August 30, 2014

Saturday: Fantasy Hockey and Expansion

Hello everyone! In today's post we have several crossover concepts. Three involve soccer, one MLB, one XFL (yep, that XFL) and one Winter Classic concept. This post definitely doesn't lack for variety!

Earlier this week, a few sports websites started stirring the pot about possible expansion to Seattle Quebec City Toronto pt. II Kansas City Hamilton Las Vegas. Wait, Las Vegas?! Why? Putting a sports team in a city that doesn't have a collective attention span over 15 minutes seems like a poorly reasoned decision, especially when you could tap into a city that would have a more established market. This likely boils down to who has a good arena to play in, and ownership with deep pockets that can pay the expansion fees. Of course, there would likely have to be another city that would expand as well. You would think Quebec City and Toronto would be front-runners. I know a lot of people want to see a team in Seattle (I would prefer them to Vegas) and I believe that they could satisfy ownership concerns, but the lack of a suitable arena hurts their cause.

One more thing about expansion: I don't want it at all. Personally, I believe that if the NHL expands further, we are going to see a dilution of on-ice product. On the other hand, I'm sure a lot of hockey purists said the same thing I just said when the league granted expansion teams to Nashville, Columbus, Minnesota, Florida, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, etc. Naturally, the league denied that any decisions were made concerning expansion. I don't think this is something that we'll have to worry about until at least 2016. It wouldn't surprise me to see the league expand, it's just not something I think necessarily needs to happen.  (I know the other writers have mentioned this, I just had to get it off my chest)

Also, I've started a fantasy hockey league! I thought I would set one up for any HJC readers who enjoy competing in fantasy hockey. It's called "Victory Stripes" (after the iconic Lightning design, naturally) and it's a head-to-head Yahoo league. I plan on taking a maximum of 12 teams, but I could potentially expand it if more want in. Click on this link to go to the league page and join in. The league draft is on September 28 at 8:30 pm, so sign up today!

Arsenal FC Concept (Barclays Premier League) - Ricky M.


Positive: The yoke stripes aren't that bad. The sock striping could work if the pants were plain black.

Negative: That pattern doesn't work, and it's made even worse by the bright yellow jersey. Its far too busy, as evidenced by how Ricky has to interrupt the pattern on the back for the name and number to make it legible. It makes it very difficult to see any detail in the jersey at all. The number doesn't seem to match the name font well. The number font almost looks like comic sans in this instance, and not something you'd find on a professional team jersey. It reminds me of a motocross jersey. With presentation, If you have a busy jersey, don't put it against a busy background. It creates an unpleasant clash.

Overall: Take this one back to square one. The socks are redeemable, but not much else is. (5/10)


Oakland Athletics Concept (MLB) - Ricky M.


Positive: Good choice of logo usage for the home/away and gold alternate. The green/gold helmet is reminiscent of their batting helmets. Shading effects work better here than the previous concept. The background is more muted.

Negative: The home/away have no striping, just a color-contrasting yoke. The black alternate doesn't even have that. The pants choice is puzzling in all regards. White pants don't look good on hockey jerseys, and grey pants on the green jersey seem random. I know the A's may use pants like that, but that's not something that should necessarily carry over onto a hockey jersey. The piping on the gold alternate...I understand the effect Ricky's going for, but it doesn't translate well to a hockey jersey. The black alternate lacks purpose. If you were to buy a replica of that jersey, all you'd get would be a couple logos on a black jersey. The other alternate consists of a gold jersey, white pants, and green socks, with a black helmet. That's too many competing colors on a set. 

Overall: The Athletics jerseys of the 1970s-early 1980s had striping. Those would translate better, and give you more to work with. Get rid of the black. (6/10)


Los Angeles Xtreme Concept (XFL) - Mario A.


Positive: The old Buffalo Sabres template does seem to capture some of the essence of the short-lived (and for good reason) XFL. 

Negative: Mario credits Stephen for the design, which makes it seem that all Mario did was recolor a concept of Stephen's, while changing the numbers, name, and logo. That's not very creative. It doesn't use the L.A. Xtreme's colors or uniforms for inspiration. The Xtreme actually had a fairly understated look, resembling the Dallas Cowboys in some respects. Pixelation makes the concept look rough. There should be more silver on the dark jersey.

Overall: The look could fit the XFL, but the concept doesn't take a lot of inspiration from the team itself. Much of it seems to be a recolor of Stephen T's work. (6/10)


Boston Bruins NHL Soccer Cross-Over Concept - Matt Mc.


Positives: Matt's NHL/soccer crossover series looks good so far. I like the striping on both jerseys seen here. Brown is an interesting choice, making a soccer jersey that is also somewhat of a throwback. The Spoked-B doesn't look out of place as it's used here. Presentation and execution are very good.

Negatives: The brown jersey isn't very exciting. I think more could have been done there. On the concept below, Matt shows what the back of one of the jerseys looks like. I would like to see the backs of all of them. I'm just one of those people who like to see jersey fonts.

Overall: The gold/brown striped kit is intriguing. (8/10)


Buffalo Sabres NHL Soccer Cross-Over Concept - Matt Mc.


Positives: It's so strange, but these Buffalo jerseys, inspired by two different Buffalo designs, work so much better for soccer than they did hockey. My favorite here is the gold jersey, and I can't believe I'm saying that, knowing my pure loathing of the jersey that inspired it. I would even own that. Matt shows us the back of this jersey as well, and I find myself wishing he had done that with all of them. The dark jersey, evoking images of the Buffaslug era, is improved on this soccer template as well.

Negatives: The back of the dark jersey isn't shown. The Sabres traditional logo is so traditional that it tends to look out of place with modern jerseys. I would like to see a more modern logo on the jerseys, even if that means....(gulp)...using the Buffaslug. 

Overall: We tend to say that many designs look better on hockey jerseys than they do in other sports, but here we see a the exact opposite. Matt improves on failed Buffalo designs by translating them to soccer. Instant improvement. (8.5/10)


2015 Winter Classic Concept - TG


Positives: Man, those goalie templates look good. I especially love the time taken to design the goalie helmets in detail as well. That's some phenomenal work there. The Chicago jersey is really cool. I especially love the yoke. The old style goalie gear does fit a Winter Classic. The old Caps logo looks surprisingly good against chest striping. The font usage on both jerseys is great, both fit tremendously well. A few writers made a note of a lot of dead space in TG's concepts this week, but I think the goalie templates helped solve that.

Negatives: I'm not sold on the bronze color of the Washington jersey, but I don't dislike it as much as I did when I first opened the file from my email last weekend. It's growing on me. Brown pads probably don't help the bronze color. The bronze is still a little dark for a light jersey, though. It's not a big deal on an event jersey, but if it were to become an alternate, I'm not sure it would work as a light jersey.

Overall: Would not mind to see this become reality. The detailing on that goalie template alone sells me. (8.8/10) COTW nomination from me!


Will Rogers once said that he never met a man he didn't like, but Will Rogers never met someone who forgot to vote for COTW! If you, like a good, productive citizen, responsibly voted for COTW, then here is your coveted reward gif. However, if you, like a slothful bum, forgot to vote...here is your gif of shame.

Also, don't forget to send in your entries to the Grand Rapids Griffins competition! The deadline is tomorrow!

Come back tomorrow for Ryan's Sunday post to find out who won COTW. See you all later!

8 comments:

Christian Legault said...

I'll second TG. Bronze looks cool! Doesn't go well with brown pads, but great concept nonetheless.

Ryan said...

Sorry folks, Writer apps deadline was last night.

I REALLY like TG's Blackhawks concept, but the bronze Caps concept would look horrible on the ice and on TV, in my opinion. It would look like a dirty brown shirt I think. Perhaps equal parts white and bronze would have satisfied me.

Caz said...

I must have misread the deadline on the writer applications. Sorry if I confused anyone.

SportsUniformConcepts said...

Well Caz, i've decided to take up your offer and join your fantasy league. my team name is the Denver Cutthroats, in honor of our dead(?) CHL franchise.

Christian Legault said...

I've also joined your fantasy league, I will be the flexing Vikings, in honor of a logo I made.

Caz said...

That's great! The more we get the better!

Jared Lammi said...

I wonder why we haven't seen anything from Mario A. these days?

Mario Ardais said...

Jared, I've been taking a bit of a break. I have a new concept that should be up in about 2 weeks or so.