Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Greatest Danger Could Be Your Stupidity, pt. 2

I'm guessing Gary Bettman gets this fortune all the time (

From Steve Zipay's column in Newsday today, about the NHL's continued fascination with form-fitting jerseys:

When the announcement arrived last week that the NHL and Reebok were partnering to open a flagship retail store in Manhattan next fall, the signal was unmistakable. New, sleeker jerseys designed by Reebok are coming-- as will the uproar from hockey traditionalists.

The snug sweaters that would be tucked into uniform pants could be unveiled at the All-Star Game in Dallas, we hear, and depending on the reaction, could be worn by all clubs as soon as the start of the 2007-08 season.

Officials originally wanted to launch the post-lockout league with a tighter, stretchy fabric that hugs equipment, like the NFL, but held off to preserve some visual attachment to the pre-lockout game.

In addition to a sexier look, NHL executives have said the style would further prevent players from using the looser, outside-the-shorts jerseys for hooking and obstruction. Maybe.

But let's cut to the chase. It's always about the money. The NHL is counting on a double revenue stream: Younger fans will buy the new merchandise (although some husky older ones might find the new duds a little tight around the tummy, right?) and voila! The current jerseys will instantly become retro and trigger a separate revenue stream.

And, a response from Hockeybird-- perhaps the funniest thing I read all day:

Zipay hits it on the head: the NHL has given up on the traditional crowd-- you fickle fans were the ones that really destroyed the game-- and is trying to remake the game of hockey from the bottom up.

When I was nine-years-old, I had a oversized Wayne Gretzky jersey that I literally could have pitched a tent with because it was so big, but nothing brought me more joy than that huge and loose team sweater. Think my future nine-year-old son is going to be equally excited by his form-fitting metrosexual Evgeni Malkin jersey? The one that's going to pin his wet and uncomfortable equipment to his body-- correction, his growing body, which means I'll have to buy him a new Malkin jersey every season.

Thanks, new NHL.