USA Hockey Jerseys: The Good, The Bad, and The Ones You Shouldn't Complain About

Earlier today, USA Hockey revealed the jerseys that are going to be worn by Team USA at the Sochi 2014 Olympics. From what I've seen on social media, people are really, really not happy about them.

(Really? People are upset about something being worn during the Olympics?! WHOA, shocker!)

Personally, my first reaction was, "Oooooh, love them!" so, uh, clearly I'm not in the majority here. I'm also not the biggest hockey aficionado, so I decided to look up old U.S. hockey jerseys for comparison -- I mean, is there a reason people are so disgusted by this jersey? Have we had real gems of sportswear in the past?

Well, to put it plainly...

No, we haven't. Thus, I present;

1. It pays homage to the golden teams of the past. This is incredibly awesome. Have past jerseys done this? Either way, I'd have to imagine it'd be pretty damn inspirational pulling this jersey over your head and being reminded that your country hasn't won a gold medal in 34 years. (Interestingly, both gold medals in hockey won by the U.S. were won in the U.S. Coincidence? Home ice advantage? What the heck happened in Salt Lake City, boys?)

2. The whole thing is a throwback, basically. American Olympic hockey jerseys rocked a crest front and center from 1920 through 1948, and featured a small crest all the way through 1964. We're essentially returning to our roots.

The U.S. Olympic hockey team in 1932. Look familiar?

3. It evokes the flag without actually being the flag. Unless you'd rather...

There are six stripes on the bottom of that puppy. That's literally half the flag.
 4. Sneaky, hidden patriotism. That's pretty much how America rolls when it comes to bleeding red, white and blue. We may not show it, but when the Olympics roll around, we all have a secret patriotic streak.

5. The U.S. played in throwback jerseys for a few games during the 2010 Olympics anyway...

Wait, is this 2010 or 1960?
So why not just go whole hog?

6. The flag logo was (and is) kind of dumb. It's uber-American, sure, but why are we so into flag imagery? Stars and stripes aren't enough? We have to declare to the world, "HELLO EVERYONE, this is what our FLAG looks like! Remember? 'Cause it's a flag!" Pretty sure that's self-explanatory.

Also, it's USA Hockey's logo. Why was this ever put on jerseys in the first place? What if other sports had the USA from their NGB's logo on its jerseys?

Uh, cute...??

 Also also, why is it USA Hockey's logo in the first place? It's rather glaringly missing, oh, I don't know, hockey imagery? Every other NGB has somehow made their sport a part of their logo. It's not like a hockey stick is a hard thing to work into a logo. Make it one of the legs on the A or the tail on the Y and you're good to go!

But thankfully, in 2010 the IOC banned sports from having their federation's logo on their jerseys and we were back to the classic block "USA" in Vancouver.

7. The stars are subtle. Plastic-y, yes, but they look almost black, and the shiny-ness is actually a really cool effect.

Does he not look star-spangled without being obnoxiously star-spangled? [x]
 Unless you'd rather...

These were the 1976 Canada Cup jerseys, not the Olympics, but still. The '70s were a scary time, man.

8. It makes us look like a hockey dynasty. (Which, as the new jerseys so kindly remind us all, we are not.) Something about the crest just makes it look/feel like a big deal.

I think those photos make the players look extremely impressive. These, however...

Good lord. [x]
...Yeah, not so much.

The only thing that irks me about the 2014 jerseys is the fake lacing. Kiiiinda weird. But overall, I'm a big fan of the classic look. It's very no-frills, but the stars give it a touch of special.

And hey, Team USA is going to be playing Russia, in Russia this time, with the son of a 1980 U.S. player on the U.S. roster and the grandson of the 1980 Soviet Union coach potentially on the Russian roster. Maybe we can recreate the 1980 magic? A girl can dream, right? ;)

What do you think of the 2014 jerseys?

(All info about & pictures of jerseys from the past courtesy of -- thanks for doing all the hard work for me!)

1 comment :

  1. How can you post that 1976 jersey and say it's anything but a gem?