Enter the #ThirdsNotTurds contest and help design a new Sabres alternate

Few things have received such little support around Sabres nation than the Turd Jersey. From the agonizing reveal process to the busy, over thought design, there are no redeeming qualities to the Sabres current third jersey. Now the Basement Brigade is teaming up to give the fans more of a voice when it comes to the team’s alternate uniform design.

Can you believe how ugly this thing is? – Steve Ott, probably.

Through some discussion with Ryan Wolfe from Sabres Hockey Central, we cooked up a scheme to allow designers, bloggers, fans or anyone else to submit their own design for the Sabres third jersey which we will then open voting for down the line. The rules and regulations can be found at Die By The Blade but the long and the short of it is this:

  • Submissions should be sent to sabresconcept@gmail.com
  • Submissions will be accepted until March 23
  • Voting will be open for two weeks after all the submissions have been compiled
  • You can use #ThirdsNotTurds to submit or converse via Twitter

Ryan put it very well, saying that the goal is to give the fans a voice when it comes to the design of the third jersey. Given all the talent that exists around Buffalo (and beyond) we’re certain that we’ll get some very cool submissions. Hopefully, with the proper support, we can show the Sabres that there are better options than a gold and blue two-toned caped jersey. Here’s Ryan on the subject:

For the past few years, we have been told that the Buffalo Sabres organization wants to hear our opinion. The organization wants to know what we want to see. Let’s show them what we want. Send your design for a new Buffalo Sabres third jersey to sabresconcept@gmail.com. After we obtain the entries, a vote will be held, and we’ll do our best to make sure it gets out to as many eyes as possible. The winner gets the instant gratification that Buffalo Sabres fans want to see their design come to real life.

Interestingly, Ted Black noted that the team underestimated the jersey fatigue surrounding Sabres fans when releasing the jersey and noted that a new third won’t come around until 2020. That would align with the team’s 50th anniversary and a full five years from the Turd Jerseys.

One way or the other the Turd Jersey is going away this year. It was an unmitigated disaster that had next to zero support and now that the required two-year cycle of use will be reached, we won’t be seeing it next season. Waiting until the 50th anniversary would not only remove the organization from such a bad uniform choice but will also give them the opportunity to go back to a more traditional design, much like they did in 2010 with the 40th anniversary uniforms.

Ironically enough, the 40th anniversary jerseys were worlds better than the current iteration and would have been more than satisfactory as a long-term alternate. Instead, the team tried too hard to find a modern design and the effort fell flat.

I can accept the jersey fatigue excuse to a degree. Yes, the team has had three alternate uniforms and two primary sets of uniforms since 200-6-07. The Turd Jersey was introduced shortly after the 40th anniversary uniform was shelved. Lastly, the team is horrible and pairing a terrible jersey with a bad on-ice product made for bad timing and, I suspect, poor sales.

However, had the team created a beautiful alternate uniform that would have been embraced by a wide segment of the fan base, I doubt we’d be having any conversation about the third jersey at this point.

Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that fans are too married to the original crest. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, as the original 1970 crest is among the best the league has ever seen. However, the lack of general support for jerseys that aren’t adorned with the charging buffalo and crossed sabres is equally fatiguing at times. The original crest is a terrific compliment to any traditionally designed jersey. It tends to look out of place on a uniform with a contemporary striping pattern. For example: the Turds.

Anyway, the Sabres missed on the Turds. They missed badly. It’s easy to place the onus on the fans since I’m sure there are plenty of people in WNY with a Miller slug, Gaustad 40th and a Vanek home jersey hanging in their closets collecting dust. I know I wouldn’t buy an ugly jersey with a guy’s name on it who probably won’t be here next year.

I don’t think it’s necessary to wait until 2020 for the Sabres to release another third jersey. It’s also probably not necessary to put another into circulation for the 2016-17 season (we’re already too late for 15-16). But perhaps the proper amount of support for this very cool grassroots effort will catch the eye of the organization and we can affect some change.

Get your submissions in now, I’m looking forward to having too many good ones to choose from.

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