As some of us know as hockey fans, we definitely have our favourite team and we definitely have our favourite jersey.
How some of us view or make use of our jerseys are sometimes very different from each other.
Some of us are very happy with just getting our favourite team’s home jersey with no name on the back. They just show support for the team they’re cheering for. Some of us want the authentic-cut jersey that the players wear on the ice; that’s if you’re a hardcore fan.
It doesn’t matter how you wear it, it doesn’t matter when you wear it, all what matters is that you’re doing it for the game that you love and nothing else.
On occasion, you might see a jersey and think; “Hey, that is an interesting design.” Someone may post a picture of it on the internet and it might get some buzz on social media. Some of you might stop scrolling and take a good look at it and give it a quick like. Some of you may look a little more into it and find out the jerseys are for a charitable cause. Some of these jersey designs are cool and some are downright ridiculous but it’s worth a good chuckle or a jaw-dropping reaction. A lot of these jerseys are made for promotional efforts and auctioned off for charity and that’s just another reason why hockey is one of the greatest sports on Earth. Sometimes though, the cause goes deeper and beyond the colours of the jersey There is definitely cultural symbolism with some of these jerseys. Some of which have caused some controversy.
Military Inspired Camouflage Jerseys:
A lot of NHL teams are on board with wearing these military inspired jerseys during warm ups to support and recognize the national military. Fans have polarizing views of these jerseys but they’re not meant to promote style, it’s to promote a good cause. Some people have said that these jerseys don’t serve a purpose and don’t help the military BUT if you care about how it helps the military then you have to know where your money is going before you buy military inspired merchandise.
The MSE (Monumental Sports & Entertainment) Foundation recently raised $46,000 during a Washington Capitals home game on February 5th, 2016 by auctioning military-inspired Washington Capitals jerseys. The funds acquired are used to help family members of soldiers who serve in the military, soldiers with PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) and war amputees. The jerseys were autographed and sold during the event. Not only were these jerseys sold to raise funds; equipment such as pucks, helmets, sticks and others were also sold to raise funds for this honourable cause.
It’s mostly just at these private auctions where money is raised for these kinds of charities. Most official sports retail outlets that offer military camouflage jerseys are only sold for profit unless otherwise stated that proceeds from each sale goes towards a charity. Some retail outlets do sell these jerseys but some don’t because they don’t want a controversial image of using the military fashion to cash in on a quick profit. It’s not just jerseys where the camouflage design is used, it’s on hats, toques and shirts as well. Soldiers who have served in the military dislike the fact that retail outlets use the military image for profit because it’s a weak expression of support for the military plus the image of the military is taken advantage of for promotional purposes so corporations can make a profit.
Star Wars Themed Jerseys:
It’s easy to admit that these jerseys are ‘out-of-the-box’ in terms of jersey design. For Star Wars fans who love hockey, they are some of the most epic jersey designs ever. The Vancouver Giants and Saskatoon Blades of the WHL (Western Hockey League) each had a Star Wars night in honour of the most successful 2015 box office hit; Star Wars – The Force Awakens.
Star Wars night for the Saskatoon Blades was held on November 28th, 2015 and the entire Saskatoon Blades team wore these jerseys for their home game against the Edmonton Oil Kings. The jerseys were not just meant to bring nerds to hockey games but it was for charity. The player-worn jerseys were signed by the players and auctioned after the game. Proceeds from the auction went towards the Food Banks of Saskatchewan.
The Vancouver Giants had their own version of these beautiful Star Wars jerseys as well but unlike the Blades, the Giants went to the “dark side”. The Giants wore them for their home game on December 4th, 2015 against the Kootenay Ice. Just like what the Blades did, the Giants team also signed these jerseys and auctioned them off for charity. The proceeds went to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
L.A. Dodgers Pride Night Jerseys:
The Los Angeles Kings have a ‘Dodgers Pride Night’ once per season. It’s based from the partnership agreement between the Los Angeles Kings and the Los Angeles Dodgers, a Major League Baseball team. It’s a promotion as much as it is a charitable cause for both major sports teams. Fans that go to this annual event don’t only watch the game but get a L.A. Kings themed baseball and a chance to win prizes at the game.
The Dodger’s inspired hockey sweaters that were used for warm up were signed and auctioned after the game. Proceeds went to the Kings Care Foundation.
Flint Firebirds “Tropics” Jerseys:
Based from the 2008 box office hit Semi-Pro, these jerseys were an excerpt from the Flint Tropics, the name of Basketball team in the movie. Since it’s the Flint Firebirds we’re talking about here, wouldn’t it be convenient to have the “Jackie Moon” approved Flint Tropic hockey jerseys for a promotional event?
That’s exactly what the Flint Firebirds did as they hosted a “Flint Tropics Night” in Flint, Michigan. The Firebirds hosted the Owen Sound Attack on February 13th, 2016 for the event. It was a big highlight for the Firebirds as they were having an awful season dealing with numerous ownership disputes and a lot of losing games. The jerseys were auctioned off after the game for charity and it was one night the Firebirds and the fans had fun regardless on the outcome of the game.
St. Patty Day Hockey Jerseys:
Like the military jerseys, the St. Patty Day jerseys are used by many NHL teams for pre-game warm ups but without the controversy. It’s great promo as St. Patty’s day is very popular and if you didn’t guess already the pre-game warm up jerseys are signed and auctioned off for charity by many teams. Whether it’s an NHL team or some junior league team partaking in this, it’s a very popular event in Canada and the United States. It always produces great results because it’s a great excuse to celebrate Spring and a great reason to order up a few pints of Guinness for yourself and your friends.
How could someone hate St. Patrick’s Day?
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by Mike Keitsch