Reviewing The Pens' Stadium Series Unis
A few weeks back, the Penguins revealed their Stadium Series outfits for the “Bane” game against the Flyers on February 25. Figuring that since they’re playing at Heinz Field I should “ketchup” and review these fuckers. Let’s take a look:
The Jersey Front:
Hearkens back to their late 70s sweaters when they adapted the Pittsburgh “Black & Gold” color scheme, which initially for them, may not have been the best of choices going with the mustard gold as the primary look, but they were starting the era of the “We Are Family” times and just like any successful long lasting relationship, it takes development. Plus, Bruins fans would have had a beantown bitchfest if we improved on their look out of the gate. Let that animosity boil and burn. The gold triangle for the captain-alternate designation is cool, but it seems like an uninspired second choice as the Flyers used the in-set Keystone a few years back. Goony orange bastards.
The Jersey Back:
Alright, the font I have to take exception with: the “stencil steel worker” look? Cool in a way, but little third grade if you ask me. This is what college me would have done when creating an “Iron Man” fantasy team on NHL 08 after casing a six-pack of Rolling Rock, or if I wanted to make a passive-aggressive “Chuck Norris Wants You To Flush After Using” Army poster using Photoshop 4S. It’s near the 1998 Arizona Diamondback-y ranks of fonts that try too hard. Listen, I get it, I do, but no actual penguin has ever donned a welding mask, let alone stepped foot inside a steel mill. Bullshit font. If we’re going with “embrace the Steel City” mentality, throw a real curve and do Mister Rogers lettering. “Philly, we’re your neighbors, we know you can’t tie your shoes and we’re going to let our dog drop a mean log in your perennials every morning”.
The Sleeve Patch:
I like it’s simplicity, but a little big. The “City of Champions” thing is a little pretentious. Who are we - Cher? We’re fucking good, we have the best player in hockey, we don’t need some big ass badge on our arm to tell everybody we won four cups. Shrink that puppy down and throw it on the shoulder.
Hey, if you’re going the whole mustard gold route, why not double the hell down, even if you risk coming off looking like a Doozer? With that in mind, a yellow helmet takes some Fraggle Rocks.
Despite some flaws, you put all these pieces together and you’ve got a fine, straight-forward looking hockey uni. Love the seventies callback even if it’s Pacman-esque, but you could imagine a Charlestown Chief getting a call-up to throw one of these on to get ‘em bloodied up. As a straight man, I even wouldn’t be disappointed with Ned Braden stripping one of these yellow sweaters off to flash a little pasty epidermis.
To put it on some sort of reference scale - it’s much better than those now forever-haunting “Concussion Crosby” indigo blues , but not as classic as the original Winter Classics. The gold looks good.
Overall Grade: B+