Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Got Some Explaining To Do

I rarely find myself speechless when it comes to Hockey Canada's decisions, but I am appalled at what I am seeing to the left. Posted by a Redditor named "justacanuck88", the image to the left is what Canada will be wearing in Sochi in February when gold medals are on the line. I know that Hockey Canada is planning on presenting these uniforms on October 8 at a press conference, so I hope they have a good explanation for the decisions that went into this uniform set. Quite frankly, this may be one of the worst-dressed Olympic hockey competitions of all-time.

Let's get a better look at these uniforms, though, so we know what we're dealing with before tearing down the walls. I'm not sure who the designer was that came up with these looks nor would I want to name the person who approved these designs simply out of fear they could be hurt. But here are the three uniforms that Team Canada will take with them to Sochi, Russia.
Wow. I'm embarrassed for my country. There is so much wrong with these uniforms that I'm not sure I even want to break them down. But I have a responsibility here, so let's get on with it.

I already posted an article all about the Jonathan Toews picture with him in the red uniform. I also posted an article about the reported black alternate uniform to which Roberto Luongo had alluded. I expressed my disappointment in the look that Canada was adopting for the Olympics, and I made it very clear that I was not happy about a black alternate uniform. Especially in a ten-game tournament. Today, though, I want to actually look at all that is odd and/or wrong about these uniforms since they aren't getting positive reviews from the vast majority who have seen them.

There are no traditional hockey stripes on the hems of any of the uniforms. I assume Canada will be wearing black breezers at the tournament with each of the uniforms, so there will be some colour breaks with regards to Canada possibly appearing to wear a onesie. Those black breezers will blend nicely with that alternate uniform, though. Officially, this lack of striping comes across as DUMB.

Secondly, the sleeve stripes only appear on the left arm. There is no striping on the right arm whatsoever, creating a very imbalanced and very incomplete look for the Canadian squad. Why one would only allow striping on one sleeve is beyond me. I cannot stop looking at the sleeve without wondering why there is no stripe to balance the uniform. And to make this worse, the stripe doesn't even go all the way around the sleeve on the red and white jerseys! It's like they just needed a contrasting colour for the little flag patches, and slapped a box of colour on the arm! I'll go on record right now and say that I hate this, that it annoys me, and that it's DUMBER THAN DUMB.

The twelve gold maple leafs on the left hip seemed useless to me at first, but then it bothered me greatly. What do the twelve maple leafs stand for? Canada has won eight gold medals in men's hockey, three gold medals in women's hockey, and one in Paralympic hockey, so clearly the rows of eight, three, and one make sense when looking at the history of Canadian hockey at the Olympics. But is this necessary on a uniform? Does Canada really have to wear their history on the outside of the uniform? Isn't that a little arrogant to flaunt our hockey success at the Olympics in the face of other countries while competing? I almost want to root against Canada for doing this. COMPLETELY DUMB.

Everyone piles on Nike for using the faux laces on the uniform. I guess I will, too. I get that they are built-in for support, much like the Nike Flywire in shoes, while minimizing weight, but they're very noticeable. And since most of the hockey world is now watching hockey in high-definition, these will be very noticeable every single time a camera zooms in on a player during a face-off or a break in the action. While they may fade into the background as we see them more and more, I still question why the faux lacing even needs to be visible. And it will be visible on every zoom-in. Count on it. AESTHETICALLY DUMB.

I'll single out the black uniform here since it looks out of place. The red and white jerseys can at least be rationalized as official Canadian uniforms with the maple leaf on the front. The black one, though, looks like a cheap knock-off. If Nike understood anything about the pride that Canadians have in their national logo and image, this uniform would have never seen the light of day. We are proud of the maple leaf. We take pride in seeing Canadians competing while wearing the maple leaf. This uniform, though, has no maple leaf. I cannot fathom how one can look at that black uniform and think that it is an official Olympic uniform in any way, shape, or form. This is a design fail if I've ever seen one. INCREDIBLY DUMB.

There are positives, though. The black uniform is not a black-and-yellow LiveSTRONG advertisement. While I doubt that the IOC would allow Nike and Hockey Canada to do something like that in regards to the advertising rules, there was a thought that someone may try to sneak the yellow in. I am happy to see that this is not the case, so this is a MINOR PLUS.

In comparison to the black uniform, the red and white uniforms look pretty good. That should give you an idea on how bad that black uniform is, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. There is still a lot that is missing or requires revision on the red and white jerseys, but they are miles ahead of where that black jersey is. We'll chalk this one up as a PLUS BY DEFAULT.

Overall, I'm just not that proud of these uniforms. I'm a passionate Canadian when it comes to hockey, but I like hockey players to look like, y'know, hockey players. All of the fancy new materials and slimmed down, minimalist designs are great, but hockey players still need to look like hockey players in the end. Canada's three uniforms don't give me that sense of pride I've had in other uniforms, and that's a disappointing feeling for a fan and a supporter of Canadian hockey. Sorry, Nike and Team Canada, but I just don't like it. And I'm going to struggle to be positive about Canada's look.

The only thing that will make these eyesores 100% better? A gold medal draped around the necks of each Canadian player.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

JimBC said...

Could not agree more Teebz. Dumber than dumb on every level. An embarrassment to Canadian hockey fans. Nike has to go!!