Op-ed: The love affair with Eagles’ Kelly Green uniforms is misplaced

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It’s all anyone has been willing to talk about over the last few weeks in Philadelphia. The Eagles after over 20 years of success in midnight green, have begun to bring back the iconic “Kelly Green” jerseys of the late 1980s-1990s.

While that excitement is certainly fun early on, the idea that the Eagles would go back to the jersey combination synonymous with their struggles post their NFL championship days is as misguided as the love affair that is brought onto them.

A short history of the Eagles playing in Kelly Green

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie bought the Eagles in 1994 and rebranded the team to their current midnight green colors and logo two years after. Since 1996, only the Tom Brady dynasty in New England has been found to be as successful as those new-look Eagles. Seven conference title appearances, three Super Bowl appearances, and the franchise’s first Super Bowl trophy have since followed. Hall-of-Famers like Brian Dawkins, Andy Reid, and Jason Peters have walked the halls since the rebrand while other stars like Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, and several others have been honored by the team since.

The success Philadelphia has had as a football team since 1996 begs the question:

Why change anything about the team that could cancel out the success they’ve had?

Most people that are infatuated with the Kelly Green looks do so because they grew up in that era. They grew up with the Buddy Ryan defense that set records in key categories. They grew up with Randall Cunningham dazzling audiences with a skillset only Fran Tarkenton had been known to do.

But most of the people who grew up in that age of Eagles football also grew up with the frustration of mediocrity.

From 1961 (their last NFL championship) to 1996, the Eagles won a grand total of five playoff games. That’s over 30 years and just five playoff victories for those unclear. If you add the three NFL championships from 1948, 1949, and 1960, the total is extended to eight.

The midnight green Eagles reached their eighth playoff victory by the 10th year anniversary of the rebrand. In total, the midnight green colors have seen a grand total of 16 playoff victories. It also helps that they’ve been to the playoffs 15 times during that span to the kelly green 14.

There is such a stark contrast between what the team has done before and after their rebrand, it seems almost foolish to mess with a good thing that has brought the Eagles to national respect. Teams now look to emulate the Eagles in how they run their front office, coaching staff, and locker room. Even their logo/color scheme is among the most feared in the NFL to date.

Jalen Hurts eagles
FILE – Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts looks to pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the NFC Championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Philadelphia. Jalen Hurts is set to sign one of the richest deals in NFL history, agreeing to a five-year, $255 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles, including $179.3 million guaranteed, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The Eagles announced on Monday, April 17, “QB1 is here to stay,” but terms were not yet announced, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, FIle)

Much like how the Steelers and Raiders’ logos and jerseys have been the same for the better part of half a century, the Eagles have a chance to make their midnight green combination among the most storied in NFL history. It makes the push for the kelly green jerseys, and the potential of using them full time, to be a misguided gesture by both the fans and the organization themselves.

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Eagles