Saturday, July 18, 2009

quick, get tyra on the horn

Why Tyra?

Shit's about to get fierce in here.

First off, we care a lot about the quality of websites in the NHL.
We just do.
They have a lot to represent in a short amount of time. They are meant to grab the attention of the fan and provide a snapshot of the essence of the team for all to see.
If the website doesn't look fierce and confident, how can we have any faith in the team? However, there is often an irony in who is doing the best job at being fierce, and who is falling flat. Thus it comes as no surprise that we visited the Tampa Bay Lightning website this morning and were greeted by this splash page (note: all images can be clicked for full size):
If you have any sense of good taste whatsoever, your eyes are immediately drawn to Brother Steven there on the left, his eyes seemingly looking into your soul, communicating to you an air of bravery, chivalry, and overall success. Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis are mere footnotes to the brilliance of this shot. Often, the sign of a good model is the ability to draw attention to themselves in a busy photo.
Steven Stamkos does just that.
And let's not even get into their new season slogan.
Together we will?
Together we will. . .what, exactly?
Get to set early for hair and makeup?
Surely they don't mean "make the playoffs."
Overall, this splash page is a fine representation of the Lightning as a team. By which we mean: coherence and beauty.

Seeing a well-executed splash page like this begs serious questions.
It's July. Are any of the League's other teams taking this prime opportunity to be at their fiercest? They have all the time in the world. And the splash page to a website is a fine vehicle for this concept.

First, we hunted down all the teams who are having splash pages in the middle of the summer. After seeing Tampa's, we expected greatness. We were taught a valuable lesson: if you're impressed by something the Lightning has done, don't expect greatness from anyone else.
Here are the Bruins, promoting their upcoming Winter Classic appearance with a nice shot of Timmybear. Okay, okay. We can deal with this. It's not anywhere near as fierce as Steven, but they tried.
The Winter Classic logo this year is pretty cute and it gives this design a much-needed dose of style. Even if that style kind of looks like it is for a girls' golf tourny. But. . .like we said. They tried.

The Buffalo Sabres = the antifierce.
What a terrible performance. A boring serif font is also good for a golf tournament, but not one that you expect anyone to actually be interested in.

This little girl is fierce as hell. But she's pulling it off all on her own. The Hurricanes made it to the conference finals this year, for Christ's sake. Shouldn't they be getting people pumped about shit already? Might we suggest players who are capable of being very, very fierce on film:

CamCam (even looking fierce in a casual photograph--never turn your fierce off, boys)

Detroit has managed here to combine a very terrible play on words with. . .Johan Franzen? Is that Johan? We can't tell because someone made him redder than he was before (which we never thought possible) and saved the .jpeg at what appears to be a somewhat middling quality.
We all know the Red Wings are happy to show up and have fashion shoots together, especially when they get to be all Swedish and wear jeans together, so what gives?
You can't blame the economy for this failure.

They're just milking the designs for all they're worth because their centennial was a fucking disaster. When you pay someone to design a fancy number 100 for you, you might as well use it, instead of embarrassing yourself trying to make Carey Price look like a winner. Not fierce, but can you blame them?

Second only to the Sabres page in antifierceness. As Penguins fans, we should be glad that they didn't cart in Mike Richards and Jeff Carter for glamour shots, but if you want to be the Broad Street Bullies, do something. When the Flyers try to look tough they end up looking kind of homoerotic, but that serves these purposes very, very well! Can't they see the light? Bring on the gay. It's a damned splash page.

. . .Now, while this has all been very enlightening, we became even more curious.
If not with a fierce splash page, how are all of the other NHL teams drawing your eyes to all the important parts of their website?

Not that we expected a ton from Anaheim.
This is acceptable. Acceptable doesn't mean fierce, but that's okay.
The top banner is just flat. It's like it didn't even try. You can refresh the page to get a different player gracing your sidebar, which is always a fun feature. We chose Bobby Ryan because Bobby, of all players on the Ducks roster, knows how to behave in a way which is fierce. And, in his own words, how to "be glorious." What a beautiful person.

Atlanta chooses to medicate us with some intense Ilyaface. Colby and Kari are fierce as hell but that is a coincidence and not a consequence of their design skills. The background is just awful. Banner is okay, though. We're not going to get picky, but if the Lightning are going to be so fierce, why not Atlanta?

Jarome Iginla here approaches fierce, but at a speed of maybe 5 miles per hour. The flames and typeface in the banner look like something out of an action movie title sequence circa 2002. Frankly, it's not something we feel comfortable with. Calgary could do a lot better.

Chicago, we have to address in two separate parts, just because in term of their team's aesthetic they've always been pretty spot-on, non-PC team logo aside.
First, the banner is nice. The logo in the background is straight from their regular home jersey and you can see the stitching and the texture.
And second, their sidebar refreshes to a variety of players, all looking pretty fucking fierce, with a neat little inset to show their name, number, and signature. Here is Patrick Sharp. This photo says: "I am part of a young dynamic team. That just signed Marian Hossa for 12 years. Fuckkkkk. But I still look fine."

Colorado is doing an okay job. They're managing to put the fierce in the text. Somehow. Don't ask us how. Either way, it's working. What with Matt Duchene coming up, the Avs might be the team to baby next season. We're all for "The Avalanche Experience", whatever that is.

Okay, so, the Blue Jackets website could be a lot fiercer. It doesn't have anything on the right side of the page, just black void. Admittedly, the banner is pretty adorable. And that front page story about the "new law"? It's about making sure little boys and girls wear helmets. Which just says a lot about the organization. We love the Jackets. Do they have to be fierce? Not really. But it might help.

In refreshing the relatively fugz Dallas page in search of a fierce player, we realized that they had nothing fiercer than a man who plays with the consistency of an alcoholic.
Depressing showing.

The Oilers page is just weird.
What is with the bottom left?
What are they trying to convey about their team image?
That there are random facial features sticking out of the corners?

This had potential. The soft blue tint to the players in the sidebar could have been atmospheric, not that the Panthers are atmospheric. In retrospect, the fact that they just made it Nathan Horton's gremlinface is totally representative of their franchise.

No. . .no matter how many times you refresh it, it still kind of looks like the cover of a medieval-themed porno. Which, if shot by Nigel Barker (noted fashion photographer), could probably be fierce. We need to get Nigel out there behind the goal, putting his camera through one of those goofy little holes behind the glass, and making people beautiful. And less tacky. Or is it more tacky?

Now, on to the Minnesota Wild. First off, the banner is pretty cool. Christmas colors aside (and god, they are pretty hard to get past), they have an old-timey, joyful aesthetic that, while it doesn't suit the team, manages to be somewhat delightful and cute.
Nearby, however, is their little sidebar. It has a few things that you can refresh to see. But on my own first visit to the site, I got the fiercest thing ever. It even reappeared time and time again after multiple refreshes.

Welcome to nothingness.
Er, Nashville.
It's like a black hole with Shea Weber hanging out in it. Which is pretty much what the Preds are. So we applaud them for getting the team concept right.
We can improve upon this though. Just a little.
Much better.
We assume that the "it" in "IT STAYS WITH YOU" means Pepper.
Otherwise we'd have to assume other, much more painful things. You know, any memories you may have of genocide and war. Herpes. The pregnancy you didn't abort before it was too far along.

We understand the confusion experienced by the Devils organization in thinking they were selecting typeface for the cover of a young adult novel (perhaps about wizards and vampires and shit, as is the trend nowadays) rather than for a fucking Atlantic Division hockey team. At least they have a heartwarming commemorative brick offer to reel in the gay and take it home. . .or something.

They have Nickelback?
Fuck it. They've gotta be fierce.
Greasy Boy Canada will help them in that department too.
Plus, the Isles logo has a certain classic quality to it.

Okay so.
The ripped paper thing.
The background.
The New York Rangers have successfully conveyed a certain feel here. But that feel just says "WE RIP PAPER OH HERE'S HENRIK LUNDQVIST."
So much more could be done. We're not sure what, but they play in one of the world's most important, dynamic cities and their fanbase has a certain persona. That amounts to more than ripped paper and Swedes.


Apparently one other NHL team has a splash page that we didn't know about before.
Yes, more so than Steven Stamkos.
It's a motherfucking Blingee.
This may all be a ploy to gain the affections of PH Staff after they robbed tolerable teams in the League of Alexei Kovalev.
It is a brilliant ploy if so.
Do you see the way the logo is also smiling with its eyes?
Do you see it as the embodiment of the Ottawa Senators franchise?
It brings the gay. In a delicate, gorgeous way.

Here's Phoenix.
We think that's Bryz but it's kind of hard to tell.
More Bryz would make this sufficiently fierce.
He could make a pile of dog shit fierce, let's be honest.

Aside from the obvious issue that the color of Nabby's uni awkwardly fails to match the color of the overall page, there just isn't a lot of fierce here.
Promoting your state as the current holders of the President's Trophy shows a lot of sass. It's like saying "Yeah. . .we choked in the first round. . .but we at least set ourselves up for a better fate."
It's a "fuck alls ya'll", if you will.
But we could stand to see Joe Thornton creeping out from the top right corner and asking us if we want a rum and Coke.
That'd be fierce.

At first glance, St. Louis looks like it's par for the course.
But then you have to realize: the logo up in the banner is actually like, half of someone's torso melting off into a gradient. It's awkward. It nags at the soul.
We have to give them credit for generally picking good facial expressions for their players. Not fierce necessarily. . .but they're not bad.
Except this one.
This is mere inches away from being a face a dude makes when strenuously fucking someone from behind.
And that isn't appropriate for the frontpage of your hockey site.
Wrong kind of gay. You know?

Nothing about the Toronto page is important except for the total "wtf" moment you get from looking at the right side of the page.
Like. . .whose bright idea was this?
What does it have to do with Toronto? We see no relation to the city, the team, its fans, or really anything real whatsoever. It's just mind-bogglingly unfierce. We all know that Vesa and Luke are fully capable of being sexily fierce when called upon, so where the hell are they?

Now, the Canucks page is a little something we like to call fierce without the tack.
Note the straight lines of the design, the cleanness of their typeface, and the overall "I'm motherfucking fierce" look of Roberto Luongo in his gear.
This is not the giddy crescendo of fierce achieved by the likes of Tampa Bay and Ottawa, but it gets its name called first at least one week and has its shot displayed as digital artwork in the house.

How to address the problem of the Washington Capitals?
They picked a really awesome, fierce photo of Ovechkin. In terms of Ovechkin photos, this is a fucking stellar image where he looks totally virtuous.
But you can't accomplish the impossible and make the Capitals fierce with a slogan like "RED IS CAPS HOCKEY." It would be understandable if they had a long tradition of red. But they don't. Home uniforms were primarily white forever and we of course all remember when they were doing that weird sea green/eagle thing:
So what gives, Washington?
Red is, like, Red Wings hockey.
Caps hockey isn't really analogous to a color at this stage of its life.
Get over it.

Oh, and you've probably noticed the obvious omission by now.
It's pretty much as fierce as it gets over on the Pens site.
The Penguins actually won the Stanley Cup this year.
No shit.
It's the only fashion accessory we'll ever need.
Malks owns the picture in the sidebar. Max owns that goal celebration. TK just owns.

We hope you've enjoyed the day's education in Fierceness.

I mean, it's the middle of July.
But in the fierce way.



utterfrivolity said...

I have no idea how long it took to put that post together, but it was worth every second.

I didn't believe that was actually the Senators' splash page until I checked the site myself. Wow. That is some special shit.

In general, NHL sites make me want to cry. They all use the same crap layout, but aside from looking similarly shitty, the menus and content aren't really standardized so it still takes forever to find what you're looking for on another team's site.

I don't know how I missed that Bobby Ryan video. Glorious indeed.

I think PH has forced a Cal Clutterbuck crush upon me. Not that I'm complaining.

Candy Man Fan said...

this has nothing to do with the post (sorry!) I will have to read it all tomorrow when I'm not falling asleep at 11:24 pm on a Saturday night. I am lame. anyways

@Annie - please take millions of pictures of Brooks being a sexy piece of man for me tomorrow. you can tell him I said that but I'm assuming you won't want to. have funnn

Annie S said...

@Candy Man Fan - I just spent half an hour deciding and organizing what I'm going to wear and what I'm going to ask him to sign. I'll do my best to convey your thoughts (which are the same as mine, basically, because he IS a sexy, adorable, terrifying piece of man), but I'll probably end up stuttering like an idiot, rambling on like an idiot, or clamming up completely. But I will take TONS of pictures, believe me! I'm getting up at six in the morning and driving for two hours out there but it will be SO worth it. This will be my first time meeting anyone from the team. And I'm rambling - can you tell I'm excited??? GUHH.

In regard to the post, this is hall of fame material. Seriously, awesome job! I LAWL'd the whole way through. Especially the Oilers' page. And the Blues. The Toronto one looks like a brain synapse. And the Sharks is just kind of sad...

And the Canes one and the pic of Eric made me think of this picture:


Val said...

Get past the Christmas colors and Minnesota Wild = Fierce!

Senators = Fiercer!

Puck Huffers and their awesome research on NHL sites = Fiercest!

Lame, I know, but hey, you know what I mean!

Ashley said...

I love this post. LOVEITLOVEIT. Work it, boys!

utterfrivolity said...

@Annie - That picture freaks the fuck out of me, and I'm not even sure why. Something about the Staals is just not right.

Allison's Mouth Full of Tang said...

Holy fuckkk. I hav. Bno idea what went on toin this post. Like I tried to rewsazs it at thos party bit like it was ososoooooo long.

Anyway. Iholy fucking god. I just drinkidilaled zoe ans kim on conferencer cal. Hahahahaha. I'm likew ewoahhh. Dude. I gootta live up to ny dficking contract. Omg drukinkng. Ummmm. There's this game moose. Where wveryone has to scream moose and put on antlers. Ummmmm. Everytionme wii sacream moose I think of johan hebdberg, and crack up asndf no one here appreciates it. Hahahha. Thoughtyimz would likes thay. Loveeeeee youuu<3.

Annie S said...

@utterfrivolity - I get what you're saying. I love them, but they look SO ALIKE it's a little disconcerting when they're all together. Especially Eric + Jordan and Marc + Jared.

PS - It's been far, far too long since we've had a drunk!Allison post. :P

wrap around curl said...

This is so wonderful and amazing. I was waiting for "I have one photo in my hand but two models in front of me..."

Truly, a PH greatest hit. And seriously, I have no fucking clue what is going on with the Leafs site.

Annie S said...

Looking more closely at that pic - they both even grow their beards the same way... Except Eric's more of a ginger while Jordy's a strawberry.

JSGTPD said...

The background on the Leafs pages are veins that bleed blue, and if you look to the left background you will see the heart that has blue blood running through it.. get it?

JSGTPD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaredoflondon said...

While I have to question the fierceness of anything Senator based, this is one excellent way to start the morning

Carol said...

Awesome post -- truly hall of fame!

Wish the product the Lightning put on the ice was even a 10th as fierce, since that's the closest thing I get to "real" hockey here!

As for the Sharks, geez guys, you're in the middle of the Silicon Valley, where you simply can't avoid web designers, yet *that* is your page??? C'mon! Although it's kinda fitting that they have a total fail web page... lots of promise, failure to deliver... not that I'm bitter or anything...

AmyB said...

HAHAAH. Allison is owning up to her contract in a big way, despite the pay cut. What a human.

captain badger said...

I wonder if Tampa is aware that the last team to use "WE WILL" as their motto was the PITTSBURGH PIRATES. I guess it's kind of appropriate, then...

FDeuce said...

best summer ever.

Kimberlass said...

@JSGTPD- We're well aware of what the Leafs peage is going for. But just because something "makes sense" doesn't mean it is in any way a good idea. Letalone fierce.

ANovak017 said...

not only was this post epic, allison's comment almost stole the thunder.

mer said...

I have to say, I was shocked by the PH assessment of the Sens page.

I was expecting accusations to fly. I was expecting outrage at the usurption of Blingee power by the enemy.

What gives? Is that how easily it is to your hearts? A little half-assed Blingee??? Don't sell yourselves short, you're worth more than that...

Kimberlass said...

@mer- While it is not that easy to win us over with a Blingee, they have Alexei power. Zoe is generally immune, but I am extremely susceptible. She had to talk me down from the Sens NHL store last night.

JSt11 said...

@captain badger, true story.

utterfrivolity said...

@Annie - You're right, it's definitely something to do with the beards. The beards and expressions are eerily similar, but the uniform colors strikingly different, and then they're reaching out and shaking hands..."disconcerting" is right. Maybe I'm getting some evil mirror universe vibe? Really not sure.

jefe penguino said...

on the yotes pages, looks like Bryz is walking away towards hamilton.

Allison's Mouth Full of Tang said...


I was in rare fucking form last night.

I should never have taken that pay cut, I clearly deserved a raise ;-)

Any way, upon a sober inspection of this post, Vinny Lecavalier scares the shit out of me in that picture. He sort of reminds me of voldemort. or something like that.

JSt11 said...

DUUUUUUUUDE. He does look like Voldemort. Especially the nose.

ANovak017 said...

i know this has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but my sister-in-law told me that my nephew has a friend named Max who apparently tells him about sex...

he's 7.

Caitlin said...

this was great omg. much needed. is it still july.....?

ANovak017 said...

ps. i know my comments are getting annoying, but the banner is golden.

Pants N at said...

Um, what's with The Bruins' splash page rocking a comma in the year? Is that the hip new thing for 2,009? Is it some sort of mindfuck to force you to read the year as "two-thousand-ten" versus "twenty-ten"? Either way, fucking annoying. I categorically reject all forms of punctuation in displays of year.

Also, Chad Kroeger and his stupid band sucks. Anyone who empties out their trust fund to keep their own sucks-shit band afloat is a talentless assclown.

And, Caps Hockey... I'm suing you for stealing my Menstruation Motto. Not cool.

debrisslide said...

We're not Nickelback fans or anything. It's just a wonderfully cheesy headline to have on the frontpage for a professional hockey team. Since Nickelback and hockey have so much to do with each other. FIERCE DUHHHHHH.

Loser Domi said...

the Columbus Mascot always gives me the creeps.

Annie S said...


Words can't totally express how incredibly awesome Brooks is. He said thank you for coming to everyone he posed for a picture with, as if he wasn't the one doing this generous thing of sharing his special day with the Cup with us. We were some of the first ones there, so at the beginning when there wasn't a lot of people we were able to chat with him a little bit. We were able to hang out there in the room with a couple of other Pens fans, watching everyone get their picture taken and autographs for about an hour and a half. After a while he must have been thinking, Who is that crazy girl in the corner and why is she taking pictures of me?*

(*I also may or may not have taken a few pictures of his behind when he was bent over signing things...)

debrisslide said...

Annie, that is so fucking rad. Glad you got to go! You and Brooks be lookin' fine next to that trophy. ;)

Annie S said...

Zoe - Thanks! The only thing is I wish I had turned the flash on my camera on, as it came out kind of fuzzy. I can't complain, though. :P

Allison's Mouth Full of Tang said...

@annie s- COOL<3

Candy Man Fan said...

umm so you should probably post all of your pictures of him, even if they're paparazzi style. especially the ones of his ass. I will look at them and pretend like I was there since I actually wasn't :)

Candy Man Fan said...

also, sorry for being a greedy bitch and only demanding more pictures haha. I'm in Brooksie withdrawal. I'm glad you had an awesome time. he's a great dude, I've thoroughly enjoyed my encounters with him. he looks good <3

utterfrivolity said...

Annie, that's awesome. And I second Candy Man Fan's request (demand?) for more pictures, if you have a chance to upload them.

Annie S said...

Here are the ones fit for general viewing. Most of the rest were of him with other people, which I don't think would be right to put online. I'd also feel kind of weird putting the bum ones up, since now that I've met him I see him as a regular real-life dude, rather than some figure from afar.

So for the bum pics, shoot me an email. ;) It's not even a big deal, really - only that the Skater's Ass™ he rocks is rather exceptional.

JSt11 said...

Awesome Annie! Did he impregnate you with his eyes? They seemed to be in usual form.

Annie S said...

JSt11 - I'd like to believe he did - if I don't wake up feeling sick in the morning, I'll be disappointed.

Actually, looking back, I think I was too scared to look him in the eyes. ;P He did look amazing, though.

crmzak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
crmzak said...

Speaking of Amherst, I have such a soft spot for the Sabres and WNY in general. Glad to see you didn't rip into them too hard, because just surviving in that area should automatically make the Sabres organization fierce.

Mike Vallely blogging on the Ducks site is oh so very confusing to me. Parros breaking Mike's nose after his interview was sort of entertaining, I suppose.

I must say, this entire post was the perfect midsummer treat. And I still have my fingers crossed for Eaton but I'm not getting my hopes up. How awesome would it be if PH readers went 3 for 3 with the Cup?

crmzak said...

**sorry, had to edit initial comment n repost

@Annie - What a great photo of you guys!!! That's so great you were able to make it out there to meet him and get the chance to look (almost) directly into those eyes. *swoon*

I'm bummed - if I had found out when & where a tad bit earlier I would've headed into Boston, as Brooks is such a family favorite. I'm kicking myself, but it's kinda hard to coordinate last minute road trips with my crew of several small kids.

I even had extended family in Amherst "on call" in case I needed to stay at their place should he decide to have his day up there. :(

nightsky73144 said...

Annie - great pictures. I'm glad that you had the chance to be there with Brooks and the Cup. :D

This post analyzing the nhl sites is truly impressive. Great work!

Oh. I was away - but I HAVE to comment on the last post and the whole Petr/Danny B issue.

I am with Kim on this - and, with Petr. He kept his mouth shut during the season and the playoffs. He has the right to comment afterwards. I honestly kind of figured that there was something going on that went back to the Ducks. I think most coaches play 'favorites', to some extent. I think Danny B DEFINITELY does.

Hey, I am not complaining overall, honestly. We WON the CUP. It worked. And there is a lot to like about his coaching approach.

But, I think Petr was kind of screwed - as was Bill Thomas (I mean, the guy had scored two goals in two games...then was benched in favor of a CAREER MINOR LEAGUER, which is ALL that Minard is EVER gonna be, for...what reason, exactly???), once Danny B got here.

I really hope, and believe, that Petr plays incredibly well for some NHL team next year (just, NOT the Wings, please). I mean, he is 32, for God's sake. I think he has a lot left, and is not a one-dimensional player, which is how so many have been painting him.

All the Best always, Petr Sykiee!!!

(and, thanks for the warning - I won't even bother reading the shit over on TPB about all this)

sorry for the LOOOONG post
<3, Kate

Nulpher said...

Petr Fever is an extinct disease in Pittsburgh. Rupp has been asigned 17.

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