How the Philadelphia Eagles Will Look Back to Move Forward in 2023.
The color shall be green, and green shall be the color.
With Eagles 2024 kelly green alternate merchandise flying off of the shelves, this year’s throw-back jerseys Eagles merchandise may boost more than just sales. The Eagles will wear the throwback alternate jerseys twice this year, against the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills.
In 1935, not long after future NFL Commissioner Bert Bell bought an expansion franchise and named it the Philadelphia Eagles, green was incorporated into their uniforms. The modern Eagles Kelly green uniforms were developed in 1974 by Joseph A. Scirrotto Jr.
Philadelphia had previously had a professional franchise, the Frankford Yellow Jackets. In 1899, the Yellow Jackets claimed the NFL Championship in 1926. The 14 wins that Frankford achieved in 1926 stood as an NFL season record until it was broken by the 1984 San Francisco 49ers.
Today, the moniker of the Yellow Jackets still survives on Philadelphia Fire Department’s Engine 14 fire trucks.
In 1933, Bert Bell had a vision for a football team for all of Philadelphia. He couldn’t image a reality where professional football wouldn’t be embraced by the entire city.
Man, was he right—big time.
Unlike being an Eagles fan in 2023, the beginning was tumultuous. In the 1930s and early 1940s, the Eagles were not very good. It would be nearly a decade until the Eagles would post a winning season.
In 1941, Earl “Grease” Neale took over as Head Coach, and the Eagles would also acquire quarterback Tommy Thompson. In 1944, the Eagles would running back Steve Van Buren joined the team. By 1947, the Eagles were ready to challenge for the Championship.
After an 8–4 regular season that included a 45–21 loss to the Chicago Cardinals, the Eagles traveled to Pittsburgh for a playoff game to break the tie for the Eastern Division Title. On December 21st, the Eagles beat the Steelers 21–0 to advance to the NFL Championship Game and a rematch with the Chicago Cardinals.
A week later, a Comiskey Park in Chicago, the Eagles would get a chance at revenge. In 1946, Chicago’s other NFL franchise, the Bears, won the title. The Cardinals wanted to keep the championship in Chicago in 1947.
The Eagles fell behind 14–0 early and then began a comeback. With a little over 5:00 left in the game, Russ Craft dove into the endzone to cut the Cardinals’ lead to 28–21. In a precursor of the events late in Super Bowl LVII, when Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, and Devonta Smith waited while Kansas City drove on offense in the fourth quarter, the Eagles prepared to get the ball back.
On the sideline in 1947, after the Eagles’ defense took the field, Steve Van Buren and Tommy Thompson were ready for the Eagles to get the ball back and tie the game.
It never happened. The Cardinals ran out the clock and won the title.
The following year at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, the Eagles in their kelly green would beat the Chicago Cardinals 7–0 to claim their first NFL Championship amid the swirling December snow on Lehigh Avenue.
In Nick Sirianni’s first season, the Eagles came up short against the Chiefs in week four by a final score of 42–30. The Chiefs then beat the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, 38–35. The Eagles and Chiefs play again this season on November 20th.
Will a return to an original color that saw Philadelphia nearly create a dynasty in the late 1940s propel the Eagles to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in 2024?
The greatest era of football came with kelly green in the Eagles uniforms, if the Eagles of the late 1940s are any indication, when a late 4th quarter loss in 1947 followed by a 1948 Championship in a blizzard on Lehigh Avenue, well then.
They just might.