Odd scene at last night’s Eagles/Pats game in Foxboro, as New England opted to wear white at home and the Eagles wore their black alts. But according to a series of tweets from Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Zach Berman, the black alts weren’t just an aesthetic choice — they were worn out of necessity, because Philly’s new green jerseys in Nike’s Elite 51 tailoring template aren’t ready yet. Why are they running late? Berman says it’s because “midnight green is a custom color that apparently needs time to make.” And here’s the kicker: According to Berman, the green jerseys won’t be ready in time for the start of the regular season either, so the Eagles will be wearing a lot of black in the early part of the 2014 schedule.
Let’s go back and add some context to this. When Nike unveiled all 32 teams’ new uniforms in April of 2012, the Eagles were among the handful of teams that stuck with the old Reebok tailoring and fabrication. As I reported at the time, Nike’s own press notes at the event said that the Eagles hadn’t gone with the new Elite 51 template due to “color matching issues.” It wasn’t clear why midnight green would present such a challenge, but whatever — I figured the Eagles would use the old Reebok template and fabrication in 2012 and then change to the Elite 51 template in 2013.
But that didn’t happen. The Eagles stuck with the Reebok template/fabric in 2013. Then it was announced that they’d finally be switching to Elite 51 for 2014 (and sure enough, they wore the white version for their first preseason game last week). But now it turns out that Nike still has production problems with midnight green.
This all seems bizarre. What exactly is so difficult about this color? (Insert obvious “Just go back to kelly green already!” quip here.)