Friday, August 21, 2009
Todays Curious, Weird and Ugly™ Collection jersey is the single most embarrassing jersey to ever see the ice in an NHL game.
The 1995-96 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim alternate jersey was one of the original five alternate jerseys in the NHL. Doing away with the traditional main logo crest, the Mighty Ducks used the dye-sublimation process to create a unique design picturing not the team's logo, but an embarrassing cartoon of it's mascot, Wild Wing, bursting through the ice in a superhero pose.
The team only made matters worse with its choice for the name and numbers, the cartoonish, unattractive and difficult to read font, Mistral.
The jersey, dubbed "The Wild Wing Jersey" almost always ranks first or second in "worst jersey" lists due to it's embarrassing cartoon "logo" design, horrible font and trendy non-hockey color for the jerseys. The players hated being seen wearing them and, as a result, the jersey only had a life span of six games before being shelved for good. The game dates were 1/27/96 vs. Los Angeles (who wore their Burger King jerseys, making for the single most visually appalling game in league history), 2/2/96 vs. the Hartford Whalers, 3/3/96 vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3/8/96 vs. the Buffalo Sabres, 4/3/96 vs. the Edmonton Oilers and one final time on 4/12/96 vs. the Dallas Stars, going 3-2-1 in those games.
I've even read an account that the players said they did not want any pictures of them wearing the jersey in the next year's Mighty Ducks media guide or to have to wear them for a second season.
Little is known about who was involved in the development of the Wild Wing and what their thought process was. Apparently no one wants to take credit for being responsible for the worst jersey in NHL history, but you can safely bet that non-hockey people at Disney had a large part in such an unconventional approach to hockey sweater design.
As a result of it's short period of use, there were no additional patches worn on this jersey, not that you would be able to pick one out among all the visual noise of the design anyway.
This jersey must be classified as "Weird" and "Ugly". If it weren't for then owner Disney's involvement with the jersey, I'd include "curious", but with Disney involved, there's no curiosity as to where this monstrosity came from. Perhaps we'll allow ourselves a bit of leeway in the case of this jersey, and also classify this one as "Stupid".
In all honesty, if you strip away the cartoon logo and font used, the jersey pattern of the pointed shoulder area, similar to the current Penguins home jerseys of the day, and sleeve striping is a good base from which to work from. But the accolades stop there.
The primary jade color of the jersey was just too trendy, too "California", to embrace. The font was thin and reedy and much too busy for it's own good. The secondary logos were hard enough to live with on the home and road jerseys for traditionalists, but the front of the jersey?
It's the stupidest thing we've ever seen on an NHL jersey, bar none.
Here are the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim debuting their new "Wild Wing" jerseys against the Los Angeles Kings, who were wearing their awful "Burger King" jerseys for the first time during same game.
Next, a goal by Paul Kariya while the Worst Dressed Game in NHL History continues.