Recently it came to my attention that the Los Angeles Kings of Los Angeles are ugly. U-G-L-Y, they ain't got no alibi, they ugly. Yeah, they ugly. The news came from the number one source for hockey news, ESPN, the world wide leader in sports. ESPN, being the infallible, unbiased, and professional journalistic juggernaut that it is, conducted a study to determine which teams' jerseys were the ugliest and best looking. This report was performed in the most scientific manner: Having one guy offer his opinions.
Admittedly, it does offer up the discussion and debate aspect and, as for his defense of the rankings, well...
Lots of you think the rankings have "no credibility." About half of those people can't spell "credibility."
Okay. But this guy is credentialed! He is sports only full-time uniform reporter! Don't question who hands out that sort of title. It's probably the same folks who named ESPN the "world wide leader in sports". Again, this was done probably more for fun than anything else. But hey, handing this off to only one guy who admits he hates certain colors, likes circle logos, and striped socks then naming him the be-all-end-all seems like a very ESPN thing to do. This is the same network that employed Matthew Barnaby as an "expert", after all.
Turns out, the Kings have the worst jerseys, which is a pretty big snub to the Colorado Avalanche. The Sharks and their new jerseys are ranked 19th, while the Ducks with the dumbest logo in the league are 17th. The top ranked team is the Canadians. So yeah, listing the "best" jerseys is going to be pretty subjective. So here's my favorite jerseys of all time (images from www.nhluniforms.com)
10. The Canuck Gradient, 2001
Around this time, I was really getting my feet wet in graphic editing software for the first time ever. I was pretty obsessed with gradient backgrounds, and now there was a hockey jersey that shared in my excitement. Blue to red? What a contrast! The gradual change to red though probably would have seemed more suited for the Ottawa Senators. I'd say more on that but I'd probably would get Yosted.
9. Acid Trip Coyote, 1998
There was a Simpsons episode that guest starred Johnny Cash a long while back where he voiced a talking coyote that served as Homer's spirit guide through a desert in a chili pepper fueled delirium. It wasn't the single funniest Simpsons ever, but it had it's moments, which apparently was enough to warrant the Coyotes' early logo. More specifically, this jersey and the desert-scape. I like The Simpsons. I like Johnny Cash. Most of all, I like weird mental trips. This jersey had it all.
8. Robo-Load, 2001
The byproduct of being robo-lonely. Right in Ryan Smyth's eye.
7. The Pirates, 1925
I'm not quite sure if this looks more like an old rugby sweater or more like something John Belushi would wear in Animal House. The fact there is like three different logos for this one also really helps. It doesn't know if it is trying to be a classy looking outfit with the shield, or fun or hip or whatever the hell with the word-art. It's a mess. Just like a pirate would want.
6. Bad Weather Lightning, 1996
The rain always reminded me of sprinkles, while the sleeves look like a bad long sleeve-T for a Motörhead roadie. Admittedly, I have no idea who Selivanov is.
5. The Mooterus, 2003
The Stars are a team that has had well documented problems with murderous drifters, cheaters, and chipmunks. But there was a time where I could look past that, and just observe their beautiful jerseys. No other jersey was as passionate about anatomy and livestock as Dallas' were. A haunting green uterus, complete with fallopian tubes and a single star ovary was a bold choice, but it completed the rest of the Stars look. That of disfigured vaginas.
4. JESUS CHRIST WHAT JUST CAME OUT OF MY ABDOMEN?, 1995
I attended my first Ducks game in 1995, and wound up watching a fair amount of their games on TV when I was younger (aka, dumber). I remember once seeing this jersey, and at the time I remember thinking it was cool the Ducks had a green jersey. One that featured a logo within a logo, like some Inception type appearance. Maybe there is a skating duck logo from the movies within the mask logo. Of course now this jersey has been modified by one Earl Sleek, capitalizing on the fact there is a duck doing an Alien impression. It's like an ironic tale of eating too much foie gras, then having your own liver explode from which a duck bursts.
3. The Van Damme, 1995
Sudden Death was another childhood favorite of mine. Yes, I know the Penguins wore the white robo-penguin jersey in the film, but remember how much I liked gradients? This has a robotic looking penguin and gradients. And the sleeves don't match?!
It made me want to grow up and be Iceberg. You know, up until his horrific death.
2. Groovy Gorton's, 1995
The 90s was one hell of a decade for hockey jerseys, 1995 most of all. I was ecstatic when this jersey came out. The Islanders finally had a real logo after all these years, and the pattern looked strikingly familiar to my neighbors recently painted van that he did himself. Numbers and names that were wavy? Creativity at its finest. Plus, I also finally knew what the hell a New York Islander was. And that they made delicious fish sticks.
1. BoC's San Jose Sharks, 2013
There's been a plethora of jerseys constructed here at the Battle of California (TM) that have all been memorable, but Jer's work here stands far above the rest. The abruptly broken splotches. The jumbled striping. A puckered asshole. I weep. It's like the Mona Lisa of jerseys. The mystery of what may be expelled from this anus leaves one tense in anticipation. Sharks? Poo? A whack-a-mole type game featuring Joe Pavelski? Alas, I fear we shall never know, nor shall we see these beloved jerseys worn again. Just those teal pieces of shit they will be wearing this upcoming year.
Well, these are my favorites. Feel free to contribute with your own inferior opinions.