Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Not Completely Selling Out

I'm not a Green Bay Packers fan, but I have to give the franchise credit for being one of the few teams willing to stand up to the idiocy of the NFL.  This week, all of the teams unveiled their Nike "Color Rush" jerseys--which will be worn for primetime TV games.  The "Color Rush" duds feature flashier colors than a teams regular jerseys--and usually are monochromatic--meaning the pants are the same color at the top.  They appear to have been created by the same folks at Nike that give us a visual assault every time you turn on an Oregon Ducks college football game.

The Packers deserve credit for doing the absolute minimum required to meet the "Color Rush" scheme.  When the Pack takes on the Chicago Bears next month on a Thursday night, they will wear their road white jerseys with white pants featuring green and gold stripes down the side.  It's bland--but it keeps the traditional Packers look and saves the players from looking either like human taxicabs or pine tree air fresheners you hang from the rear view mirror in your car.  It also means that the Packers Pro Shop won't create an entire "Color Rush" section--since white jerseys have always been available (unless you plan to buy white football pants to wear every Sunday).

This refusal to sell out to the NFL and Nike's obvious money-grab (order your "Color Rush" jersey today so you have it in time for the game!!) comes after Packers President Mark Murphy told the league in no uncertain terms that he will NEVER give up a home date at Lambeau Field to have the Packers play a regular season game overseas.  Undoubtedly, the Packers would be a huge draw for a game in London or Mexico City (not as much as the Dallas Cowboys or the Pittsburgh Steelers)--but Murphy realizes that part of what gives the franchise such appeal is the fact that they do still play at Lambeau--and every game there should be protected at all costs.  Not to mention, having the smallest local radio and TV contracts in the league, the Packers need every gameday penny they can make at Lambeau (see the creation of Family Night for proof of that).

So, while a number of NFL teams will be looking like giant highlighters going up and down the field this season, The Packers (and a handful of others--like the Raiders, Saints and Cowboys) will look like actual adult men playing a game meant to be enjoyed by serious fans and not making a giant sales pitch to Millenials that need flashy colors to hold their interest for more than a minute.

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