Olympics: Hockey so far…

With the men’s Olympic hockey tournament underway, here are a few thoughts I’ve had from the opening games. At this point, all teams have played at least two games and we really are already separating the good from the bad and the ugly, as happens every year. The prelims really are just a warmup for the teams we know are going to make it to the medal round anyway, as they try and fuse a team together and get some momentum before the elimination games really begin.

Olympic-rings

  • Great job by Slovenia, the tiny former Yugoslav nation with fewer than 200 registered male hockey players, on getting their first ever Olympic win, over the reeling Slovakian team.
  • Even though Finland hasn’t dominated, as a Canadian fan, I am scared of what Tuuka Raask could do in the medal round.
  • The US team has looked dominant, maybe the best team in the tourney so far.
  • 4 goals by TJ Oshie in the shootout against Russia? Incredible. That will be seen as a classic game in no time.
  • Tough blow for Sweden, who were the favorites in my mind. Losing Henrik Zetterberg really hurts. He is a beast, and probably their best player. They have good team depth, however, and should be able to make a run at a medal without him. That D combination of Erik Karlsson and Oliver Ekman-Larsson is terrifying.
  • The uniforms: as awful as they were when they were released, they actually look pretty decent on the ice. That goes for most of the teams. I really like the Finnish flag jerseys, the Czech whites, and the Canada reds. Still a huge thumbs down for the black Canadian alternates, and those Russian ones look like a big mess with the white eagle heads. And is Austria just wearing the Canadian jerseys from 2010 with a different logo? No points for creativity there.

Now, specifically on the Canadian team:

  • I want Carey Price as my goalie moving forward. Luongo played well and got a shutout, but that was against Austria. I just don’t trust him to rise up like I would Price.
  • Crosby has been quiet, which shouldn’t really be a concern. He didn’t do tons in Vancouver, either, before scoring that one little goal of his…
  • I am endlessly impressed with our defense. Weber and Doughty have been great in both ends of the rink. Everyone else has been solid as well. No glaring giveaways, and it looks like they are all playing well together. This bodes well as we move forward, since in these short tournaments, D and goaltending are paramount.
  • Why is Rick Nash on this team again? I love to hate him.
  • Hopefully Canada got a scare from its close opening game against Norway. European teams can really shut it down out there, and Canada has to be willing to get dirty in the corners and messy in front of the net to get some mucker goals in order to bear those teams. For example, Switzerland gives you no chances, so you need to capitalize on every sniff you may get.
  • I don’t know if I like playing two easy teams off the hop. I would rather have had the Finns as a second game, a truer test for the team. Then an easy one to close the round robin. This would have given them a bit of a break going into the medal round. Now, they will be playing tough and meaningful games for the rest of the tournament. No more simple ones.
  • Again, those black jerseys were terrible.

It is very exciting going forward, to see which nation will rise above the others. There are still so many contenders out there, and it really is too tough to call at this point. The US looks like the team to beat, but that could change in a moment, which really is the best part about the Olympic tourney.

Go Canada Go!

Mandatory Super Bowl Post

Since I won’t feel like writing anything about this years Super Bowl after the game, I will share a few thoughts I have before the game. Before we have our winner, our champion for the latest NFL season.

super

  • I am not extremely excited about this matchup, even though I like the Seahawks. But, they beat my team, the 49ers, so it is pretty difficult to truly cheer for them.
  • Manning needs to win this game. If he does, he will undoubtedly be in the conversation for the greatest quarterback of all-time. Despite his lacking playoff resume (a win would only be his second ring), his regular seasons would vault him into the conversation with the best of the best. Like Joe Montana.
  • For so long, I have hated the Broncos. I don’t really know why. I was never a fan of John Elway, and I find it troubling to even attempt to like them now. I have never had a problem with Manning, I know how amazing a quarterback he is. Maybe it’s those now-outdated late 90’s designed uniforms? I’m not sure. But I’ll blame it on that.
  • Offense vs. Defense. The endless football debate. I guess we will see what wins championships.
  • How easy has the Broncos road to the Super Bowl been? I know San Diego was on the rise when they played, but that was a 9-7 regular season team on the road. Not the toughest matchup.
  • I really do want the Seahawks to win. I love the city of Seattle, and have visited there many times. I like the makeup of the team. Tough football teams get my vote every time.
  • How uninspired is the selection of Bruno Mars to do the half time show? All I can think of when I hear his songs now is a lame car commercial. Not terribly entertaining, in my opinion, but what do I know about new music?
  • As a uniform lover, I am kind of sad that Seattle will be in their road whites. I love their blue uniforms. Why couldn’t this be a colour vs. colour game? Not like there are issues with mixing up blue and orange on the field. How good would that look?
  • Another reason I will cheer for Seattle: I still think they got hosed by the refs a few years back when they lost in the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • I’ll take the Seahawks by 13. Seems like a ridiculous number to attach to them, but I don’t know. I like the way Pete Carroll coaches, and I think he can inspire this team. Plus, the great offenses of the past decade have not always fared well in the big game. I think the Seahawk coaches will be able to bottle up Manning (as much as you can bottle him up, I’m sure he will still pass for close to 400 yards) and have him make a couple of poor decisions down the field. This could be a really good game, and despite not loving the matchup, I am quite curious to see who will win.

Sleeves=Bad

So the NBA has been having teams wear uniforms with sleeves over the past couple of years. Ok, maybe the teams haven’t been forced to wear them, but on all the Christmas games this year, the teams are sporting them. And they look ridiculous.

I get why the league is doing this. There will be people out there that enjoy them, and there will be people that buy them. But they look like PJs. I can see them having appeal to a fan of a team that doesn’t want to walk around rocking a no sleeve look. But for on the court, they look impractical, and made even worse by the contrast of the tight jersey tops and the baggy shorts the players still wear.

Save these ones for the stores, NBA, and save us from having to see them on the court again.

Merry Christmas to all!

NFL Logos- Animals getting Angrier

Being a complete junkie for uniforms and team logos, I found the article linked below to be pretty hilarious. It is definitely all true. Everybody wants to look angrier. So we’ll make our logo try to look mean. Even if our team is named after the friendliest creature in the sea (Dolphins), we’ll do what we can to make it look a little bit more unruly. Even the Cardinal, perhaps the least intimidating of all winged creatures, needs to look like a pissed-off cardinal. That’ll show the other team what’s what!

cardinalsI especially enjoyed the comments on the disembodiment of the heads of the animals. An eagle? Apparently not scary enough. But the severed head of an eagle? Now we’re talking design department!

Take a look, it’s well done and funny.

http://www.businessinsider.com/nfl-logo-redesigns-1996-2012-a-history-of-really-pissed-off-animals-2012-4

Also, for other uni junkies like me, you must check out http://www.icethetics.info/ and http://www.uni-watch.com/. They always have must-read information on uniforms.

The Worst Pro Jersey Ever?

I love sports uniforms. There is something so amazing in a lot of the design that goes into these things, and there are so many great examples of teams that look absolutely amazing on the field or on the ice. And there are, of course, so many incidents of them going horribly wrong.

I can be a bit of a junkie for unis. I have a collection of about 60, across a variety of sports. I also am a loyal follower of uniwatch.com and icethetics.info. Hearing about the upcoming rumors of new jerseys, tweaks and the impressive concepts submitted by dedicated fans. It’s amazing. I love to critique them when they come out, debate their merits, compare them to older versions, pick apart what I like and don’t like. I still have debates at work about the new Team Canada Olympic pyjama jerseys.

For all of us uni junkies out there, a new third jersey is always exciting. The anticipation of something new has a certain fun to it. Debating on what it will look like, what the primary colours will be, will they butcher it as they always tend to do with thirds (I’m looking at your latest, Islanders).

And then this happened over the summer…

Oh yeah, don't forget that the back is a different colour.
Oh yeah, don’t forget that the back is a different colour.

I think a lot of people thought it was a joke, but now that the team has finally started wearing this abomination on the ice, in actual professional hockey games, I guess we have to look at it in the pantheon of all-time terrible hockey uniforms. Giving a lot of the accidents that happened in the 90’s, such as the Kings Burger King uniform, or the brutal Blues thirds that Mike Keenan refused to have his team wear, or the incredible Wild Wing uniform out in Anaheim, the new Buffalo Sabres jersey has to be considered one of the worst ever.

This is awful. I like the idea of a yellow Sabres jersey. But there is so much wrong here, it’s almost hard to make the list. Two shades of yellow. Ridiculous white piping that doesn’t go all the way down. A wrist area that looks like it was wrapped in duct tape. The absolutely, completely unnecessary “Buffalo” wordmark above the emblem. The mishmash of colours around the collar. And maybe the potentially most interesting idea, but yet another flub on this mess: the different colour on the back (it is dark blue, the same as on the shoulders).

Disaster. The people who made this, and even worse, those who approved it, should no longer have jobs.

The Sabres thirds are an ugly joke. Much like their season, so I guess it is all pretty fitting. I love when new unis come out. Especially when they are such easy targets, as this one is. I have yet to talk to someone who thinks they are nice. I wonder how the sales are? I can definitely see that they will have some kitsch value down the road. Much like the now, sort-of-beloved-but-still-really-hated Islanders fisherman jerseys. I would kill for one of those.