Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, which means MLB teams will be wearing green uniforms. Some minor league hockey and basketball teams will probably get into the act too, along with some college baseball teams, and green unis have already been on display this week in the NBA.
But anyone can throw on a green jersey or cap. It takes real commitment to do what the UHL’s Kalamazoo Wings have been doing for the past quarter-century: Every St. Paddy’s Day, they dye their ice green (additional views here and here, plus there’s a whole gallery here).
Clifford Zang, who first brought the hielo verde to my attention, says he thinks the Wings “might be the first team to have changed the color of their ice, although I couldn’t find any proof of that.” He also pointed me toward this excellent interview with the team’s GM, who explains how the promotion came about, how they color the ice, and how they’ve spun off some related ideas (like pink ice for Valentine’s Day).
But the Wings aren’t the only team who’ll have green ice this weekend. Reader Ian Borkowski, who lives in Oregon, checks in with the following report:
The Portland Winter Hawks and the Seattle Thunderbirds (both of the Western Hockey League) will be holding a joint Turn Back the Clock weekend on Friday in Seattle and then on Saturday in Portland. Seattle will wear green 1967-75 Totems sweaters (likely these) and Portland will wear white Buckaroos sweaters (likely these). But the Winter Hawks — my beloved Winter Hawks — are going to ruin it all by playing on green ice for the Saturday game.
Now, I’m not anti-Ireland or hatin’ on the Irish here — far from it. But if you stop for a moment and think about the Portland/Seattle rivalry, green has always been the color of the enemy — Seattle! Except for the Seattle Breakers in blue and orange, green has been a primary color for the skaters up north. Has Portland management forgotten that we used to play Kermit the Frog’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green” when the T-Birds would step on the Memorial Coliseum ice?
My, my — who knew green could be so fraught? As it happens, green is my favorite color, but I’ll be spending tomorrow night with some friends at Spanish/Portuguese restaurant, where I expect the only thing green will be the olives.
Yet Another Raffle: I trust that most of you have entered our latest Distant Replays raffle, which is keyed to the NCAA tournament. But listen up, cuz I’ve got something special to give away in the meantime: a Tracy McGrady authentic NBA All-Star jersey, complete with tagging, the All-Star logo on the chest, the Rockets logo on the back, and so on.
Much like the NHL All-Star jersey I raffled off back in January, I’m gonna set this one up as a fund-raiser. Here’s the deal: $3 for one virtual raffle ticket, or two for $5, five for $10, a dozen for $20, or fifty for $50. PayPal your ticket purchases to me at paul_lukas at earthlink dot net. If you’re not PayPal-ish, you can send cash or a check to Paul Lukas, 671 DeGraw St., Brooklyn, NY 11217 (just e-mail me to let me know the $$$ is in the mail, and I’ll include you in the drawing even if the envelope doesn’t arrive by the deadline). Tickets will be sold until next Friday, March 23rd, at 5pm eastern. I’ll announce the winner on Monday the 26th.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Yet another team that will be wearing green this weekend: Arizona State’s baseball team, which will be donning green caps (here’s how they looked last year). Randy Policar, the school’s Assistant Sports Information Director, adds the following: “It looks like we’ll be wearing nine different jerseys this season, which may be an NCAA record. We have old-school cream homes, classic white homes, maroon BP tops, maroon alternate, old-school gray roads, sleeveless gray roads, a black alternate jersey, a gold alternate jersey, and we also will be doing a Negro League-style throwback jersey this year.” I’m not sure that’s really the sort of record a team should be shooting for, y’know? … Really good article here about all the zeroes and double-zeroes in college basketball. … This particular instance of logo creep makes perfect sense to me. … Reader Bryan Duklewski has turned up some pics of lovable Colts stalwart/drunk Art Donovan wearing a dark helmet (and a clear facemask) and wanted to know the story behind that. Said story is available here. … Jeremy Brahm reports that the Champ Car World Series is changing its logo from this to this — a nice improvement, I’d say. Further details here. … Stirrups alert: Mike Bacsik. … Nice little bit of propaganda about the new MLB caps here. … 2002 Olympic downhill champion Fritz Strobl ended his career yesterday by dressing up as Mozart for his final run at the World Cup finals. Could’ve been worse. … Casey Hannigan was checking some photos of former Vanderbilt point guard Mario Moore, who’s now playing in Slovenia, and found “the ugliest uniforms I think I have ever seen.” He makes a pretty strong case. … “Boston College’s Sean Marshall (No. 23) wore a T-shirt under his jersey for every game this season, and he did it again in the first half of Thursday’s game against Texas Tech,” writes David Conley. “But in the second half he came out with no undershirt for the first time all season and actually had a terrific half.”