RetroBuzz: Bad '90s Jerseys
This week, RetroBuzz will take an in-depth look at the decade of my youth, which also happened to be the worst jersey-decade in the history of sports, the 1990s.
The '90s was a terrible decade for sports jerseys. A combination of rapid league expansion, the maturation of the jersey-as-money-making scheme, the growth of market research and the popularity of the colour teal meant that new jerseys were being pumped out annually in the '90s, and most of them were both terrible and short-lived.
The NHL made some particularly ill-advised moves during the Clinton administration, and while some of those indiscretions, like those of The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Phoenix Coyotes have been fairly well documented, this gem from the 1996 Los Angeles Kings often gets overlooked.
It's been called "The Burger King," in reference to its similarity to said burger chain's mascot, but I prefer to the think of it as "The Lion King," since the beard looks oddly like a mane. Either way, it was an attempt by new ownership to paper over what they were calling a "rebuilding phase" — which involved trading away Rick Tocchet, Jari Kurri, and eventually, Wayne Gretzky, as well as missing the playoffs for three straight years — by incorporating the colour schemes from both the Triple Crown era of the '70s and '80s and the Gretzky era of the late '80s and early '90s. What they wound up with was a ridiculous logo, weird "high tech" looking colour gradation and a jersey that actually hurt they eyes a little.