Like I said

Worst jerseys in the NHL? Los Angeles Kings have them, according to ESPN | Puck Daddy

Last year, sports swag guru Paul Lukas […] released NHL jersey power rankings on ESPN.com in which he determined the best-looking […] and worst-looking […] sweaters in the NHL.The rankings have been updated for 2013, and we have a new Worst Jersey In The NHL … and it’s a team that’s rarely been accused of such blasphemy. The Los Angeles Kings have the NHL’s worst sweaters according to Lukas, who must really, really love the color purple and mourn its removal from the jerseys.

I didn’t know I was so in the minority. Here’s me, from March, 2011:

PURPLE & GOLD = GOOD. MEDIEVAL TIMES = BAD.

  • I’m willing to bet some marketing genius thinks black is sleek or cool or intimidating or something. But you know what’s really sleek and cool and intimidating? The Red Wings uniforms. The Leafs uniforms. Montreal’s.
  • Aside from the monochrome, monotonous, unimaginative, tedious, snooziness of the palette, there’s the issue of the logo. It sucks.
  • Even people who like the Medieval Times jerseys usually are just barely tolerating the logo. It looks like it stepped out of the Renaissance Fair if the Renaissance Fair had focus groups.
  • Check out the comments over at LAKi. People who like the Medieval Times outfit add, “but couldn’t you use the crown instead?” I guess they don’t understand that once the change is made we’re all going to have to suffer with that upside-down house shape for several years.
  • I am 100% sure this is a marketing firm-generated focus-group-sanitized logo. The tell: there is nothing interesting about it. The font is like a bad Mac font that you try and then recoil from. It suggests Anglo-Saxon Arthurian pageantry and splendor — but so what? We’re not putting on plays here. This is a hockey team.
  • (p.s. the stupid plastic dry-ice castle is stupid for the same reason, but we can leave that for another day.)
  • The logo is shaped like home plate. I know it’s supposed to be a crest. The buffaslug was supposed to be a streaking bison. That didn’t stop people from mocking it.

I highly recommend you check out the whole post, because it’s long and snarky. But, for those of you who don’t like to click on links, here’s some more highlights:

  • Going hog-wild with the monarchy theme is a little embarrassing. What if the Raiders suddenly went all peg-legs and eye-patches and ARR! Or, the Lakers decided to go all-in with a “lake” theme? “Lakers” meant something once, but now it’s lost that old meaning and acquired a new one, which is: we are the best team in the world.
  • The Purple and Gold jerseys are classic. They are simple. They are beautiful. The colors echo those of the Lakers in an understated way — like how the Penguins’ colors were changed to suggest the heritage of the Steelers and the Pirates.
  • You know how sometimes you’ll watch a Red Wings/Leafs game just because the uniforms look so beautiful on TV? I get that feeling watching the Kings in the purple and gold. I feel like I’m watching a hockey game.
  • I’ll admit, the Kings uniforms seemed lame in the 70s, but that’s because they were new, they were not original six. But now, forty years later, they feel closer to that Original Six era than this corporate/mass-marketed one. It’s strange to suddenly realize this, but the Kings are one of the oldest, most historic franchises in the league. The purple and gold embodies that. […]
  • This might just be me, so feel free to ignore. Those rich colors — Detroit’s red, Toronto’s blue, the King’s purple — actually are mouth-watering. They literally make me hungry. Like I said, maybe just me. But maybe not. Our brains are wired to respond to color in this way. I’m sure there’s someone in the food industry who can back me up. […]
  • My son plays a lot of NHL 11. The first thing he does is always to dress the Kings in purple, because it looks so good. Same with the old Seals jerseys, and the Whalers, and the Jets; they all look fabulous in the game. Whether it’s EA Sports digital, or live in HD, those colors just pop.
  • The last thought is one I keep coming back to. I picture the Dodgers uniforms, and the Lakers — both classic, iconic designs — and then I picture the Medieval Times jerseys next to them. Stupid, right? Black jerseys with a shield; they look like the mean, evil team in a hockey movie (the rich bullies our heroes have to defeat — they always wear black) and the uniforms in the movies always look, well, not like real uniforms. The Medieval Times uniforms have that inauthentic look, too. […]

I expect the Kings to win the cup someday in the (near?) future. As happy as I will be on that day, picturing the Medieval Times guys skating around with the cup…from a purely aesthetic perspective, it’s not much better than watching the Ducks do it.

Since that historic day has come to pass, even I have the inevitable emotional attachment to these stupid bland jerseys. They will always and forever be the jerseys they won the cup in. So, in that sense, the battle has been definitively lost. Oh well. At least I have the Kings on the cup to console me in my grief.

Also, in my defense, I’ve been on this particular hobby horse for a long time:

9/1/1972: Sorry, no, they won’t be the Kings without yellow pants

6/20/1988: Finally, I will be able to see my Kings in glorious color!

Last thought: even my Philly West logo is better, isn’t it? Oh, never mind. I’m tired. It’s August. Where’s the hockey?

 

  10 comments for “Like I said

  1. Mike Edwards
    August 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    I have had a problem with black and silver (not much silver in there these days) since they introduced them. You want one black and one white uni? Ok. But trim them with Forum Blue and Gold. For the white uni, think Lakers Sunday uni. And the black, would be identical, swapping black for the white. It just makes too much sense.

  2. USHA#17
    August 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    The current uniforms are the worst. Period. Ugly starting with the Childish shield logo. Add the unimaginative black and you got a jersey approximating a teenage hoodie wet dream.

    Another shameless corporation mining pennies by appealing to the lowest common denominator(s). Hard to believe a hockey team has decided to ape imagery which appeals to a mentality that requires Oakland parking lots to be patrolled by heavily armed security and police.

    I want my team in Royal Colors, like shining knights. The good guys. There are enough Black Knights on the streets of America that fans deserve a respite from the dark, ugly imagery of a society at war with itself. Really don’t want that anywhere, much less inside our arenas and on our ice. Really don’t want that representing the city of my birth.

    While the Chevron jersey was vastly better then the current monstrosity, in my mind the original Forum Gold uniforms remain the best.

    In respect to the endless capitalist parade of Jerseys and logos:

    I recall a friend dismissing the loss of the General Belgrado which typified the Falklands War. “It was their capital ship and they changed its name at least five times, every time a new petty general came to power. What should those soldiers have expected from leaders who turn their backs to their own history?”

    • August 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      Hear, hear.

      I miss the purple and gold. It was such a distinctive color scheme, and it gave the team a distinctive identity, rather than making them look like cheap Raider wannabes. I hated that the Kings ditched it, and I love seeing it again on the Legends Nights.

      • USHA#17
        August 23, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        Funny thing, back in the day we never saw the purple jerseys. They were the away colors and they didn’t show well on the rare TV games. I lean to the Gold, prior to the purple arm piping. 67-72 or 72-80 home gold. Take your pick (clearly sized for a new Penner-like left wing)

  3. Matt George
    August 27, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    The current uniforms are great … and as I said before the Jersey sales reflect it … The Purple and Gold is still and has been available for purchase .. if it’s so revered the stands would reflect it. The fact that one guy at ESPN (really? ESPN?) agrees with a very vocal minority doesn’t change the actual numbers.

    • USHA#17
      August 27, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      So what if the new Jersey is selling…only thing that proves is that everyone wants to be in on the party, even if they have to dress down. Put the Burger King back on the uniforms and you would find sheep to buy it, too.

      Old uniforms not selling? Very weak argument. The old uniforms would sell like hotcakes if they were the current uniforms.

      • Matt George
        August 28, 2013 at 6:57 AM

        Weelll Look. I respect those who like the old purple and gold… mainly because by and large, they’ve been following the Kings a hell of a lot longer than me. I didn’t start till 98 during the palfy era. Aesthetics are indeed a personal choice and they’re impossible to quantify. My personal first experience with the purple and gold was as a non hockey fan. I distinctly remember seeing the Kings and thinking “why is that sports team trying to copy the Lakers?” … only to find out years later that Cooke was indeed doing just that.

        So for me when I see the purple and gold, I see a marketer trying to imitate an already successful franchise and that feels cheap to me. No matter how many iterations you make of those colors, they were the lakers first and I don’t like that feeling. It makes me feel like the little brother trying to be like the bigger one. I like originality. … black has absolutely nothing to do with the lakers and makes me feel like it’s our color.
        and also pretty much anything that comes from ESPN is bunk (outside of custance and burnside, both of which i can barely tolerate)

        • USHA#17
          August 28, 2013 at 9:16 AM

          If you can not reconcile the Kings using the Lakers’ colors how do you continence the Kings blatantly copying the Raiders (who were also an LA Team) colors? And not just once…

          I can not argue with your observation that the old uniforms are a Lakers knock-off. However, where you see cheap, I saw a sports family, not coat tails. I suppose you would have had to be alive in those days to understand the mentality; plus it was an era of private ownership and long lasting core identities. Some regions still adhere to the quaint idea of consistent and regional identity (the double “zz”s of Utah teams).

          I object to today’s now common practice of minor redesigns and updates to drive repeat sales. The Lakers do it…Sunday White. Its cheap marketing made worse by repulsive designs such as LA’s last two uniforms. I challenge you to explain Calgary’s hideous parade of tacky monstrosities and Buffalo abondoning a good looking classic design. When did the Rangers or Detroit last institute major jersey changes? Or the Dodgers, Giants and Yankees?

          Two examples, LA’s schizo changes and Calgary’s monthly parade of tacky monstrosities (only team worse then LA) have gone past the pale into the world of fan abuse.

          • August 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

            I don’t care who they’re imitating (Lakers, Raiders) in this case. I am generally the enemy of the invasion of black into every uniform.

    • August 27, 2013 at 10:35 PM

      Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. I’m not persuaded by the “sales reflect it” argument, though. Lots of stupid shit is popular.

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