This blog post has taken forever to get around to, mostly because this is the busiest time of year. Now down to business…
I believe the Green Bay Packers have the most classic, distinguished, iconic uniforms in the National Football League.
I know that many people will disagree strongly with this pick. “Green and yellow? Are you serious?”
Yes, I’m very serious.
Throughout this blog series, I’ve made it abundantly clear that I have a borderline obsession with classic jerseys that were done right long ago, and their organizations know better than to make sweeping changes to them — the Steelers, Raiders, Browns, 49ers, and the Packers all come to mind. There are several factors that I believe contribute to the Pack’s uniform dominance:
Wisconsin is known for its cheese. Cheese is yellow. The Packers are literally “cheese packers.” Yellow blankets the entire team. This accentuates the team’s incredibly close tie to the local fan base. The Packers are the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the United States — they are literally owned by the city, and the uniforms reflect that.
You can see a football game playing on a 32″ TV across the other side of a restaurant, and if the Packers are playing, you can identify them. No other team in the NFL wears these colors. They jump off the screen and smack you in the face, repeatedly screaming, “PACKERS! PACKERS PACKERS! PACKERS!” These uniforms stand out, but not in an “ew” Oregon Duck kind of way — they’re beautiful in a strange, cheesy way.
I apologize for the pun.
3. Their Story
This shouldn’t affect my perception of the team’s uniforms, but it should: the Packers have an incredible history.
Green Bay is by far the smallest TV market in the league, but they have gained an enormous fan base that has sold out every game, regardless of the team’s talent, since 1960. I repeat: they’ve sold out every home game at Lambeau Field for 51 years running, and it won’t stop any time soon. This feat is made even more impressive when considering the icy conditions that often plague the stadium during the winter months.
Just read these two excerpts from the Packers’ Wikipedia page:
Packers fans are often referred to as cheeseheads.The term is often used to refer to people from the state of Wisconsin in general (because of its cheese production), but is also used to refer to Green Bay Packers fans in particular. The name originated in 1987 as an insult from Chicago White Sox fans at a Milwaukee Brewers game. In years since and particularly beginning in 1994, the name and the hats called “cheeseheads” have also been embraced by Packers fans.
During training camp in the summer months, young Packers fans can take their bikes and have their favorite player ride their bike to the practice field from the locker room. This is an old Packers tradition dating back to approximately 1957 (the first years of Lambeau Field’s existence). Gary Knafelc, a Packers end at the time, said, “I think it was just that kids wanted us to ride their bikes. I can remember kids saying, ‘Hey, ride my bike.'” The practice continues today.
They took an insult aimed at their entire community by a big city snob, and said, “You know what? We know who we are, and we’re proud of it. And to prove it to you, we’re going to wear massive cheese hats to our games!”
I’m sorry…that’s just cool. And when I see the uniforms, I think of the community and the history of the Green Bay Packers.