By Phil Hecken
Last night, the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks played an outdoor game in Dodger Stadium, part of the NHL’s “Stadium Series” designed to include more stadia in their very successful outdoor hockey agenda. This was the first regular season outdoor game that didn’t fall into their “Classic” (either “Winter Classic,” played on New Year’s Day, or “Heritage Classic,” played in Canada). It was also the first regular season outdoor game to be played in California.
I actually watched the entire game, including the two intermissions, and pre-game, and it was really, really well done. The teams packed 54,099 into Dodger Stadium, and I’m pretty sure everyone left satisfied.
Sure, there were a set of new uniforms for each team. We’ll get to those in a bit (we’ve seen them all previewed anyway). But when you’re putting on a game in one of the most beautiful places (not to mention stadiums) in the world, you don’t do the “traditional” winter/hockey things.
Where to start?
The game was played in Dodger Stadium, one of the oldest and most historic in baseball, but it had never hosted an NHL game before. Naturally, IT was the real star of the show.
• Daytime views of inside the stadium were spectacular.
• And nighttime views, just before puck drop, were equally gorgeous.
• Interestingly enough, the stadium’s primary tenant, decided to take a lighthearted dig at hockey in Southern California.
• If you looked at the overhead shots, you saw there was more than just a rink inside the Stadium. There was also a beach volleyball court. So, naturally, there was beach volleyball (a quintessential SoCal sport) played.
• Several players (Getzlaf, Fowler and Lindholm) kicked around a soccer ball to relax before the game.
• It being ‘Hollywood,’ lots of stars showed up, including some famous bearded relievers.
• A couple of lucky Kings & Ducks fans got to sit on the infield (for a part of the game).
Intros & Puck Drop:
• What would a game in Dodger Stadium be without Vin Scully? Well, he (and LA Kings announcer Bob Miller) didn’t call the game, but they did the opening intros. Nice!
• And what would a sporting event in LA be without the USC Marching Band? Yup, they led the players out of the locker rooms.
• Even the National Anthem was great, with Jordin Sparks doing a nice rendition.
• The rock group KISS was tapped to perform during both the pregame and first intermission.
Taking the Ice:
• Jonas Hiller of the Ducks stretched out before the game. Because it was a special game, he had a special mask. As you can see, it said “Stadium” across the top. You’ll also note that he was very orange.
• Traditionally, hockey head coaches wear a jacket and tie behind the bench, but Kings Head Coach Darryl Sutter went with a sweet jacket (so did the other Kings coaches).
• Ducks Head Coach, Bruce Boudreau, on the other hand, went the traditional route.
• Ducks: As you saw, the Ducks wore orange and black, with black helmets and orange socks. On their right shoulders, they wore a Stadium Series patch. The patch looks like this close up. They had gold, white and black stripes on each sleeve, and the letters “OC” on their left shoulders (that stands for “Orange County”).
• Kings: The Kings wore black helmets and gray sweaters, with black pants and gray socks. Like the Ducks, on their right shoulders, the Kings had the Stadium Series patch, and on their left shoulders, an “LA” logo.
• The game itself was color vs. color. And it looked good. Here’s hoping the NHL would consider more of these games.
• Although the final score was 3-0 Ducks, the game was actually pretty close. And it had a little bit of everything.
• There was some on-ice stick re-taping.
• Penalties. No one likes to be sent to the sin bin.
• Rough play. These teams don’t like each other. Also note the eyeblack!
• A penalty shot.
That Other Outdoor Game:
• I mentioned this was the first regular season outdoor game the Kings played, but it wasn’t the first time they played outdoors.
• It was mentioned, but I didn’t write it down, but I believe they said the temperature was 96 degrees for that game. It was definitely in the 90s.
• And who dropped the puck last night? Why it was none other than the guy who played in that 1991 game, Wayne Gretzky.
And finally, I leave you with this, “Losing feels worse than winning feels good.”
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
We begin today with Bryan Moss, with a new look for the Jets:
Next up is David Firestone with some NASCAR concepts:
Here are two NASCAR tweaks. The Make the Logo Bigger blog inspired me to take Denny Hamin’s old design and replace it with the larger logo for a rather unique look. I also photoshopped a throwback design for Kasey Kahne in the 5 car.
We close today with a reader who goes by “Phantom Qup”, and who has a Sonics concept:
This is my first ever concept submission, for the Sonics. I’ve eliminated the triple striping, which I love, but for the purpose of my design it had to go. The yellow on the collar, side stripe, shorts, and short stripe make an “S” similar to their logo. Comments??
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: Stan the Man lives! “So I was driving though the mountains of central PA about 30 min north of Harrisburg and I see this!” writes Charlie Charnigo. At first I just thought it was a giant cardinal…then I realize it is a giant St. Louis Cardinal and then I realize it was a tribute to Stan Musial.” … Ellis Valentine (yes that Ellis Valentine!) tweeted at Paul & me that we “might be interested” in this gear (which stemmed from this twitter convo). … The Vancouver Canadians introduced a nice logo update. Plus, since it was Brandiose, a Mountie carrying some bats (h/t Brandon Sparks). … The Cleveland Indians have released their 2014 promotional schedule, which includes bobbleheads, fireworks and jersey giveaways. … New home and road batting practice smocks for the Twins (h/t @CalebTheSpy). … The White Sox have new batting practice ‘Diamond Era’ caps this year (h/t Harrison Tishler). … “The unusual uniform number choice of Jose Abreu, the White Sox’ new Cuban slugger, was on display this weekend at the team’s SoxFest,” writes Clint Wrede. “According to the Chicago Tribune, ‘The unorthodox No. 79 Abreu will wear was chosen by his mom because people would remember it’.” … Japanese baseball players’ freedom to chew gum is going, going, gone! (thanks, Brinke)
NFL News: I’m pretty sure we’ve seen these before, but one more couldn’t hurt. Patrick O’Neill sends this link to a Bloomingdale’s site where designers have made fashion football helmets in anticipation of the Super Bowl in NYC. … John Koziol found it interesting to see Deion Sanders wearing Under Armour tennis shoes at the Pro Bowl draft this week. Same neon green and all. John wondered if he has a UA sponsorship deal. I did some digging and I’d have to say “yes.”. … Here’s a pretty sweet photo of the Super Bowl patch being applied to a Seahawks jersey.
College/High School Football News: “Amazing action photo from the transition between helmeted and helmet less,” writes Pete Hoelter. “In the background is the Illinois State Capitol. Halloween Day, 1931. SHS Senators (with the ball) VS. Peoria Central Maroons.” Also from Pete: This photo is from a glass plate negative in the collection of the State Journal Register. “I first saw it on the NPR site.” … Notre Dame enthusiast Warren Junium tells us ND official gloves are available for purchase. … I’m not sure if these are official, but check out these new helmets for USF football. … Hmmm — Looks like Pitt will have gold jerseys next year and are those MUSTARD (“Pitt Script”) helmets??? (h/t Jake Smith) Ran that photo by Kek and he thinks they’re block PITT. Dang. … For those who care, they played the Senior Bowl yesterday, with the South winning 20-10. Nothing uni-notable, but check out this UA branded visor.
NBA News: When ESPN was showing highlights of Carmelo’s crazy game Friday night, they still use the old style jersey on the graphic (nice spot by Mike Olson).
Hockey News: There’s another Stadium Series game today (Rangers vs. Devils) and yesterday the Rangers soaked up Yankee Stadium atmosphere. … The St. Cloud State Hockey shoulder patch is in the shape of the State of Minnesota, notes Barry Brite. “I’m guessing it may be new this year.” … Yesterday, Brian Boyle of the New York Rangers was throwing a baseball in the snow at Yankee Stadium before today’s Stadium Series game, writes Mark Kaplowitz. “You’ll like the socks too,” he adds. … Alexander Cohen saw this interesting jersey posted to the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) Facebook page. “It’s SKA St. Petersburg wearing what appears to be a throwback to Soviet days, as it says ‘Leningrad’ on the front.” The uniform was worn yesterday against Spartak Moscow. … The Manchester Monarchs, a farm club of the LA Kings, were to wear the infamous “Burger King” jerseys last night. … Pink in the Rink yesterday, as the Rockford Icehogs had special unis. … While camo is awful, this set of camo numbers on Notre Dame didn’t look too bad. … “No pot leaves tonight, but tOSU hockey with ALL of the hoops and stripes,” says Nicole Haase. … Dustin Byfuglien wore an NFL equipment undershirt after his game yesterday (h/t Andy VanMeerbergen)
College & High School Hoops News: “Stripes Everywhere!” says Alex Allen. The Creswell High School, Oregon, boys basketball team has striped warm-ups to match the striped uniforms. Alex tells us they’re Jordan brand. … “Unfortunately, more pink” notes Chris Perrenot. “This time, in Baylor. Coaches from both teams are wearing sneakers, too. I have no idea what’s going on.” It’s
Pinkuary Coaches vs. Cancer time again. … Speaking of Pinkuary, Marquette wore full pink yesterday vs. Villanova. Those will be available by online auction. And Creighton’s fans got into the pinkout last night as well vs. Georgetown. They wore pink shoes, plus unis w/pink numbers, wordmark & stripes (h/t @TheBestGear). … Not to be left out of the pink party, the UNC Tar Heels will wear these today. … Michigan State wore these sweet 1979 throwbacks against Michigan last night. Unfortunately, they had modern numbers & name fonts (h/t to JJ Sledge). … Jacob Armstrong attends California Baptist University who played at Azusa Pacific University last night. APU team took to the court wearing all orange basketball jerseys, a throwback to honor the ’81 team. … UK mascots Wildcat and Scratch wore Denver Broncos jerseys at halftime yesterday. … The Purdue Boilermakers warmed up in faux-tuxedo shooting shirts yesterday.
Grab Bag: “The Permanent Mark of the Beast” read the subject line of Brett Gaul’s ticker comic submission. “He’s taking it a little too far.” … Check out this 1963 Detroit Proposal for the Olympics. That stadium could have replaced Tiger Stadium. It came very close for the 68 games (h/t @Baseball_Photos). … From a concert in the 1970s, look at David Gilmour’s shirt! (h/t Darrell Dawson). … At the NBA All Star Game in New Orleans Sprite will introduce Sprite 6mix by Lebron James: Lemon-lime, cherry and orange soda (thanks to Jon).
And that’s all for today. Depending upon your pleasures, you’ve got ANOTHER outdoor hockey game this afternoon (Devils and Rangers face off at Yankee Stadium — it should be just a bit colder than the LA/Anaheim game). The game is scheduled for 12:30 pm (Eastern), and then there is the Pro Bowl, where Team Rice takes on Team Sanders at 7:30 pm (Eastern). Plus all the other sports around the nation and globe.
You guys have a great week and I’ll catch you next weekend, where I’ll be back with Gridiron Historian Timmy Brulia, who’ll have a complete uniform history of both the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks (always a great set of posts) and MUCH MUCH More.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Seeing it on ice drives home the point: color versus color works better in hockey than other sports since the surface and boards are white. It turns the whole white versus color thing on its ear… Welcome to the 21st century.”
— Joe Sewash