I hate to be difficult here. Well, honestly, I don’t hate it all that much. It’s how I’m hard wired, I guess. But was that the NHL I watched last night? I don’t ask that because the big names were off being big names somewhere else. I ask it because of the uniforms. Both the Sens and Flyers have snazzy new jerseys. I like them. I’m big on snazz. It just didn’t feel like I was watching two NHL clubs. Visually, it looked like two expansion clubs. Or Binghamton vs the Philadelphia Phantoms.
This is where I get crucified for being a whiner. I suppose it’s a tiny point like the one on Buzz’s head. But it wouldn’t be a tiny point if the Red Sox and Yankees made significant uniform changes. Hey, the Yankees are wearing pure white at home. And the Red Sox have pinstripes. What if Montreal eliminated the blue stripe from their classic red unis? Everyone would agree that was stupid. Everyone. The fans would riot. In Montreal, they’d throw tear gas at Clarence Campbell’s grave. Just as a matter of policy.
D you have to have been around as long as the Habs and Yankees for uniform change to become sacrilege? Is it the championships?
The Habs and Yankees have occasionally fallen on hard times over the years, as the Sens will one day. I think history and tradition are a fine fallback position for fans during those tough times. And the uniforms are part of that.
I bleated on about all this when the Rough Riders suddenly broke out 49’er jerseys and changed their logo to Lanny McDonald’s severed head on a stick. It was still CFL football but clearly the team’s identity and link to the past was affected. It looked Mickey Mouse. They were the Rough Riders still, kinda. But at least it didn’t affect the club’s long term future.
There’s a reason billion dollar companies like Coca-Cola never mess with their classic branding or their formula. Oh wait. They did. How’d that turn out again?
I concede that this barely chips away at the monster passion level for the Senators. I survived the old red jersey and eventually got used to it. Maybe the one-size-fits-small-look will grow on me. In the meantime, that didn’t look much like two NHL teams last night.
If I can take solace in one thing, it's that I'm not a Canuck or Islander fan. I don't know WHAT they were thinking.