Golden Seals goalie Gary Simmons’ mask was carved out of bone from a northern elephant seal, on sacred Native American burial ground by descendants of local tribes, honoring the traditional masks worn by their hunter ancestors. Creepy. (by Drew Gill)
Tony Cooper of the San Francisco Chronicle recalls a Seals game in St. Louis when they were being outshot 20-1 in one period. He overheard Walt McKechnie ask his teammates: “OK, who was the wise guy who took the shot?”
Good news guys, we’ve finally entered the 90s, aka the golden age of teal jerseys. Last entry I concentrated on the California Golden Seals, so it only makes sense to follow up with the next teal colored bay area hockey team (I totally meant to order them this way! I totally knew the Golden Seals wore teal! Like, totally!).
So that brings us to THE SHARKS:
The Sharks history actually dates back to 1974 when Gordon and George Gund III bought the aforementioned Seals. The Gunds you see, were what some would call “serial movers.” They bought the Seals, tried to move them from Oakland to San Francisco, failed, then moved the team to their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.
The newly formed Cleveland Barons lasted all of two seasons before they merged with the Minnesota North Stars. They literally merged. Like, all the best players from both teams formed the new Minnesota North Stars. That seems unbelievably unfair and obviously the North Stars were good almost right away because of this.
(Now I’m stuck thinking of what two NFL teams could merge and not immediately become the best team in football. The answer is obviously any combination of the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams.)
So in 1991 the Gunds decided to move again, sold their shares of the North Stars and got an expansion team in San Jose. So basically this happened, except there would be a Baron involved somehow:
The team started their existence playing in the Cow Palace.
It must have been tough playing hockey around that giant space shuttle.
There are few things I like more than really shitty sports venues and the Cow Palace definitely qualifies as a shitty sports venue. See, you can tell from it’s miniscule capacity (11,000) and the fact that it was built during the 2nd World War. Also, when the Seals were still a team, they turned down moving there.
“Move to the Cow Palace? No thanks, we’ll move to Cleveland instead.”
The Sharks were almost named the “Blades,” but switched to the Sharks after concern that “Blades” had a violent connotation. What the fuck is a blade? Blades?! As in the metal part of a hockey skate? What would their logo have been? This? I’m convinced the “Blades” probably wouldn’t have even made it out of the Cow Palace years. “Blades” was the most popular name chosen by fans. Was this a prank? Were hundreds or even thousands of fans all in on some sort of elaborate scheme to come up with the worst name for a professional sports team ever?
So they settled on the Sharks because apparently there are lots of Sharks in the bay area. Sharks is actually a pretty cool name, but it is pretty funny to have a team located in San Jose named after an aquatic organism.
Out of all the late 80s/90s expansion teams/renames: Mighty Ducks (too cutesy), Avalanche (too snowy), Hurricanes (too Irene), Panthers (too feline), Predators (too Chris Hansen), Senators (too political), Coyotes (too Wile E.), Lightning (too scary to my dog Dodger, seriously, he hates thunderstorms! wacky!), Thrashers (too metal), Devil Rays (also too metal), Diamondbacks (too what the fuck is a diamondback), Rockies (too named after a mountain range), Marlins (too fishy), Heat (too literal, like yeah, we get it, Miami is hot), Timberwolves (too timberwolves? is that a real thing? no way), Hornets (too sting-y, no not stingy, sting-y, like a stinger. Don’t worry, you’ll get it eventually), Magic (too David Blaine), Raptors (too Lost World), Wizards (too Dumb-ledore, hey-ohhhh), Grizzlies (too bear), Ravens (too poetic), Panthers (too feline), Jaguars (too seriously, two teams named after jungle cats in one season) and Titans (too out of ideas), they probably had the best name.
So the Sharks started out horribly, but that certainly didn’t stop me from having a San Jose Sharks starter jacket:
The debut of the Sharks mascot named “S.J. Sharkie” went swimmingly as he was apparently going to rappel from the rafters, but became tangled and hung 40 feet above the ice while the starting lineups were announced.
I’m no shark expert, but that doesn’t really look like a shark. That looks a lot more like a combination between a dolphin, a beluga and a cartoon dinosaur.
The Sharks next uniforms were bad, as they included the same logo, but far more rounded lines, a very late 90s move:
The Sharks changed their uniforms again in 2007, also updating their logo and adding orange:
I think it’s funny when teams change their logos to appear more ferocious, but I do like that despite teal not being nearly as popular anymore, they still stuck with it (albeit a much darker shade of teal, now known as wait for it…DEEP pacific teal).
On a deep-shark note, I saw Deep Blue Sea for the first time a week ago. That movie has the dumbest ending ever.
They need to shoot the shark, right? But it’s too far away. So the girl jumps into the water to lure it closer, but Thomas Jane doesn’t shoot it for some reason. Nope, he jumps into the water because apparently he cares about the girl so much… Then the girl gets eaten, which Thomas Jane and LL Cool J either forget about or just don’t give a shit about. Jane and Cool J then blow up the shark and are fucking cracking jokes as the boat arrives to save them. Not to mention the ten other people who had just died in the last five hours of your lives, but a woman died literally three minutes prior. I honestly half expected the girl to like, survive somehow, but didn’t.
So thus ends part IV, stay tuned for when we enter the mid 90s!
I know for a lot of you this will be a difficult thing because, in the words of ‘Jim Ignitouski’ …”The 70’s were a very hard time on us” … the 1970’s definitely were a very strange, flamboyant and colourful decade. Things were changing fast; the Americans were landing men on the moon, Gilligan’s Island was the 3! TV show and then there was, as my dad referred to it, that dammed Hard Rock…