In their home shellacking of the Cleveland Browns, the Green Bay Packers looked nothing like the team we’ve known over the last few years, and it had nothing to do with the names on the backs of the jerseys or the actual performance of the team. No. But it did have everything to do with the jerseys themselves.
For just the ninth time in team history, and the fourth time since Lambeau Field opened, the (ACME) Packers wore a third, or alternate, jersey—they were their 1929 throwbacks, honoring the team that won the first title in franchise history. The Packers also wore the jerseys in 2011 and 2010—both games saw Green Bay come out on top. Previously, the Pack wore brownish-yellow helmets with the throwbacks, but due to certain NFL helmet guidelines, the team had to wear their normal yellow helmets, but they were able to strip the G logo and stripe.
Seeing these got me thinking about some of the other ridiculous throwbacks that have been worn throughout the years in the NFL. Here’s a sampling of some of the best (worst?) in recent years.
Denver wore these dandies twice during the 2009 season (against the Pats and Chargers) as part of the NFL’s legacy games that were played that year, which also happened to coincide with the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Hopefully we never have to see these again.
When the Eagles dawned this kit in a 2007 game against the Detroit Lions to commemorate the team’s 75th anniversary, the national media took to criticizing whoever it was that made the decision to have the team wear these colors. But where did they come from? A little history: To start, the colors were originally adopted by the city of Philadelphia as a way to honor the Swedish settlers who made their home in the area prior to Billy Penn arriving (Sweden’s flag is blue and yellow). When the Eagles were founded in Philly—replacing the old Frankfurt Yellowjackets, a team that went bankrupt—they inherited these colors and wore them for a couple seasons, before realizing just how horrendous they look and opting for the green and silver getups. (Thank. God.)
Pittsburgh Steelers (Part I)
People thought the Broncos throwback jersey made their guys look like bumblebees, but they had no idea what was coming just a few short years later. In two games during the 2012 season (against Baltimore and Washington) the Steelers had their guys literally dress up like queen bees, with black and yellow striped jerseys that have the most ridiculous looking number prints on them, matching socks, and tan pants… They wore the bumblebees to commemorate 80 seasons, which I get—these striped jerseys were worn in 1934. What I don’t get is why, after all of the public outcry, they decided to schedule the team to wear them again later this year against the Lions. (Sidenote: There’s a trend I’m noticing here about teams wearing throwbacks against Detroit, and Detroit losing those games. Maybe that explains Pitt’s decision?)
Pittsburgh Steelers (Part II)
I just. I mean. Really? Wow. Let me just
gather myself for a moment and keep myself from puking collect my thoughts for a moment here before discussing these… um… whatever you want to call them. They did exist prior to the team wearing them in 1994 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NFL—the team actually wore them in 1933, a year prior to those jerseys in Part I. The emblem on the chest is the crest of the city of Pittsburgh. And that’s about all the time I’d really like to spend on this one. So, moving right along.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The creamsicles make the list. Not because they are ridiculously ugly (that they most certainly are not), but because they are ridiculously awesome. They’re almost on the same level as the powder blues worn by the Chargers every now and then. These were the go-to jerseys for the team from the time they were founded in 1976 until they revamped everything and dropped Bucco Bruce (that guy on the side of the helmet dangerously holding the knife in his mouth—hey, why so serious, guy?) in 1998. Unfortunately, we may not be seeing these any time soon, thanks to those NFL helmet regulations that forced the Packers to dawn their normal helmets. After all, Bucco Bruce is key to the overall success of the creamsicles.
Have any other ridiculous throwback jerseys you’d like to honor? Share them in the comments.