Green Bay Packers Helmet History

Here it is, arguably the most storied franchise in the NFL, and one of the most recognizable brands in sports. The Green Bay Packers helmet history is nowhere near as long as the franchise’s existence because, well, like many of our traditional franchises, the Packers’ look just hasn’t changed all too often.

There has been a little bit of change, though, but ones just subtle enough for us helmet enthusiasts to see and share with the masses.

So, if you’re ready for a short article regarding the Packers’ helmet, let’s have a look at what I believe is the most iconic brand in the NFL.

 

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Prior to 1961

A modernized rendition of the Packers’ helmet prior to 1961.

As with many of our oldest franchises, the Packers being the second oldest having been founded in 1919, the team wore old leatherheads before switching to the now-familiar plastic shells in 1951.

The original plastic-shelled helmet contained a gray facemask when the facemask came into existence, metallic gold shells with no logo with a green and white stripe topping the helmet’s crown.

 

 

1961-1979

In 1961, then-coach Vince Lombardi asked equipment manager Gerald Braisher to design a helmet logo for the team in a time logos were becoming more and more of a trend. Braisher then asked his assistant, John Gordon, to conceive a final draft of the design.

The pair came up with a football-shaped ‘G’ within a green oval, which Lombardi later approved and the logo was added to the helmet that season.

There has been speculation on the meaning behind the ‘G,’ with Tiki Barber claiming the ‘G’ stands for Greatness, while most believe it stands for Green Bay, which is unique among the other professional teams in the four major sports leagues due to the fact it’s by far the smallest city containing a pro sports team, the population being roughly 105,000, the 286th largest city in the nation.

 

1980-Present

The only change the Packers would make to the helmet since 1979 is the facemask color, which also became a trend in the late-1970s. Today, the color is the same shade of dark green as the jerseys, with the team never having gone back to the gray facemask since.

The only other helmets the Packers have worn since are on throwback weekends. Prior to the NFL’s mandate banning multiple colored helmets in 2013, the team wore brownish helmets with a navy and gold throwback to mimic the leatherheads of the uniform’s era. Now that multiple helmets are abolished, the Packers now simply remove all markings from the helmet when wearing the throwbacks.

 

My Take

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and the Packers have done just that. While I crave gray facemasks, the Packers may be an exception to the rule, with the green looking in place with the current (and practically only) uniforms the Packers have worn since incorporating the plastic shells.

These days, few teams get it right when it comes to their helmets and jerseys, and the Packers are fortunately one of those teams.

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2 comments

  1. I love history and I really enjoyed reading about the Green Bay Packers Helmet History. I did not realize the Green Bay Packers are 100 years old! That is very interesting. I also liked that they have not changed their look too much over the years. You are so right, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

    The Green Bay Packers colours are very similar to the local football team in the city where I reside. The team here is called The Edmonton Eskimos, similar look with regard to colors.

    I was curious how long our local team has been in existence and it appears the Edmonton Eskimos (as we know them) began in 1949. There were other clubs prior to this with the same name however. These clubs existed as early as 1895.

    Thanks for the interesting article and motivating me to learn some history about the team that resides in my city!

    Take good care!
    Angela

    1. Very true, Angela. The Pack are as old as the NFL itself (also turning 100 this season). The Eskimos have a very similar look to the Packers, and there may be a correlation there, much like the Duke Blue Devils football team has with the Indianapolis Colts and the Iowa Hawkeyes have to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A local area high school team called the Brooke Bruins’ uniforms are based on the Packers’ uniforms as well, something I didn’t learn until 2010.

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