The Eagles made an announcement Tuesday afternoon that will make fans very happy. No, this isn’t a big free-agent signing or movement of draft picks.
It might actually be better.
While the team has committed to one more year of the black alternate uniforms (now with black helmets), team owner Jeffrey Lurie said 2023 will be the return of the kelly green uniforms.
Eagles Kelly Green Uniforms For A Comeback
The team has not worn that verdant shade since the 1995 season, the second in Lurie’s tenure.
For fans of a certain age, this will likely invoke memories of childhood times and teams. The kelly green jerseys and silver pants worn from 1985 to 1995 were donned by some excellent teams and elite players. That’s the color Reggie White wore when he led the dominant Gang Green defense (we can argue with Jets fans over who owns that moniker – they got a cool nickname for the Gastineau-era D in the “Sack Exchange”) and also when he collected an astounding 19 sacks in 12 games during the strike-shortened 1987 campaign (that rate has not and likely will not be surpassed).
That was the jersey color when Randall Cunningham dazzled fans and redefined the QB position.
That was what the Eagles wore during the “Bodybag Game” in 1990 and the “Fourth and a ding-a-ling” stop in 1995. The kelly green beamed in the autumnal sun and popped in primetime. The silver pants made Randall look even faster. The silver wings on the helmets shone bright and made us think they could fly.
These were teams that were skilled and tough. They had flash and grit. While those teams never reached the Super Bowl, they played with great spirit and togetherness on most outings. White is in Canton and he certainly deserved to be joined by teammates (at least Eric Allen)
Everyone Loves Eagles Kelly Green Uniforms
And the gear? Puh-leeze. Everyone knows someone who probably still has one of those Starter pullover jackets in the old colors. That’s why that apparel sells so well at Mitchell and Ness and other nostalgia vendors.
It’s a decision that has been called for since the team rolled out the minty green jerseys in 2010 to honor the 50th anniversary of the NFL championship team from 1960. We finally will get to see the new players, many of whom likely weren’t alive when kelly green ruled the Vet.
We only saw the light green jerseys one time in 2010, Week 1 against the Packers. Now, I’m not sure if the team’s poor performance that day or the injury of newly anointed starter Kevin Kolb put the unis in the mothballs. For this long-anticipated return, I would expect they get multiple wearings. Here are what I consider to be the three best options for 2023, based on the team’s projected schedule:
- At Home, vs. Arizona: The Eagles will face the NFC West in 2023, which means a visit from an old division rival. There’s a lot of footage of midnight green against the Cardinals.
- Perhaps the most famous in the goalline stand in 1992, when the Eagles stopped six plays from their 1-yard line after a first-and-goal play from the Philly 3 netted two yards. Three offsides calls extended the drive, including one that nullified a fumble forced by Mike Pitts. The Eagles won 7-3 and Joe Bugle’s reign of frustrating futility continued in the desert.
- At Home, Opponent TBD: We usually get two cracks at home with the black jerseys. It’ll likely be a primetime game. Maybe it’ll be the Giants – we usually beat Big Blue in the black unis. If they go with their throwback helmets, it’ll feel like the old NFC East (ya know, when it was dominant instead of embarrassing).
- How about against an AFC East opponent? Wanna see Josh Allen under a heap of green jerseys? I personally held out hope we’d get them this year and wear them against Tennessee so they could roll out the old Oilers gear. Heck, let the visitors wear the “Luv Ya Blue” so we can bring out the white and green unis to revive the “House of Pain Game” from 1991 at the Linc.
- On the Road, at Dallas: If the league doesn’t give us the kelly green vs. Dallas white at Arlington next year, they should all go find other jobs. This is TOO easy.
- Of course, it’s gotta be Thanksgiving. Buddy Ryan won the “Bounty Bowl” in 1989 against rookie counterpart Jimmy Johnson, who alleged Ryan offered money (the same amount, $200) to take out rookie QB Troy Aikman and kicker Tony Zendejas. The latter was knocked out by Jessie Small. That was also the afternoon Reggie White received John Madden’s inaugural Turkey Leg Award for his role in the 27-0 pasting of a Dallas team that won once that season.