Pay No Attention to the Player Behind the Jersey

by Ryan

Everyone has seen the new Sabres jerseys, so I’m not going to post them here. In fact, that’s entirely the point. We’re two weeks away from any sort of organized hockey, and all anyone seems to talk about is what the Sabres will wear this fall.

Now that the mainstream media has jumped on board with the leak, it’s only going to spread further. Now what I think about them doesn’t matter, but I’m going to tell you anyway: I like them. It’s a clean look, and they did a good job of using classic style without limiting the look to just two colors (a la Leafs jerseys). I probably won’t buy one, but more power to those that do.

What’s interesting about the last 24 hours and will continue to be interesting for me is the fact that we’re not talking about the Sabres anymore. For the next few weeks we will not discuss Miller’s fitness or a revamped blue line, but what those players are going to wear on game nights.

In other words, The System keeps rolling along.

Now before I get painted as bitter, hear me out for a bit. Of course the new jerseys are a money grab, and that’s fine with me. So was the big push for Drury and Briere jerseys a few years ago, or any of the slug jerseys at all.

The Buffalo Sabres are not required to make sure their fans are fiscally responsible. In fact, the exact opposite is almost necessary for them to survive. They need multiple jerseys per person and mini packs and playoff tickets sold to make this whole thing work, and you can’t blame them for parting fans with their greenbacks.

Still, this whole “new jerseys” thing makes me realize just how good they are at it. Say what you will about the other aspects of the franchise, but they clearly know how to market the team to this area. From a merchandise standpoint the team has done extremely well over the last few years, and this year might be their best yet.

Think about what the Puck Drop event is all about. September 18 has nothing to do with the players that will be on the ice in October and everything to do with what they are wearing. It will be about how the jerseys look on the ice and how many of them are for sale in the team store.

In a larger sense, it’s about making all those people that were so “angry” about a lack of roster turnover forget all about the summer, just like they always do. Suddenly no one is angry about Tim Kennedy playing on the Rangers because did you see how nice the away jersey is?

Team officials were probably hoping to keep the new look under wraps until mid-September, but this ‘leak’ may actually be good for them. No one wants to talk about whether Rivet will be 100% or if contract year Tim Connolly will be back, but rather how they’re going to save the money to get that new sweater.

There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but don’t tell me the man behind the curtain isn’t powerful at all.


  1. Mike

    The Sabres aren’t even on my radar yet, and I totally don’t care about the jerseys. I have a jersey that I like. I see no reason to get another one. It’s kind of a luxury item to me. I used to just wear a regular sweater to the games to cheer on the team. That should be enough to be a fan. I feel like there’s a lot of peer pressure that I have to be some dumb yahoo lining up for beer in between periods in my jersey, and that you’re not a real Sabres fan unless you sink in a ton of money to team merchandise. I’m sure that’s what TPTB are going for. I mean, I want the Sabres to be in Buffalo forever. Do we need to change the unis every year and have us buy them in order for that to be possible?
    For me, preseason and hearing RJ’s voice will start to get me excited. I can only stay angry at them if they lose, despite Kennedy. But if they lose regularly, I will be furious and start demanding Darcy and Lindy’s heads along with everyone else.

  2. Deal With It

    I agree with almost everything in this post. Just don’t let the Regier ball-huggers at Die By The Blade see this.

    I only disagree with the though that they changed the jerseys to distract people from the lack of changes this summer…… mostly because they were going to change the jerseys back to our true logo anyway, regardless of the offseason moves or lack therof. It had nothing to do with it. Despite merch sales, there were enough people who hated the slug (and a lot that bought the vintage 3rd jersey) to suggest that the fans wanted to go back to our original logo.

    Anyway, awesome site. Keep up the good work spreading the truth and not making excuses for the organization, unlike DBTB.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Monday Morning Links, September 13 « Black & Blue & Gold September 13, 2010 at 12:26 PM

  2. By FJM’ing Lambert’s Links: What We Learned | Bourne's Blog September 13, 2010 at 1:50 PM