Crying humbug on hockey’s ugly Christmas sweater jerseys

Puck Daddy

Have you ever been on Twitter when news breaks, and everyone makes the same obvious joke but acts like they’ve just validated the existence of the Higgs boson particle? (Raises hand as that person, with frequency.)

It's basically the same phenomenon as the “ugly Christmas sweater” trend in minor league hockey.

First came the Reading Royals of the ECHL:

And then the Knoxville Ice Bears of the SPHL:

And the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL:

Aaaaaaaand the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL:

And we're not even halfway through December yet ...

To this trend, we cry HUMBUG! And here's why:

1. The death of creativity. Oh, look, a couple are red and a couple are green. But it's the same collection of iconography remixed into seasonal colors. Reindeer jumping! Reindeer jumping over trees! Reindeer jumping into snowflakes! Snowflakes falling on trees! Trees falling on reindeer!

We all love a holiday cookie cutter, but c’mon already.

2. None of the reindeer are having sex. Somewhere, Michael Del Zotto weeps into his “HBO 24/7” sweater.

3. They’re not that ugly. Seriously, do any of these rise to the level of “ugly” as far as holiday sweaters go?

Of course not. They’re garish and not necessarily our cup of eggnog, but none of them trigger our yuletide gag reflex.

You want ugly sweaters? Let the Vancouver Canucks be your guiding star, ye wise men (and women).

Because Kevin Bieska knows ugly:

And Chris Tanev knows ugly:

And Henrik Sedin knows ugly:

My god. It’s like someone tried to knit something from Thomas Kincaid’s crumpled up rejection pile.

4. Finally, novelty hockey jerseys can’t settle for normal. Again, the “ugly Christmas” sweaters are the kind of thing you’d expect to see on sale at Land’s End or worn by that weird person in your office that always smells of liverwurst. They’re not that bold or outrageous, which is what we expect from our hockey minor league teams and should demand from their Christmas jerseys.

So ditch the ugly sweaters. Get drunk on the holiday spirit, like the Rocky Mountain Rage of the Central Hockey League:

Or, in the granddaddy of all terrible holiday jerseys, behold the Florida Everblades:

Ho-ho-holy crap.

Please, hockey teams wearing or considering wearing “ugly” Christmas sweaters: Stop being the stale fruitcake of novelty jerseys, and start being the Red Rider B.B. Gun: unexpected, instantly memorable and permanently damaging to our vision.

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