Sadly, the Eagles Aren’t Going Back to Kelly Green Jerseys

The team is sticking with its midnight green color scheme, but wants to wear kelly green jerseys as its third jersey. The problem: The helmets.

Philadelphia Eagles running back Wilbert Montgomery  in a game against the New York Giants on September 2, 1984. Photo | AP, Paul Spinelli.

Philadelphia Eagles running back Wilbert Montgomery in a game against the New York Giants on September 2, 1984. Photo | AP, Paul Spinelli.

Eagles president Don Smolenski caused a stir this morning when he said on 94 WIP’s morning show that the Eagles were considering wearing the kelly green jerseys again. The station trumpeted it as a major change, and Smolenski seemed to hint at nefarious plots against kelly green: “We have talked about it and there are some rules with the NFL that provide some restrictions that we’re trying to work through, but that’s going to take some time.”

Eagles fans – at least ones with taste, unlike Foobooz editor Arthur Etchells, who prefers the current “midnight green” teal-ish uniforms — rejoiced. A return to the obviously superior kelly green color scheme, finally!

But it turns out the Eagles just want to wear kelly green occasionally, as a third jersey. Currently, the Eagles wear their black jerseys as their alternate colors. (I prefer these to the midnight green ones. Kelly green and white — and black jerseys twice a season — would be the ideal combo.) But there’s an issue: Due to new helmet safety protocols in the wake of the NFL concussion lawsuits, teams can’t wear one-off helmets anymore.

The league could probably grant the Eagles a dispensation, but that would only be likely for a special event (such as the 50th anniversary of the 1960 championship team in 2010 —  the sole time the Eagles have worn kelly green since 1995 — or the 2007 75th anniversary throw backs). But maybe not: Last season, the Buccaneers were scheduled to wear their old creamsicle jerseys but didn’t after being told they’d have to wear their current helmets. The Head, Neck and Spine Committee and the Player Safety Advisory Panel made the recommendation to keep one helmet the entire season last year.

As Birds 24/7’s Tim McManus explained in February of last year, the team is unlikely to wear kelly green anytime soon. The NFL tightly regulates teams’ colors and style. The stadium is kind of colored midnight green. The Eagles would have to buy all new seats! They’re not going to replace all the seats at Lincoln Financial Field until they can at least sell them as “the seats from the Super Bowl season!” And who knows if that will ever happen!

You can keep wishing all you want, but it appears we’re stuck with the midnight green jerseys.

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