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.
(We spent half the morning trying to find a way to work a "Helm's Deep" reference in here that wasn't completely creep-tastic. Mission failure …)
From reader Brian Hessier, here's a Detroit Red Wings fan that would be welcome in any NHL arena, assuming she had a pitcher in one hand and a plate of smoked meats in the other. From reader Brian Hessier:
"Another hockey dirndl, found yet again at Milwaukee's German Fest. While Helm was the only one I was able to snag for a pic, there was also a Lidstrom, Datsyuk, and Franzen."
Pretty cool … but wait a second: Weren't there Chicago Blackhawks dirndls at Oktoberfest recently too?
Hessier does God's work in asking her:
"When I asked if she was aware of the Blackhawk dirndls from the previous year, she informed me that they are rival dancing teams, and they had their dirndls made in response to the Chicago girls."
Look, we don't know what the NHL has planned for this year's awards show in Vegas as far as entertainment, but a dance-off between warring factions of hockey-centric beer girls would be slightly more memorable than, say, Robin Thicke. Just sayin'.
Two points of business before we begin.
1. Yes, we're very much aware of the NHL's Jersey Fouls-promoting commercial, which has somehow avoided FCC regulations prohibiting the encouragement of criminal behavior in advertisements. Just remember that next time somebody sits in front of you with a CROZBYLVR 69 jersey on, he's endorsed by the National Hockey League.
2. Once more, with feeling: If you are the guy with the Nashville Predators Wayne Gretzky jersey, or you know who this guy is, email us at email@example.com. We have some questions. So many, many questions …
(Coming Up: Retro Kovalchuk; Jets Foul in Glendale; fun with area codes; Baggin' Fro-Dough; a messy sweater; Palin in LA; and the worst Frankenjersey we've ever run.)
And here … we … go.
According to Jeff Rothman, this is an Ilya Kovalchuk Kansas City Scouts jersey; the New Jersey Devils, of course, having once been the Scouts.
On the one hand, a total FOUL because Kovalchuk never played for Kansas City and because this No. 17 Scouts sweater disrespects the great legacy of Simon Nolet.
On the other hand, both player and defunct team share a common bond, having never won anything in the postseason.
This Winnipeg Jets Foul from Brian Booth is a [expletive] mess.
The use of sleeve numbers on the back of the jersey, which makes the whole thing a typographical nightmare. The stupid nameplate that draws one's eye to "Jets RB ack."
Oh, and one more thing: The fact this dude wore this jersey to a Phoenix Coyotes home game against the Vancouver Canucks. Eh, maybe he's just pleasantly reminding the locals that Winnipeg is no longer an option if the team relocates …
The Tampa Bay Lightning have become a Southern hub for Jersey Fouls because the team gives out personalized jerseys to every season-ticket holder. That puts the whole thing in a gray area when it comes to having one's name on the back of their sweater because, by rule, team-issued sweaters aren't Fouls.
HOW-EV-UH, having a team-issued Jersey Foul doesn't exonerate this. From reader Emily Osceola-Branch:
I know it's wrong to pick on a kid but I don't care how young you are, it's St. LOUIS not Lewie.
Besides, if he was trying to be phonetically cute, shouldn't the first word be "SAN"?
Reader Tim Lovestedt has a theory on this Los Angeles Kings Foul:
This lame brain at the Kings game is wearing "2011 U Betcha" on the back of her Kings jersey. It's bad enough to be at staples with names like Tsyplakov, Donnelly, and Ivanans staring back at you but this half adds sweater half ass referencing a half ass vice presidential candidate is...well... Pretty half assed.
We're not entirely convinced this is a Sarah Palin reference, because 2011 wasn't an election year. We are convinced that having a Jarret Stoll jersey is not a coincidence, however, because … well, he appreciates experience. (Insert cougar growl.)
From reader Jen Porter, from the Western capital of Jersey Fouls in San Jose:
First, I have to apologize for the poor photo quality. My subjects were not very helpful to me in capturing the foulness they wore. I have tried to catch this one for the past 2 games I was at. It's a sad representation of the 408 area code: Yes, it says "Shark City" and the jersey number is 408.
Well, it could be worse: He could be visiting the U.S. on a work visa and have his full international calling codes on the back.
That said, three-numbered jerseys are pretty lame. Case in point:
This is the second Iron Madien jersey we've featured on J-Fouls, and we're still not sure what's so damn hard about setting up the numbers correctly.
Example: Every Devils fans' dream — beyond re-signing Parise and sellouts on a Tuesday night — is that Miro Satan would play in Jersey and wear No. 6. Why? Because then it'd be six (left arm), six (back), six (right arm). Get it? IT'S BECAUSE HE'S SATAN!!!
So if one was going to traffic in the Number Of The Beast, it should be done like that. But that's pointless, because putting Iron Madien on the back wasn't already a FOUL. Talk about Wasted Years …
Once in a while, we ask for clarification on Fouls we can't quite figure out. This is one of them. From reader Nick:
I was leaving the Miami University vs. University of Michigan game and saw this guy. What does it even mean?
No clue. This is the only 'Fro Dough we've seen in hockey. Can anyone fill us in?
UPDATE from Missy Luft, and this makes sense: "Not sure if anyone has pointed this out yet, but that's a football jersey, not a hockey jersey. Also, its BFD to get the number 1 jersey on the football team, not something that is given out every season. No idea who the Fro dough is though."
From reader Kevin D.:
Saw this at the Oilers v. Canucks game. If you look closely, you can actually see a food stain. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say its a pizza stain.
This jersey should hit home with any fan that's worn a white sweater to the arena for more than a 3-year span. Because if you have, there are stains. Food stains. Drink stains. Stains from simply rubbing your arm against some unwashed corner of the building.
I have a Claude Lemieux jersey I've worn since around 1993. Entire civilizations of microscopic creatures live inside of its stains, most of which are pretzel mustard related, me thinks.
Why does someone still wear this jersey in Ottawa?
Via Kevin Lee, the Mike Fisher/Carrie Underwood tribute sweater, which references a player and his wife that now live in Nashville. But obviously, their legacy lives on in O-town.
And finally …
No. No. NO NO NO NO NO.
Sure, it's very cute that Carey Price's name and James Reimer's name, when combined, make "Primer." Sure, Frankenjerseys are allowed under certain circumstances.
But this should not exist. It's an affront to logic, and humanity. It's Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner falling in love, entering into a civil union and opening a nice bed and breakfast in the Painted Hills. It's Letterman and Leno performing a duet of "Top That" from "Teen Witch."
Image via Mike Obrand, who is probably still cleaning the bile off the lens …