The St. Louis Blues have plenty of big fish to fry in the 2020 offseason. One thing not likely on their radar, but something that must be considered, is whether to keep their retro uniform.
When it comes to the St. Louis Blues, or anything really, nostalgia is a funny thing. It has the power to unlock feelings we forgot or maybe did not even know existed.
Like the Star Wars prequels (and perhaps now the sequel trilogy), it seemed as though everyone hated the jerseys the Blues wore from around 1995 through 1998. Despite the fact you continued to see fans wear them decades later, the common conception was they were awful.
As time wore on, again like the Star Wars prequels, nostalgia took over. We did not know we missed them until 2019-20.
Perhaps the return to this style of jersey was a harbinger of things to come. 2020 has been about as bad as you can get as a society, and that’s beyond the NHL season being postponed and the Blues eventually getting bounced early by the Vancouver Canucks.
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Prior to all that madness, we got some entertaining hockey. The Blues were the best team in the Western Conference and gave the fans a lot of fun things to watch.
One of those fun things was wearing those retro jerseys. You know which ones. The article’s picture gave it away after all.
They’ve been dubbed many things, such as the clown jerseys. Most people seem to dislike the amount of red in the uniform. That’s somewhat odd since so many soccer fans are wanting the red from the city’s flag represented in the STL City SC uniforms, but I digress. Two different sports and, partially, two different fan bases.
Regardless of qualms about color or the slanted striping, the Blues should keep these around. That is not to say they should use them often, but on rare occasion, they are quite fun.
For newer fans, they don’t have the same power. Anyone under the age of 30 wasn’t really aware of this style of uniform, so it’s just an oddity for them.
However, for the rest of us, it hits that nostalgia button hard.
Going into it, even I was skeptical about using these jerseys again. While I liked them originally, I had fallen out of love with them over time and even fell into the camp that disliked the style completely.
The Blues used the perfect marketing campaign though. They had a 1990’s looking kid with an old style of Pepsi can watching a Blues game on a tube-TV with the sound of Ken Wilson’s voice coming through.
If that wasn’t enough to make you remember all those Oh Baby’s over the years, nothing will. Then they were debuted.
The promotional pictures were fine, but seeing these jerseys on the ice, flying around was on another level. Watching the Blues take on the Calgary Flames in these uniforms was a true blast from the past, even though it was over 20 years since they had been worn.
It was impossible not to smile seeing the Blues wearing this style of jersey again. Even the trumpet logo on the shoulder was a welcome return.
Naysayers will say that it should be a one-time thing and these should be returned to the mothball closet. The Blues may very well do that.
However, I say they should be kept around a bit longer. These aren’t the type of jersey that will last forever as the style has a certain shelf life.
Nevertheless, the nostalgia factor is still very strong with them and the Blues should capitalize on it.
Additionally, there is something about the Adidas version. I have not been able to put a finger on it, but the updated version just pops.
Maybe it’s a brighter blue or maybe they found a better ratio of colors. Perhaps the updated televisions or cameras make things look better.
Whatever the case, there is something about the 2019-20 Adidas version that just looks a lot better than the original. That seems to go beyond nostalgia, but I could not say why.
Fans that hate them are going to hate them no matter what, whether the team continues to wear them or relegates them back to history. So, why not reward that section of the fans that does enjoy them?
A couple or a few games out of 82 won’t alter anyone’s life. So, the Blues should keep this style of jersey around for a special occasion for at least one more season.