Sunday, 18 May 2008

You're Wearing That? - Long Weekend Edition

It's time for another edition of that seemingly popular article entitled You're Wearing That? There have been five parts in this series thus far, and a special edition that outlined the ridiculous number of jerseys that the Worcester IceCats of the AHL wore. Of course, there are still a myriad of jerseys out there that haven't even been discussed, and that's ok. That only gives this series of articles more follow-ups. If you'd like to see any or all of the first five articles, please click on them under the "Highly-Clicked Articles" section, and get your fill of questionable jerseys. Without further adieu, though, here is Part Six in the never-ending quest to abolish ridiculous jerseys while shedding light on some of the better jerseys out there.

First, we'll start on the international scene. The 2008 IIHF Men's Hockey Championship celebrated the 100th anniversary of the IIHF this year, and each country was invited to wear a retro jersey of their choice to commemorate the event. There were a few highlights in these jersey selections. Team Denmark looked similar to the New York Rangers with their retro design. Team USA went back to the 1960s for their look, and it receives a passing grade. The Russians pulled out the old CCCP jerseys for their retro look to bring back the Soviet Union for one game.

Team Canada, however, decided to redesign their entire wardrobe by unveiling a brand-new look, as modeled by Patrick Sharp and Gillian Apps. They look remarkably like Phoenix Coyotes' current design, but that's just my perspective on the design. Personally, I think they look alright, despite Nike calling them "retro-futuristic". How can something futuristic be retro? These words that Nike is making up to sell their products are starting to become "increasingly stupid".

Team Norway, also playing in this year's World Championship, didn't go back to their jerseys that they used in Lillehammer, Norway. It might have been for the best because I wouldn't have been able to tell you that this jersey was a Norwegian jersey at first glance. Thankfully, they have gotten somewhat better with their designs.

The NHL's Atlanta Thrashers helped out a local charity again this season by donning these St. Patrick's Day-themed practice jerseys before auctioning them off. Again, I can't say anything bad about these jerseys as all the money goes towards a great cause, and they look pretty decent as well.

The AHL's Manitoba Moose held a military tribute night this season, and wore some pretty sharp jerseys to commemorate the event. With there being several military installations in and around the city of Winnipeg, these jerseys are completely suitable, and they look pretty nice too. The Moose also held a WHA throwback night in 2003-04 by wearing Winnipeg Jets-themed WHA jerseys. They paid attention to details as well as the Moose even wore the white nameplate on the back of the jerseys. Well done on both jerseys, Moose!

The AHL's Chicago Wolves wore this jersey for their game before the turn of the millenium. Now, I'm not sure about you, but that looks nothing like the new millenium. Nor does it commemorate the event, unless Cujo took over Chicago. And not this Cujo either. Brutal design.

The Western Professional Hockey League's Alexandria Warthogs folded in 1999, and the league followed in 2001. I'm not suggesting that their jerseys were to blame, but would you wear something like this? That was their Mardi Gras jersey. They lasted one season. 'Nuff said.

The ECHL's Florida Everblades decided to commemorate their 10th anniversary with a new set of jerseys. Once again, hockey teams that celebrate their own longevity with a jersey are the equivalent to a bush league team in baseball. Patches look better. Jerseys look completely stupid.

The AHL's Hershey Bears wore throwbacks this season as well to celebrate an anniversary. Instead of making a jersey for the anniversary, though, they brought out some 1938-39 Hershey Bears jerseys. These are fabulous jerseys, and the Bears should be commended for their attention to details as the socks match the rest of the uniform. Well done, Bears!

The UHL's Fort Wayne Komets wore these Christmas-themed jerseys during the holiday season in 2000-01. At first, they look a little boring, but it has to be pointed out that the reindeer are pulling the word "Komets" like they would a sleigh in the logo. Also, the Santa hat on the snowflake gives a little more credence to the occasion for the jersey as well. This isn't the greatest Christmas jersey, but it's certainly not the worst. A passing grade for the design.

The ECHL's Cincinnati Cyclones decided to have a Jimmy Buffet night in 2002-03. Why? No clue. He has no ties to Cincinnati. Unless they were celebrating Mardi Gras, there's no reason for this jersey. Except to push some sort of promotional idea. Personally, the jersey just screams "tacky".

There have been some eye-opening jerseys in the NHL, but I had totally forgotten about the Los Angeles Kings in 1975. Wow. They may have won games that season due to simply blinding their opponents. As bad as they look, though, they are somewhat endearing.

The AHL's Lake Erie Monsters went with a promotional jersey this season as they donned tye-dyed jerseys for a game. I'm not overly impressed with these as tye-dyed anything has never been a good look, but the Monsters did the job fairly well by keeping the team's colours as the only tye-dyed colours.

The ECHL's Louisiana IceGators were, at one time, the most popular team in the ECHL. They still hold the top-four attendance records in the ECHL despite having folded in 2005 due to financial difficulties. They did wear, during their time, a number of promotional jerseys. They combined their 5th anniversary jersey with a Year 2000 jersey. Again, anniversary jerseys are stupid, but combining two promotions is the definition of ridiculous. They also celebrated their 10th anniversary with a jersey. Please see above regarding my thoughts on anniversary jerseys. They honoured the men and women who were involved in the 9/11 tragedy with a jersey in 2001-02. These are alright. 2002-03 saw the Gators honour the Boy Scouts of America with a jersey. These look decent. Being in Louisiana, you know they had a Mardi Gras jersey. Not too sure about these ones. They also celebrated St. Patrick's Day in 1998-99 with a jersey. They seem a little bland. They wore a jersey in the 2004-05 season to honour the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns. I like the look of these jerseys. During that same season, they also held a NASCAR night. Cross-sport promotions are a huge NO. And in the only jersey I can't explain, the 1999-00 season saw the IceGators wear a Whiteout jersey. I'd assume this is for the playoffs since there's a Kelly Cup patch on the shoulder, but why make a promotional jersey for something that the fans embrace more than the team?

The Central Hockey League's New Mexico Scorpions wore Christmas-themed jerseys in 2004-05. Christmas? Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. Instead, this jersey conjured up images of Ghostbusters. Why is the snowman so angry? Why is he coming to a dark town to crush all the homes? Why is Christmas so unhappy in New Mexico?

I spoke a little of the OHL's Kitchener Rangers during the Memorial Cup article a few days ago, but it has to be said again that their Memorial Cup military tribute jerseys that went up for auction are some of the most gorgeous jerseys seen as of late. A huge thumbs-up from this writer for these fantastic jerseys.

In sticking with the OHL, another memorial jersey must be mentioned. When Mickey Renaud passed away this season, there was a large outpouring of support for the Windsor Spitfire family. The OHL's Belleville Bulls showed their support for Windsor as well when the Spitfires returned to play the Bulls in Belleville, and both teams honoured Mickey Renaud with jerseys during the warm-up. A very touching gesture, and both teams get a huge thumbs-up as well.

One more OHL team to make an appearance is the Peterborough Petes. However, they hit the other side of the spectrum. The Petes would have gotten a thumbs-up if they simply stuck with the shoulder patch, but they decided to wear their 50th anniversary across their chests as well. So close, yet so far, Peterborough. Stick with the patch for the next anniversary.

This article wouldn't feel right if I didn't include the Quad City Mallards. The Mallards, before being displaced by the Quad City Flames, have always had interesting promotional jerseys. 2004-05 saw the Mallards have a Pirate night with the players dressing up like swashbucklers. Why? No clue.

The AHL's Albany River Rats went with a throwback jersey to commemorate their 15th anniversary. However, major loss of marks for having the 15th anniversary as part of their logo. It looks ok as a regular jersey, but don't mess with your logo. Why do teams do this? If someone has an explanation, I'm all ears.

The ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays honoured the Air Force with a tribute night in 2003-04. I'm ok with these tributes, but the logo needs to standout a little bit more. It would also be nice to see the team actually change the logo to reflect the tribute, but that might be asking a little too much. Either way, this jersey is simply ok. Not good, but not bad either.

The Toledo Storm of the ECHL wore one of the most inexplicable promotional jerseys that I've ever seen. In 1997-98, the Storm teamed up with the WB television channel to have a promotion for the WB's Batman and Robin cartoon. While I get that Channel 5 in Toledo, Ohio is the WB network, what kind of stupid promotion and jersey are these? The word "ugly" doesn't do these jerseys enough justice.

In the 1970s, Toledo had an IHL team. There were no promotional jerseys for this team, but their name simply is creative and awesome. I present to you the jerseys for the IHL's Toledo Goaldiggers. Good colour scheme, and classic look. These are things of beauty.

The AHL's Syracuse Crunch honoured the 1972-73 Eastern Hockey League (EHL) champion Syracuse Blazers before a game this past season. In doing so, the team also wore Blazers-inspired jerseys in their game. Personally, these look pretty good. Does anyone notice that there was a lot more yellow in hockey during the 1970s? Is it just me?

The Rocky Mountain Rage of the Central Hockey League make another appearance on these lists. This one is simply for their jersey logo. I get the rage = anger thing, but an eye? Is that the best you could come up with, Rage?

The USHL's Sioux City Musketeers have won a couple of different jersey designs during their lifetime. They celebrated their 20th anniversary with a jersey in 1999-00, and you probably can guess what I think of this. What bothers me most is that their 20th anniversary logo looks remarkably like the Boston Bruins' 75th anniversary patch. Originality, anyone? They also wore a 9/11 tribute jersey in 2001-02 which, to me, is quite boring. And their 2001-02 St. Patrick's Day jersey doesn't stand out very well either. I understand that the Musketeers may not have a huge budget, but if you're going to do a promotional jersey, you should at least do it right. Or not at all.

The AHL's Rochester Americans went with a camouflage jersey again this season as their military tribute. The jerseys were auctioned off for charity after the game, and the proceeds went to Foodlink. A good tribute for a good charitable cause with a good jersey to boot. Well done, Amerks!

The AHL's Norfolk Admirals donned some impressive jerseys in order to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association with their jersey auction. Personally, they look a lot like the old Los Angeles Kings' gold jerseys, but the logo is impressive, and they look good. The Admirals also raised over $26,000 for the MDA with the auction. Excellent job, Admirals!

The Wichita Thunder of the Central Hockey League wore special jerseys for the turn of the millenium, but they came across as quite ho-hum. I guess you can't truly reflect a party on your jersey, but confetti and streamers are a start, right? Maybe not.

Lastly, we have a jersey that wasn't worn on ice, but it was involved with water. The Team USA Paralympic Swim Team awarded the members of their team Team USA hockey jerseys with their name and the #08 on the back. The #08 is for the year as Team USA named the team earlier this year. A fabulous gesture for these athletes to receive, and a great souvenir for these team members to have. A big thumbs-up from this writer!

Ok, so there is the Long Weekend Edition of the You're Wearing That? series. There are some horrible jerseys as well as some spectacular jerseys, and that's what makes researching and writing these articles fun. I'll be doing some more research on these as well, but if you want to contribute any pictures of jerseys that make you cringe, please leave the link in the comments or email me directly at cdnuniguy-at-gmail-dot-com.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Connie said...

The Russian CCCP jersey is siiiiick.

Definite thumbs up to the Mickey Renaud tribute jerseys. Very classy.

The New Mexico Christmas jersey is hilarious. It's a snowman with attitude. Don't hate. The Quad City Mallards Pirate jersey was just offensive... TO MY EYES. And while that Toledo Batman and Robin jersey is tacky, it's quite funny too.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the CCCP jersey is awesome. Did they play Vader's theme from the Empire Strikes Back when they did their warmup?

Thanks for recognizing the Toledo Goaldiggers. I can't believe Toledo has to put up with the Walleye now. Ugh.

gonz said...

Wow. I took that picture of the flowered Cyclones jersey back in '03. I'm amazed someone bothered to snatch it and put it on Photobucket.

The players hated to wear that jersey. Graham Belak, brother of Wade, intentionally got himself ejected from the game just so he didn't have to wear the jersey anymore. A few other 'clones tried to do the same thing but the other team told them they didn't wanna fight anyone in a dress.