The 45th in out 118-part series.
Seeing Random Sweaters in the Crowd at Devils Games
There was some discussion in the comment threads here on IPB about the many factors that go into buying a hockey sweater. There are so many things to consider — how does the name and number look, what’s the likelihood the player will be on the team next season or in ten years, what will people think when they see you wearing it, what will the player think if he sees you wearing it, what do you think the player will think when you’re sure to meet him, what will you think when you look in the mirror, is the choice too teenybop, or not teenybop enough — it can be a very trying ordeal. So it’s with great admiration that we salute the fans at Devils games who, based on much travelling to other teams’ arenas, wear the widest variety of sweaters of any fanbase that we’ve seen, ranging from the classic to the sublime. For every Stevens and Brodeur there’s an unsung guy, like Brylin or Pandolfo. For every unsung guy like Pando, there’s a random one-moment of glory guy like Rupp or Friesen. For every Rupp there’s a forgotten name from seasons prior like Pederson or Zyuzin. And then you have the creme de la creme of random sweaters. The ones that make you do a double take. How, we ask you, can you not marvel at someone who struggles through that soul-searching process of finding the right sweater and then, having considered all the options — the stars, the unsung guys, the folk heroes, the gone-on-to-greener-pastures players — chooses a “Shulmistra” sweater?