A Deep Dive on the Eagles’ Kelly Green Uniforms
The latest in our series of close looks at the inspirations for this season’s NFL throwbacks.
Another week, another NFL deep dive. Honestly, I didn’t plan to make this a weekly series! But after I spent the last two weeks plumbing the depths of the Seahawks’ silver-and-blue uniforms and the Buccaneers’ creamsicle uniforms — both of which are being revived this season as throwbacks — the Eagles’ new Kelly green throwbacks leaked, so I figured we’d better take a close look at those as well.
Some quick background: The Eagles didn’t wear green for their first two seasons. Their original colors were yellow and light blue — the colors of the Philadelphia city flag — but they began wearing Kelly green in 1935 and continued wearing it until 1996, when they switched to their current midnight green (reportedly at the urging of team owner’s Jeff Lurie’s wife, who preferred the darker shade). But even during the team’s six-decade Kelly era, there were some variations in the precise shade of Kelly being used. According to the authoritative TruColor site, the changes break down like so:
Since switching to midnight green, the team has worn Kelly throwbacks just once, for a 2010 game against the Packers. That throwback was based on the team’s 1960 design (the retro game honored the 50th anniversary of the club’s 1960 NFL championship), but this year’s throwback will be based on the uniforms worn from 1985 through ’95 — the Randall Cunningham era. There were lots of other designs they could have chosen, though, because the team’s Kelly era is loaded with uni-notable details, and that’s what we’re going to look at today, in 12 bite-sized nuggets. Just commit all of the forthcoming information to memory and you’ll be able to
annoy amaze your friends when watching this year’s throwback game.
Ready? Here we go.
1. Some snow on the roof.
For most of their history, the Eagles have had green helmets. But in 1969 they introduced something that was revolutionary at the time: separate home and road helmets. The existing green helmets were designated for road games, while a new white design was used at home. The white headgear must have been a hit, because the following year they scrapped the green shells altogether and wore white full-time. They stuck with the white lids for a few more seasons before switching back to green in 1974.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a throwback version of the white design. Here’s hoping that happens at some point down the road.