The Green Bay Packers will keep their emblematic Green and Gold jerseys safely tucked away in the locker room this weekend and take the field in another notably colored attire.
Representing the 1929 uniform worn by the franchise's first NFL championship team, the Packers will showcase the historic third jersey for the first time this season. The predominantly navy blue jersey bearing an oversized gold circle on the chest with large navy blue numbers will remind fans, players, and all spectators of the celebratory history and tradition of the Green Bay Packers organization.
This will be the first time since 2003 that the Packers have worn a third jersey, the seventh time in franchise history, and only the second time ever on their home turf.
In 2003, the Packers paid tribute to the 1967 team at their Thanksgiving Day showdown in Detroit with a recreation of the uniforms from that season.
Sunday’s uniform has already been well-received by fans after making its debut at this year’s Fan Fest in March. However, it will be the first time the team takes the field in the re-creation of the historic 1929 Green Bay Packers uniform.
“We are excited to celebrate the history and tradition of the Packers,” President/CEO Mark Murphy said. “Those who remember history and follow the history of the Packers know it was a very successful era for the organization.
“I’ve seen our fans with them since the summer, so I know they’ve been having fun with them and appreciating the tradition. It’ll be great to see our players wearing them on Lambeau Field for the game.”
This week, the Green Bay Packers equipment staff has been hard at work preparing Sunday’s uniforms. And while the process is not an easy one, the crew was excited to see the new apparel take form.
“It’s very fun to do something new,” said Marge Switzer , the Packers seamstress. “It’s kind of like Christmas this week. All of us in the sewing room are really excited for how great the uniforms look. They are especially going to look great on the field. We’re just happy to be involved in the process.”
As the ladies were all smiles throughout their work, it was evident how much pride these dedicated personnel have in their work.
“There definitely is a sense of pride we have when we see the players take the field in their uniforms each week,” she said. “And knowing how great these uniforms already look, I am sure this Sunday will be even more special.”
The majority of modifications being made to the third jersey and alternate pants are relatively the same work done on the team’s standard uniforms each week. However, as always, Switzer’s major concern rests in making sure the uniforms will be made ready for each player.
“Our biggest issue, no matter what, is to make sure that the player is comfortable on the field in his uniform,” Switzer said. “It’s kind of like having a good suit; it needs to fit just right.”
With the seamstresses hard at work in the sewing room, Green Bay Packers equipment manager Red Batty was busy modifying the alternate helmets that will be worn as well.
While the players won’t be wearing the leather helmets worn during that era, they will take the field in a solid brown colored helmet, without a logo, to best represent the headgear from the 1929 team.
“The technology will always be the same for our helmets, “Batty said. “We are never going to get rid of our technological advances. Basically, we are going to remove the inner part of the normal helmet and place it in the alternate brown helmet, along with the chin strap. From there we will make the additional changes to the helmets that the players request.”
Batty, who is in his 17th season as equipment manager of the Green Bay Packers, compares this week’s preparations to training camp preparations.
“It’s like we are starting training camp all over again,” Batty said. “These helmets are brand new, right out of the box, so we have a lot of work to do to make all the proper adjustments for each and every player.”
Throughout the week, Batty had already been receiving good vibes from the players about Sunday’s alternate uniforms.
“Charles Woodson said he was excited about wearing the alternate uniforms and when we asked him why he said because he had never had the opportunity to do something like this. And that is the feeling coming from a lot of the players.
Desmond Bishop also is looking forward to taking the field in a new uniform. “I think it’s cool since it is something we don’t get a chance to do often,” Bishop said. “I especially like the brown helmet, the entire uniform is unique and I’m excited.”
Batty expects Sunday’s uniform to be well received from both sides of the field.
“I actually was on the phone with San Francisco’s equipment manager today and even he was excited about seeing the uniforms,” Batty said. “
Since it became available in July, fans have been seen wearing the third jersey everywhere, including Training Camp, the Lambeau Field Atrium and in stadiums on gameday. But for the first time, this Sunday the historic uniform will take the field once again.
Click here to view photos of jersey preparations in the Lambeau Field sewing room.
Click here for a video of the preparations.