By: Tim Kelly, Editorial Assistant
Over the past two seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles black-on-black jerseys have become a sign that the team is playing a meaningful prime-time game. Though the jerseys may not age well, in 2016, the jerseys unquestionably fall under the category of "fresh," and when coupled with the fact that they are always worn in important games, it's easy to see why the jerseys are so popular. That's exactly why the Eagles shouldn't wear the jerseys during the 2016 season.
Between Thanksgiving 2009 and Week 13 of the 2013 season, the Eagles didn't wear their black alternate jerseys. The jersey didn't cease being nice during that time, but it appears that the Eagles implored an interesting strategy. For more than three and a half seasons, the team didn't wear what most consider to be their nicest jersey. When they brought it back, rather than just wearing the jersey, they turned it into an event, dubbing the Sunday two days after Black Friday "#BlackSunday."
"Black Sunday" was so popular that when the Eagles hosted the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football during Week 6 of the 2014 season, they spent the entire week promoting #BlackSunday. The difference this time was the Eagles spent that week not only promoting the black jerseys, but promoting an all-black uniform that featured black pants as well. Adding the pants was a simple touch in theory, but the team did such a good job marketing the event that they won a 2015 American Advertising ADDY Award.
The problem since then is that the Eagles have overexposed the black-on-black jerseys, wearing them on three separate occasions. The jerseys haven't become less liked, but the effect that they have in the week leading up to the game they worn in seems to have been minimized.
Realistically, the Eagles may compete for a bad NFC East in 2016, but they aren't a team that has a chance to seriously compete in the playoffs. 2016 is also the first year of Doug Pederson's tenure and will likely feature the Eagles using one of Sam Bradford of Chase Daniel at quarterback the entire season, not Carson Wentz, who they ultimately hope will be their franchise quarterback.
If the Eagles wait a season or two for the next time to wear their black-on-black jerseys, they may be able to recreate the marketing effect that they had in 2014, while also wearing the jerseys in a time when Carson Wentz, they hope, is starting to show flashes of being the team's franchise quarterback.
- Buddy Ryan's passing yesterday reminded me of something that I've thought for quite some time: him and Jim Johnson deserve to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for their work as defensive coordinators.
- Entering last season, I thought there was nothing that Chip Kelly could do that would warrant him not getting a fourth season as the team's coach, following two 10-6 seasons. But when a coach loses a locker-room, it's nearly impossible to come back from that, regardless of what the team may have previously accomplished record-wise. A source close to the team told Eagledelphia.com as early as the Wednesday in between the team's Week 2 loss to the Dallas Cowboys and Week 3 win over the New York Jets that there were 'big locker room problems,' with multiple key players on the team not buying into Kelly's culture. To a degree, winning can mask locker room problems, but it became evident to everyone involved late in the season that Kelly had irreversibly lost the locker room and could not remain the team's coach.
- Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice reported this past weekend that the Eagles are likely to make Carson Wentz inactive for game-days. This is a no-brainier considering he's the team's third-string quarterback and the team presumably doesn't want fans to believe it's possible that Wentz will be inserted into the game the first time that Sam Bradford throws an interception.