As most of you know, I’ve been trying to compile a visual catalog of hockey red line designs. It’s an interesting project, because the blue lines are always solid blue, but red line styles are all over the map. It’s sort of a stealth design element on the sports landscape.
How did we end up with such a multiplicity of red line designs? A hint comes from reader Matthew Clement, who recently sent me the following note:
The red lines were originally broken up with white in order to differentiate the red line from the blue line on black and white TVs. Perhaps this is common knowledge, but I only figured it out last year when Montreal played in Colorado and the local sports station broadcast the second period in black-and-white as a tribute to the old days of hockey.
I had never thought about that, but it makes perfect sense. Interestingly, now that we live in a color TV world, some red lines have gone back to solid red. You can see that in some of the photos linked in the following alphabetical list of arenas, which features all of the current NHL rinks along with some minor league and college facilities. I’ve tried to show current designs as much as possible, although I probably missed the mark in a few cases. And that’s fine — I’m mostly interested in showing the range of red line possibilities, past and present.
• Air Canada Centre (Toronto): Checked.
• Bell Centre (Montreal): Checked.
• General Motors Place (Vancouver): A diagonal check.
• Giant Center (Hershey, Pennsylvania): The home of the Hershey Bears is using little white Calder Cup outlines on a red background. You can see the arena’s crew actually creating the red line in this video clip.
• Gwinett Center (Duluth, Georgia): This is the home of the ECHL’s Gwinett Gladiators, so the red line features little white gladiator swords.
• Honda Center (Anaheim): This season they’re going with large, inward-pointing white arrows. But in the past they’ve had smaller outward-pointing arrows (or are those supposed to be duck footprints?), interlocking triangles (additional views here and here), and solid red.
• HP Pavilion (San Jose): Checked.
• HSBC Arena (Buffalo): Checked.
• Jobing.com Arena (Phoenix): Worst arena name ever, but I really like their northwestern-striped red line.
• Joe Louis Arena (Detroit): Checked>
• Madison Square Garden (New York City): Checked.
• Mellon Arena (Pittsburgh): White diamonds on a red background.
• Nassau Coliseum (Uniondale, New York): Checked.
• Olympic Center (Lake Placid): When the Miracle on Ice took place in 1980, the red line featured red diamonds on a white background>
• OSU Ice Rink (Columbus): White stars on a red background. That’s the fourth design in as many years, because the past three seasons have featured white parallelograms (2008-09), block “O” logos (2007-08), and solid red (2006-07).
• Pepsi Center (Denver): White diamonds on a red background.
• Prudential Center (Newark, New Jersey): Checked.
• Rexall Place (Edmonton): Red diamonds on a white background.
• Scottrade Center (St. Louis): Solid red.
• Tate Rink (West Point, N.Y.): The home rink of the Army hockey team uses white stars on a red background.
• TD Garden (Boston): This year they’re going with lots of small white diamonds on a red background. Other designs in recent years have included solid red, checked, and a modified checked pattern in which the white checks alternated with spoke-B logos. I’m not positive, but I think the white checks have also been shaped like the NHL shield.
• United Center (Chicago): Last year solid red, this year long rectangular checks.
• Wachovia Center (Philadelphia): Three parallel red lines.
• Winnipeg Arena (Winnipeg): Back when the Jets were still playing, the red line was more white than red.
• World Arena (Colorado Springs): Three red parallel lines.
• Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul): Long, rectangular checks.
And that’s it for now. Do you know of other designs floating around out there? Let’s have ’em.
And it seems to me that we have a few questions worth answering:
1) Is Matthew Clement’s info about white-checked red lines being a response to black-and-white TV accurate? If so, were red lines routinely solid red in the pre-TV era?
2) And if that turns out to be true, which was the first team to go with a non-solid red line?
3) Were there any solid-red holdouts, even in the black-and-white TV era?
4) Which team was the first to use a non-checked design?
I love this — more than 10 years’ after Uni Watch’s debut, we’re just now exploring a whole new branch on the athletics aesthetics tree.
(Big thanks to everyone who contributed photos and info, including Daron Jones, Rob Leavell, Kyle Speicher, Jeff Emhuff, J.D. Vercett, Mike Vanne, Ryan Yanoshak, Rich Canulli, Jon Strauss, David Kendrick, Philip Krawec, Matt Hiett, Mike Bielen, Zak Kapotes, Michael Kearney, Vincent Vignola, Kevin Zdancewicz, Nicole Haase, and Bryan Grupp.)
Culinary Corner: I don’t drink coffee — never learned to like the taste. But I love the smell of coffee, I love coffee ice cream, I love coffee shakes and malts, I love coffee milk (the official state drink of Rhode Island, don’tcha know), I even like making coffee for Kirsten in the morning. Basically, I like everything about coffee except coffee.
Maybe that explains why I like instant espresso powder so much. I’m told it makes crappy espresso, but that doesn’t matter because that’s not what I use it for. Here’s what I do with it:
• I put about a 1/4-cup of it in my brownie batter, thereby transforming my brownies into mochies. (This pretty much works with any chocolate-based baking recipe — cupcakes, cookies, frostings, whatever.)
• I dust it on ice cream, where it provides a nice bitter counterpoint and a hint of micro-granular texture. (Kirsten actually keeps some in a salt shaker for this purpose.)
• I put a few tablespoons of it into the spice rub I use for steak, pork, and chicken. Adds a complex undercurrent to the proceedings.
I’ve read that espresso powder is also good in stews, but I haven’t tried that yet (maybe this weekend). Anyway, just get some and mess around with it — it’s surprisingly versatile, sort of like Joe McEwing.
Uni Watch News Ticker: As a few thousand of you informed me yesterday, Maryland and South Carolina will be wearing camouflage-accented uniforms (and cleats!) for their games on Nov. 14th (not against each other), as a post-Veterans Day gesture. Lots of additional info and photos here, here, here, and here. ”¦ Packers kicker Mason Crosby went to high school in Georgetown, Texas — which, as it happens, uses the same helmet logo as the Pack (good spot by Ken Singer). ”¦ What’s worse than a lacrosse team dressed in pink? An opposing team dressed in lime green plaid (blame Jim Atherton). ”¦ Latest step in Nike’s nefarious world-domination scheme: a robot that graffitis the roadway (thanks, Kirsten). ”¦ Yesterday I said that the Broncos’ yellow striping looked like the lone color element in an otherwise black-and-white photo. Nathan Haas decided to take that concept literally. ”¦ Best Halloween costume ever? (As submitted by my ESPN colleague Dave Schoenfield.) ”¦ Remember this photo of Boomer Esiason with a No. 63 helmet? Steve King says it was a tribute to veteran Bengals tackle Joe Walter, who was waived during that season. Esiason also wrote the number on his helmet with a marker. ”¦ Who’s that in the helmet hat? It’s Doug Keklak‘s brother, with a young Kek himself in the background, circa early 1980s. ”¦ Expect to see lots of Kinesio tape in Boston this season (with thanks to AJ Chalifour). ”¦ “While at the farmers’ market in Los Angeles, I happened upon a small exhibit in a glass case about Gilmore Field (home of the Hollywood Stars) and Gilmore Stadium,” writes Patrick Woody. “Both buildings were located adjacent to the Market, and Gilmore Stadium sat on the site of what is currently CBS Television City. Anyway, there were some cool items in the case. Sadly, there were no Stars shorts.” ”¦ Mark Maxwell says this poster has been appearing on campus at Ohio University — looks like an upgrade from last year’s road uni. ”¦ “Not sure what this is, but it was on the camera in the dugout during Yanks/Halos,” says Matt Harris. ”¦ “Meet the Raiders of Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas,” writes Andy McNeel. “You’ll notice the gorgeously simple and strong ‘ROHO’ logo on their helmets, which stands for ‘Ride On, Honorable Ones.'” ”¦ Andy also sent along this photo — note the unusual NOB. “It makes my brain hurt to try to think about what ‘P.R.I.D.E.’ stands for, or why it deserves NOB status,” he says. “I swear, all of these high schools are within about a 70-mile radius of Wichita Falls. Fans of uniform oddity-watching (much like bird watching) need only go to Wichita Falls on any given Friday night, point their wagons any which direction toward any given set of stadium lights on the horizon, and they will not be disappointed.” … The term “in perpetuity” is almost never a good thing, but it seems particularly depressing here. ”¦ Here’s another high school that uses Bucco Bruce — with one slight modification, as Matt Lanzoff explains: “I attended that school in the late ’90s and was a junior the year of Columbine massacre. In the wake of that incident, the school chose to remove the sword from the logo (in order to fight school violence) but keep Bruce.” ”¦ And here’s a college that uses Bucco Bruce. Background, from Ben Teaford: “In fact, they got into trouble with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the use of the logo. Tampa Bay told them they couldn’t use it anymore, so the school’s president challenged Tampa to a game to decide who got to use the logo. Tampa refused the challenge and soon after changed their logo. I remember reading about it in Sports Illustrated at the time (just one of those small blurbs towards the front).” This account is confirmed in the fifth graf here.
You ignored it before, you can ignore it again: I’ve put another big batch of old indie and punk singles up on eBay, including some serious rarities. You know what to do.