By Allan Muir
So the unveiling of the jerseys that Team USA will wear in Sochi didn't exactly go off without a hitch this morning in Arlington, Va.
First, Nike PR scooped the official ceremony by releasing the images about 10 minutes early. Then event MC Kathryn Tappen prefaced the unveiling with the phrase, "I know this doesn't seem like a big deal," which seems an odd choice considering that the whole point of the event was to reveal the jerseys.
But, hey, at least none of the players slipped and broke his neck while walking out onto the ice while wearing the new duds.
Anyway, here they are:
First thoughts? Pretty bad. Pretty, pretty, pretty bad.
The vintage-y logo? It's a callback to the design worn in the 1920s and '30s. It's not bad, but it's not exactly original, either.
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Not sure what's up with that shade of blue. (There's a perfectly good one on the flag.) And those shiny stars sublimated on the shoulders? Looks like something you'd find on a Care Bear.
And the fake lacing? Good lord, the fake lacing!
But they did manage to print, "Land of the free, home of the brave," on the inside of the collar where no one will ever see it, so that's something.
Ultimately, it comes down to performance. If Team USA comes through, these jerseys will become iconic. Until that happens though, I'm guessing that these won't be too well received outside of the 4-10 demographic. What do you think? Are you swelling with national pride as you rush out to buy one, or are you ready to take up arms to ensure that Nike never designs another hockey jersey ever again?