Seeing Green: The Aesthetic Argument Regarding the Philadelphia Eagles

[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.

• • •

Conclusion:

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:

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.

That patch had been featured on the past two years’ Players Weekend jerseys, but this year with the mono black vs. mono white unis, that patch is (apparently) gone.

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:

And a few of the NickNOBs the CUBBIES wore:

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 …

Nightmare Green

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.

The Ticker
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.

74 comments to Seeing Green: The Aesthetic Argument Regarding the Philadelphia Eagles

  • Nestor Chylak | August 19, 2019 at 7:48 am |

    I’ve seen it enough times it’s starting to irritate me: no matter what year they’re throwing back to, players hike up their pants to show miles of colored sock, cuz, you know, old-time baseball.

    I mean, who even remembers what 1990 ball games looked like, right? Babe Ruth retired in, what, 1978?

    A baseball history quiz given to today’s players would be the most depressing thing to behold.

    • Padday | August 19, 2019 at 9:27 am |

      I just find this a very harsh take. No matter how much some on this site would like, baseball players are not historical reenactors, they’re athletes whose employers like to play dress up with them sometimes. The extent to which ballplayers already put up with this kind of extra curricular stuff on the job is enough already to be pretty grateful for in my opinion and I think they’d be well within their rights to feel fed up with the front office messing around with the gear they wear while undertaking work in which such things could easily impact on performance.

      But to suggest that on top of just putting up with this from their employer they should be obliged to be as fastidious as we are about things like pant height and the like is frankly ridiculous. Lower your expectations and be grateful that the players are good enough sports to get into the spirit of things, even if it’s in their own slightly anachronistic way.

      • Peter | August 19, 2019 at 10:53 am |

        But then what would grown men have to nitpick about and bully those who don’t “get it”?

        They couldn’t sell merch and feel superior now could they?

        *I totally agree with you by the way :)

      • MJ | August 19, 2019 at 11:03 am |

        He’s morphed into the closest thing UW has to a contrarian. Or a troll. Either way, stay off his own and you’ll be fine.

        • Nestor Chylak | August 19, 2019 at 5:12 pm |

          There used to be more of me here. Site is definitely skewing younger.

  • Jim | August 19, 2019 at 7:49 am |

    The whole Eagles shade of green thing is lost on me. If ever there was a team that should be wearing red, white, and blue, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles.

    • Michael | August 19, 2019 at 9:19 am |

      Would love seeing the city teams consolidate around red, white and blue, but saying goodbye to Eagles green and Flyers orange would be painful. And then we have to share colors with the New York Effing Rangers and the Giants.

      • MJ | August 19, 2019 at 11:03 am |

        Two reasons why we shouldn’t and won’t. But a reason why the Sixers should never go BFBS again.

    • Rob C | August 19, 2019 at 10:38 am |

      I think that the reason that it works for the cities with sports teams all in the same colours is that so few cities do it.
      IMO, Philly go Red, White, and Blue for all sports would just feel forced. Like the whole range of faux-patriotic sports activities & uniforms.

    • Jessica Hertzog | August 19, 2019 at 2:47 pm |

      Hell Yeah!!!!

  • Francis Warner | August 19, 2019 at 8:07 am |

    I’m fairly agnostic to which shade of green the Eagles wear. The Kelly throwbacks from 2010 were pretty sharp, but I like the midnight green as well (even if the precise shade is wildly inconsistent from year to year and in fan merch). The real issue with the Eagles’ uniforms are the godawful fonts for names and numbers. They’re so busy, with ugly and inconsistently-sized serifs. Just get some varsity numbers and be done with it.

    • Brent | August 19, 2019 at 1:34 pm |

      I came here to say the same thing. To me, the number font is the first thing I notice.

  • MJ | August 19, 2019 at 8:17 am |

    Lifelong Eagles fan. Never really took to the midnight green, even after 23 seasons (let’s not get carried away with “almost 30”, but I digress). The last kelly green set had black outlines on the numbers and details within the bird on the sleeve, but the black in the current set is excessive. And the BFBS are garbage – especially with the midnight green lid. It is almost identical to the Phillies going between traditional red and the maroon they wore in the ’70s and ’80s that has gained some nostaligic traction.
    Super Bowl win aside, I would support going back to the kelly set as soon as possible. I never understood why Jeff Lurie would keep a color his ex-wife chose (which must piss off the NEW Mrs Lurie, but I digress again). If he were to switch back, and get rid of the cutesy bespoke font for simple Varsity Block numbers/letters, Eagles Nation would empty their savings accounts to grab as much of the new stuff as possible.
    There is technology out there where they could “wrap” the shell of the helmet with whatever color they wanted. Short of that, and if the NFL is going to continue to want to look like they care about player safety with the one-shell rule, then let’s go kelly green and move on. Fly Eagles Fly!

    • Rufus | August 19, 2019 at 9:11 am |

      I’d love to get a Wentz jersey but the #11 font they use now is a nightmare. That being said the Reggie White, Randall Cunningham era Kelly was the favorite. Go back to the silver pants as well!

      • Wade Heidt | August 19, 2019 at 9:26 am |

        I like that look too. Go with the silver pants that still have a bit of shine to them, as the Raiders wear. Not like the Patriots as their pants just look grey now.

      • MJ | August 19, 2019 at 11:02 am |

        This. I like that there are teams who can’t go leotard look because the pants are different than either jersey – Packers, Raiders, Steelers, Rams (throwbacks or metallic gold), Redskins (yellow pants), Cowboys. The silver pants work great with white or green.

      • Jay H | August 19, 2019 at 12:10 pm |

        Easily their best look. Green and silver is unique to them, the green now has become more teal, and the old logo looks better than the head. I hate the black uniforms. Truly awful. You know the green now is bad because all the Super Bowl merch was in black because the supply of that green is nonexistent.

  • Stan Bunting | August 19, 2019 at 8:27 am |

    I thought those Cubs and Pirates uniforms were just horrible!

    Surprised the score was only 7-1. I would have thought they could hit a ton of home runs in that stadium.

    • MJ | August 19, 2019 at 11:06 am |

      It’s not a Little League stadium. the Phillies’ single A team plays there.

  • Morgan Doninger | August 19, 2019 at 8:31 am |

    I do not know why this is happening so much with the scoreboard game, but it warms my heart that my favorite player as a kid keeps appearing in the lineup for the Yankees. LF 6 = Roy White. I still remember the great post about the Confederate flag appearing on his jersey when he was in the Yankees’ minor league system.

  • John Philips | August 19, 2019 at 8:35 am |

    Scoreboard is 1973. Old Yankee Stadium was only open the first year of the DH or B as they called it on the scoreboard.

  • PWalk | August 19, 2019 at 8:36 am |

    Philly lifer checking in here. I don’t mind the midnight as much as I did when they introduced it. Love the Kelly but Midnight has established itself.

    I do think there is space here to have them both. Two shades of green at the same time? Why not, we can use the midnight to replace the black in the color scheme.

  • Mike Wissman | August 19, 2019 at 8:37 am |

    The Eagles are a mess. Too much use of black as a accent color, so much so it overwhelms the use of midnight green. In fact when they go white jersey/white pants you hardly see any green at all. The socks are black, not green. The coaches almost always wear black, not green. Of course they have a BFBS set. Even the home jersey is now a darker shade of midnight green since the transition to Nike. It’s an awful, colorless look that I’ve found to be very ‘heavy’ as presented on field.

    I’d welcome back some Kelly green to break up the funeral-like uniform set of the present. And while they’re at it they should kill the ‘90s style wordmark and update the Eagle head. It all looks and feels dated to me.

    • Mike Wissman | August 19, 2019 at 10:37 am |

      Oh and I’m a 26 year Eagles season ticket holder, BTW. First two years were in Kelly green, the rest in midnight..

  • Bob | August 19, 2019 at 8:40 am |

    Saturday, April 28, 1973, Yankees 11, Twins 3… 6400 announced attendance at the Stadium on a Saturday afternoon.

  • Hank-SJ | August 19, 2019 at 8:48 am |

    I prefer the Kelly Green and made my peace with Midnight after the SB win. (Maybe Lurie can’t go all-in with the Kelly Green as part of the divorce settlement? You never know what terms may be hidden in those agreements.)

    • Rob C | August 19, 2019 at 10:44 am |

      When the Eagles first proposed the removal of the 1 shell rule, I recall reading that Lurie’s intent was to do a Kelly Green alt first. I took that to mean he wanted to test the waters with the alt, before going all in with a redesign.
      Like we’ve seen in Hockey a few times that a Team takes an Alternate and designs a new set around it.

    • ChrisH | August 19, 2019 at 2:11 pm |

      The former Mrs. Lurie still owns a sizable interest in the Eagles, doesn’t she?
      She may still have some input as to the team’s direction, particularly in non-operational areas.

  • Scott Johnston | August 19, 2019 at 8:59 am |

    One small correction on Alex’ Reds throwbacks story. Alex says both the 1976 and 1990 sets were based on what the Reds wore in the World Series. In 1976, the Reds dropped the National League Centennial patch after the NLCS – they were patch-less for the World Series:

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/60/75/28/6075282ab2de78480aa32d686774919f.jpg

  • Josh B | August 19, 2019 at 9:02 am |

    As a diehard bird/Philly fan, I love both sides of the argument! I feel the helmet shell rule changing would be the best solution! One week in the midnight followed by the next week in kelly green would be AWESOME. Go Birds!

  • Josh Bradford | August 19, 2019 at 9:07 am |

    As a diehard Birds/Philly fan, I stand in the middle of the argument. I think the best solution to the issue would be a change in the helmet shell rule. Would be awesome to see the birds in midnight green one week, followed by kelly green the next! Go Birds!!!!

  • MJ | August 19, 2019 at 9:11 am |

    Lifelong Eagles fan. I never really warmed to the kelly green when Mr Lurie made the change in 1996 (23 years… let’s not be dramatic with the “almost 30” stuff, but I digress), especially because his then-wife dumped decades of tradition to impose her own color palette. Bad PR move for the new owner. The overuse of black is a problem (the last kelly green sets used black to outline the numbers and there were some black details in the bird, but it is not a team color). The cutesy bespoke font is too cute for the NFL. The BFBS is atrocious, especially with midnight green lids.
    Super Bowl win aside, I would support going back to kelly green as soon as possible. I would think that eliminating midnight green would please the current Mrs Lurie. And Eagles Nation would empty their bank accounts buying new merchandise.
    Until the NFL is ready to drop the appearance of caring about safety with the one-shell rule, or until they are ready to allow graphic wraps that can cover a shell from one week to the next, going back to kelly green is my choice.
    It’s the same thing the Phillies fans are stuck with – 100+ years of red and white (and a little blue), broken up by 20 years of maroon, nostalgia and 1 World Series.

    • MJ | August 19, 2019 at 11:07 am |

      Apologize for the duplicate – my work computer had a meltdown this morning.

  • Lindsay Resnick | August 19, 2019 at 9:13 am |

    Just an edit: It’s Jeffrey Lurie, not Jeffrey Laurie

  • Wade Heidt | August 19, 2019 at 9:14 am |

    If you click on the ticker link about the Ottawa Redblacks, there is another uni notable detail in the photos. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats still have their alternate white pants and wore them for the first time this season. Have previously sported the yellow pants and black pants on the road this year.

  • Michael | August 19, 2019 at 9:16 am |

    I generally lean toward the midnight green, but I think there is a compromise which allows both colors to alternate on demand: bust out white helmets like the Birds wore in 1969, and swap the wing colors based upon what jerseys are being worn. I would need to see it with the midnight jerseys to see if it worked, but if so, we have a one shell solution.

  • Steve | August 19, 2019 at 9:35 am |

    Another Philly fan here. I have generally preferred the midnight green era, but do think the typeface and black accents aren’t aging well. With the Jets moving back to kelly green with black accents, my vote is for the Eagles to continue to own the darker green, but to “refresh” by using the 2010 throwback template with a darker shade of green that doesn’t have the tealish look the midnight green can have under certain lighting.

    I quickly Photoshopped this as an example: https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48575372346_7ed183ae28_m.jpg

    • Mike Wissman | August 19, 2019 at 10:34 am |

      Really like your example. The 2010 throwback was simple and timeless IMO. Would work with midnight and accomplish the removal of the black, which I feel is the real core issue.

      • Steve | August 19, 2019 at 10:54 am |

        Thanks Mike. I often prefer simple and timeless for uniform designs. I even think my example would work with some silver accents like they had in the kelly green era. Silver trim around the numbers and down the center of the pants stripe (replacing the white between the green stripes) would jazz it up a little without going overboard. Call me, Eagles!

  • Andrew | August 19, 2019 at 9:50 am |

    I think it’s important to note how poorly Nike has replicated the original midnight green color. It sometimes seems blue-greyish and is just drab. The midnight green color was introduced on Starter and Reebok’s uniforms with a slightly metallic finish, and so I think that Nike’s current matte texture would better suit a kelly green color for the eagles. Just looking at the Jets’ new green color, it seems they should be able to pull off Eagles’ kelly green. However, if Nike could ever accurately match the midnight green tone the Eagles used up until 2014, I’d prefer that for now. Go birds.

    • Mike Wissman | August 19, 2019 at 1:30 pm |

      Totally agree. The old jersey had the sheen that allowed it to show up as a ‘greener’ green. The ‘matte’ look is just dark and dull. No pop.

  • Frank Doyle | August 19, 2019 at 9:56 am |
  • Paul | August 19, 2019 at 9:58 am |

    Fellow Twins fans help me out. I was trying to figure out the Yankee Stadium scoreboard based on the numbers. Knew it was Hisle (#9), Rodney (#29), and Harmon (#3), but who was #25 batting 4th? Cheated and looked up the boxscore at https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA197304280.shtml. It lists Tony O (#6 of course) as batting 4th and the DH, but has no substitute showing.
    But the box score and play by play shows Mike Adams (#25) pinch running for Bobby Darwin (#2) after Darwin reached on an error in the 9th. So the scoreboard has #25 in the wrong spot. Adams scored the Twins’ third and final run on a Danny Thompson (#5) sacrifice fly.

  • Bud | August 19, 2019 at 10:06 am |

    It’d be interesting to get opinions of Eagles fans regarding all the OTHER aesthetic changes the team has made since switching to Midnight green. The wordmark, the helmet wings, the eagle head vs the full-eagle, the white and green pant options vs the silver…so much of what they changed works SO much better for me, while their older stuff I think would look way outdated if they brought any of it back full-time. If they kept all of the other changes they’ve made and just swapped out the midnight for kelly (and the darker gray accents for silver accents), I think that’d be the best option. This is me speaking as very much a non-Eagles fan though.

    • Rob C | August 19, 2019 at 10:51 am |

      Eagles fan here.
      I don’t mind the current wordmark, but if they went back to the old one in a return to Kelly Green, I wouldn’t be mad.
      I do prefer the current wings, and would like to see them stay. (We can always bring back the old ones in Throwbacks)
      I loved the full eagle and wouldn’t mind seeing at least an attempt at a eagle head/full eagle hybrid.
      As far as the uniforms go, I think it should be a league rule that the jerseys and pants have to be different colours.

      • Bud | August 19, 2019 at 12:20 pm |

        Also mainly what I was referring to with the pants was not when they go mono-green or mono-white, but more that they have both as options to go with either jersey. This is just me, but I HATE HATE HATE teams that wear gray or silver pants with their road white jerseys. The old Eagles, the Giants, the Falcons from the 90s, even the Cowboys to an extent…they look like a baseball team wearing their home white jerseys and road pants together. That the current Eagles mostly wear their green pants with their white jerseys is probably the biggest improvement from the kelly green era in my eyes. If they ever go back to kelly, a set of kelly pants to go with the road whites would be an absolute necessity for me.

    • MJ | August 19, 2019 at 11:05 am |

      Prefer the kelly to the midnight.
      Prefer the new wordmark to the old, which did not age well.
      Prefer the silver wing to the current.

    • Francis Warner | August 19, 2019 at 10:09 pm |

      I don’t have a preference for shade of green.
      Prefer old helmet wings.
      Prefer new wordmark.
      Prefer new eagle head over old winged eagle.
      Prefer silver pants with kelly green, but would look weird with midnight green.
      Prefer silver over gray for accents.
      Prefer old name/number fonts.

  • Paul | August 19, 2019 at 10:13 am |

    I was trying to figure out the scoreboard game based on the Twins lineup. Knew #9 was Hisle, #29 was Rodney and #3 was Harmon. But who is batting 4th, DHing and wearing #25? Had to cheat and look up the boxscore on baseball reference. TonyO (#6 of course) batted 4th and was DH that game, but the box score didn’t list a replacement. #25 for the Twins that year was Mike Adams, but the box score and play by play has Adams pinch running for Bobby Darwin (#2) in the 9th inning after Darwin reached on an error. Adams eventually scored the Twins’ third and final run on a Danny Thompson (#5) sacrifice fly. SO THE SCOREBOARD IS WRONG. It should have replaced #2 with #25 in the 5th spot.

  • Paul Nitti | August 19, 2019 at 10:23 am |

    I was trying to figure out the scoreboard game based on the Twins lineup. Knew #9 was Hisle, #29 was Rodney and #3 was Harmon. But who is batting 4th, DHing and wearing #25? Had to cheat and look up the boxscore on baseball reference. TonyO (#6 of course) batted 4th and was DH that game, but the box score didn’t list a replacement. #25 for the Twins that year was Mike Adams, but the box score and play by play has Adams pinch running for Bobby Darwin (#2) in the 9th inning after Darwin reached on an error. Adams eventually scored the Twins’ third and final run on a Danny Thompson (#5) sacrifice fly. SO THE SCOREBOARD IS WRONG. It should have replaced #2 with #25 in the 5th spot. INTERESTING side note on Bobby Darwin. He made his big league debut in 1962 as a 19 year old pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels. After one game, he went back to the minors until reappearing with the Dodgers as a pitcher in 1969. He then came back to the Dodgers as an outfielder for 20 at bats in 1971. He was traded to the Twins and broke out in 1972 with 22 HR and 80 RBI in 513 AB.

  • Bobby Rydell | August 19, 2019 at 10:50 am |

    Been a season ticket holder since 1963,I love the kelly green,green helments,silver wings,white stripes on the jerseys.Please return,the Kelly green, uniforms

  • RICKAZ | August 19, 2019 at 11:09 am |

    Never been a fan of the darker shades of green. Kelly is just so perfect. It’s almost like teams started becoming embarrassed by having Kelly green, and thought a darker shade would make them look tougher. Glad the Jets went back to this brighter green, even though they aren’t calling it kelly. The A’s need to make their main uniforms kelly green. I absolutely hate the weird dark green of this new Oregon uniform. I didn’t have a vested interest in the Super Bowl, and I usually root for the team if they’ve never won a SB, but I knew if the Eagles won it would be harder to switch back to kelly green. But this dark green with black is just so gawd awful.

  • RS Rogers | August 19, 2019 at 11:19 am |

    First: Well done, Noah! Good framing of the history and options, and presented in a terrific, thought-provoking essay.

    In his conclusion, Noah seems to me to be suggesting that the only way “fans win” would be for the Eagles to wear both color schemes. I disagree. Worst-case scenario for that approach would be a Rams-style mess in which the Eagles look terrible all the time. Fans definitely don’t win in that case! But the best-case scenario for that approach also seems pretty bad to me. My local Milwaukee Brewers wear a mix of current and classic uniforms, so sometimes they wear navy and gold, sometimes they wear royal and yellow, and just to mix things up sometimes they wear navy and yellow. Each of the uniform sets and color combos looks good to varying degrees, but taken together the Brewers uniforms are a mess and there is effectively no identifiable set of “team colors” for the franchise. That outcome would not be a “win” for Eagles fans either.

    To my mind, there are two “win” outcomes for Eagles fans: 1) The Eagles dump midnight green and re-adopt kelly; and 2) The Eagles keep midnight green but redesign their uniforms to not be so ugly. I have no idea what it would take for a uniform design to overcome the inherent ugliness of a primary color seemingly based on the color of a deep bruise, but at least in theory there must be some design approach that can make the Eagles not look so terrible half the time.

    • Noah Friedman | August 19, 2019 at 5:08 pm |

      I used the Rams as my example to keep it to football. Ideally, a Brewers esque intertwining is really the way to go. Plus revamping the current set (toning down the black accents rather than removing them entirely, and maybe going with a look like they used in 2010 for the throwback, but with a white helmet—which they wore full time as recently as 1973— to get around the “one shell rule”)

  • dave t robb | August 19, 2019 at 11:20 am |

    The A’s s/b Kelly green. The Eagles s/b Kelly green.

  • Hardywallbanger | August 19, 2019 at 11:23 am |
  • Bill Gordon | August 19, 2019 at 11:25 am |

    I’d actually like to see the Eagles in white helmets with green feathers again.

    • Jessica Hertzog | August 19, 2019 at 2:31 pm |

      I’M OLD SCHOOL, KELLY GREEN

  • TenaciousBuzz | August 19, 2019 at 11:59 am |

    Special, monochrome, Onyx Gray unis unvieled for Georgia Tech for 10/5 “Cape Day” to honor Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Sounds like they are planning something for the helmets, too.

    Part of adidas’ “Strategy Uniform” series, apparently.

    https://ramblinwreck.com/georgia-tech-childrens-unveil-cape-day-adidas-uniform/

    Had to try hard to keep it together during the video.

  • Lindsay Resnick | August 19, 2019 at 12:21 pm |

    Not that this is really a “mistake” per se, but I would like to point out that Johnson City, TX was not named for LBJ (though that was his hometown). It was named for the great uncle of the President, James Polk Johnson, 29 years before the President’s birth.

    • Jamie Rathjen | August 19, 2019 at 1:31 pm |

      The high school actually is named after him, but the tweet called it “Johnson City HS,” which is wrong. Fixed.

      • Ethan Hopkin | August 19, 2019 at 4:02 pm |

        I am from Austin and most locals will call it both names, but will more often use Johnson City High School as to not confuse it with LBJ High School in Austin. We are aware it is LBJ High, but chose to use the city name.

  • ben | August 19, 2019 at 12:43 pm |

    Who wants to start a “whole helmet decals” business w me? Like those vinyl wraps on a car.

  • J.D. | August 19, 2019 at 12:45 pm |

    The Eagles’ “midnight green” looks a lot better with Nike’s current matte fabric than it did with the shiny fabric they used in the McNabb/Westbrook days. Depending on the lighting conditions, the shiny fabric would often look a lot darker, and it was difficult to discern any contrast between the green jersey and the black trim. Now the jersey is a much more consistent color, which helps significantly.

  • Rob S | August 19, 2019 at 12:49 pm |

    The key reason for the “one shell” rule was to keep players still using discontinued but still-permitted helmet models from having to use a different model just for throwback games (e.g. Tom Brady in the Pats’ throwback game in 2012), so as not to be liable should any of those players get hurt while wearing the unfamiliar helmet.

    But now with those older models now outlawed (sorry, Antonio), that could open the door for relaxing the one shell rule, since current shell models are more readily available, and are designed to have the padding easily swapped out between shells of the same model.

    Of course, that’s just speculation on my part.

    As for the Eagles, I remain in favor of their returning to Kelly green. I don’t mind the current helmet wing design, but I’ve never been a fan of their current number/NOB font.

  • Matt | August 19, 2019 at 1:04 pm |

    I enjoy GTGFTS – if time allows I do the research on my lunch break even though others have long since found the answer earlier in the day. Pretty neat that it today’s was April 28, 1973 – that’s the date my parents got married.

  • tosaman | August 19, 2019 at 1:11 pm |

    Is anyone else a reader of Charles Stross for whom the phrase ‘Nightmare Green’ means something very different than a color?

  • Arv | August 19, 2019 at 1:33 pm |

    The Philadelphia Eagles current “green” is too desaturated, to the point where it is practically blue. It’s just not a good colour. Instead of going back to kelly green, perhaps they need to simply reach for the saturation knob on their colour adjuster and turn that up.

    • RS Rogers | August 19, 2019 at 1:54 pm |

      Agreed! Also, a less saturated dark green would pair nicely with kelly, if the Eagles wanted to adopt a two-tone green look. Noah is right that midnight green and kelly green would be a disaster, but not because bright green doesn’t go with dark green. Bright green doesn’t go with this dark green, but the Eagles could change their hue of dark green to be compatible with kelly, and most fans probably wouldn’t even notice the difference.

  • Patrick | August 19, 2019 at 5:40 pm |

    So apparently an overwhelming majority of us prefer the Eagles in Kelly green over the current atrocities. The real question I have though is the story of Mr. Lurie’s now ex-wife deciding to change colors. This is starting to venture into urban legend territory. Has this ever been verified or is it one of those things that the more it’s repeated the more accepted it is?

    • Tom | August 20, 2019 at 7:09 am |

      The fact of Lurie’s ex-wife being the impetus for changing the color has been verified, literally, hundreds of times. It was the story at the time it occurred.

  • Too Tall Paul | August 19, 2019 at 11:59 pm |

    Proofreading:

    (interesting they’d but the Cubs in these, but I digress).

  • Frank | August 20, 2019 at 12:23 pm |

    Others have already posted, but nonetheless:
    https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA197304280.shtml
    Game duration 2:35.
    For a game where one team scored 11 runs and the other team went thru four pitchers.
    Mound visits ain’t what’s slowing down today’s game, folks..