Philadelphia Eagles Jersey Evolution

The Philadelphia Eagles sprang into action in 1933 when original team owner Bert Bell and first head coach Lud Wray purchased the former Frankford Yellow Jackets – an American football team part of the NFL. The Bell-Wray group paid an entry fee of $2,500 to acquire the assets of the failed Yellow Jackets franchise.

Eagles Origins

After establishing their new expansion team in Philadelphia, Bert Bell and Lud Wray decided on Eagles as the new moniker – a more fitting name for the City of Brotherly Love. Bell detailed that the name was a nod to the National Recovery Act emblem, which just so happened to be an eagle. The symbol was created to recognize the accomplishment of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal National Recovery Act.

Over time, the Birds have remained loyal to a color palette consisting of various green, white, black, and gray hues for their jersey designs. During the late ’90s, the uniform changed from traditional green to a midnight green tone to differentiate the Birds from their AFC East opponents, the New York Jets. Present-day Eagles currently take the field in fashion by rockin’ a midnight green, black, charcoal, and silver color scheme.

In 1948, the Philadelphia-based squad debuted their primary logo of a flying eagle holding a football, shaded in green. Different variations of this logo would reign as the team’s main emblem until the introduction of their iconic eagle head logo in 1996. The current logo is a bald eagle head with a silver beak, outlined by black and green trim.

Fly, Eagles Fly

If you take a walk down toward South Philadelphia, you’ll find yourself passing Lincoln Financial Field as you stuff your face with a classic Philly cheesesteak. It has served as the home nest for the Eagles since opening its doors in 2003. Currently, the venue holds a seating capacity of just over 69,000 fans – providing the Birds a flock of excitement during gridiron showdowns.

The Philadelphia Eagles are currently members of the NFC East division in the NFL along with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Washington Redskins. Although the Eagles have yet to birth a championship victory, they have made an appearance two times – once during the 1980-81 season against the Oakland Raiders and again in 2004-05, when they fell to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

The Eagles have also had their fair share of exceptional players over the years. Legendary players to take the field decked in green and white consist of franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb and speedster LeSean McCoy. Both athletes have made a name for themselves within the organization as the all-time passing and rushing leaders, respectively.

Fly like an eagle with us as we soar through the evolution of the Philadelphia Eagles jersey throughout their seasoned career in the NFL.

Notable Jersey Changes

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1941: During the 1941 season, a unique series of events unfolds for the Eagles as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh trade home cities. The jersey makes use of a black and gray color scheme – and features a contrast between the side and sleeve panels.  

1943: There is a shortage of players during the 1943 season because of World War II. This gives birth to the “Steagles” – a merger between the state-sharing cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The Phil-Pitt squad takes a different approach to their jersey by changing the colors to green and white. Player numbers experience an increase in font size, and stripes remain and run down the shoulders and sleeves.

1944: The team now utilizes white as the primary jersey color with green horizontal stripes strapped across both sleeves.

1958: Green reverts to the primary jersey color with white player numbers. The helmet features silver eagle wings, which were originally added in 1955.

1975: The Birds showcase more stripes to their jersey, which were added in 1974, with each sleeve bearing a combination of white, gray, and green stripes. Player numbers now adorn the top of the shoulder pads, and a white outline borders the helmet’s wings.

1986: The Eagles ditch the stripes and decide to rock the short-sleeved look. A black outline is added to the player numbers, which still reside on the shoulder pads. Upon careful inspection, a new Eagle’s logo can be found on the arm of the jersey.

1998: A major change occurs during the 1998 season, with an emphasis placed on the team’s iconic green color. Jeffrey Lurie, the team owner, explains their fans wanted them “to look less like the Jets.” In addition to the green color change, the helmets include the more detailed wings which were adopted in previous years.

2005: This 2005 jersey showcases minor adjustments which were made over the course of previous seasons, including the primary color switching back to green with white player numbers outlined in black trim.

2009: Another color swap takes places between the team’s green and white colorway. The winged helmet remains green, and a stripe runs down the sides of players’ pants. This color swap originally occurred in 2007.

2014: A slight change is made to the shade of green, which is now featured as the jersey’s primary color. The stripes remain on the pants, and white socks are worn matching player pants and numbers.

#FlyEaglesFly

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The Eagles are headed to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 2008 season, and they’re hoping to return to the big game for the first time since 2004. This long-standing team has yet to win a Lombardi Trophy for the Philadelphia faithful, but hopes were high this season due to the development and outstanding play of their second-year quarterback, Carson Wentz. Those hopes were somewhat dashed after a season-ending injury landed Wentz on IR, but backup QB Nick Foles led the team past last year’s NFC Champ, the Falcons, in the Divisional Round and is prepared to take on the Minnesota Vikings.

Making your way over to Lincoln Financial Field? Before satisfying your hunger with a legendary Philly cheesesteak, fill your wardrobe with the latest green and white essentials! Take a pit stop at Fanatics – the one-stop shop for all of your Eagles wants and needs.

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Happiest NFL Teams

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Given that they’re playing football for a living, it might be hard to see many NFL players being unhappy tossing the pigskin around and collecting a paycheck for it. However, among those who are happy to put on the pads, some teams and individual positions are happier than others.

Are these the teams that win more than the rest of the league? Are these the players that play in prestigious positions like quarterback or wide receiver? To get to the bottom of this, we took photos from ESPN, ran them through Microsoft’s Cognitive Emotion Services API, and ranked the happiest teams and positions in the NFL based on their appearance.

Carefree Champions

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The most shocking thing about three of the five happiest teams based on our analysis? How poorly they performed last season. In second and with a 7-9 record, the Philadelphia Eagles ranked high for happiness. In third place and tied with the Cleveland Browns for the worst record in the league last season (3-13): the Tennessee Titans.

And stuck in at fourth with a 6-10 record was the Chicago Bears; they let the Windy City down with their subpar performances. With a combined record of 16-32 for these three teams, maybe winning isn’t the only thing that defines happiness.

Surrounding these plucky and oddly happy teams were two 2015 AFC starlets, the Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals. They found regular season success, ending the year with 12-4 records, but the Broncos continued their run all the way to a Super Bowl victory.

In Their Happy Place

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Is it any surprise that quarterbacks lead the list of happiest positions in the NFL? Quarterbacks, who are viewed by many players and officials as the most protected class,  command the biggest contracts for their on-the-field actions.

Fourteen of the top 15 largest salaries in 2016 are going to quarterbacks (Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts, Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens, and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers are the top three). Their partners in crime – tight ends, running backs, and wide receivers – are all on the higher end of the happiness spectrum.

Landing at the bottom of our analysis were those playing at fullback. Referred to by ESPN as an “endangered species,” the fullback position has fallen victim to the league’s change to pass-heavy offenses, employing multiple tight-end sets. It might be hard to place a massive smile on your face if job security were a concern. In fact, last year 10 of the 32 NFL teams didn’t even place a fullback on their roster. Chin up, boys, that’s still 22 teams that are looking for a fullback to help pound the rock!

Happy (Touchdown) Dance

Winning should lead to happiness, and it did for the Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals. But some down-on-their-luck teams seemingly didn’t allow it to define their state of mind. It also would be more common for a quarterback to be happy than a fullback (two words: job security), and really any other offensive player.

You can be happier too when you’re sporting the best NFL licensed merchandise and apparel for your favorite teams, available right now at Fanatics.com.

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