It's hockey season once again. And not a moment too soon. Even after a blessedly short summer, I was starting to slip into thinking about national politics until the puck dropped last week. I understand that the rest of you might not be so eager, so let's ease into things with a look at the cult of wearing a hockey jersey for a decidedly non-hockey reason. That is, jersey as everyday fashion statement — the mere thought of which might make the more grizzled NHL vets (say, Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, Tiger Williams) roll over in their retirement to once again kick some ass.
For the rest of us, click on any pic for a closer look.
There are just not enough words to describe the atrocity of shaving a jersey into one's hairy back (for starters, think about the fact that he had to have a willing accomplice), but that's how some roll. Just pray he's not sitting in front of you.
Maybe you don't want to call quite so much attention to yourself off the ice — out in the dusty Montana sagebrush or wherever. No worries. There's a jersey for that.
Armed services? Check.
Or maybe you'd rather rock the Kiss Army jersey? Got that too.
In fact, The Internets are just completely lousy with hockey jerseys for bands (believe it or not, also with jerseys for poker tours, tournaments, websites, and even individual players) — only a couple of which would I be proud to wear to the rink for some shinny. Can't say I'm a real fan of the band, but that White Zombie jersey is to die and return to life as the undead for. On the other side of the coin, the Backstreet Boys fans needed a jersey. Really?
Or maybe you think wrestling guys like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin are cooler than any of these folks, and you want to wear his name across your chest while kicking it around the — uh — wherever it would be that you and your buddies drink cases of Keystone Light.
Me, I'd rather drink a local old-school brew with a decent logo, some street cred, and a sweet "sweater" available.
Royalty? Damn skippy we got royalty. Check out this shot of Queen Elizabeth II with Canadian PM Stephen Harper. I've got about as much patience for monarchies as I have for Glenn Fucking Beck, but that jersey in the background there would be a cool snot rag to fart around the house in while listening to Never Mind the Bollocks.
Politics? Sure. Got both winners (damn, these presidents get so much freaking shwag it's not even funny)...
My personal favorite though — for its pitch-perfect early-'80s font, logo, and overall styling (very Charlestown Chiefs, actually) — would have to be that of The Organ Grinder.
Apparently, it was a huge pizza joint in Toronto that produced this now-vintage marvel. But I prefer to imagine The Organ Grinder as a small-town butcher shop outside Kamloops sponsoring a team of 50-somethings in the local beer league.
Best part of the jersey? The flip side.
There are even jerseys to support good causes — the best among them being Haitian-born Georges Laraque's entry to support post-earthquake Haiti. A very cool jersey, actually. And Laraque will always get credit in my book for being not only the toughest guy in the league, but an outstandingly sportsmanlike one as well ("Good luck, man.")