I feel like this topic comes up every offseason.
Should the Eagles wear throwback kelly green as an alternate uniform?
The responses are usually either “yeah! this will be awesome!” or, “no, who really gives a shit?” I don’t sense any middle ground in the kelly green discussion. People seem to either really want it or they don’t care at all, not one iota.
This thing resurfaced Monday when Jeffrey Lurie, speaking at the annual NFL Meeting in Arizona, told reporters the following:
Jeffrey Lurie said that getting the NFL to approve of two helmets so the #Eagles can have kelly green as their alternative jersey is still “a high priority.” Believes it will get done for 2020.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 27, 2019
Right now, the NFL only allows teams to wear one base color helmet throughout the year, so the Birds could wear kelly green jerseys in 2019, if they wanted to, but it would look really goofy to put two shades of green against each other, shades that don’t match.
Teams, however, are allowed to change the decals on their helmets, which is why you see the Rams use both white and yellow horns:
Those decals and facemasks are different, but it’s the same blue base. Makes sense, right? The Eagles could go back to the old school looking helmet decal, but it would be placed on top of a midnight green matte, which would still clash with the jerseys and trim. You’d be trying to match these colors, for example, after the jump:
I’m 34 years old, so the Eagles wore kelly green throughout my youth, up until 1996 when I was 12 years old. They went to the midnight green in Lurie’s third season, which coincided with the departure of Randall Cunningham and drafting of Brian Dawkins. Ray Rhodes then stumbled through a couple of disappointing years, got himself fired, and Andy Reid came along. You know the rest.
Not sure why, but something about the kelly green just screams “loser” to me, like it harkens back to a time when the Eagles were mediocre, that chunk of 15 years when Rhodes, Marion Campbell, Buddy Ryan, and Richie Kotite combined to bring the City of Philadelphia a whopping two playoff wins.
But when I think about it further, you did have some franchise studs who wore the kelly green. Reggie White wore it. Harold Carmichael and Jaws wore it en route to the Super Bowl. Maybe it would cool to do some kelly green in 2020 as a way to honor those guys, similar to the way the Eagles rolled out the throwbacks for the 2010 opener against the Packers as a way to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1960 World Championship. I personally think it would be kind of cool to see Fletcher Cox wearing the same uniform that Reggie once wore.
Yes? No? I dunno.
I think I subconsciously associate the kelly green with a forgettable era of Eagles football, with WIP callers worshiping at the altar of Buddy Ryan, a guy who went 0-3 in the playoffs while his team scored 25 total points. I know Buddy had amazing defenses back then, and the Eagles weren’t horrible, but they just couldn’t get it done in the postseason. Kotite actually won more postseason games here than the Buddy Ryan did. Every time I hear any argument supporting kelly green, it just makes me feel like people are nostalgic for a time period when the team didn’t win jack shit. Do we really want to remind ourselves of that? Or did the Super Bowl win erase that bad taste permanently?
The midnight green I associate with winning Eagles football, when Andy Reid took the Birds to five NFC Championship Games before his disciple, Doug Pederson, went on to win it all. It’s not exactly scientific, but that’s the mental connection I make to each set of uniforms as a 34 year old who was just a kid in the late 1980s and early 90s.
So I’ll throw it you –
Do you want to see the Eagles wear Kelly Green? Do you even care? You tell me.
This is when the Birds last wore the uniforms, in the 2010 home opener: