Last weekend, the ECHL's Florida Everblades wore one of the year's ugliest minor league specialty jerseys. They were so ugly, in fact, that the players jettisoned them after only 20 minutes of action.
To be honest, the Blades' problems went deeper than jerseys. They were in the midst of a nasty rough patch, allowing 24 goals in five games.
But let's at least admit their marketing department isn't exactly helping them out. As the Everblades hit the ice last Friday (Feb. 7) against the Gwinnett Gladiators, the players wore specially-designed sweaters with a Winter Olympics theme.
Only they were "designed" by kids from a local hospital. And they were an absolute disaster — in terms of aesthetics. I think it's awesome to let sick kids help design a hockey jersey. But certainly a grown-up with taste could've come in somewhere along the way to guide the art direction a bit, no?
According to Craig Handel, Fort Myers News-Press, this happened last Friday:
The Everblades had planned to wear jerseys designed by kids at the Golisano Children’s Hospital, the uniforms feature the Everblades logo in a shiny gold—to represent the medals—over a blue background, with drawings by the children of Olympic events near the waist and flags of the world along the arms.
However, it lasted just one period. Players complained that they looked too much like Gwinnett’s road whites.
Now don't be misled. Gwinnett has great jerseys. When they say the jerseys looked too much alike, I can only assume they were talking about how much red and white were incorporated.
The Blades switched into their regular blue jerseys and had an amazing four-goal second period. Unfortunately, they blew it and ended up losing 6-5 in overtime. But at least they couldn't blame that on the jerseys.
To make matters worse, the rink had been "repainted" earlier that day as fans were invited to decorate the playing surface with all manner of graffiti — Paint the Ice Night. Be sure to flip through all the photos in that slideshow above — but be warned you may feel the urge to poke your eyes out after.
The following night, in a rematch with the Gladiators, only the Everblades' goalies wore those ridiculous jerseys and the team went on to a 3-0 shutout victory — proving that maybe the players were onto something after all.