Chicago Blackhawks’ merchandise has finally reached the tipping point, plummeting into absurdity. When I started watching hockey in 1989, it was nearly impossible to find a Blackhawks t-shirt in Chicago. Twenty-six years and three Stanley Cup Championships later, you can hardly walk ten feet without seeing Blackhawks t-shirts, towels or temporary tattoos for sale somewhere. One side effect of the team’s success is that the Blackhawks will now license ANY item, no matter how incredibly stupid it is. Here are seven officially-licensed ‘Hawks items that left me scratching my head, wondering why any team would be OK with their logo adorning these.
#1 – Chicago Blackhawks Carpet Tiles – Remember when hockey fans freaked out after Justin Bieber stepped on the Chicago Blackhawks logo during his visit to the United Center in 2013? So, if Blackhawks fans don’t want anyone stepping on the logo, why would the team license a set of carpet tiles? Perhaps you’re only supposed to step on the green tiles, sort of like Indiana Jones creeping through a temple of doom, trying to not trigger an ancient trap.
#2 – Chicago Blackhawks Car Mats – Maybe stepping on a team logo on carpeting is sacrilege, but totally cool if it is on a floor mat in your SUV. Folks, nothing — and I mean nothing — says you are a fan like putting your muddy boots on our cherished logo after a long day of hiking at the nature trail. Then again, I’m sure Bears fans that would love to do just that to those Green Bay Packers car mats.
#3 – Blackhawks Flip Flops – As if stepping on the logo wasn’t enough of a dis, now you can have Chief Black Hawk under your heel — much like the U.S. military did in 1832, am I right? What makes these particularly detestable is the red, white and black camouflage pattern. Surely, these won’t help you hide during your next paintball game or hunting expedition.
#4 – Blackhawks Nutcracker – Remember when you visited your Grandma’s house in the 1980s, and wanted some candy? But all she had were shelled nuts that you had to crack open yourself. Now you can relive those lame, sugar-free memories with your very own Blackhawks Nutcracker. This item appeals to the fan that enjoys eating shelled nuts while watching his favorite hockey team on TV (I don’t think you can get one of these past security at the United Center). What puts this beyond bad is that the nutcracker has all his teeth. He should be missing at least the front two, like a true hockey player.
#5 – Blackhawks Skull Jersey – Is this ‘Hawks jersey EXTREME? Or is it HARDCORE? Or is it BOTH? Who knows? The Blackhawks logo has been replaced with a skull (BECAUSE SKULLS MEAN DEATH!) The jersey is mostly black (LIKE MY SOUL!!), with white and red (THE COLOR OF BLOOD!) Wear this and it is only a a matter of time before you get your tongue pierced and buy the next Mastodon album on iTunes.
#6 – Blackhawks Luggage Spotters – You stand at the luggage carousel at the airport, seemingly forever, patiently waiting for your bag to come down the conveyer belt. You get that jolt of false hope every time a nondescript black suitcase comes your way, only to realize that said suitcase belongs to someone else. If only there was just some way to tell all of these nondescript black suitcases apart without having to read the luggage tags. Fortunately, these officially-licensed “luggage spotters” clip to the handle of your suitcase, allegedly making it easier to find. Notice that the luggage spotter pictured on the packaging photograph is an easy-to-notice orange, while the product itself is, unhelpfully, black.
#7 – Blackhawks Zombie Bobblehead – Can you think of a better way of showing your team loyalty than by displaying a cutesy, flesh-eating monster on your desk? Actually, if you did put this on your desk at work, no one would ever question what team you like. In fact, your coworkers would probably just stop talking to you all together. This items is clearly meant to appeal to the dozen or so Blackhawks fans who are also fans of zombie flicks and bobblehead dolls. Something tells me that my local dollar store will be swarming with these soon.
What other dumb items can you think of — Blackhawks or another team? Leave a comment below. ■