OUT OF THE GATES: Blue “throwbacks”

In my opinion, the baby blue third jerseys Pittsburgh wears shouldn’t be called “throwbacks” anymore.

The word “throwback” implies that they are jerseys that were worn in the past and have been brought back for a special occasion — a blast from the past, if you will. However, the Penguins wear their baby blue uniforms so often that the magic and appeal they once possessed — from the 2007 Winter Classic — has vanished quicker than X-Generation players from the National Hockey League (if anyone knows where Ramzi Abid or Rico Fata is, please let me know.)

It’s just disappointing. When the uniforms debuted, it was the first outdoor regular season game in the National Hockey League’s history, played at Ralph Wilson Stadium in front of over 70,000 fans in the snow, taking a shootout to decide the winner. The blue jerseys were forever cemented in history after that game.

Yet we now see the Penguins in baby blue jerseys in roughly one of every eight games. They’re no longer special and it’s a shame.

In a strictly business frame of mind, the Penguins are smart to wear them so often. Their presence has only helped merchandise sales and you can’t go to a game without seeing patches of blue in the Mellon Arena crowd.

As fans, though, we don’t think about the business side. And this fan wishes the mystique of the baby blue jerseys wasn’t tarnished.

Most recently the Penguins wore the blue uniforms against the Florida Panthers … yes Florida. They also wore them on the road against Columbus, which has possibly less history with Pittsburgh than any other team in the NHL.

Call me crazy, but those teams don’t quite conjure up the same memories that Buffalo and outdoor hockey does.

And it’s hard to forget last season, where it seemed the Pens couldn’t buy a win while skating in blue.

Recently it was announced that the team will wear a third jersey next season, but there’s no guarantee it will be the current blue threads. I ask, nay plead, that we make a switch.

And if the organization decides to field a different uniform, let’s try and keep it special this time. People love to have what’s unique and the blues just aren’t that anymore.

It’s possible — I promise — to wear a jersey two or three times a year and have it sell like crazy. Remember that this is Pittsburgh and we crave anything dealing with our sports teams.

I mean, people buy Pirates jerseys…

My top five choices for a new “throwback” …

No. 5


No. 4


No. 3


No. 2


No. 1

Now, I left my real No. 1 off this list because I don’t want its memory to possibly get tarnished like that of the baby blues. No. 1, or course, is the diagonal ‘Pittsburgh’ from the mid-90s.

I own a Joey Mullen and would really appreciate not to see people running around with Crosby and Malkin on the back of one of these beauties.

Chris | PPT

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4 thoughts on “OUT OF THE GATES: Blue “throwbacks”

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention OUT OF THE GATES: Blue “throwbacks” « Pittsburgh Puck Talk -- Topsy.com

  2. Buechele

    I couldn’t agree more Gates! I personally hate the baby blues. BLACK AND GOLD ONLY! If they want to bring one of those back once in a blue moon that’s fine.

  3. Anthony Ferrelli

    where does it say, though, that a third jersey has to be a throwback? i think it would “defy ordinary” to come up with something new and fresh. don’t get me wrong, i love and respect each of our old jerseys, each one having it’s own story of good times and bad, but i think maybe we need something complete new to bring out once in a while to associate the great new story we are trying to create here and now.

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