By Phil Hecken
Last night the Colorado Avalanche hosted their first outdoor game in history, playing the Detroit Red Wings in Coors Field for another “Stadium Series” game. I actually watched the entire game, and despite there seemingly being dozens of these baseball stadium games, I still love them. Perhaps sadly, this was the last outdoor game for the 2015-16 NHL season.
While the Red Wings, an “Original Six” team, have played in a number of “Winter Classic” or Stadium Series games, this marked the Avalanche’s first appearance in an outdoor game of any kind.
Of course, because it’s a “Stadium Series” game, that means several “special” things will take place, not the least of which is the need for new uniforms — I haven’t been a fan of too many of the Stadium Series uniforms in the past, as they seem forced and not particularly well designed. Last evening’s game was a pleasant exception.
First — the home team — the Avalanche…wore white (as God intended), so that was a nice bonus. Lets take a look at what they wore:
Beautiful, right? The
Rockies Avalanche went with the Rockies-esque logo featuring the “C” (which appeared on the shoulders of the Rockies and also the Colorado flag) rendered in Avalanche burgundy and black. The sleeves contained three stripes — blue, gray and burgundy, with the largest stripe containing the TV numbers.
Pants and helmets were black, and the socks were white, then repeated the blue/gray/burgundy pattern down to the skates. The collar was black with “5280” (the elevation of Denver) and NOB was black with burgundy numbers:
I was also pretty keen on the Detroit uniform, which featured red helmets, jerseys and pants. However, the designers created a special Olde English “D” that (to my eye) just didn’t look quite right, and there was a diagonal white sash across the front of the jersey that did not repeat across the back. The jerseys had “EST. 1926” inside the collar and “RED WINGS” on the outside.
The interesting thing about these unis, and it took me a while to come around to the look, was the white bottoms on the sleeves and socks, as well as the white gloves. I really liked this. The Red Wings might be the only team that could pull this off, as I’m used to seeing them in red/red/red — and even though the look kinda reminded me of a monochrome NFL team with leotards, I liked it on the Wings.
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) February 28, 2016
It’s not a look I like for football, but it totally worked here. On a football uni…not so much.
— Lions 10-6 (@MegatronStudios) February 28, 2016
My only complaint was the Olde English D and the diagonal sash, but maybe I didn’t like the “D” because it reminded me of … something else.
— Derek McCord (@DerekDeedok) February 28, 2016
Anyway, I loved Colorado’s look and Detroit looked pretty fine as well. And together, the unis looked great.
Of course, it being a Stadium Series game, there were the usual gimmicks (not all of which are bad, but they are beginning to take on a pattern that detracts from the uniqueness of the setting, the stadium and the event itself):
• All the uniforms had a special patch with a Stadium Series logo (and it wasn’t just on the unis):
• Fake snow. I’m not sure what the answer is here, because it’s probably better to swath the stadium in fake snow than have huge patches of green/brown grass. There was a bit of a problem with the fake snow last night, as the wind kicked up and began blowing it all over the place, including on the ice.
• Great visuals. Almost every outdoor game is special because, well, it’s outdoors. And Coors Field is a particularly attractive venue. Unfortunately, the color of the paint under the ice was more of a cream (not sure why), whereas the fake snow was about as white as can be. This gave the ice an odd look. Also, because baseball stadia are especially large, and the rink is comparatively small, they need to fill the outfield with a lot of extra crap. Again, I don’t think there is a better solution, as it would look too barren without it, but it can sometimes detract from the visuals.
• Players in wool hats. Yesterday’s temperatures were in the 70s(!) during the day, and only dropped to the 50s by game time, so this was probably unnecessary. But I’m sure the teams would love to move the merch, so I’m sure the players were instructed to wear them. And, they do look cool!
• Coaches in varsity jackets. Yes, they wear them for all the outdoor games, but there is just something so right about it. And they look great too.
• Special goalie masks. I’m not really a goalie mask guy, so having a special one for these games doesn’t do much for me. But I know the goalies and many fans love them, so…
• Giant TV numbers. Yes, I get that the seats in the stadia are much further from the ice than in a normal rink, but I’m sure the large majority of the fans can’t see them anyway. Or I don’t know, maybe they’re visible from space. I guess it’s kind of a cool quirk unique to these games, but I hope (sorry Jim Vilk) they don’t find their way onto the normal uniforms. As long as the numbers on the back of the uni are in a large, legible font, the TVs shouldn’t dominate the shoulders. Just my opinion. I could be wrong.
Well, there you have it — a great game to watch (except for a second period entirely devoid of scoring in a game that ended up 5-3) and I really liked the unis. The Winter Classic and Stadium Series will be back next year, but that’s all for this season. This was a great one on which to end.
Readers? What say you?
Marty Hick’s Refrigerator Art…
… Jim Vilk & Mike Engle, eat your hearts out
Got an e-mail from UW stalwart “Stl. Marty” (aka Marty Hick), which is just so good, I had to share it with you guys — refrigerator art from the 1980s comparing NFL & USFL helmets. Yes, Marty is one of us.
Jim Vilk might get a kick out of these.
It’s a little side by side city project I did when I was 10.
My sister was fixing to get married, hence the new signature practice on Tampa’s.
They were done on the flip side of salmon colored law papers. My pop dukes brought home a lot of paper for me.
Hope you enjoy these as well.
Enjoy! (You can click to enlarge):
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: “Check out the patch on Lasorda’s sleeve as he leans on a futuristic trash can,” writes Douglas Ford. … Check out this pretty cool 1963 footage of Duke Snider hitting a walkoff homer at the Polo Grounds. That’s a popup in most (all?) ballparks today. … Tennessee softball has new smokey gray helmets to go with their new smokey gray unis (from Chad Kollas). … The Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes is getting custom, molded shin & shoulder guards. … Here’s a look at the Yankees Spring Training patch which they wore for photo day yesterday (from Brian Danuff). … I’m still not sure if I love or hate the Dodgers script “D” spring training caps. … Nike is calling these new Oregon Ducks uniforms throwbacks. Here’s a better look (from Glen Macklin). … Tweeter Mike G asks, “Is that a Tony Gwynn sticker on the New Mexico Lobos baseball helmet? … This “Best and Worst MLB Uniforms” article is both poorly written and loaded with errors (Example: “The 1970’s were perhaps the Golden Era for baseball uniforms. … Around this time, the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals came up with their trademark uniforms that they continue to wear to this day””it is widely believed that these two teams have the best uniforms in the present day, and both of them claim their origins in the early 1970’s.”) Sigh. I also disagree with the author’s opinions, which is fine, but the errors don’t lend much credence to them. … North Carolina debuted new home whites yesterday, and daaaaaammmmmmn if they ain’t purdy (h/t Bryant). … Tweeter Christopher Kapis hopes the Cubs upgrade their hosiery soon, and I have to say, I agree. … Check out this great photo of Ted Williams. Now look again at his right lower leg. Jesse Agler notes, “Definitely looks like a possible guard on his right shin in this photo. What do you think? And were we aware that he ever wore one?”
Football News: According to this article (or at least the author’s opinion), the NFL will test all color rash uniform combinations for the ability of the color blind to tell the players apart. You’d think maybe they’d have thought of that before the color rash games started. … This is great: check out Gene Sanny‘s latest uni-related, electronic football “comic” strip. … The Portland Steel (formerly the Portland Thunder), an arena team, have a new primary and secondary logo (from Bob Johnson). … “Saw this Ravens themed tee for sale at a breakfast place in Ocean City over the weekend,” says Mike Wissman. “Really like the use of FIOB.”
Hockey News: The New York Rangers will honor Andy Bathgate with this helmet sticker (h/t Jon R.). If you’re wondering who Andy Bathgate was, he passed away on Friday and his Number 9 already hangs in the Garden rafters. … “How to get a black eye playing hockey” read the e-mail from Diego BauzÃ¡. He wasn’t kidding and adds, “This is from the Stars – Rangers game. Play in the corner and the puck deflected up and got stuck under Girardi’s face guard. Luckily he was okay!” … And Mike Chamernik was kind enough to provide us with video of the Girardi puck-eye. … In College Puck, Yale and Quinnipiac went color vs. color yesterday (from Patrick Thomas). … “Ran across these photos of the 1976-77 Cleveland Barons NHL team. The team’s sleeve numbers were inside the state of Ohio,” writes Leo Strawn, Jr. “Also, Gilles Meloche sported a cool mask with the Barons, as seen in this photo with Yvan Cournoyer of the Habs. The following season the numbers were moved onto the shoulders.”
NBA/Basketball News: Apologies if this was in the ticker before, but here are a bunch of NBA Team Logos reimagined as 1980s Cartoons (from Jimmer Vilk). … Reader Eric Klimtzak attended a Harlem Globetrotters game in Jacksonville this weekend with his five year old and the team broke out a 90th Anniversary Retro Jersey for the 1st half (solid hosiery!) and then back to their normal Globetrotter uniform in the 2nd. “Classic Retro look (even with the New Orleans Pelican number font),” he adds.
College Hoops News: To commemorate Black History Month, Kansas wore these awesome 1950s inspired home uniforms yesterday against Texas Tech (h/t David Hanson). … Dayton and Rhode Island played a color vs. color game (well, sorta, Dayton is in gray) yesterday (grab by John Bedell). Here’s another shot (from Eric Farrell). … Western Kentucky wore red throwbacks yesterday for a color vs. color game against UAB (from Josh Claywell). … UWGB (University of Wisconsin Green Bay) wore retro uniforms on Friday night (from Green Bay MBB). … Notre Dame wore white on the road yesterday (from Jack Quinn). … Maryland also went white on the road yesterday at Purdue (from Patrick O’Donnell). Here’s a game shot. And another. … BEE-YOU-TEE-FUL color vs. color matchup yesterday between the Evansville Aces and UNI Panthers (via Joe Kuebler). … Northwestern wore their gray alternates yesterday vs. Rutgers (via Dan Sagerman).
Soccer News: In yesterday’s Leicester City vs. Norwich match, the groundskeepers mowed a northwestern stripe pattern into the pitch (from Michael Zerbib). … The USNT’s new crest has been confirmed. Read more about that here (h/t Conrad Burry). … MLS is still using their old logo on the lineup sheets for Spring Training (h/t Keaton KÃ¶ch).
Grab Bag: This is pretty cool: “My son pulled the Mr. Sprinkles container out of the pantry and I noticed a.) Mr. Sprinkles wears a baseball cap (with an “S”over the brim) lid, and b.) the cap has a squatchee,” says Marc Swanson. “Just thought I’d share.” … This is VERY cool: “Saw these vinyl seat backs in a restaurant yesterday and thought you may appreciate the colors,” says Kyle Mackie. Paul may be making that his Twitter splash as we speak.
And that will do it for me for this weekend. Everyone have great week and I will catch you next weekend!
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken
“I don’t really see the point of a blog about uniform aesthetics reviewing soccer uniforms that feature giant eyesore advertisements right on the chest. It’s all ugly.”
— Dan T.