Okay, so I didn’t expect the NHL to come up with an All-Star Game jersey design as cool as the one shown at right, which was used 1950 (here’s a closer look, plus the rear view). I didn’t even expect them to do something as tasteful as the design they used in 2004, which was unexpectedly simple and straightforward.
But I’d kinda hoped for something better than this and this, which began circulating yesterday — especially since this is also supposedly Reebok’s new jersey template that most (or maybe all) NHL teams will be using next season.
Quick initial reactions:
Ã¢â‚¬ ¢ Those side panels are a disaster, especially since you know there’ll be matching panels on the breezers.
Ã¢â‚¬ ¢ The horn-shaped stretch panels that taper up toward the collar mean it’s just a matter of time before something like this comes to the NHL.
Ã¢â‚¬ ¢ There’s plenty of fuel here for conspiracy theorists who are worried about the league switching to tucked-in jerseys: the lack of horizontal hemline striping; the NHL logo’s migration from the rear hemline to the front collar; the front tagging. By coincidence, however, I was interviewing a Reebok executive yesterday afternoon (for a business article about textiles — not uni-related), so I asked him about the new NHL jerseys, and he said he was “fairly certain” there were no plans for the league to move away from the untucked look.
Of course, All-Star Games are often painful to look at anyway (a gallery of past designs, many of them regrettable, is here). The real issue is what the new teamplate will mean if teams are forced to adopt it next season. Over on the Chris Creamer boards yesterday, aspiring designers were busily coming up with their concepts of what the league might look like next season — judge the results for yourself here, here, here, here, here, and — gasp — here.
Meanwhile: Notes from last night’s World Series game:
• Several players are clearly wearing special 5950 caps with black underbills (including Joel Zumaya, who’s got something written under there; after tweaking the brightness and contrast, it appears to be “BELIEVE”). Jim Leyland‘s got one, too. This is apparently a precursor of the black-underbilled cap that will reportedly become the standard next season. But I want to stress that this is not the same black-underbilled cap that Kenny Rogers has been wearing — Rogers wears a BP cap, as you can clearly see from the thicker, puffier brim. He was wearing it again last night, in fact. In case you missed it, he was asked about this at a press conference on Monday and said the wool 5950s always shrink and give him a headache, so he prefers the polyester BP caps.
• Fans of Detroit’s mismatched “D” logos will enjoy the confusion on the MLB.TV post-game set: jersey D on the wall, cap D on the glass on the table.
Uni Watch News Ticker: For serious conspiracy theorists only: Brad Diesburg notes that Kenny Rogers had a smudge on his belt buckle during his ALCS start against Oakland. … There’s a new book devoted to UK soccer uniforms (with thanks to Perry Michael Simon for the tip). … In case you missed it in yesterday’s Comments section: Check out this hilarious photo (spotted by Jeff Hannaford). Notice any conflict between what the players are wearing and the sign on the wall? … Fun note from Brett Baker, who writes: “That article about the Vikes dropping (so to speak) their purple pants reminded me of a similar reaction from my beloved Cornhuskers. Back in 1986, Nebraska and Oklahoma were set to battle it out for the Big 8 title in Lincoln. The players were looking for a little extra motivation, so they elected to wear, for the first time in Husker history, an all-red uniform. The crowd went crazy and it worked for a time, as Nebraska jumped out to an early lead, but eventually Barry Switzer worked his Sooner magic and OU prevailed. The Huskers have not worn that combo since. I’m also including one of the greatest pictures in Husker history, from a game against K-State in 1998. Amazingly, a facemask penalty WAS NOT called.” … “This is wrong on so many levels,” opines Bryan Redemske. The team in question is the Waukegan (Illinois) Bulldogs. … It’s nice that Carlos Delgado won the Roberto Clemente Award yesterday; it’d be even nicer if he could learn something from the hosiery stylings of the trophy. … Japan Series notes from Jeremy Brahm: (1) Masaru Takeda appears to have made an in-game jersey change, because two photos of him from the same game show him with and without patches on his right sleeve, and (2) Michihiro Ogasawara tore an armpit seam. … Brahm also notes that at least two Italian women’s volleyball teams have exposed gaps in their rear jersey designs, and another team has vertical nameplates.