While on the one hand I could not be happier to see Lady Liberty finally grace a New York Rangers jersey again, I was somewhat left unfulfilled after seeing the Rangers Adidas Reverse Retro jersey. Having back the Rangers jersey that debuted when I was six years old flooded me with some great feelings of nostalgia, I was then left feeling that the job had only been half finished.
When the Rangers first debuted the Liberty jerseys back in 1996 it had almost a futuristic approach and a radical departure from anything we had ever seen with this franchise. Although after a while it looked like the jersey was a tad unfinished at the bottom after they just had the Liberty head with “NYR” underneath it, the jersey became an ultimate fan favorite for the 11 years that the club wore it.
Ever since retiring the jersey in 07, most Rangers fans pined to have it back with possibly a bit of an update here or there but not losing what made the jersey so popular. When I saw Adidas was going to be doing Reverse Retros this year I was all giddy at the prospect of finally getting this iconic Rangers jersey back. Then the teaser dropped on Friday showing an updated version of the old Liberty shoulder patch and was immediately thrilled because I just had that gut feeling Lady Liberty would be back at MSG. The way Adidas updated the shoulder patch was great too because if you remember the old Liberty sweaters had a bit of a dark feel with the grey and the dark blue color scheme. This revised edition had a much cleaner look with the Rangers shield being brightened up with silver instead of the grey which in my book was already a huge win.
Then the big reveal came on Monday and we saw some absolutely stellar jerseys make their way back from the 90’s and early 2000’s. The Panthers bringing back the leaping panthers, the Coyotes with a beautiful bright purple to make the yote head shine, the LA Kings bringing together two of the franchises most iconic jerseys, and the Vancouver with an absolute remix for one absolutely stunning sweater. And then there was the Rangers… We did get the Liberty back, but that was it. No real update, no real wow factor or pizazz that we saw we some of the other teams around the league. Actually the thing that Adidas did that bothered me most was that they changed the sleeves from the original Liberty to much thinner stripes and still the bottom of the jersey looks unfinished. In all rights, it looked like the Rangers gave Adidas one of their practice jerseys and said “just add something on the arms and brighten up the shoulder and call it a day” it was truly bittersweet.
Oh what could have been…
Bob Kawa @BobKawa created a spectacular jersey concept of Lady Liberty prior to the releases and what a thing of beauty it could have been
Instead we ended up with the unfinished glorified practice jersey. If the concept mockup wasn’t enough, the “in the flesh” concept will surely break your heart.
again, what could have been INDEED….