Misconduct

Third Jerseys and History Lessons

Malik pointed out this morning that there's a post over at icethetics announcing that the Blackhawks will use their Winter Classic jerseys as alternates next season.

At the end of the icethetics post the following is asked:

My question to you is this: Should the Detroit Red Wings follow suit and add their Winter Classic sweater as a third jersey to be worn at, say, 5 or 6 games a year?

I'm a bit of a traditionalist so I have no burning desire for the Red Wings to have an alternate jersey. I also don't hate the idea and the Winter Classic jersey is beautiful. It looks sharp, it acknowledges a part of the team's history that's usually ignored, I added one to my collection as soon as I could. There's just one problem.

It's wrong.

I've started on rants about this before and stopped because I realize it's a big history lesson for something relatively minor. I almost wrote this when the Winter Classic jerseys were announced but I let it slide as a one-game thing. If anyone is remotely thinking about these jerseys being worn on a more regular basis, though, I have to point things out.

The Old English D that the Red Wings have trademarked and was worn on the front of their Winter Classic jerseys is not the one that the Detroit Cougars wore at Border Cities Arena during the 1926-27 season.

Take a look at the following photos from the Cougars' inaugural media guide (and if anyone happens to know where they came from, drop me a line so I can give proper credit):

Of the eight players shown there, only one is wearing the streamlined D used in the Red Wings' "vintage" merchandise. The rest are wearing a different D (not-coincidentally, one similar to the one you see in DetroitHockey.Net's logos).

Before the market for authentic team apparel took off, plenty of teams across a variety of leagues and sports would wear uniforms that were only vaguely uniform, so it's not a surprise to see players on the same team with slightly different sweaters. Without the technology to make everything identical, that's something that has to be expected, so it's not my complaint.

My complaint is that the version of the D that seems to have been the Cougars' intended crest was ignored in favor of a version that was worn much less. To me, that constitutes rewriting history and it just rubs me the wrong way, especially coming from an organization that continues to ignore the contributions of the Cougars' best player.

So if there's going to be an alternate jersey for the Red Wings, the Winter Classic one is a good choice. I just wish they'd get the crest right.

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User Comments

As a Tigers fan, the Olde English D always looks good to me...shoulder patch maybe?

I flipped when I saw title. Then I realized it was a vintage sweater.

Original six teams should never have new sweaters...vintage works fine with me, but not some radical concept ie, Winnie the Pooh Bruins sweater or Strangers Richter mask.

Posted by Stormo on 1/23/2009 at 5:59 PM

 
The Red Wings in their Winter Classic jerseys

The Red Wings in their Winter Classic jerseys
Credit: Clark Rasmussen

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