the away team, even though in rugby union the home team generally changes to avoid color clashes. … Australian Football League team Fremantle wore late-’90s throwbacks for their final home game of the season.