The NHL announced they will make the switch from Adidas to Fanatics jerseys for the 2024-2025 season. It took roughly 2 seconds for two main camps to form around the decision. Some fans are not thrilled citing quality and design. Other fans either do not care, are happy to have a jersey, or any combination of “other”
Off the top, I love Hurricanes jerseys of all makes and models. (That should tell you..wear…I side on this) Would I wear a yellow “no contact” jersey if I could get my hands on one, probably. Call me a “Yellow Jersey” Canes fan when it comes to jerseys combos. Multiple times, I have discussed my enjoyment of both the “Storm Flags” and the “Away” whites. Most Caniacs were not fanatics of the Reverse Retros, but I stood firm in my fandom of the diagonals in any form, or color. Of course all these fall just ever so short of obsession of all things Whalers. Every year my favorite game is Whalers Night, and two of the three Hurricanes hats I have are Whalers.
But, jerseys are a very cool part of hockey culture that I have not completely jumped. After all, I work a day job in education and write for FanSided. It’s not like I am swimming in coin of the realm, Scrooge McDuck style. Plus I would rather buy a hat since, although my work uniform is my own, I cannot wear a hockey jersey to work every day. The “Most Junior Hurricanes Reporter” has the “Storm Flags” (or as he calls it “Let’s Go Canes.”) jersey found second hand by his kith and kin in Chicago. The cool kids at the snack table really do not care what brand it is, or if he wears it every day.
For many folks, the brand isn’t as important as the design, and well…the price. Most folks will not spend the cabbage on a jersey they do not like. Brand besides.
But like everything, there is two sides of the coin.
On the flip side are those like a Boston fan at last year’s play-off game sitting next to me. Minding his own business, and not doing anything until he was drawn into a chirp fest by a drunk Canes fan (it was before the game started even) he came back with the best shut down line I’ve run across in a few minutes. “Sit down in your stupid Fanatics break away practice jersey you a*****e.”
It was right then and there I learned some people (and this intoxicated Hurricanes fan must have been one) really do care about the make and model of their jersey. And from what I have read, and had rather abruptly shown to me, is that Fanatics has had some issues with both quality and coolness in the past. Adidas has not been thrilling, depending on who you are, but at least, according to some, they have solid products. And to a degree I get it. If you are shelling out the greenbacks for a jersey, you want it to last, be well made, and maybe even cool. Fanatics has not delivered where Adidas seems to have hit pretty close.
At the end of the day, Fanatics has a full season to maybe get their stuff in….gear… to make wearables people want to wear, without fear of being chirped. If they don’t, at least according to what I have read, they have plenty of time to fix it after the rubber meets the road.
I will close by wondering allowed if we are in middle school again and by proxy worrying about what brand everyone is wearing. If we are, I’d like to know because I have served more than my time in purgatory and punched my ticket of reprieve in 2017. That being said, if you want to get rid of any Carolina Hurricanes jerseys, Fanatics or Adidas, I’ll take them! Even that yellow “no contact” jersey.