It’s the holiday season, and the NHL wants to make sure you’re spending your money on their goodies. This is as good an explanation as any for the fact that the Dallas Stars have rolled out two new jerseys in the past three weeks. The marketing office has been teasing the Reverse Retro edition for days, and the fan anticipation (fanticipation?) had reached a fever pitch.
The good news: The team really did go where you thought it did. The Stars’ Reverse Retro reimagines the Star Poncho, which is itself an absolute good and actually can water your crops and clear up your skin. The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf shares some background in his latest post:
The committee that helped design this sweater is the same group on hand to design the Winter Classic jerseys and the “Blackout” jerseys: owner Tom Gaglardi, team broadcaster Daryl Reaugh, senior vice president of marketing Dan Stuchal, creative director Jeff Neal and merchandise director Kris Smith. The process behind this retro jersey was different than the creation of the third rotation jersey. Instead of applying to the NHL, the league and Adidas approached all 31 teams in the spring of 2019 to discuss their vision for the reverse-retro program. At the time, the Stars had just finished their design for the Winter Classic and Blackout jerseys.
“The whole design process was really different in that Adidas set the design guideposts for us where it was the other way around on the other two,” Stuchal said. “It needed to be a classic look from our past. We could have chosen any of our previous jersey styles that we had worn in the history of our franchise, and it just needed a fresh twist on the color that was used in that original design.”
Here’s what the group came up with.
Let’s get this out of the way: There are things to like about it. First of all, even a half-baked attempt to resurrect the Star Poncho is many a Stars fan’s sweetest dream. The “99” inside the collar pays homage to every fan’s favorite throwback: that epic run to the Stanley Cup victory. The layered and stitched green-and-white name lettering is truly retro in the best possible way. And just looking at that Texas-shaped shoulder patch with the Big D stitched in silver is almost enough to make a devoted fan do a Philip J. Fry.
On the other hand, there’s this.
The design falls apart drastically from the logo on down. The classic badge, reworked in silver, fades away on the blindingly white background. Even worse, the distinctive draped look of the original Star Poncho is undercut by the white-out scheme. In this version, the poncho effect – so dramatic in the original – is approximated by a skimpy outline of what looks like green and black bias tape.
It ends up as less a Star Poncho than a pattern tracing of one, into which, presumably, you can insert an actual Star Poncho at some later date. The fact that the almost universally loved Winter Classic set is under a mandatory retirement order, effective in 2021, can only add to the frustration.
The overwhelming Not Enough Green of it has a technical downside, too. First, last and always, these sweaters have to look good on TV. On that white field, the predominantly white-and-silver logo could become nearly invisible, as Defending Big D contributor Rob McClay has remarked.
And can you imagine this with the white pants and gloves? There’s a Stormtrooper-esque aesthetic from the full look. But there’s also a functional reality that has some wondering if these were ice-tested and approved. “It’ll be really hilarious when we start seeing dudes’ Underoos because the white pants become see-through when you sweat,” says DBD managing editor Taylor Baird.
On the upside, Grubes cueing up “The Imperial March” for those post-intermission skates will take on an even riper meaning, so it’s got that going for it.
What’s your verdict? Let’s discuss – civilly. Remember. some of us have children listening to this potty talk.
What do you think of the Dallas Stars’ Reverse Retro jersey?
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