Your Los Angeles Kings unveiled their new alternate jersey this past Saturday, November 22 during a shootout loss to Colorado in front of a sold out crowd at the Staples Center. For those of you that haven't seen the Kings new alternate jersey, here it is:
This jersey clearly recalls the Kings heyday of the late 80's to mid 90's, otherwise known as the Gretzky era, with it's black and silver color scheme. It was around this time, when I was about 10 or 11 that I started watching and generally becoming interested in hockey, and being that I was an L.A. resident, the Kings were, and still are my team. It would be about another 5 or so years until I would start playing.
So with that little bit of exposition out of the way, I am torn on this new jersey. I have truly mixed feelings...
Okay, so the crest, I'm pretty sure I'm liking the crest. It's bold without looking like the Chevy emblem. But it's lacking a horizontal stripe at the bottom. To me the horizontal stripe at the waist makes a jersey look more like a jersey and less like a sweater which is what was worn by the Original Six. My biggest problem with the jersey is the very thing that the Kings purposely instituted into it's design, and that is the color scheme.
Look, I can't stress enough how much better these colors look without a Chevy logo adorning them, but if you remember back about ten years, one of the chief reasons the Kings moved away from the silver and black was due to the strong gang affiliation these particular colors held. It's the same reason why there are still so many Raiders fans out here. It's less about the team and more about the menacing implications of the colors. Silver and Black = Mean and Scary.
Out here in Los Angeles back when the Kings were wearing these colors during the Gretzky era, you had gangbangers who couldn't tell a hockey puck from a doorknob, walking around rocking a Kings Jersey. And if it would have meant more fans for my team then that would have been great. More people in the stands cheering them on, fucken awesome! I'm all for that. But that just wasn't the case.
The proof is in the pudding (whatever the fuck that actually means), but you just don't see these same folks, from the casual to the non fan, walking around in one of the Kings current purple jersey's
"Hey, I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out."
I'm not looking to hold onto a homogenized and gentrified fanbase, as is so stereotypically associated with ice hockey. Ice hockey is second maybe only to soccer by way of diversity, but the sport I love has a bad enough reputation as it is, however unjustified it may be. Even though hockey players are some of the absolute warmest and most approachable guys around. And I'm not narrowing the field to only include professional athletes.
Sure, sometimes some dirty shit goes down on the ice. But you know what, that's where it stays - on the ice. And that's why I'm so afraid of people misrepresenting my sport by wearing this new alternate jersey simply for the colors, or the big fat "L.A." sewn into the crest, and not because they actually like the team, my team, the Los Angeles Kings.
That being said, I'll probably be sporting one of these bad boys before the year is up.