Eagles president Don Smolenski went on the radio with CBS Philadelphia this morning, and revealed that the team is in talks—both internally and with the NFL—to revert to the "kelly green" primary color that the team used through 1995.
"We have talked about it and there are some rules with the NFL that provides some restrictions that we're trying to work through, but that's going to take some time," Smolenski said. "It's there, and it's something that we do talk about, but until some things change at the NFL level it's going to provide restrictions for us. It is being talked about it, yes."
I don't believe this is just nostalgia speaking: those old Eagles unis really were quite sharp.
The brighter shade had served Philadelphia just fine since 1941, but kelly green fell victim to the fashion trends of the mid-'90s. Within a couple of years of each other, the Eagles, Jets, and Oakland A's all gave up on kelly green, the latter two switching to a richer shade called "hunter green," and the Eagles choosing a dark, almost bluish "midnight green."
It was new owner Jeffrey Lurie putting his stamp on a team with something he considered, as a Philadelphia Inquirer article put it upon the reveal in 1996, "stronger, more aggressive, more modern." Bruce Burke, who oversaw the change for NFL Properties, said midnight green "felt tough." (It was the '90s, when everyone thought they knew what the future looked like, and were wrong.)
It was also supposed to represent a break with Eagles' largely losing past—kelly green represented decades of futility. But even with 11 playoff appearances in the 18 years since the switch, fans never really embraced the midnight green. Nothing created buzz quite like the kelly green throwbacks worn for one game in 2010. Maybe that was a trial balloon; maybe Smolenski's radio comments are too. But if the Eagles decide to switch back, I doubt you'll find much opposition in Philadelphia. Now let's talk about getting the full-body Eagle back on the shoulders.