Worst to First Jerseys: The Phoenix Coyotes
This installment of the Worst to First Jerseys features the Phoenix Coyotes, and part of this series is hosting the full posts on a blog of the team that’s being featured. The full version of this post is on the blog Five For Howling. You can check it out by clicking here. And much thanks to Jaime from Five For Howling for hosting this post.
Do you want your team featured? I’ll be contacting blogs for each team throughout the year, so keep a look out for it. Or, let me know which blog I should be contacting for your favourite team. For now, here’s a preview of my post about the Coyotes:
When I counted down the Best Team Logos in the NHL (BTLNHL) on my blog, I like to think I surprised a few people by ranking the current Coyote’s logo so high on the list, coming in at #9, and beating iconic teams such as the Rangers and Oilers. But it wasn’t always so great for the Coyotes brand.
Here’s how this works: I’ll count down, from worst to first, all the jerseys the Coyotes have ever worn. Homes and aways will be lumped into the same category (so, more of a jersey “era”) and I won’t worry about small changes (like slightly changed positions of piping for example). Third jerseys will stand on their own. And I’m focusing on the jerseys only, not the entire uniform. The jersey images are compliments of the fine people over at nhluniforms.com. For the Coyotes, there’s 5 different jerseys/eras. And we’ll start with the worst one:
5. 1998-2003 Third Jerseys
Regular readers of the blog would see this one coming from a million miles away. Like Anaheim’s Wild Wing that I talked about in my last Worst to First post, this is not only the worst jersey the Coyotes have worn, it’s one of the worst NHL jerseys ever. Having a landscape that resembles an 8-bit Nintendo Ninja Gaiden-esque backdrop to replace the striping on the jerseys is certainly something that you don’t see on an NHL jersey everyday. And thank god for that.
The problem is, it’s something you might see on a minor-league hockey jersey. They put out crazy stuff like this all the time. Just the other day, the Bakersfield Condors announced they were wearing Abraham Lincoln/Gettysburg Address-inspired jerseys. I could not make this up if I tried. And then there’s the Albany River Rats’ Ronald McDonald jerseys, where they even dyed the ice yellow. This jersey is on par with these messes of jerseys. I’d roll my eyes if Phoenix were a minor league team and leave it at that, but in the NHL – the best hockey league in the world – it’s just reeks of amateur.
I can appreciate that the third jersey campaigns that NHL teams are doing allow the teams to play around with traditional jersey design and create something different and exciting. Most of the time, it draws on the history of the team. Phoenix, having a history of about two seasons at this point (aside from being in Winnipeg of course), couldn’t draw on that, so they introduced one of the worst inclusions of horrible design that epitomized the ’90s. Seriously, the ’90s were bad. Awful even.
The alternate logo they used on these jerseys are just the head of their primary hockey-playing Native American-influenced coyote, which is also a logo I was never crazy about, and also a product of the ’90s era of hockey design. But the head by itself is actually more simplistic than it’s minor-league-looking full-bodied version and actually is the only plus on this whole jersey.
Everything here just reeks of ’90s design, and any jersey like this should remain banished in a minor league somewhere. But, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind owning one of the jerseys one day, just because it’s so incredibly awful. It’s like the Governor keeping an aquarium full of zombie heads, just to remember how bad things had gotten for a while.
Jersey Recommendation: #97 Roenick. Loud, colourful, abrasive and quasi-offensive. The jersey, I mean. But that’s Roenick too, so it’s a good fit.
You can read the entire post on Five For Howling by clicking here.