We’ve gotten used to the NHL Winter Classic taking place on New Year’s Day. This winter, however, the Winter Classic is on Jan. 2, while Jan. 1 will be the day for the Centennial classic, which will feature the Maple Leafs and the Red Wings. The uniforms for that game were revealed yesterday.
”¨Let’s start with the Leafs. First, although it’s a little hard to see in that photo shown above, there’s a lot of silver trim. The horizontal band across the chest is meant to evoke the early 1920s Toronto St. Pats (although it looks like they just used the Panthers’ new template), and the “T” on the pants is a shout-out to an even earlier incarnation of the franchise, the Toronto Arenas.
Overall: It’s okay, but nothing special. I’d prefer a contrasting border along the jersey hemline to delineate the border between the jersey and pants. Further info on the jersey is available here.
Okay, now let’s take a look at the Red Wings (click to enlarge):
The silver is much more evident on this one. Here’s a close-up of one of the silver sleeve stripes, where are imprinted with the years of the team’s 11 Stanley Cup championships (click to enlarge):”¨”¨
The stripes are supposedly inspired by the old Detroit Cougars. Too bad they didn’t use that whole design, eh? According to this page, there will also be a Cougars-style “D” on the pants, but they haven’t bothered to show us a photo of the full uniform yet — only the jersey. I’m sure that has nothing at all to do with the fact that the jersey is available for sale while the pants and socks are not.
I hate assessing uniforms solely on the basis of a jersey (the pants and socks matter a lot!), but this one feels like a stinker. The silver on the crest feels tacky and overdone, and including the Cups years on the sleeve striping is just a retail/merch gimmick, since none of that will be visible on TV (much less from a far-away seat at the Centennial Classic). Also: The collar, with those two white strips of fabric surrounding the NHL logo, looks like something from Old Navy. Disappointing.
Meanwhile, as long as we’re talking about the NHL: The new Vegas franchise is due to reveal its name and logo this evening. I’ll be covering that for ESPN.
By Brinke Guthrie
Got tipped off to this selection of 1970s/1980s MLB tube socks from the @BorchertField Twitter account (the only online museum dedicated to the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association, 1902-1952). As it happens, the seller of these socks also happens to have several other terrific items for sale. The next four items are all from him:
• Very nice-looking 1980s Starter poster showing the different jacket designs for the major sports. Remember, the next best thing to being a Starter is wearing one. And I do hope Starter’s copywriter got a bonus for that line.
• This perfect-looking 1990s Bengals Starter jacket is priced to move. I had the very same jacket and got mine for the same price, as I recall, on sale at a big box sporting goods store in suburban Forest Park. The seller is from nearby Mason, so that explains the Bengals connection.
• More tube socks, this time for the Steelers, Chargers, and Rams.
• Never seen an NFL Cliff Engle sweater with a helmet design before. Usually it’s just the team name. Not the case with this New York Giants sweater.
• Okay, moving on to some other sellers: In case you ever wanted a Philadelphia Eagles sneaker-shaped gear bag, we have one for you.
• Ever heard of “Star Standouts?” These were cut-out figures that you mounted on a wooden base. The company was from Pittsburgh, so these are for Terry Bradshaw (wearing Spalding cleats!) and Mean Joe Greene.
• You’d think that the majority of Miami Dolphins fans would live in, well, Florida. So I’m not sure why they made these Officially Licensed winter gloves for the Fish, but there you go.
• Here’s something more seasonally and regionally appropriate: This 1970s Begnals winter scarf will keep you warm at Riverfront Stadium. I mean, er, Paul Brown Stadium.
• Here’s a nice Rawlings Bills jersey from the 1980s with a heat-pressed NFL shield on the sleeve. They didn’t get the sleeve stripes quite right, did they?
StripeRite update: We’ve been saying all along that the new batch of StripeRite socks would start shipping on Nov. 21, which was yesterday. But American Trench now tells me that there was a backlog at the knitting mill, and the socks will not be shipping until the end of next week, which is Dec. 2. Very sorry about that — thanks for your patience.
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: The Braves will wear a sleeve patch for their first year at their new stadium (from Brinke). … A new baseball team in Fond du Lac, Wis., will be known as the Dock Spiders. No surprise that Brandiose had a hand in the design. Other finalists for the nickname included the Barn Owls, Lake Flies, Pipsqueaks, and Shantymen (from Bob Brainerd). … A writer for a New York sports website argued in favor of a Yankees alternate jersey (from Phil). … New uniform and 10-seasons patch for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (from @Banditmax). … Rice will wear these really cool Los Buhos jerseys (Spanish for “The Owls”) for an upcoming trip to Cuba (from Brad Blunt).
NFL News: Michael Crabtree’s swooshes were off-center last night (from Johnny Bruno). … Raiders OL Donald Penn had a Riddell sticker on his helmet last night (from @SteveBCreations). … Calgary will play Ottawa in the Grey Cup on Sunday. The teams have the exact same red, black, and white color scheme. The matchups inspired Noah Sidel to look up the last time that happened in the four major American sports (by his count): the NHL’s Oilers and Islanders in 1984, the NFL’s Giants and Bills in 1991, the NBA’s Bulls and Blazers in 1992, and MLB’s Indians and Cubs this year. … Kenny Kaplan bought a Browns jersey from a Rawlings catalog way back in 1970. He noticed the typeface on the front of the jersey is different than the one used on the back and for the TV numbers. … You don’t often see memorial armbands in the NFL, but here’s a rare example (from @BSmile).
College & High School Football News: Ohio State will play Michigan on Saturday. The players on the Buckeyes scout team are wearing makeshift Wolverines helmets in preparation. Also, Ohio State is trying to cross out all of the Ms on campus (from Phil). … Former BYU wideout Mitch Mathews wore a BYU baseball jersey to a Cougars game this past weekend. It must be an old jersey, because it has a Mountain West Conference patch on the sleeve. BYU left the conference in 2011 (from Josh Sorensen). … Teams in the Indiana state finals will wear this jersey patch this weekend (from @jameydeckard20).
Hockey News: The Penguins’ player of the game wears an old Pirates helmet in the dressing room afterward. A new sticker is added for each win (from Austin Chen). … The new video for Lil’ Yachty’s song “Minnesota” features some Rangers-inspired jerseys. Full video here.
NBA News: The Heat will retire Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 in a game against the Lakers in December. … Stance revealed the socks teams will wear for games on Christmas Day. … The Pistons’ mysterious retro-looking secondary logo has popped up on a sweatshirt in the team’s official store. It is referred to as the alternate ball logo (from Collin Hall). … Not really uniform-related, but I walked past a house in Chicago the other day that had a picture of Kobe in the window. … The Pistons are moving back to downtown Detroit. They’ll share Little Caesars Arena with the Red Wings next season.
College Hoops News: Ohio State wore gray throwbacks last night. … A player on Saint Francis College of Brooklyn wore a black swoosh last night while the rest of the team had white marks (from Matt Bessette).
Grab Bag: Two Michigan high school volleyball teams wore very similar jerseys in the state finals this past weekend (from Chet Miller). … Renderings were released for the new stadium in Columbus for the Ohio Machine of Major League Lacrosse. The highlight is a castle-like structure that will serve as the entrance (from Jason Hillyer). … New logo for Malta’s EU Council presidency. … Good piece here on why a few companies, like Kodak and Bacardi, opted for throwback logos.