This is… perplexing.
For some strange reason, the Eagles will be wearing their black “alternate” uniforms tonight and for “most of the first part of the season,” because their Midnight Green uniforms are not ready yet. The Eagles are being upgraded by Nike to Nike Elite 51 uniforms (more on that in a second), and while black and white are, obviously, normal colors, Midnight Green is a custom color that, apparently, takes more time to make. [I must credit Jim, who, in our last podcast, said that Midnight Green wasn’t a real color.]
You probably noticed in the first preseason game that the Eagles white jerseys looked… different. There’s now a much thicker collar with those somewhat hideous stretchy things (technical term: Flywire collar). These are the Nike 51 jerseys, which are meant to “amplify speed,” according to the Eagles according to Zach Berman.
Two years ago, the league switched to Nike uniforms and, apparently, the Eagles were one of five teams that never switched to Nike Elite 51, according to Nike:
* Four teams opted for all of the Elite 51 transformation elements except for the Flywire collar – Cowboys, Patriots, Texans and Steelers). Five teams opted out of the Elite 51 transformation and kept the existing jersey design – Raiders, Packers, Eagles, Falcons, Panthers. The remaining 23 teams opted for the full Elite 51 transformation.
This is disappointing for two reasons: 1) Everyone wants the Eagles to switch to Kelly Green, preferably with Nike doing their modernization thing. As we’ve learned, that’s not happening any time soon. But doubly worse is that this is the Eagles’ update… and it’s not really an update. 2) When the Jaguars switched to Elite 51, they went full Nike and got a whole new look. It doesn’t look like that’ll be the case with the Eagles– just a different material, the Flywire collar, and whatever the hell else makes up Elite 51.
Now, let me be the guy to point out that the NFL season starts around the same time every year. Maybe Nike could’ve stepped on it a little bit?