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Point, counterpoint: What's best about the Packers uniform?


! Staff Writer Mike Spofford says it's the helmet and the 'G.'

It hasn't changed since the helmet logo debuted in 1961, and that's what makes it so special. It has stood the test of time.

Former equipment manager "Dad" Braisher designed the "G" for Vince Lombardi and put it on the helmets in '61, Lombardi's third season. That also coincided with the first of Lombardi's five titles in a seven-year span, still the most dominant run of success in league history.

Lombardi has the Super Bowl trophy named after him. Braisher has a local high school football field named after him, just down the road in De Pere. All pretty cool, if you ask me.

I also like the way the stripes down the middle of the helmet haven't changed, and how the logo on the helmet incorporates that color combination of green and gold so prominent in the home uniforms. The helmet also matches the pants, and I like the fact that the Packers only have one pair of pants, for home or away.

The gold on the helmet is special in its own right. The Packers' helmet is the only one in the league to use that hue of yellow-gold as its predominant color. That makes it distinctive.

No, I'm not going to get into that nonsense about the "G" standing for "greatness," as was falsely reported during the run-up to Super Bowl XLV. That non-story took on a life of its own. The "G" stands for Green Bay, of course, and there's never been any thought given to changing it.

In an age when so many teams have changed their helmet logos or colors over the past 20 years – the Patriots, Broncos, Giants, Falcons, Buccaneers, Rams, Bengals, Jets, Chargers and Bills all come to mind – it's refreshing to see the Packers leave the "G" alone.

It's been borrowed in one form or another by many other teams, such as Georgia and Grambling State in the college ranks, which says something, too. Isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

There's something charming about a logo and helmet that represent a team's glory years (the 1960s), its dark ages (the 1970s and '80s), and its renaissance (the 1990s to the present day). That's a lot of history in, essentially, one letter.

If anything stands for greatness, that does.   

! Editor Vic Ketchman says it's that Lombardi 'designed' it.

Actually, I don't know who actually designed it – I doubt Vince Lombardi consulted a New York fashion designer – but the uniform the Packers have worn with pride and distinction for five-plus decades emerged and evolved during the Lombardi years, and that's what I like best about the uniform of the team I cover. If it was good enough for Lombardi, it's good enough for me.

I like the simplicity of the uniform. Green Bay is a straightforward town and so is the uniform of the town's team: no shadow-boxing on the numbers or side panels, two-tone jerseys or exotic markings.

It's a uniform that was worn by Bart Starr, Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor, by Brett Favre, Reggie White and Antonio Freeman, and now by Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews.

Lombardi's uniform transcends the generations of Packers players and fans. Three generations of each have worn or watched that uniform.

That's what a uniform should represent. It should represent a bond between now and then. It should represent the identity of a team. The Packers uniform represents Lombardi; there is no greater identity.

Some of the league's new uniform designs make teams look like the Austrian bobsled team. Sorry, Broncos. Others have turned their uniforms too dark. Purple and black?

Football is played in the fall. It's a time for crimson leaves cast against a bright blue sky, and glittering gold dancing on a field of green. I want colors, not darkness. Winter's on the way; darkness will descend on us all soon enough.

I also like the fact that Lombardi settled the blue-green debate once and for all. From 1954-57, the Packers returned to blue as their primary color. In '58, new coach Scooter McLean went back to green; Scooter was a smart man. The following year, Lombardi arrived and green never left again.

Hey, this is Green Bay, not Blue Bay.

When I see the Packers in their uniforms, I think of Green Bay and cold weather and Lambeau Field and Vince Lombardi. Why would anyone ever want to change that?

What do you think?

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