I'm Saving Hockey: A BTN March 27th Recap

Friends don't let friends wear teal.

I'll never forget the first day I saw them: November 4th, 1967 was a quiet Saturday in Oakland, and I had been fortunate enough to get tickets during my R&R for two brand new expansion teams, the Penguins and the Seals.  Settling into my seat at the simply-named Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena, I was looking forward to watching the old veteran Andy Bathgate lead this new team from the heart of north-eastern America to prosperity, as well as watching the Seals from that pinko hippie-haven California get their asses handed to them.  As the teams emerged from their locker room, my jaw dropped to the floor.

With dizzying speed, a flurry of pastels rushed past my eyes in a blur of green and baby blue.  I checked my ticket to make sure I hadn't purchased stubs for a Dick Button All-Star Figure Skating Show by accident.  Nope.  This was really hockey, and these were really hockey players playing in colors I wouldn't wish on my wife's apron.  I mean, Val Fonteyne looked pretty ghastly already, but can you imagine him in the equivalent of a Care Bears sweatshirt?  And am I supposed to think these Oakland players were tough and intimidating when their mascot's previous gig was as a plush toy for little girls?  For the love of Gerry Ehman, what was the NHL thinking?

After throwing up my hot dog and RC Cola, I left the Oakland Coliseum County Arena Stadium Rink...whatever it was called...and began thinking hard about my life.  What had seemed such a bright future for me and my beloved sport now looked more like Candy Land.  Little did I know that teams like Pittsburgh and Oakland had begun a vicious cycle for hockey jerseys, where each generation would try to trump the atrocities of their forebears.  And so it went with the Los Angeles Kings, and the Vancouver Canucks, and the New York Islanders...I honestly think the WHA was sent to kill me.  The hockey entrepreneurs had crapped a rainbow on the good professional jersey, and we've never recovered.

Long story short, I blame warm weather teams for the pastels, but I blame Pittsburgh for firing the initial shot.  Please, teams, stop trying new designs and get back to primary colors.  As for you, San Jose Sharks, you should probably just wear camo.

This week's fetid fudge dragons articles:

Monday: 2-on1s, Breakaways and Shootouts

Grandpa's Analysis: Of course 2-on-1s are so valuable, two players equal the potential for twice the heart and inspiration.  One man simply cannot match that alone, unless that man is Tie Domi.

Tuesday: The League of Extraordinary Statisticians: Sample Size

GA: Let me talk to a player for 5 minutes I can tell you his future, his past, and whether he wears boxers or briefs.  Don't ask.

Wednesday: Frequently Asked Questions #11: Luck in the NHL

GA: Wait, he didn't just call it what I think he called it, did he?  What "...in the NHL"?  Luck? LUCK?! AAARRGGHHH!!!

Thursday: Anatomy of a Dominated Team, Part One

GA: These pictures, though helpful, are a clever trick to indoctrinate me into your stat-head ways.  The Commies and Smurfs tried to pull the same tricks, but I'm proud to say they could never get past my steely, stubborn ignorance.

Friday: Frequently Asked Questions #12: Score Effects

GA: C'mon Gabe, pick a side already.  Do shots matter?  Or don't they?  All that time in the California sun has made you too comfortable with flip-flops.

Saturday: Trevor Gillies: The NHL's Mario Mendoza

GA: Trevor Gillies is a saint.  And he's full of heart and inspires his team.  Calculate that...

I guess I'd be more upset if I knew who the hell Mario Mendoza is.

Let's just put it this way: the WHA and the Russian Super League made a practice of wearing jersey monstrosities, and where are they now?

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