Last week, I posted a entry about Bill Guerin’s away jersey and how it seemed to be missing the patch representing the Islanders’ 4 Stanley Cups. While I had not been the one to originally notice this, I decided to dig through photos and track down when the patch went missing out of curiosity.
What I found was interesting, the patch seemed to be missing some games and then be there for others – sometimes even going missing and returning within the same game. My gut feeling at the time, was that Guerin was swapping jerseys mid-game and there was a jersey floating around without the patch. Once I had posted, fans on several message boards began to track the presence of the patch – even posting updates in the comment section of my blog entries. To my surprise, a website called Uni Watch Blog picked up my story and it gained a bunch of attention. Having the access that I do through the Blog Box, I felt that there was enough curiosity to ask about this find. So I posed the jersey question to Corey Witt, the Islanders media coordinator, after the game against the Phoenix Coyotes. At the time, Corey had absolutely no prior knowledge of this and asked me to hang on while he asked the equipment managers. I was told that none of the equipment managers were aware of any issue with Guerin’s jersey – but they would look into it and get back to me the next home game.
After we were done with the post game press conference and locker room interviews tonight, I tracked down Corey again for an update. Corey told me that the equipment managers found that one jersey was indeed missing the patch. Guerin, like many other players rotates jerseys throughout the course of a game (Corey mentioned some players rotate as many as 2 or 3 depending on preference), and this is the reason why the patch would be there in some shots and be missing in others. He then went on to tell me that he was surprised the jersey was missing the patch, as they don’t sew them on – they are shipped as is from Reebok. He then explained that he was even more surprised that Guerin or anyone else didn’t notice and ask the issue to be addressed – because the players notice the smallest details when it comes to uniforms. Corey told me that he and the equipment managers actually looked at the photos in my blog entry and were amazed it took so long to come to light.
At the end of our conversation, he thanked me for bringing “Stripe Gate” to his attention and mentioned the offending jersey has since been replaced. To be perfectly honest it feels pretty strange, as a blogger – to be directly responsible for a jersey being removed from rotation. It really puts everything into perspective for me, because I never anticipated my site to have the reach that it has sometimes. I guess it’s also a good reminder to the organization, because as fans who blog – we sometimes notice things that the traditional media may not. In the end, I guess that’s why the team decided to credential bloggers – a different perspective and avenue for fans to read about the team.