This isn’t gonna win me many friends down at 501 Broadway…
Y’know, it’s one thing to have that gnawing, uncomfortable feeling in your stomach when you dread something; it’s quite another when it turns out you didn’t generate all that excess stomach acid for nothing.
On Thursday, photos depicting what certainly appear to be prototypes of the long-anticipated new Predators home and away jerseys leaked out onto the Internet. They were first posted in the comments section of an entry at OnTheForecheck.com, then later on Twitter, which is when I became aware of them.
It was one of those times I really wish I hadn’t clicked. Why? Oh, how do I put this delicately?
…the new jerseys suck balls…
… in my opinion.
The following is a rant borne of frustration. I know full well that not everyone will agree with me. I’m quite sure a lot of folks will consider it an overreaction; that I’m splitting hairs. Nonetheless, it is my opinion and I cannot let this pass without comment.
In a time when the organization has made great strides in a positive direction, this, I believe is a considerable step back, unless of course, they have a secret sponsor deal in the works with Chiquita Brands International.
I need to note that while I really am not in love with the white road version either, the main problem I have is with the home gold/a.k.a. banana suits, as depicted at left.
Here’s the problem (just in case you can’t immediately see it). If you’re saying to yourself, “Wow. This sorta looks like a practice jersey,” well, congratulations! You’re a rational thinker.
The simplified logo, combined with extremely simplified, Tour de France-wear styling and the gawdawful intuitive casualness of this garment make it great for a bike ride, lounging around the house, or possible sleepwear; not so much for a professional-looking hockey sweater.
And that’s where the sorest part of this oh-so-sore spot on my hockey hiney desperately cries out for a little Preparation H.
Whither Then The Third?
What the heyelllllll happened to that which anyone who possessed even the slightest awareness of style agreed was every bit as good as this new version is bad: the current Predators third jersey? You know, the one the team has been wearing on weekend home games these past two seasons; the one that actually looks like a hockey sweater, with its traditional collar, deep navy blue shell, and way-cool (and way-subtle) checkerboard trim on the bottom hem?
That was a jersey a fan could be proud to wear. It was a huge win for the organization, and not only in my estimation; it drew rave reviews from everyone. I never heard a single disparaging comment about it.
In fact, it was so well-liked that it was nearly a foregone conclusion it would indeed become the Preds new home uni, and a reverse white version, as was debuted at the Preds’ charity gala a few months back was likewise assumed to become the new road sweater.
Apparently, an undisclosed number of ‘season ticket holders,’ presumably interviewed in a focus group, allegedly said they wanted yellow (and I’ll betcha dimes-to-donuts that most of them also liked the mustard-yellow disasters that were the team’s first —and worst — third jersey offering back in the early 2000s).
So the Preds’ Marketing Department went about paving the way — more like, softening the blow — in preparation for the debut of the new home sweater hued in that hideous tweener- banana/gold.
They tipped us off with otherwise the well-done Stand With Us drive-to-the-postseason advertising and graphics campaign, with its series of nicely-designed posters, programs, and paraphernalia, all bathed in a sea of yellow-gold.
I didn’t have a problem with that. I liked it, even, like a before-dinner aperitif. I was totally oblivious to the impending onslaught.
Then came the playoffs and our appetizer of ‘gold-out’ t-shirts and rally towels. My Spidey-sense began to tingle; I started to twitch. The haters were already beginning to snicker.
By this time, I knew what was coming when they brought out the main course.
IHOPEitsnotLIVER, IHOPEitsnotLIVER, IHOPEitsnotLIVER!
Guess what? It was liver.
A jaundiced, yellow liver.
And I think I’m gonna be ill.
As a wise man once said, “Nobody looks good in yellow.” But you retort, “What about the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins?”
Boston can pull it off, because, let’s face it, they’re the killer bees, and the traditional styling of that deep gold and black has never lost its appeal. It works for them.
But the Preds’ gold isn’t the Bruins gold. It’s bright, downright garish in the phosphorescent light of Bridgestone Arena. And while the color may work great on a practice jersey, I cannot escape the feeling that it’s just too bright, too cheery, for a hockey team that now more than ever wants to be taken seriously.
Personally, I’m already bracing for the earthquake-like tremors generated by the collective belly laugh eminating from around North America when this jersey is officially launched.
I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.
Y’see, when you’re fighting Hee-Haw, the first thing you want is classy, established, and traditional — all the things that the rest of the world has long assumed you’re not. The last thing you want is trendy, cute and cheery — especially in hockey. Nashville has just begun to turn the tide of its long-standing cartoon image; the worst thing we can do now, in my opinion, is to reinforce it by dressing our hockey team in cartoon colors.
But that’s just the color. There’s more to be mortified about regarding these new jerseys.
Rumblin’ Bumblin’ Strumblin’
It was something I had no clue about until seeing the pictures yesterday. Among the images posted, there was no view offered of the back of the home sweater, but there was one of the road whites — which ironically was the jersey variety I said before that I didn’t have a problem with. Well, that sentiment was in consideration of the shell color; I still don’t care for the overall styling, but I can live with it. However now, what’s choking me nearly as much as the gold is the cutesy inclusion of six thin horizontal stripes running through the middle of the player numerals on the back of both the home and road togs, as shown below.
“I think they’re guitar strings.”
ReallyPredators? GUITAR STRINGS ON THE NUMBERS? Say, why don’t we, while we’re at it, just go down to Greer Stadium and borrow the Nashville Sounds’ gee-tar scoreboard and install it prominently, on the far end of the arena opposite The Cellblock? That way, whether we’re looking in the stands or down on the ice, we can all be reminded that Nashville is more about Country Music than any other possibly more diverse, cosmopolitan, progressive endeavor that we have going on in this wonderful city!
I mean, why fight it? IT’S OUR DESTINY!
Take a breath, AJ.
Okay, allow me back up the truck a bit here. I am not a Music City self-hate monger. I realize that Nashville would not be what it has become were it not for Hank, Waylon, and geetar strings. I get that. What I don’t get is the near insistence we seem to have on reinforcing stereotypes by continuing to lean on the crutch of our Country Music heritage.
Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE our Tim McGraw goal song. I love and respect the Grand Ole Opry. But Nashville is more than Country Music — a LOT more. We don’t need to remind folks what this town is known for; we need to RE-EDUCATE them on what our hockey club is about, and that we want the Nashville Predators to be what this town is known for.
Okay, screed over. If I’ve stepped on some sensibilities, I apologize. But I had to get this off my chest. I wasn’t just going for yuks here, folks; I’m dead serious about the damage I believe this direction might impose.
However, I tell you what, Preds marketing — I’ll meet you half way.
I’ll live with the gold, if you’ll lose the guitar string motif on the numbers. Together, those two components strike a pretty sour note in the opinion of this season ticket holder.
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