Friday, 19 September 2014

A Championship Look

There's something to be said for the old Penguins uniforms, seen to the left on Mario Lemieux in the 1992 Stanley Cup Final. For years, the Penguins were mired in futility in these uniforms until they put it all together in 1991, winning their first Stanley Cup. They followed that up in 1992 with a repeat performance, and then went ahead and ditched their familiar jersey and logo altogether. If there were dark days ahead - and there were - this was the setting of sun on that possible dynasty. The Penguins would suffer some heartbreaking defeats in those coming years and would find themselves in the cellar of the NHL occasionally as they worked through the next decade. Indeed, the loss of their identity that people loved so dearly was the turning point.

After returning to the Skating Penguin logo, the Penguins won another Stanley Cup after missing out in the previous season. There is clearly something about the Skating Penguin that sets things right with this franchise. Fans of the Penguins still lamented the fact that the Penguins used Vegas gold in their color scheme, though. The three Pittsburgh-based pro teams were all wearing the same shades of black-and-yellow for the longest time, but the Penguins changed all that up with Vegas gold. Well, not anymore, readers! As you can see to the right, the Penguins will wear their old colors as an alternate jersey, and they look magnificent! I don't even have to break this down for you because I will fully admit that I am a fan of this alternate, and will gladly start a petition for the Penguins to make this their home jersey going forward if need be!

These uniforms are what the Penguins should have been wearing all along. While they have had great success recently, the Stanley Cup has eluded them once more. We talk about the "Hockey Gods" appreciating when players and/or teams do things the right way, so this move to bring back Pittsburgh's quintessential look should please the Hockey Gods immensely. Will it bring another Stanley Cup? That will be determined this season.

I believe we are nostalgic for what we remember fondly. The Penguins, in the early-1990s, were a dominant team, and we long for those memories again when players like Lemieux, Jagr, Francis, Stevens, Tocchet, Coffey, Murphy, and Samuelsson were leading the Penguins to new heights. We remember these good times, and it makes us feel good. Changing what we know to be good is usually met with resistance, so when we see our heroes changing their colors, we don't take kindly to it.

Fans reacted in outrage when it was announced that Wonder Woman's costume had changed. People don't react well when radical changes are made, replacing the icons they know, respected, and trusted. The Penguins developed a new logo - "Robo-Penguin" as it is often called - and people reacted poorly. They wanted it gone, they demanded the Skating Penguins back, and they got what they had been calling for once Mario Lemieux took over the team.

Today, a color faux-pas has been corrected in a big way as the Penguins brought back the exact look of their jerseys from the early-1990s. They look fantastic, and they feel right once more. I've always been a Penguins fan, but I've never been prouder than I am right now. This alternate uniform is a thing of beauty.

Now only if they could use it full-time at home, I'd be a happy man.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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