I apologize for dropping a third sports-related post in a row, but realize that it’s not really about sports. It’s about the lengths I go to in order to feel like I’m participating in events that occur hundreds of miles from me.
Last year, I did a post summarizing my hockey jersey won/lost stats, in hope of formulating the best possible Stanley Cup Playoff mojo. So this year, I again kept record of what jersey I wore and what the outcome was for the game.
It’s easy to do this for football… there are only 16 games in a season. With hockey, there are 82, so it requires some dedication. To keep it simple, I didn’t even use a spreadsheet, like I do with football. For the Steelers, I track so many things, (like game jersey, apparel from the preceding Friday, where I watch the game, whether it’s home or away, etc.) a spreadsheet is required. But for 82 hockey games, I just print the schedule and record my jersey selection and note whether we won, lost, or it went to overtime.
Here’s how the 2011-2012 season turned out, from best jersey record to worst:
Record: 10-2 Winning percentage: .833
1) Pre-lockout era Lemieux jersey, that introduced Vegas Gold as the secondary color. This was my go-to jersey when we needed a win. As no jersey seemed to be a lock when I wore it consecutively, I ended up rotating this one with 2 others when the Pens played at home. (I really like this design, probably better than the one they have now.) I’m not sure about the jersey “pedigree.” High-quality, textured numbers are sewn on but there is no “fight strap.”
2) 2008 Winter Classic Crosby jersey. I used this when the Pens were away and wearing white, and my white jerseys were slumping. “Premier” jersey, meaning the numbers were sewn on, but only one layer. Most jersey’s have multiple layers of numbers and each is sewn on. On these, there are stitches “drawn” on to the inner layer.
3) This was the Winter Classic jersey from last year, which the Penguins used as their 3rd Jersey this season. I didn’t use any judgment here at all. Whenever they wore it, I wore it. No more and no less. It's a Marc-Andre Fleury "Premier" jersey.
4) This is the Evgeni Malkin current home jersey. I would have ranked this one higher, except I only got it last month so I didn’t feel it had enough games played to surpass the Lemieux jersey in the top spot. It’s a sweetie though… appears to be an “authentic” jersey but is probably a very high quality knockoff.
5) White Jordan Staal current jersey, also a knockoff, but of lesser quality. Note how the trim on the numbers is a greenish hue, rather than the Vegas Gold. For away games, I alternated this with my only other white jersey (until I got another, late in the season).
6) Blue hoodie, that I used mostly over the dead of winter, when the Pens were away and my white jerseys were slumping. I guess they weren’t a very good visiting team this year.
7) Mario jersey from early-90s Cup teams. This was one of my 3-way home jersey rotation. Decent quality knockoff of an authentic jersey.
2-1-1 .500 (2 wins, 1 loss in regulation, 1 loss in OT.)
8) Premier Crosby current home jersey. I didn’t wear it when Sid wasn’t playing, which was most of the year. I really want to get a better quality Sid jersey. Hello E-Bay…
9) Nothing. 3-1-2 .500
Sometimes, I just didn’t have time to dress for the game.
10) Mario mid to late 90s era “Corporate Pigeon” jersey. This was the one I alternated with the Staal jersey for away games. Sewn-on numbers over a fairly standard shell. One of my oldest jerseys… was originally a Jaromir Jagr jersey.
11) White James Neal current road jersey… the other one I just got at the end of the season. The first two games I wore it for, we lost, so it almost never saw another one. But it’s too sharp to keep hidden… another high-quality knockoff of an authentic.
12) The “Snoop Dogg” Mario Lemieux black jersey. I meant to wear it more often but once the 3-jersey rotation kicked in, I never got it back in the game. It’s another of my oldest jerseys.
13) Another one that I tried when the road jerseys weren’t working. This was sold a couple years ago by thepensblog.com. I bought it because I couldn’t get my hands on the regular blue Winter Classic jersey and I really wanted a blue one. But I don’t think I've ever seen the Pens win while I wore it, including when I actually attended one at Mellon Arena.
So that’s it. You know, it wasn’t until I wrote all these down that I realized that, holy shit, I have a fuck-ton of hockey jerseys. (And these don’t even count the “practice” jerseys and other couple jerseys I have for non-Penguins teams. Can you say, “overkill?”)
To start the playoffs last night, I broke out the new black Malkin jersey, and they lost in OT. They play next on Friday, so I’m bringing out my big gun, the Vegas 66 Lemieux. I’ll also be wearing it to work in Friday for “jersey day,” so I can double up on the mojo.
We better win this series… I have too much dough invested in these jerseys to just put them all away until next October.
Unrelated note: I finally had a chance to scan through the DVR recording of the Orioles game I went to on Sunday. As I suspected, I was able to find a decent screen cap with me in it. Surprisingly, it wasn’t from when a ball got hit into the corner. In those cases, the camera was outside the foul pole, putting the pole between it and me on TV. I was totally “Wilsoned.” Nevertheless, there I was, perched right there over the 333 mark.
I’m like a much more obvious “Waldo.”