I already knew we were a nation of self-proclaimed hockey gurus. I had no idea that our collective armchair expertise extended to hockey haute couture.
The considerable distress that greeted leaked photos of Team Canada's Olympic hockey jerseys a few weeks ago and was echoed when the design was officially unveiled today is at once puzzling and predictable. It's no surprise that any element of something as crucial to the Canadian identity as Olympic hockey should be fodder for national debate, but the criticism of the 2014 jersey design almost seems gratuitous. If the designers had invoked tired stereotypes with a logo of a moose in a Mountie hat or pandered to political correctness by incorporating a multicultural melange of Mandarin collars, harem pants and turban-shaped helmets, that would be legitimate fodder for debate. But an understated red and white pattern with a simple maple leaf logo is strongly representative of the way Canadians traditionally like to see themselves: quietly proud and confident without the arrogance that comes with excessive jingoism. If less is more, the main Canadian Olympic jersey design is a fashion metaphor for infinity.
As for the black-with-red-stripes third jerseys, they're a bit over the top, but I'm not comfortable with comparisons to SS uniforms - at least not until Himmler, Heydrich or Sepp Dietrich make the team. Then we'll talk.