Saturday, 23 July 2011

Is That Your First Or Last Name?

I can take the "Nashville" name written across the collar. But this Reebok wordmark is going to be the death of me sooner or later. I can hear some of you cheering and applauding already.

Seriously, why is the wordmark being used now? Was the vector logo not good enough anymore? Were people questioning whose logo was on the back of the jersey? WHY IS REEBOK PUTTING THEIR NAME ON THE UNIFORM AT ALL? More on this below.

Anyway, I was over on the site trying to preview some customizations for jerseys, and I found myself dumbfounded by the "customization rules" that the NHL has on jerseys. Here they are in full:

  • League player names must match current team rosters and the team for which they currently play. Team Rosters not available for custom t-shirts and fleece.
  • Retired player names cannot be printed on the team's jersey from which they retired.
  • Both adult and youth jerseys hold up to 10 characters.
  • Characters accepted: capital A-Z (name field only); 0-9 (number field only); spaces.
  • Each space counts as one (1) character.
  • Language deemed inappropriate, derogatory, or profane will not be accepted.
  • If your selection does not meet all of the above criteria you will be prompted to start over.
The first rule makes no sense. What if I wanted a Miroslav Satan jersey from his time with the Bruins or Penguins? Why can't that be done? He wore the jerseys the two teams are currently wearing, so why is this so hard? If you want my money, you'll acquiesce to my request, damn it.

Rule Two makes no sense either. "Retired player names cannot be printed on the team's jersey from which they retired"? I guess I can't order that Yzerman Detroit jersey that I wanted. Again, if you want my money,, you'll acquiesce to my request.

Rule Three is fine and dandy as most players' names are 10 letters or less. Unless I wanted that New York Islanders Mark Fitzpatrick jersey (11). Maybe I wanted a Carolina Hurricanes Alexei Ponikarovsky jersey (12). The rule would also prevent me from picking up a New Jersey Devils Andreas Salomonsson jersey (11). And my Flyers Branko Radivojevic jersey is screwed (11). I'll repeat myself: you want my money, you'll acquiesce to my request.

Rule Five is a little odd as well. While I get that some players have spaces in their names, this could cause a significant problem for David Van Der Gulik fans. Van Der Gulik played with the Colorado Avalanche last season, and, with the spaces, that would push the total characters in his last name to 13. I guess I'm not getting his jersey either.

I'm not sure why they limit the number of characters in the last name to ten. That, to me, seems ridiculous considering the number of European players who could potentially have more letters than ten in their names. And what are they going to do about fans who want Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' name on the back of their Oilers jerseys?

What I do know is that every player will officially have the name "Reebok" plastered above their own last name this season. For anyone who is supposed to be playing for the logo on the front, it's a nice kick to the gonads in being the second name listed on the back of the jersey. It's not like the players haven't earned that right. Instead, Reebok bought their rights, and now have their name featured over the players' names.

Has corporate advertising reached its lowest point by being the highest name on all NHL sweaters? Because of this, I may not purchase another NHL jersey for a long, long time.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Tim E. O'Brien said...

As someone has an apostrophe in there name, this - Characters accepted: capital A-Z (name field only); 0-9 (number field only); spaces. - is the bane of my uni-existence.

Making a custom jersey hasn't always worked, though I do have a White Sox Alt with the apostrophe and all.

Peter Santellan said...

On the's rules for customization, I get the whole "hockey jersey is sacred" mentality. However, the current only mentality is somewhat bothersome. If I remember correctly, a different blog called Third String Goalie does recommend some places for customization, as well as tips for making such customizations successful, particularly if it's a pre-Reebok style jersey.

As for the Reebok wordmark logo, I don't see the sense in them doing that because it's not going to improve their visibility in being seen on a television broadcast. If anything, it might cause some more confusion with the player name directly below it.

Teebz said...

@Tim - I think apostrophes would be considered "spaces". Or at least I hope they are. Sean O'Donnell fans won't be happy either, Tim. ;o)

@Pete - yeah, TSG, run by Jeff B., is a great place for customization info. I have a local guy who does it for me, but I just wanted to see what the new lettering and numbering would look like for various names. The Reebok wordmark, though, angers me like nothing else.

Peter Santellan said...

Though I would have to ship the jersey to Canada, who's the guy that does the customizations (and prices, if possible) for you, Teebz?

Teebz said...

Local guy who owns a tiny little sports store. He doesn't even have a website. He's sort of semi-retired, but he still has contacts in all the leagues and with all the manufacturers. The best part? He charges me cost for the work.

Unknown said...

Teebz - you can customize the jersey per the rules or simply pick a player name from the list. If you go to Colorado and choose 'customize' you can pick Van Der Gulik from the list.

Agree with your beef regarding the "Reebok" wordmark. It's going to be ugly...

Teebz said...

@Unknown - IF he makes the team. Right now, for sure. But if he's going to be shuffled off to Lake Erie for the season, he wouldn'ty qualify as per's rules.

But you are right as of this instant. :o)