Today, Jan. 27, is a special day. For it was on this date 15 years ago — Jan. 27, 1996 — that one of the most legendarily awful uniforms in professional sports was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.
Which one? This one.
That’s right, folks — it was 15 years ago today that the storied Burger King jersey made its first appearance on the ice.
A Kings-centric blog called the Royal Half has put together a truly heroic entry to mark the 15th anniversary. They tracked down the original designers, interviewed some of the players, come up with several video clips from the game, etc. This piece is every bit as good as the uni-anniversary pieces I’ve done for ESPN, and I heartily recommend it. But in case you don’t have time to read the whole thing — or if you just want a taste of what’s in there — here are some great nuggets of info contained within the article:
• The Burger King logo originally had a gray beard. But the facial hair was changed to purple because the Kings “were a little sensitive about being a relatively old team.”
• This jersey and several others were created primary because CCM had come up with a sublimation technique that allowed for color gradations. The league basically told its designers, “We can do gradation-based designs now, so come with some of them.”
• The guy who designed the jersey also designed a more ferocious-looking version of the Bruins’ Pooh Bear alternate. So that’s a rare case of a team going with the tamer version of the animal instead of the fierce, angry version.
• Who did the Kings play in that game 15 years ago anyway? Take a look. Yes, friends, today is also the 15th anniversary of the Wild Wing jersey’s debut. So this is actually the date when two of the most legendarily awful uniforms in professional sports were unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. We should make it a national holiday or something.
There’s more — seriously, you should read the whole article. A major tip of the Uni Watch cap to the crew at the Royal Half for putting together such a great piece of historical documentation.
Giveaway reminder: I’m raffling off an official Super Bowl XLV football. Details here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Here are the Padres’ new road grays. Looks even better in the flesh than it did on the template — I like. Also, the MLB Style Guide showed them wearing the gold “SD” cap on the road, but the photo shows the white logo cap, which is obviously way better. Hope they stick with that. … The Lightning’s uni unveiling, originally slated for Monday, and then for today, has now been pushed back to next week. Lots of additional info, including a partial description of the new uni set, here (with thanks to Jeff James). … Here’s an unusual Super Bowl storyline: The official Terrible Towels are made by a Wisconsin company (thanks, Brinke). … Fascinating story about how Erin Andrews may have a conflict of interest when covering Reebok and Nike. Recommended reading (big thanks to Skyler Archibald). … We’re used to seeing UCLA and USC going color-vs.-color on the gridiron. But how about on the hardcourt? (With thanks to Bob Nolte.) … A few days ago I mentioned that Kansas was wearing a black memorial ribbon in memory of a player’s mother. Now Brad Barker reports that they’ve upgraded to an “LR” patch. Further details here (and also note Markieff Morris’s unusual NOB in the photo accompanying that last article). … As had long been rumored, new sweatbacks for Arizona. Further details here. … Roger Federer apparently likes stealing towels (thanks, Brinke). … Yesterday’s Vernon Wells press conference provided a good look at the Angels’ new sleeve patches (with thanks to Adam Stoneman). … Top-selling women’s NFL jerseys listed here (Brinke again). … Two college hoops notes from Frank Mercogliano: Nikola Cerina of TCU has a caron on his NOB, and New Mexico wore their silver alts for the first time this season. … Jerry Wolper found a 1979 article about a helmet/equipment/uni reconditioner. … Also from Jerry: When Kent Tekulve was forced to play the outfield for one batter in ’79, he was awarded a special Stargell Star on the top of his cap. That photo ran with a really good article, which I highly recommend. … RIP, Charlie. Now you and Ira can harmonize together again in the sweet hereafter.