HbD News: Stadium Series Jerseys Announced for LA and Anaheim
This morning, both the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks unveiled the jerseys they’ll be wearing for the upcoming Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium on January 25, 2014. The nice thing about having these sort of one-off games, and having jerseys for them, is that you know exactly what your opponent will be wearing and can plan accordingly. Sounds like the beginnings of a bad date, but it’s always awkward when you show up wearing the same thing (and someone always has to point it out too). That awkwardness is heightened when you’re playing a sport against each other, which is why teams have coloured jerseys and white jerseys, so you always know you’ll look different than the other team.
That’s also why I’m very excited about the Winter Classic between Detroit (wearing all red) and Toronto (wearing all blue). It’s going to look fan-flipping-tastic. And then you get the Stadium Series between your angry hungover uncle wearing orange pyjamas and your unattractive aunt on her way to a funeral. Sigh.
Okay, where to start? The “OC” patch on Anaheim’s jersey? LA’s choice to use grey as their “colour”? The slanted numbers? The chromed logos? Nah, I’m going to ease myself in and start with the positives.
Neither team will be wearing white, which is kind of cool. That’s what I meant at the beginning about being able to plan your jersey for your opponent. If Anaheim wore these jerseys against, say, Philadelphia’s home orange jerseys, it wouldn’t work. But, knowing it’s a one-off jersey and knowing which team you’re going to play against allows you to get creative. Hooooboy, they got creative.
The slanted numbers appears to be an NHL-demanded design element, as it first appeared inexplicably on the Islanders’ Stadium Series jerseys. And it’s also on both these jerseys. Is it worse than Nike’s fake laces on the upcoming Olympic jerseys? I’m not so sure, but it’s definitely in the same category. As I stated about the Islanders’ jerseys, I have no idea why they would do this as it serves absolutely no purpose other than to have something different. That’s not the end result of a meaningful design process, that’s just messing around with things just because you want to.
It looks like the sleeves also have the angled striping that don’t wrap around the entire arm. It’s obvious on the images of the Ducks’ jerseys, but not so much on the Kings’. I’m guessing LA has it too and, again, it’s identical to the Islanders’ designs, so it’s looking more like an NHL-mandated design. The NHL is having their “fake laces” moment, à la Nike.
Okay, now about the individual jerseys. First up, the Ducks. I don’t have a problem with orange at all. In fact, the Flyers have pretty awesome jerseys that are dominated with orange, but the big difference is that it’s not all orange. What happens with the lack of shoulder yokes, or any sort of striping anywhere on the jersey aside from the sleeves is that it starts looking seriously like a young boy’s pyjamas, especially because they used a bright and not commonly worn orange colour. In their beige-gold colour, it may have worked better. But like this? In orange? It looks a bit ridiculous and needs other elements to make it work. Textbook example of less not always being more.
Oh, and the chrome logo looks awful on it, as expected. When you mix some sort of mangled skeuomorphistic logo with a flat design on the jerseys, it’s not going to look good.
For the Kings, given the colour palette the team has chosen for their branding, there’s not much else to do other than use a grey jersey. They already have black and white jerseys, so what’s a team to do? Well, going full-on retro and bringing back the purple-and-gold would have been pretty cool. Either would have looked pretty fantastic when matched against the Ducks’ orange jerseys.
But, after a little bit of time to really look at it, I don’t mind the use of grey that much, as it’s a look that’s a little more unique within the NHL and, aside from possibly looking dirty and rolled over numerous times by an asphalt truck, it might work. Don’t get me wrong, I would have much rather than purple or gold jerseys for the Kings, but if they didn’t want to do that, there’s not too many other options for them. Maybe they’ll actually be super-retro during the game, looking like they’re somehow playing on a black-and-white TV?
The shoulder patches, like the Islanders, come to a point and work better on the Kings’ jersey than on New York’s because it hasn’t got as much contrast between the black and grey. The “LA” shoulder patches follow the branding, using the “LA” from their logo and changing it to fit into a square patch. I don’t mind it at all. It’s a bit like what Toronto did with their TML patches, which definitely harkens back to baseball aesthetics, but the lack of interlocking between the letters gives it a more unique feel.
The worst part of this jersey is easily the chrome logo. Again, it doesn’t fit with the aesthetics of the jersey and just looks ridiculous on there.
The striping is consistent across the sleeves, collar and bottoms and it’s a classic hockey striping design. Shit, I think I may be starting to actually like these jerseys a little bit. But, when Anaheim set the bar so low, it’s hard not to. Regardless, the Kings’ jerseys are definitely the winner of these two jerseys. And that’s just depressing.
Best tweet about it? Easily this one…
This will be the best Orange vs. Gray battle since Garfield vs. Nermal.
— Earl Sleek (@earlsleek) December 3, 2013
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.