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Boys of Winter

Nighttime in LA

By Phil Hecken

Last night, the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks played an outdoor game in Dodger Stadium, part of the NHL’s “Stadium Series” designed to include more stadia in their very successful outdoor hockey agenda. This was the first regular season outdoor game that didn’t fall into their “Classic” (either “Winter Classic,” played on New Year’s Day, or “Heritage Classic,” played in Canada). It was also the first regular season outdoor game to be played in California.

I actually watched the entire game, including the two intermissions, and pre-game, and it was really, really well done. The teams packed 54,099 into Dodger Stadium, and I’m pretty sure everyone left satisfied.

Sure, there were a set of new uniforms for each team. We’ll get to those in a bit (we’ve seen them all previewed anyway). But when you’re putting on a game in one of the most beautiful places (not to mention stadiums) in the world, you don’t do the “traditional” winter/hockey things.

Where to start?

The Stadium:

The game was played in Dodger Stadium, one of the oldest and most historic in baseball, but it had never hosted an NHL game before. Naturally, IT was the real star of the show.

Daytime views of inside the stadium were spectacular.

Pre-game views as the sun was beginning to lower were magnificent.

• And nighttime views, just before puck drop, were equally gorgeous.

• Interestingly enough, the stadium’s primary tenant, decided to take a lighthearted dig at hockey in Southern California.

• But the real money shots were the overhead views. There really is something to be said about a long shot of Dodger Stadium in the evening.

Pregame Activities:

• If you looked at the overhead shots, you saw there was more than just a rink inside the Stadium. There was also a beach volleyball court. So, naturally, there was beach volleyball (a quintessential SoCal sport) played.

• Several players (Getzlaf, Fowler and Lindholm) kicked around a soccer ball to relax before the game.

• It being ‘Hollywood,’ lots of stars showed up, including some famous bearded relievers.

• A couple of lucky Kings & Ducks fans got to sit on the infield (for a part of the game).

Intros & Puck Drop:

• What would a game in Dodger Stadium be without Vin Scully? Well, he (and LA Kings announcer Bob Miller) didn’t call the game, but they did the opening intros. Nice!

• And what would a sporting event in LA be without the USC Marching Band? Yup, they led the players out of the locker rooms.

• Even the National Anthem was great, with Jordin Sparks doing a nice rendition.

• The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, who truly made hockey in warm weather cities a thing, was naturally called upon to perform the ceremonial puck drop.


• The rock group KISS was tapped to perform during both the pregame and first intermission.

• They actually put on a decent show (for 80 year olds), complete with the usual pyrotechnics.

Taking the Ice:

• After all the pomp and circumstance, it was finally time to see some hockey. But first the Ducks and Kings had to parade from locker room to benches.

• It was a long walk for the players, and almost a surreal sight.

• Finally, the players lined up at center ice, listening to the anthem, with a huge American flag draped across a smaller rink in front of the main ice. Finally it was time for hockey.

The Goalies:

• Jonas Hiller of the Ducks stretched out before the game. Because it was a special game, he had a special mask. As you can see, it said “Stadium” across the top. You’ll also note that he was very orange.

• Kings goalie Jonathan Quick had an interesting mask as well, but it looked similar to others he’s worn in the past.

The Coaches:

• Traditionally, hockey head coaches wear a jacket and tie behind the bench, but Kings Head Coach Darryl Sutter went with a sweet jacket (so did the other Kings coaches).

• Ducks Head Coach, Bruce Boudreau, on the other hand, went the traditional route.

The Teams:

• Ducks: As you saw, the Ducks wore orange and black, with black helmets and orange socks. On their right shoulders, they wore a Stadium Series patch. The patch looks like this close up. They had gold, white and black stripes on each sleeve, and the letters “OC” on their left shoulders (that stands for “Orange County”).

• Kings: The Kings wore black helmets and gray sweaters, with black pants and gray socks. Like the Ducks, on their right shoulders, the Kings had the Stadium Series patch, and on their left shoulders, an “LA” logo.

• The game itself was color vs. color. And it looked good. Here’s hoping the NHL would consider more of these games.

The Game:

• Although the final score was 3-0 Ducks, the game was actually pretty close. And it had a little bit of everything.

• There was some on-ice stick re-taping.

• A quick dribbler goal that just snuck through Jonathan Quick’s pads.

• Penalties. No one likes to be sent to the sin bin.

• Rough play. These teams don’t like each other. Also note the eyeblack!

• A penalty shot.

A fight. Did I mention these teams don’t like each other?

That Other Outdoor Game:

• I mentioned this was the first regular season outdoor game the Kings played, but it wasn’t the first time they played outdoors.

• Way back on Septermber 27, 1991, the Kings and Rangers played in Las Vegas. In the parking lot of Caesar’s.

• It was mentioned, but I didn’t write it down, but I believe they said the temperature was 96 degrees for that game. It was definitely in the 90s.

• And who dropped the puck last night? Why it was none other than the guy who played in that 1991 game, Wayne Gretzky.

And so, that’s it for my part of the writeup. You can read more about the game, (first link has a gallery) here, here, here or here.

And finally, I leave you with this, “Losing feels worse than winning feels good.”




all sport uni tweaks

Uni Tweaks Concepts

We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.

So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.

Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.

Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.

And so, lets begin:


We begin today with Bryan Moss, with a new look for the Jets:

Jets Redesign Home and Away uniform - Bryan Moss


More redesign’s!

Bryan Moss

. . .

Next up is David Firestone with some NASCAR concepts:

hamlin6 - David Firestone



Here are two NASCAR tweaks. The Make the Logo Bigger blog inspired me to take Denny Hamin’s old design and replace it with the larger logo for a rather unique look. I also photoshopped a throwback design for Kasey Kahne in the 5 car.


. . .

We close today with a reader who goes by “Phantom Qup”, and who has a Sonics concept:

Sonics concept - Phantom Qup


This is my first ever concept submission, for the Sonics. I’ve eliminated the triple striping, which I love, but for the purpose of my design it had to go. The yellow on the collar, side stripe, shorts, and short stripe make an “S” similar to their logo. Comments??

Phantom Qup

. . .

And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.




ticker 2

Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: Stan the Man lives! “So I was driving though the mountains of central PA about 30 min north of Harrisburg and I see this!” writes Charlie Charnigo. At first I just thought it was a giant cardinal…then I realize it is a giant St. Louis Cardinal and then I realize it was a tribute to Stan Musial.” … Ellis Valentine (yes that Ellis Valentine!) tweeted at Paul & me that we “might be interested” in this gear (which stemmed from this twitter convo). … The Vancouver Canadians introduced a nice logo update. Plus, since it was Brandiose, a Mountie carrying some bats (h/t Brandon Sparks). … The Cleveland Indians have released their 2014 promotional schedule, which includes bobbleheads, fireworks and jersey giveaways. … New home and road batting practice smocks for the Twins (h/t @CalebTheSpy). … The White Sox have new batting practice ‘Diamond Era’ caps this year (h/t Harrison Tishler). … “The unusual uniform number choice of Jose Abreu, the White Sox’ new Cuban slugger, was on display this weekend at the team’s SoxFest,” writes Clint Wrede. “According to the Chicago Tribune, ‘The unorthodox No. 79 Abreu will wear was chosen by his mom because people would remember it’.” … Japanese baseball players’ freedom to chew gum is going, going, gone! (thanks, Brinke)

NFL News: I’m pretty sure we’ve seen these before, but one more couldn’t hurt. Patrick O’Neill sends this link to a Bloomingdale’s site where designers have made fashion football helmets in anticipation of the Super Bowl in NYC. … John Koziol found it interesting to see Deion Sanders wearing Under Armour tennis shoes at the Pro Bowl draft this week. Same neon green and all. John wondered if he has a UA sponsorship deal. I did some digging and I’d have to say “yes.”. … Here’s a pretty sweet photo of the Super Bowl patch being applied to a Seahawks jersey.

College/High School Football News: “Amazing action photo from the transition between helmeted and helmet less,” writes Pete Hoelter. “In the background is the Illinois State Capitol. Halloween Day, 1931. SHS Senators (with the ball) VS. Peoria Central Maroons.” Also from Pete: This photo is from a glass plate negative in the collection of the State Journal Register. “I first saw it on the NPR site.” … Notre Dame enthusiast Warren Junium tells us ND official gloves are available for purchase. … I’m not sure if these are official, but check out these new helmets for USF football. … Hmmm — Looks like Pitt will have gold jerseys next year and are those MUSTARD (“Pitt Script”) helmets??? (h/t Jake Smith) Ran that photo by Kek and he thinks they’re block PITT. Dang. … For those who care, they played the Senior Bowl yesterday, with the South winning 20-10. Nothing uni-notable, but check out this UA branded visor.

NBA News: When ESPN was showing highlights of Carmelo’s crazy game Friday night, they still use the old style jersey on the graphic (nice spot by Mike Olson).

Hockey News: There’s another Stadium Series game today (Rangers vs. Devils) and yesterday the Rangers soaked up Yankee Stadium atmosphere. … The St. Cloud State Hockey shoulder patch is in the shape of the State of Minnesota, notes Barry Brite. “I’m guessing it may be new this year.” … Yesterday, Brian Boyle of the New York Rangers was throwing a baseball in the snow at Yankee Stadium before today’s Stadium Series game, writes Mark Kaplowitz. “You’ll like the socks too,” he adds. … Alexander Cohen saw this interesting jersey posted to the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) Facebook page. “It’s SKA St. Petersburg wearing what appears to be a throwback to Soviet days, as it says ‘Leningrad’ on the front.” The uniform was worn yesterday against Spartak Moscow. … The Manchester Monarchs, a farm club of the LA Kings, were to wear the infamous “Burger King” jerseys last night. … Pink in the Rink yesterday, as the Rockford Icehogs had special unis. … While camo is awful, this set of camo numbers on Notre Dame didn’t look too bad. … “No pot leaves tonight, but tOSU hockey with ALL of the hoops and stripes,” says Nicole Haase. … Dustin Byfuglien wore an NFL equipment undershirt after his game yesterday (h/t Andy VanMeerbergen)

College & High School Hoops News: “Stripes Everywhere!” says Alex Allen. The Creswell High School, Oregon, boys basketball team has striped warm-ups to match the striped uniforms. Alex tells us they’re Jordan brand. … “Unfortunately, more pink” notes Chris Perrenot. “This time, in Baylor. Coaches from both teams are wearing sneakers, too. I have no idea what’s going on.” It’s Pinkuary Coaches vs. Cancer time again. … Speaking of Pinkuary, Marquette wore full pink yesterday vs. Villanova. Those will be available by online auction. And Creighton’s fans got into the pinkout last night as well vs. Georgetown. They wore pink shoes, plus unis w/pink numbers, wordmark & stripes (h/t @TheBestGear). … Not to be left out of the pink party, the UNC Tar Heels will wear these today. … Michigan State wore these sweet 1979 throwbacks against Michigan last night. Unfortunately, they had modern numbers & name fonts (h/t to JJ Sledge). … Jacob Armstrong attends California Baptist University who played at Azusa Pacific University last night. APU team took to the court wearing all orange basketball jerseys, a throwback to honor the ’81 team. … UK mascots Wildcat and Scratch wore Denver Broncos jerseys at halftime yesterday. … The Purdue Boilermakers warmed up in faux-tuxedo shooting shirts yesterday.

Grab Bag: “The Permanent Mark of the Beast” read the subject line of Brett Gaul’s ticker comic submission. “He’s taking it a little too far.” … Check out this 1963 Detroit Proposal for the Olympics. That stadium could have replaced Tiger Stadium. It came very close for the 68 games (h/t @Baseball_Photos). … From a concert in the 1970s, look at David Gilmour’s shirt! (h/t Darrell Dawson). … At the NBA All Star Game in New Orleans Sprite will introduce Sprite 6mix by Lebron James: Lemon-lime, cherry and orange soda (thanks to Jon).




And that’s all for today. Depending upon your pleasures, you’ve got ANOTHER outdoor hockey game this afternoon (Devils and Rangers face off at Yankee Stadium — it should be just a bit colder than the LA/Anaheim game). The game is scheduled for 12:30 pm (Eastern), and then there is the Pro Bowl, where Team Rice takes on Team Sanders at 7:30 pm (Eastern). Plus all the other sports around the nation and globe.

You guys have a great week and I’ll catch you next weekend, where I’ll be back with Gridiron Historian Timmy Brulia, who’ll have a complete uniform history of both the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks (always a great set of posts) and MUCH MUCH More.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


.. … ..

“Seeing it on ice drives home the point: color versus color works better in hockey than other sports since the surface and boards are white. It turns the whole white versus color thing on its ear”¦ Welcome to the 21st century.”
— Joe Sewash

Comments (57)

    Good to see a quality Oregon team make its appearance in the ticker. And it’s good to see the Green Goblin label make its yearly appearance.

    That’s David GILMOUR, thankyouverymuch!

    Paul, shave off that mustache, it doesn’t suit you…and Linda, careful with those smokes! You can get cancer from those things…

    Couple of notes on the Vancouver Canadians up-sprucing, particularly the Dudley Dooright mascot.

    The press release describes it at a “historical tribute” to Vancouver baseball teams of the past. We all know about the Vancouver Mounties, but I’d never heard of the Vancouver Capilanos. Interesting Capilanos story, with a pair of terrific team photos, here:


    And I’m surprised the press release makes no mention of participating in the RCMP licensing program (link) which, aside from being a legal requirement when using any iconography related to the Mounties, also raises money for at-risk youth programming across Canada.

    The game last night was truly a spectacular event and the setting was nothing seen before, palm trees surrounding a rink at 65 degrees green grass just great stuff !!

    I think that game probably looked a lot better on TV than it did in person. Playing hockey in a baseball stadium is really impractical for the fans. The seats look like they’re way too far away from the action to see what the hell is actually happening.

    I said it late last night, but I think it bears repeating: the Stadium Series jerseys’ angled sleeve numbers came off as a huge fail for me, and I have to wonder if whoever at Reebok thought it was a good idea had ever watched an actual game.

    The whole idea was, apparently, to have the numbers appear upright when players were skating around with their arms extended forward. The only problem: that was a rather rare position, because players are usually leaning their bodies forward when out on the ice, and their upper arms tend to be either straight down or going back more often than going forward, thus the numbers tended to be at an even greater angle.

    In short, the whole thing is a pretty useless effect, and they should stick to straight numbers.

    I was at Dodger Stadium last night and though my seat was way up top, I had a great angle looking down at the ice behind the Kings’ shoot twice net. The whole experience was wonderful and every fan embraced the outdoor concept. As a fan of KISS, I enjoyed their performance and Five for Fighting’s as well.
    One last thing, I flew from Atlanta to be at the game, so any Canadian/hockey elitist that feels warm weather cities “don’t deserve hockey” can shove it. RIP Thrashers

    The NHL really blew the ceremonial puck drop. As the greatest living Los Angeles King, Wayne Gretzky should have taken the ceremonial face off against the greatest living Anaheim Duck, the mighty Emilio Estevez.

    Check out the ‘Aerial Golf’ in the ‘Images’ section where that helmet-helmetless football game football is. Also kinda neat how the edge of the line was right on the sideline before they used hashmarks.

    Aerial golf was a game that combined two favorite pastimes, playing golf and watching airplanes. A team consisted of a pilot, who dropped the ball from various heights attempting to get the ball as close to the hole as possible, and players on the ground who finished the job. Players representing the city’s public courses won over players from Illini Country Club in the first game ever played in Springfield, October 5, 1931, at the city’s southwest commercial airport along Chatham Road.

    Spent a lot of time watching the NFL Films recaps of all the past Super Bowls. It’s fun to watch and I just can’t get over how much better the unis looked…baggy shirts, real sleeves with real stripes,more like football than the Nike painted-on super hero look. Also cool to see the changes in colors and trim over the years, and to me at least how “leaving well enough alone” should have been the by-word for a bunch of teams. Just a small example is what the hell was so wrong about the Dolphins helmet logo? That change, and so many others, just makes no sense at all to me.

    What’s apparent from watching this game is that elongated numerals do nothing to make them legible, especially if the font itself is really busy. Sure the Rangers numbers are longer, but with all the drop shadow and outlining its more difficult to discern them than the Devils straight white, lightly outlined numbers.

    The Devils need to permanently switch back to the red and green, they look great today, these uniforms have character.

    As for the color v color, I’d love to see the NHL switch to the soccer route and have teams with a regular uniform and then also a change uniform to be worn only when the uniforms are too similar, for instance my home rivalry of Calgary v Edmonton should always be red v blue, always! Calgary v Phoenix, the visiting team would need to wear the change uni. This would help teams create a strong brand with iconic uniforms like the Canadians or Red Wings (rather than the everyone looks very similar Reebok look) and frankly it would create more income for teams as they could have new change uniforms every year or two.

    Drummer Eric Singer has been with Kiss for almost 20 years total, dating back to 1992; lead guitarist Tommy Thayer has been with them for 12 years. The current lineup has put out two great albums in the past four years.

    No one should ever forget Peter and Ace or deny that they were essential to the group’s success. But Eric and Tommy are excellent musicians; and they are now longtime members who deserve a great deal of respect.

    august 2011 – Celebrating their current partnership with Deion and his legendary playing career, Under Armour has presented him with two custom Micro G Black Ice Lows created for this Saturday’s Hall of Fame induction. Depending on what suit he wears, it’s even possible that we’ll see the charismatic cornerback break out one of the customs for the actual ceremony.

    Read more: link

    It’s kind of a goof. If you’ve ever seen an Ohio State football player introduce himself (or seen a pro game where they name their college), they almost always place great emphasis on the word “THE” as in “THE Ohio State University”. The “t” stands for THE.

    It’s common to emphasize the The in a corporate name. One of my alma maters is insistent, or anyway was when I was a student twenty years ago, on always being THE George Washington University. As a student-newspaper editor, I received a stern letter of complaint once from the administration when the The was not included. When I moved on from editing the paper to writing its muckraker column, I made a point of always writing “Gee Dub” purely on account of it being so very far from “THE George Washington University.”

    What’s deplorable is that any students or alumni would go along with such obnoxious branding self-puffery.

    yes, people would likely mix up all those other “ohio state universities”. Not to mention, I am so tired of people mixing up the Los Angeles Buckeyes and the Port St Lucie Buckeyes with those from tOSU.

    it makes it fitting that this douchie fatass worships them. oh wait, should i refer to him as THEdouchieFatass?


    I loved the part where he says “he was humbled” and that he “used his fame to help a number of charitable causes”.

    Hey, Paul, check out the stripeage! link I think the USHL has some rule about teams wearing white at home during the first half of the season, then dark after the first of the year. I noticed the team has their anniversary crest as the front of the jersey, not on the shoulder. Interesting. But, those black jerseys, yowza!

    The letterman jackets the Kings coaches were wearing (as well as similar jackets for the Ducks) were on sale at Dodger Stadium last night…for the low low price of $800!

    Also, they were also selling New Era Dodger and Angels caps with a sewn on Stadium Series patch. Those were a slightly more reasonable $35!

    Well, there’s a Browns player on Team Rice (orange team) that doesn’t look terrible. But, other than that… no, they pretty much all suck. But, that’s basically Pro Bowl tradition, since only the Giants, Bills & Patriots helmets ever looked good before.

    Bengals player who plays for Rice’s team doesnt look half bad. I also cant tell if the numbers are outlined in red or orange, so the red helmeted team helmets dont look too shabby

    Pro bowl uniforms are high lighter colored. Also wearing patches on the sleeves of their teams. Looks like the Browns players have a white helmet not orange. Other logos look correct or is it just me?

    Thanks, the Browns just stuck out. Now I see that. Just another reason to dislike them. At least the helmets would have matched some part of the uniform. Thank goodness for the one helmet rule or they could have messed with those too

    I like the gray shaded team logos on the sleeves. That and the stars indicating number of pro bowl appearances sum up the two best things about this eyesore.

    The St. Cloud State MN patch is not a new feature this year. Those have been on the black jerseys, at the very least, since last year. May have been a couple of years now.

Comments are closed.