And no, I don’t just mean my ability to keep up with things here or the Manny Fernandez experiment in Boston. However, failure of this magnitude does come from the pages of the Boston Herald (yes, I was amazed they found room to talk about something other than the Red Sox and Patriots as well):
According to sources in the B’s dressing room, Reebok has been unable to correct
problems with the new jerseys introduced this season across the NHL and will
replace them at the company’s expense with new uniforms made of the old
Players have complained since training camp that the new jerseys,
which are supposed to be lighter and allow sweat to evaporate out through the
shirts, have instead trapped water inside and gotten heavier.
This was found in the “notes” section of the story about the Bruins. Isn’t this a much bigger story than is being let on?
The NHL mandated that ALL teams change their uniforms to fall in line with the RBKOMGWTFBBQEDGE system – a system meant to make the game faster, allow players to perform better and take full advantage of their skill sets. It would also allow for refs to really find out if guys are getting hooked and held as the jerseys wouldn’t be loose and flowing anymore.
Now, with this news, we’re finding out that it was all a bunch of crap. The years of research, the expensive testing of materials, the perfecting of the process – all of it – just a load of nonsense apparently fabricated by Reebok to get the NHL to push all their chips in on their self-made marketing system.
You know…since the NHL can’t figure out how to market their own sport and league they buy into Reebok’s new uniform system with their “full on attack” ad campaign to push the new jerseys on fans to get them to buy them (at higher prices than the old ones). This is all, clearly, the fault of Bettman and the Board of Governors to approve this fiasco, buying fully into a company that had fallen off the map of relevance when it comes to athletic wear (behind the omnipresent Nike as well as Adidas). A third-rate league buying fully into a third-rate company? Somehow it makes too much sense.
The NHL should be embarassed that Reebok mailed it in with their exhaustive testing. Not even a two weeks into training camp players and teams were complaining about how the new gear worked, how its ability to completely deflect water and moisture was working against the players as they sweat throughout a game. Since the jerseys weren’t soaking up the moisture, it found places to go. It went into their skates and into their gloves as well – so much so that players were changing gloves and skates between periods.
Yes, it sounded like a good idea to have these uniforms that were so breezy and slick that wouldn’t get weighed down by moisture and would allow players to cool easier and skate more efficiently. These are all good things, I buy that. What I find unfathomable is the fact that apparently NONE of the testing done by Reebok showed that these issues might come up. How is that possible!?
It’s easy to see why it happened – the NHL had cut them their check already, gave them a deadline and said, “Just have these things ready by then, we have to start pushing these on the fans.”
What a joke.