Uni Watch's Friday Flashback: Packers beat rush to mono-color uniforms

Uni Watch Friday Flashback: The original 'color rush' (2:55)

Paul Lukas of Uni Watch looks back at the Packers' history of solid-color uniforms (2:55)

Many NFL fans were surprised when the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions both wore their regular uniforms for their Thursday night matchup on Dec. 3. After all, the previous several Thursday night games had featured Nike's new "Color Rush" uniforms. Why hadn't the Packers and Lions gotten with the program?

The answer is that the mono-color uniforms are optional for this season's Thursday games, and the tradition-minded Packers decided to stick with their regular look. (Green Bay CEO Mark Murphy mentioned this at the team's annual shareholder meeting way back in July.) The mono-color uniforms become mandatory for next season's Thursday night games, so we'll presumably be seeing the Packers in either solid green or solid yellow in 2016.

But here's something that might surprise you: The Packers already have worn plenty of solid-green and solid-yellow uniforms. You just have to look back pretty far in the team's uniform history to find them.

According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, which is the definitive resource for NFL uni history, the Packers wore mono-green uniforms for parts of three seasons: 1935, 1950 (as you can see, they also went mono-yellow that year, among several other uniform configurations) and 1953. Color photos from those seasons are rare, but the 1953 squad wore the green garb while posing for its team portrait:

Color photos of the green unis from 1935 and 1950 are harder to come by, but the 1950 design is acknowledged on the uniform timeline that appears at the Packers Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field:

As for going all yellow, the Gridiron Uniform Database indicates that the Pack went with that look -- complete with yellow socks and helmets -- in 1947 and 1948:

The solid-yellow look also was worn in the 1949 preseason and, as we noted earlier, in 1950. In addition, there were many seasons when the Pack wore yellow jerseys with canvas-colored pants -- not quite mono-color but pretty darn close:

Finally, it's worth noting that Packers actually wore mono-white on the road in 1957 and 1958. The solid-white look, which featured navy trim, even included a white helmet:

So no matter what the Packers end up wearing for a Thursday night game next season, they were way ahead of the Color Rush curve.

(Special thanks to William Schaefer of the Gridiron Uniform Database and Chance Michaels of the Packers uniform blog The Wearing of the Green (And Gold) for their research assistance.)

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Paul Lukas suspects the Packers will go monogreen, not mono yellow, for a Thursday night game in 2016. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program or be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.