Much has been made of the new fashion statement the Seattle Seahawks made a few weeks ago by coming out of the tunnel with bright lime green jerseys. Unlike the success or failure of the actual team, the jerseys have brought the team some actual notoriety on the national scale. The most interesting facet is that opinions seem to be split roughly down the middle, with half the sports world entirely fascinated by them and the other half prepared to gouge out their own eyeballs, just to prevent any more damage to their retinas. Believe it or not, I am among the former.
Over the years, green has become sort of an official color of the “Emerald City” and its sports teams. Originally, the only team that really used the colors to high effect was the Sonics, whose mix of green and yellow was fitting for the time but bland by today standards. The Seahawks used it, but only as a highlight in their original jerseys, and it stayed that way for nearly their entire existence. In the 1990’s however, the Seattle Mariners broke out some teal green, and the team went on to their first playoff appearance ever. One could say this was the start of the green revolution.
When the Seahawks debuted their new look in 2002, it was made up of mostly blue, with only a bright green stripe along the sides and an eye on the helmet. It didn’t take long for that green to become a focal point, as the team store began to stock jerseys not unlike the ones the Hawks trotted out on the field against the Chicago Bears. The real push came when the Seahawks acquired Deion Branch from the New England Patriots in 2006. In one of his first games, he took the field with bright green gloves that matched his jersey’s accent. Next, former Seahawks linebacker Julian Peterson debuted green shoes, which proceeded to spread to about half the team.
The green really hit the fan just last year with the debut of the Seattle Sounders FC on the world stage of soccer, and their rollout of the greenest jerseys you’ve ever seen. The team has launched to enormous popularity both in Seattle and in Major League Soccer. They have all has but clinched a playoff appearance in their first year (not to mention winning the US Open cup). Would the Seahawks be experimenting with the green jerseys without that success? That could be called doubtful.
To the haters, this is hardly the worst thing to happen to jerseys since the old Tampa Bay Buccaneers puke orange. It’s not even close to the yellow Oregon Ducks jerseys (or most anything else the Ducks have put on the field). Does anyone who watches the National Basketball Association (NBA) even have a right to call these jerseys ugly? Not at all.
Maybe my eyes have just adjusted to the Sounders jerseys, but I actually like the new alternate Seahawks uniforms. I don’t want them to wear these every week, but I can be pretty sure my next jersey purchase will be a green Burleson and not a black Smith. Sure, they aren’t perfect. I’d rather have the numbers on the jerseys be blue, and it could use a blue stripe along the seams, but I can almost guarantee that if the Seahawks continue to wear these, you’ll start seeing them across the country.