Jersey Fouls is our ongoing exploration of the rules and etiquette for proper hockey jersey creation and exhibition. If you spot what you think may be a foul in your arena, e-mail a photo to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in future installments.
We're sorry, Whalers fans. We truly are. After watching your heartache on display in the short documentary "Bleeding Green," we know the image of your beloved logo adorning the sweater of the Carolina Hurricanes is, perhaps, one of the most painful sights for anyone from Connecticut that doesn't involve bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to your jobs in New York.
Again, we enter every edition of Jersey Fouls with an open mind. Is this, in fact, a Foul? Would a Winnipeg Jets logo on a Phoenix Coyotes sweater be a foul or a tribute? Ditto a Colorado Rockies logo on the New Jersey Devils sweater? Is there an argument to be made for honoring the legacy of a relocated team by placing what is a defunct NHL symbol on your favorite team's jersey?
All of this naturally ignores the fact that the color scheme of this jersey resembles a recently harpooned orca ...
Thanks to reader Aaron for the WhalerCanes foul. Coming Up: Free Candy, the sadness of '69', a tribute to Jarkko and what might be the first O.J. Simpson Jersey Foul that didn't involve an unfortunate Halloween costume.
Let it be known that we enjoy any Jersey Foul that includes a passionate defense for the potential faux pas.
From Tim Z. for Royal Oak, MI:
"This was my creation for St. Patty's Day. The Wings played at Home on St. Patty's Day and I had to take it up a notch, complete with the Green Winged Wheel from the shop.NHL.com website. You might hate on it, but I got a ton of kudos on it. It was really fun to get done and wear around town for a couple days. In fact I went to the same shop that actually does the cresting for the Wings. I wore it to the Detroit St. Patrick's Day Parade and that is the photo I am including."
We believe the Irish have a word for this: Blarney.
OK, according to Leahy, they have more than one word for it. But we can only print "blarney."
Once again, we open up the floor for a debate about what is or is not a Foul.
If this had said "Orpik," it's an immediate pass, right? So should a nickname with street cred for a player be a Foul? Can you rock a No. 99 sweater with "The Great One" and not have committed a hockey crime of fashion?
The Free Candy No. 44 jersey: Pass or Fail? (Thanks to Puck Buddy Jake S. for the image.)
The "69" jersey trend is an epic, epic fail in nearly every case. We know this. But the two photos here really bring the revolting nature of the "69" jersey to a new level. For example, the "Bang 69" Calgary Flames jersey makes us yearn for the innocent days of McLovin 69. And reach for the soap.
And what about you, Super Dad? Even if there's some sweet story about a son giving his 39-year-old father a heartwarming Father's Day gift with his birth year on a Boston Bruins sweater, we'd like to give you a gift of our own: a well-wrapped "FAIL." Oh, and a neck tie, naturally.
(Thanks to Bobby M. and Brian K. for the images.)
Puck Buddy Cory K. sends over this image of the Scruuruutu Ottawa Senators sweater, which nearly reaches the level of brilliant Protest Jersey. But in the end, it's probably still a Foul, albeit one with an understandable sentiment. Perhaps if there had been an umlaut somewhere. We love those.
Sadly, the construction of this single jersey affected the Senators' entire clothing industry, forcing months of K-bu and A-ld sweaters due to a "U" shortage.
"The number is right, the name is right. The flames on the bottom of the shirt, not so much. I think this guy just took a black t-shirt and made it look like a jersey, which has to be some sort of jersey foul right?"
The short answer: Yes. There isn't a long answer.
Finally, Mike B. from Port Chester, NY may have found one of the strangest Jersey Fouls of the season. From Mike, who believes we are looking at an "OJ 94" New Jersey Devils sweater:
"Maybe, as a fellow Devil fan, you can try and explain this one, taken in a parking lot after the Rangers-Devs game last night (3/30) at MSG. I pray that there is some other explanation other than the obvious one. Especially since the jersey is an EDGE, meaning that the earliest it could have been purchased was 2005, i.e. over ten years after the famous car chase.
Further proof of the hypothesis that all Devil fans have diminished brain capacity. Seriously, it's science."
Naturally, we're hoping it actually says "DJ," which would be a Foul but a slightly less mind-blowing one.
But considering Mike's prognosis, and the fact that it's white like a certain Ford Bronco ... if the Jersey Foul fits, you can't acquit.