The New York Islanders have introduced a Third jersey once again. In place of the dreaded and infamous "Gordon's Fisherman" or the bright bright orange of the Yashin years, the Isles instead went with a black jersey with orang piping and grey added in. Many are outraged, many don't want other teams colors pushed on them, or a color fad being brought up years later. Personally, I just...can't find the outrage or joy over the new jerseys. I've paced around my kitchen, I'm trying to come up with chides and things to mock the Isles for adding black and grey to the color palette that's always been and should always be white, navy and orange. But, honestly, I can't.
As a Mets fan black jersey's bring back memories of things like Robin Ventura's grand slam single, of Roger Cedeño stealing bases on a whim. The black jerseys the Mets wore hit their peak in the Bobby Valentine era and you reminisce about Piazza, Ventura and the best infield money can buy. And while they didn't wear the black jersey's on September 21st, 2001, the first game back from 9/11 and Piazza's epic home run that night (just thinking about it brings me to the brink of tears). Those are what I think of when I think of black jersey's in NY.
See, it's not the jersey that makes the mark. It's the players behind them. We associate the traditional jerseys of the Isles to the glory years of the organization. We fear change. The Isles still made the playoffs with the orange 3rds.
I see no difference between these new jerseys and the regulars we now where and their affecting the performance of the team. Just because they'll wear a third jersey maybe 15 times this year (if that) doesn't mean the team isn't flawed in a number of ways (defense, secondary scoring, leaving a goalie in the dust seemingly at all times).
I mean, who knows, maybe the Isles will record memories in the new jerseys and they'll grow on folks. Thirds come and go. This team still has other issues and demons to confront before I care which jersey they wear which night. Just win and people won't care.
(photo is a screen grab of the Islanders new splashpage.)