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Hockey Canada, Czech Republic, Pro Bowl unveil new uniforms for 2014
Team Canada officially unveiled its home, away, and alternate hockey jerseys for the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Tuesday morning... and, yes, they were the ones you already saw.
Immediate response when the tunics were leaked a couple week ago on Reddit was, well, negative. Personally, I think they're a little gutless – to borrow a phrase hockey players use so much. Could Nike have picked a blander, more neutered way to clothe the only athletes we'll really watch start-to-finish? Every one of these shirts is devoid of any personality whatsoever. The only nice touch is that little pyramid of gold in the bottom right-hand corner, although that's already overshadowed by the Goebbels-esque red-and-yellow bend on the arm of the black sweater.
Oh, who am I kidding. I'll buy one... how else am I going to get a Canada jersey with 'MARCHAND' on the back?
Hockey Canada's Bob Nicholson did offer up a quote on the organization's official media release, but it was all PR-like and kind of boring. Something about 'Canadian pride' and 'history' or 'heritage'. So, to save time, here's what the release said about Canada's Red jersey, perhaps the prettiest of the three (The Score):
"The iconic red jersey celebrates the rich history of hockey in Canada. From the vintage-inspired logo on the new lightweight front crest to the Canadian flag on the sleeve and the maple leaf graphics on the shoulders, the new jersey represents Canada from top to bottom."
Meanwhile, when it comes to the Czech's Republic's Twenty-Fourteen digs... I kinda like 'em.
Remember, I'm not Czech, so there could be some major hullaballoo or outrage I'm missing or just not aware of, and the shirts certainly aren't conventional, definitely that flag one. But, this has got to be the only ensemble that properly uses the "electronic lace" look Nike is going for with all of their jerseys (NOTE to Nike: never do this again) and it's different, but in a stylish way.
Nike introduced Czech jerseys for Sochi Olympics. pic.twitter.com/evCe9H7VUq— Pavel Barta (@bartic63) October 7, 2013
Of course, Olympic announcements like these only show the front of the jersey. I've always found the names and numbers tend to really determine how they look on the ice, so it would be nice to see an actual athlete's digits and family dynasty printed on the back for show-and-tell. We know Crosby, Toews, and Canada will be suiting up for Canada. Same goes for Krejci, Voracek, and probably Jagr. So, let us see what they look like.
Not to be lost in a uniform-off of slightly less-than-epic proportions was the NFL. Only, while their last two years – fashion-wise – have been marked by the impressive Seattle Seahawks redesign and deplorable changes to Miami's and Jacksonville's home and aways, Tuesday's announcement was instead about the one NFL game nobody cares about or watches: the Pro Bowl.
(*Photo via NFL on Facebook)
Of course, only Hawaiians will get to watch these in action... live. And, to the rest of us, we'll wonder why Jeff Bridges isn't lapping these guys on a neon-lit bike.