When the Green Bay Packers and the Oakland Raiders suit up for Thursday's preseason matchup in Winnipeg, they will be making history. This is the first time that either team has played an NFL game north of the border. Additionally, the Packers have never played outside the United States and are the only team to never take part in a game in London or Mexico City as part of the International Series.
Considering the enormity of the situation, it was critical that the players dress for the occasion, and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did just that. A video surfaced of the signal-caller on Wednesday as he arrived in Canada for the preseason bout. In true Rodgers fashion, he was wearing aviator sunglasses and boasting a thick mustache. He was also dressed in denim from head to toe, which has traditionally been known as the "Canadian Tuxedo." To complete the look, Rodgers even wore a western bolo tie.
"I'm excited about it," Rodgers said when news of the Winnipeg game was announced in early June. "I have not been to Winnipeg before, but I am a fan of the CFL because a former teammate of ours, Mike Reilly, has long dominated the CFL. Now, he just switched teams. He was with Edmonton for a long time.
"I'm excited to get up there. It's fun to travel with the squad to a different country. We still haven't been to England yet, but hopefully, this doesn't count as our out-of-the-country trip because I think a lot of us would still like to go to England. But it's fun. The popularity of the NFL is worldwide and I was in Paris this offseason and went to a Packer bar. So, that just kinda shows you the reach of the NFL. The CFL is a great league and a lot of great players have played there over the years. It'll be fun to be up there. I'm sure there's a bunch of Packer fans up there because they're everywhere."
While many attribute the Canadian Tuxedo to a character from the movie The Final Sacrifice named Zap Rowsdower, the truth of the matter is that the denim on denim look was actually popularized by singer Bing Crosby. According to Levi Strauss & CO. historian Lynn Downey, the look dates back to 1951 in Vancouver.
"Singer Bing Crosby was very fond of Levi's jeans and was wearing his favorite pair while on a hunting trip to Canada with a friend in that year," Downey wrote in her Short History of Denim. "The men tried to check into a Vancouver hotel, but because they were wearing denim, the desk clerk would not give them a room; apparently, denim-clad visitors were not considered high-class enough for this hotel. Because the men were wearing Levi's jeans, the clerk did not even bother to look past their clothing to see that he was turning away America's most beloved singer (luckily for Bing, he was finally recognized by the bellhop). LS&CO. heard about this and created a denim tuxedo jacket for Bing, which we presented to him at a celebration in Elko, Nevada, where Bing was honorary mayor."
It's unclear if Rodgers is aware of the original history of the Canadian Tuxedo, but that doesn't matter at this moment. The Packers star is pulling off the look and is entering the upcoming matchup with pure swagger. New head coach Matt LaFleur needs Rodgers at the peak of his powers in order to make 2019 the best season in franchise history. If pursuing the goal requires him to wear all denim before each week, then so be it.