The arrival of Chip Kelly helped the Eagles get back into the playoffs, and now Philadelphia is apparently hoping the return of a different kelly will assist in bringing the city its first title in more than 50 years.
In an interview with 94WIP's Angelo Cataldi on Wednesday morning, Eagles president Dom Smolenski said the team is discussing a return to its pre-1996 kelly green uniforms with the NFL.
“We have talked about it and there are some rules with the NFL that provides some restrictions that we’re trying to work through, but that’s going to take some time. It’s there, and it’s something that we do talk about, but until some things change at the NFL level it’s going to provide restrictions for us. It is being talked about it, yes.”
Two decades ago, the Eagles switched from the old color to the oddly described "midnight green." When Kelly left Oregon — the mecca of uniform changes — for the Eagles, almost 12,000 Philadelphia fans signed a change.org petition to restore the kelly green uniforms. However, as Philadelphia Magazine's Tim McManus pointed out last year, a uniform change is no small task in the NFL.
As the Seahawks and Browns have discovered in recent years, the process is a two-year undertaking that includes extensive market research in coordination with the NFL's marketing team and Nike. While the idea of returning to a color worn by Norm Van Brocklin and Tommy McDonald during the team's 1960 NFL championship run seems like a simple fix, Smolenski said little of the extent to which the uniforms and logo would be altered — all of which requires NFL approval. Depending on when the Eagles and NFL began discussing the issue, Philadelphia fans may not see kelly green uniforms again until 2016, if at all.
Still, it's a step in the right direction for vintage uniform fans. Now, if only Jonathan Kraft could pick up the phone and get a conversation going about abandoning the Flying Elvis for Pat Patriot once again.