Get ready for a great generational battle between Blues fans over the new commemorative jersey.
Those who are of a certain age (read: probably over 40) view classic Blues jerseys as anything happening before 1988. Why ‘88? One color: red. The Blues waded into the late ‘80s and early ‘90s trend of inexplicable colors that don’t fit the rest of a palate by outlining the logo in red.
And then, full mid-90s happened. The Blues thought that diagonal striping was a perfectly ok idea for a hockey jersey, and why not make the dominant stripe that color red that no one really complained that much about?
This marks the birth of what has commonly become known, by haters and fans alike, as the “clown jersey.” This jersey has a particular meaning for another generation of Blues fans (read: those between 25-40). It means Hull. It means Cujo. It means Pronger. It means Chopper. It means less than a quarter of a season worth of Wayne Gretzky.
Those teams were damn good, and looked awful being so damn good. Like many things that no one can explain when you’re a kid, those hideous jerseys embedded themselves in our minds. That association of coming of age in the early to mid-90s and learning to be a fan was forever bonded with whatever the hell the Blues design team thought looked good about those things.
The Blues’ marketing department has finally figured out late Gen-X/early Millennial nostalgia culture and the powerful purchasing power that it holds. Not everything elicits it, but all a person has to do is look at the reboots and sequels and remakes and everything else on TV/streaming or at the multiplex. Listen to some of the new music coming out. Walk the halls of a high school and just try to avoid a flashback to your worst 8th grade photographs. I dare you.
This is the Blues’ commemorative jersey. I’m not exactly sure what they’re commemorating, but the ‘90s are back with a vengeance. To celebrate, I’m going to go listen to some Nirvana and maybe re-watch Reality Bites. Winona Ryder was the voice of a generation and now she’s Joyce on Stranger Things. Everything comes full circle.
Deal with it, old farts.
The Blues will be wearing the Clowns on November 21st against the Calgary Flames, February 27th against the New York Islanders, and March 31st against the Detroit Red Wings.