40 days of jerseys #31: Warner Bros/Harley-Davidson

hdfrontJersey #31 of 40: Warner Bros Wile E. Coyote/Taz/Bugs Bunny (No name, no number)

Style: Replica
Size: XXL
Manufacturer: Warner-Brothers/Harley Davidson
Obtained: Yard sale, 2014

I’ve been a fan of the Tazmanian Devil since I first started watching cartoons. I still have fond memories of Saturday morning cartoons, 4+ hours of brain-rotting entertainment with nothing but a bowl of cereal and pajamas (and occasionally a little brother) to keep me company while the adults slept in.

The Roar Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoons kept me and my uncle Jeff in stitches. Almost every weekend we were visiting my grandparents in Speedwell, TN. It was about as traditional as Thanksgiving turkey. Sadly he passed away from cancer in 1999. Whenever I watch any of the Bugs/Taz/Road Runner cartoons I’m reminded of the times we would watch them.

I have lots of Taz paraphernalia, and Jes gave me a 14k gold Taz pendant for Christmas one year. I’ve had t-shirts, cups, and even a baseball jersey with his caricature on it.

I bought the jersey last year along with several others, but haven’t worn it yet.

I can’t say much in regards to the Harley-Davidson logo. I’ve never owned or ridden one. But it’s not to say I wouldn’t love to own one.

This jersey is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Duck and cover

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40 days of jerseys #30: Knoxville Ice Bears – Swider

swiderfrontswiderbackJersey #30 of 40: Knoxville Ice Bear (Kevin Swider, #12)

Style: Game-worn
Size: Unknown – No tag, presumed size 56/XL
Manufacturer: Athletic Knit
Obtained: Yard Sale, 2014

If you live in an SPHL city, have seen an SPHL game in the 2000’s, or follow minor-league hockey in some way, you probably have heard the name Kevin Swider at some point in time or another.

To put it simply, he’s the best player to ever play in the SPHL. He played for the Ice Bears going back to the days when they were in the ACHL, then the SEHL (late in the season), and then when they were in the SPHL. Each year he played in the SPHL, he won the scoring title. He won it so much they renamed the title in his honor. One season I recall (07-08), he won the title despite being sidelined with injuries through part of the year.

His #12 is retired by the Ice Bears. He retired after the 11-12 season, but probably could have played a few more years. He’s gone up to AA-level hockey but always returned to Knoxville to excel.

This was a special jersey sometime during the 2006-07 season (the President’s Cup patch was to commemorate their Championship in 2005-06).  If I recall, it was a Margaritaville-type event or “Beach night” or something like that.

Unfortunately I don’t get to wear this one. My daughter Lauren stole it from me when she saw me bring it home from a yard sale last year. I’m surprised I found it. I don’t think she knows I wore it for the photo above. She wears it when she goes to the games.

This jersey is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Warner Bros and Harley-Davidson.

40 days of jerseys #29: Ramapo Saints

saintsback saintsfrontJersey #29 of 40: Ramapo Saints (no name, number removed)

Style: Game-weight (used?)
Size: XXL
Manufacturer: Bakka
Obtained: eBay auction, circa 2000

I bought this off eBay sometime in the early 2000’s I believe. I love the colors on the jersey and the logo. It was very inexpensive and judging by the markings on parts of the jersey, looks to either be game-worn or simply well-worn.

There are signs on the back that the number “18” was removed from the jersey, but I don’t know why. It’s difficult to tell if there was a name plate.

The manufacturer is “bakka” and I hope I am correct in the spelling. Although searching for the company brings up the trademark that’s on the jersey, there is no web site that I can find. Either they’re out of business, or they’re not doing business to the public.

To be honest, I didn’t know the name of the team that had the logo, I just liked the colors and the pattern. It belongs to a youth hockey group out of New Jersey.

The jersey is a size 2XL but it’s very tight on the neck, so it may have been undersized for the youth league, but I can still wear it.

I’m not sure who owned this jersey previously, but in case they were wondering, it’s in good hands.

Which is why this jersey is not for sale or trade.

Monday: Swiderman!

40 days of jerseys #28: Knoxville Ice Bears (Kids)

kidskibJersey #28 of 40: Knoxville Ice Bears (Kids size, no name, no #)

Style: Replica (Game weight)
Size: Youth Large
Manufacturer: OT
Obtained: Gift from a friend, 2006

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

A good friend of mine (who I have not seen in a while, Hi Tom!) gave this to us for our kids when we were attending games together during the early years of the Ice Bears’ existence. This is a replica of their inaugural season (in the ACHL days) with the jersey design. His son had outgrown it and with my kids still trying to get out of diapers and into school, he gave it to us as a hand-me-down.

My kids have worn it to the games, and it still looks as if it were right off the assembly line, clean as can be.

I think in part to my being a serious hockey fan, and my friends’ donation, my kids enjoy hockey and pester me about taking them to the games.

Even though they’ve outgrown the jersey, it is not for sale or trade. Their kids can enjoy it when the time comes.

Tomorrow: When the Saints go marching in.

40 days of jerseys #27: Asheville Smoke

smokeback smokefrontJersey #27 of 40: Asheville Smoke (Dexter, #12)

Style: Game Worn
Size: Unknown (fits as an XL)
Manufacturer: AK
Obtained: Trade with a friend, Mid-2000’s

The stories I could tell about the United Hockey League (UHL )would make one’s head spin, especially when considering how that league survived for as long as it did with the incompetence that permeated the league. One of them was putting two teams in the Southeast, both owned by brothers, who somehow thought they could operate the teams geographically isolated from the rest of the league that promised to expand into the south, only to go in every other direction but…at least, as long as these two teams were in the league…

brantfordlogo
Brantford Logo

The Knoxville Speed came about after moving from Madison, WI, in 1999, and the Asheville Smoke came from Brantford, ON a year earlier. Both of these teams’ owners were brothers. Andrew (Knoxville) and Dan (Asheville) Wilhelm.

Because the two cities were less than two hours apart, and the next closest team to either city was about an 8-10 hour drive, these two teams spent a majority of their time playing against one another during the three years Knoxville was in the UHL. And it got bloody at times, not just on the ice, but off.

I went to Asheville about 4 times to see games, and each time I went, the hostility between the two groups of fans got worse. The last time I was there, the only thing that kept me from getting jumped by a couple of fans was the fact I was carrying my then-1-year old daughter, and even then I don’t know if that would have stopped them, but the police officer I was standing next to sure did…my crime apparently was wearing a Knoxville Cherokees sweatshirt.

On the ice, however, things weren’t better. It peaked on Super Bowl Sunday of 2001 (back when the Super Bowl was still played in January…) when both of these teams in an afternoon game cleared the benches in a brawl that resulted in suspensions that decimated both teams as they were making a run for the playoffs.

A video of the brawl finally surfaced on Youtube earlier this year:

This happened right before the All-Star Game the UHL held later that week. And both teams had players going to the game that rode the same bus up to the game. Talk about an awkward trip…

The fans on both sides of the Smokies often carried out their animosity in the stands and online. However, when the teams filed for bankruptcy in 2002, they found a common ground and a lot of fans reconciled their differences in the notion that in the end, it was only a game.

The following year, Knoxville had a new ownership group that joined the upstart/rebooted Atlantic Coast Hockey League (ACHL), and Asheville went quiet. They later joined the SPHL in 2004 as the Aces, but the rivalry wasn’t the same, and the team folded after just one season.

The jersey is for player Jason Dexter, who played on the team in 1998-1999 (before “the Brawl”). I don’t personally remember him, especially since Knoxville didn’t play until a year later, but he did have a connection to Knoxville in that he played for the former Madison Monsters (I owned a jersey of theirs for a short period of time) a couple of seasons before they moved to Knoxville.

I’ve worn it a few times, but it’s shrinking on me…or I’m getting larger…

However, his jersey is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Kids’ KIB

40 days of jerseys #26: Detroit Red Wings (White)

redwingswhiteJersey #26 of 40: Detroit Red Wings White (no name, no number)

Style: Replica
Size: L (closer to XL)
Manufacturer: Pro Player
Obtained: Store purchase, late 1990’s

See yesterday’s post.

It’s the same as yesterday’s red jersey, only white. It says it’s a size larger, but I can wear it somewhat comfortably, so I put it at more of an XL size.

This jersey is for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Smoke em if you got em.

40 days of jerseys #25: Detroit Red Wings (Red)

redwingsredJersey #25 of 40: Detroit Red Wings Red (no name, no number)

Style: Replica
Size: XL
Manufacturer: Pro Player
Obtained: Store purchase, late 90s

I’ve been a Red Wings fan ever since I was a hockey fan. I even used the nickname on a few message boards and chat programs way back in the early 90’s when I was going to school.

The logo is practically timeless. It hasn’t seen much change since the 1930’s. The wheel is synonymous with the automobile industry that defined Detroit, however the logo actually had its roots in Montreal as far back as 1893. The team’s new owner in 1932 purchased the Detroit Falcons and then renamed them after a cycling club he was once a part of.

As aboutsports puts it:

In 1932, a millionaire named James Norris bought the team. Here’s the rest of the story, as told by Bob Duff in his Detroit Red Wings article in Total Hockey: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Hockey League:

“Norris had been a member of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, a sporting club with cycling roots.

 The MAAA’s teams were known by their club emblem and these Winged Wheelers were the first winners of the Stanley Cup in 1893. Norris decided that a version of their logo was perfect for a team playing in the Motor City and on October 5, 1932 the club was renamed the Red Wings.”
Knoxville Cherokees (ECHL) circa 1988-90
Coincidence or not, the new name and logo marked a turnaround in the team’s fortunes. The Detroit Red Wings made the playoffs in their first season, and won their first Stanley Cup in 1936.

I’ve worn my jersey playing roller hockey, and to several games. Although I have never been to Joe Louis Arena to see a game, it’s on my bucket list.

The Knoxville Cherokees’ first jersey style was copied from the Detroit Red Wings’ jerseys, but this was before I started going to the games. In 1990, they added black to the logo, then changed the jersey to resemble that of the Chicago Blackhawks. I’m still searching for either of these styles of jersey to buy, but no one wants to sell me one…or they ask way too much money.

The Red Wings jersey, however, is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Does this come in white?

40 days of jerseys #24: Toronto Maple Leafs

tmlJersey #24 of 40: Toronto Maple Leafs (no name, no number)

Style: Replica
Size: XL
Manufacturer: Starter
Obtained: Store purchase, 1995

Ever since I was a kid growing up in Florida, then Tennessee, I knew who the Toronto Maple Leafs were, but that was about it. I loved the simplicity of the logo. It was everything Canadian in one simple design.

Doug Gilmour is one of my favorite all time players. I have his autograph somewhere in my stash of collectibles. He and Wendel Clark were amazing, if only they could have brought a cup to Toronto when they were active players.

Roanoke Valley Rebels (ECHL) circa 1990

I found this jersey in the local mall and it may have been on clearance. It was a chance to wear a jersey of a respected team and I wouldn’t have to explain who the team was, IT’S RIGHT THERE ON THE LOGO!!!

An interesting note is that the very first hockey game I went to see was a pre-season game  in 1990 between the Knoxville Cherokees and the Roanoke Valley Rebels, in the ECHL. The Rebels sported a logo similar to Toronto’s. The Cherokees had a jersey and logo similar to the Chicago Blackhawks. I thought maybe that’s what all minor league teams did, was rip off NHL designs…

Maybe one day the Maple Leafs will stop being the consistently awful team they have been for years and start winning more and actually making the playoffs, having only done it once in the last 10 years. Maybe they need someone like John Brophy behind the bench again. Sadly, John cannot do it anymore.

This jersey is for sale or trade.

Monday: Motor City…

40 days of jerseys #23: Nashville Predators (3rd Jersey)

preds3rdback preds3rdfrontJersey #23 of 40: Nashville Predators (Steve Sullivan, #26)

Style: Replica
Size: XL
Manufacturer: Reebok
Obtained: Purchased from friend, 2009

As mentioned before, the Preds are my favorite NHL team. Gotta stick with the home state, after all. When they debuted this design for their 3rd jersey in 2009, I knew I had to have one.

I got the opportunity to purchase this jersey from a friend at the Ice Bears games and chose Steve Sullivan because he was my favorite player. The logo is slightly different from the main logo in that the eyes are red instead of yellow. It sort of had a Toronto Maple Leafs feel to the design of the jersey, only with a darker blue.

The bottom stripes actually have a checkerboard design, but the navy/black contrast was almost invisible unless you saw it up close. It did not do very well on camera, which was a big drawback. Still, it’s an awesome concept and I wish they’d have kept it (when they went to the gold colored jersey design) as a 3rd, only with a better checkerboard strip at the bottom (white/navy would have worked, in my opinion.

The other drawback to this jersey is that the “IVAN” in the name is slightly duller than the “SULL” of Sullivan’s name. I’m not sure why that is. It’s not that noticeable (despite the image enhancement) but it does trigger my imaginary OCD complex…

This jersey is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Speaking of Toronto…

40 days of jerseys #22: Steve & Barry’s USA Jersey

usasbback usasbfrontJersey #22 of 40: USA (no name, #76)

Style: Heavy Replica
Size: XL
Manufacturer: Steve & Barry’s
Obtained: Thrift Store, 2006

This was another jersey I picked up at a thrift store (like my Bud Light jersey), but I picked this one up in London, KY at a thrift store. I saw this and bought it without even trying it on.

If you’re not familiar with Steve & Barry’s, you missed out on a great store for finding a lot of amazing clothes at thrift store prices. They went out of business in 2009, sadly. I would drive up to Middlesboro, KY to buy their clothing at the mall there. Then they opened a store in Knoxville and I was in there almost weekly.

Steve & Barry’s sold some top quality clothing at affordable prices. It was geared towards colleges and athletics, but expanded into other areas of clothing as well. The company expanded during the early 2000’s, but the modest profits weren’t enough to get the founders out of enormous debts they incurred as the recession hit.

Some Steve & Barry's jerseys
Some Steve & Barry’s jerseys I also own

This jersey is a heavy and thick piece of clothing. I cannot wear it in the summer, it feels like I’m wearing 4 long-sleeve shirts! I love wearing it in the wintertime. Sometimes I can wear it in 20-degree cold with no need for a jacket. It’s that comfortable and heavy.

The hockey jerseys they sold were knockoffs of designs for other teams, professional or collegiate. For example, one jersey I purchased says “Motor City” in a slanted lettering (similar to the New York Rangers) and the colors are silver and black. Not the Detroit Red Wings’ colors (Red & White). Another jersey with cool blue and black says “Detroit” One of my other personal favorites is a dark green and white “Spartans” with an “S” where the Captain’s “C” would normally be.

While they did sell licensed merchandise for colleges, some merchandise was licensed and promoted by celebrities and athletes (the NBA’s Stephon Marbury had a clothing line through them).

The jerseys are all comfortable enough to wear to bed on a chilly night. The lettering on the jerseys is sewn on, not silk-screened. The fabric (polyester or cotton/poly mix) is thick and durable. There are numbers on the back of them but not on the sleeves. The USA jersey has a “76” in relation (I would assume) to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, or the centennial years in which they are celebrated, or both. The other jerseys have random numbers, or perhaps there is a meaning I’m not aware?

The place I bought the USA jersey was not a Steve & Barry’s but an actual thrift store. The other jerseys I have were all purchased in the stores themselves.

This jersey is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: Another Preds jersey!