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, email a photo to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in future installment
This is one of the most remarkable pop culture Fouls we've ever seen. From Brian F.:
I was at the Sharks 4-3 victory over the Avalanche tonight and saw this little number on the guy sitting in front of me. I didn't realize it at the time, but according to my brother, Eric, they're some numbers having to do with the TV show "Lost." What "Lost" and professional early-round chokers have to do with each other, I have no idea. What made it more Foul was the fact that he was sipping his Bud Light through a straw.
Indeed. For the uninitiated, the numbers above feature prominently on ‘Lost," and we'll hold off on explaining that meaning in case anyone's waiting to tackle this season on their DVR or via a DVD set.
But we will say that Brendan Shanahan is a HUGE "Lost" fan, which is awesome.
Meanwhile, the occasional Jersey Foul from the Winter Olympics keeps floating in to the PD inbox, including this instant classic featuring a production error.
Look, we all know Ovechkin and Malkin have made their peace, but number sharing is something we're just not ready to accept.
(Coming Up: The Rangers get roll with Duby; self-loathing Thrashers fan; drink up a Stars Foul; the Homemade Crosby Sweater; an interesting debate over a Tribute Jersey; a truly, truly awful Ryan Getzlaf sweater; and the Columbus Blue Jackets' questionable fantasy jersey.)
And here ... we ... go.
We prefer to think of the image above, taken by reader "BigJoe68" at a Tampa Bay Lightning/New York Rangers game at MSG, as less a blatant Jersey Foul than a compelling argument that Brandon Dubinsky is currently wearing the wrong number.
Sure, there's likely some NHL rule and/or regulation preventing the use of three-digit numbers on jerseys and/or wearing sweaters with overt references to recreational drug use. But that just means the NHL isn't cool yet, man, and so they'll keep harshing our mellow ...
One of the most self-loathing Jersey Fouls we've ever seen, from Puck Buddy John B. from Atlanta:
Caught this outside Philips arena. The obvious thing to do (other than spring for a new sweater of course) would be to utilize your mailbox letter decals to spell Pavelec or Hedberg. I can't figure out why one of my fellow Thrasher fans went for the Thrasher killer himself, Antero Niittymaki. Also, why place them low enough ensuring you can still read the name Lehtonen? figured this warranted tagging as a foul. Hope it meets your standards!
Oh, it does. And it's a baffler, as Niitty hasn't been beaten in 17 games against the Thrash. Is this some Atlanta fans "Kneel before Zod!" moment of submission to greatness?
Chad from Texas chimes in, and now we're thirsty:
I caught this one (the attached picture) at the Stars-Flames game in Dallas on Feb. 27. It says J. Daniels and the number is 07. On the front in place of a 'C' or 'A' was 'AA'. It could be a jersey for Jack Daniels (the 07 being "old no. 07" from the label). So the question is, is saluting you favorite whiskey on a hockey jersey a foul? I think so, despite the fact that the American Airlines Center has a club on ground level called the Jack Daniels Old Number 7 Club.
We really, really were hoping the "AA" stood for something else. As, we imagine, you were, too.
Ah, yes, the Homemade Jersey Foul.
First up is the tyke on the left, rocking the Sidney Crosby sweater. Michael C. does his best to make him cry:
Saw this at a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins game not too long ago. This child has taken a WBS Pens jersey from the team's early years (1999-2001) and put Crosby 87 on the back.
That's a foul in itself, but the way he did it brings the foul to a whole new level. They took a black permanent marker and scribbled with poor handwriting the name and number, lopsidedly, on the back of the jersey.
That'll teach you to be creative!
Meanwhile, on the Ziggy Palffy Los Angeles Kings sweater, Puck Buddy Courtney M. is impressed:
A pretty ingenious self customization, it looked like she did the appliqué work herself. It's just too bad she didn't get larger numbers otherwise I might not have even noticed
Er, uh ... whatever you say.
This is a very, very interesting one: Peter Zezel jersey for the St. Louis Blues. From Puck Buddy "shkval2":
Pros: Peter Zezel wore number 9 when he played for the Blues, he was a very popular player here and it could be a memorial to a former player who has passed on.
Cons: He never wore the Reebok Edge sweater.
Why we'd give this a pass: He never wore the Edge jersey, but he passed away while the Blues were wearing this style jersey. And we're inclined to Pass all Memorial Sweaters anyway.
From Puck Buddy Kate:
Saw this one during the intermission of the Ducks-Oilers game on Feb. 14 and followed her all the way back to standing room to get a picture. It is, in theory, a Ryan Getzlaf Team Canada jersey. Why? WHY?!
Frankly, we're stunned. But it does whet our appetite for the inevitable "Makes You Boogey" Derek Boogaard jersey that's hopefully being made in Minnesota as we write this.
Puck Buddy Eric F. presents 3 Reasons Why This Jersey is a Foul:
1. It's a Canucks Jersey at a Penguins/Rangers game.
2. Unless he means goalie Robert McVicar who played one game for the Canucks in 2005, it's his name.
3. The use of 1/2.
Geez ... everyone knows Rob McVicar wore No. 34 for three minutes with the Vancouver Canucks.
Doug S. sends in this Max Talbot Jersey Foul, which he said has also been made for a younger fan.
Total Foul ... and probably one of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Things You Can Wear Into Wachovia Center as well.
Edward F. chimes in again from the Central U.S. command center of Jersey Fouls, Columbus, Ohio:
Look, hate to keep sending you fouls from Columbus beyond "Brassacek" (things here are bleak, and it's a dicey proposition wearing even my awesome Ole-Kristian Tollefsen No. 55 out in public — curse the Red Wings for filching him). That said, we have not reached the level of dungeons and dragons awful.
After wizards, what's there to follow? Elves and orcs?
And if somebody could clue me in as to why "Wizard" is spelled as "Wysard" I would be mildly grateful. Or maybe I've missed a pop culture reference or have not attained sufficient experience points to figure it out. In any event, it will take more than a Wizard or Wysard to get this team into the playoffs.
A hasty Google Yahoo! search revealed a fantasy book title and a few references to the last name Wysard.
(Ed. Note: As our buddy Two Eight Nine noted, it's usually a good idea to look at the photo rather than reading the email. WYZARD, NOT WYSARD. Need glasses.)
What we really want to know: Are there also Warrior, Valkyrie and Elf jerseys somewhere in Columbus so we can get a proper game of "Gauntlet" going?