Who You Callin’ Ugly?

Rick Shacklett is a blogger for the “Wordplay” section of the DeMoines Register and today he wanted to talk about some grammar – pronouns, in particular.

Governments, businesses and political campaigns are groups of people, even if they are faceless much of the time. Each group can seem more like a “they” than an “it,” so it’s not surprising that plural pronouns tag along behind them. The rules, though, are that pronouns have to agree with their antecedents in person, number and gender, and that collective nouns are singular in form, even though they refer to groups.

Yeah blah-blah-blah…what does this have to do with the Detroit Red Wings, right?  Let’s look at one of the exampls that he uses:

The Detroit team tried on their remarkably ugly jerseys.

Hey…not cool, man.  But I suppose that he doesn’t actually say “Red Wings”, right?  He could be talking about these…

But oh no…he wasn’t referring to these at all.  Let’s read on:

If you’re not sure whether a group is acting collectively, add to or change the noun so that it’s clearly plural.

The Red Wings tried on their remarkably ugly jerseys.

Hown dare you, Rick Shacklett.

But just because most of you have never graced the wonder and beauty that is NHLUniforms.com.  Let’s take a little trip down memory lane to see what jerseys this organ-i-zation has worn throughout the years…

1926-1927 Detroit Cougars (and also 2009 Winter Classic)


…of course, they didn’t wear all white pants for the WC.

1927-1928 Detroit Cougars


…you gamers out there probably recognize these as the alternate jersey for the recent EA NHL franchise.

1928-1929 Detroit Cougars


…yeah, not really liking that one.  Luckily they changed back to the 1927-1928 jerseys the season after.

1930-1932 Detroit Falcons


…I suppose these are the jerseys that Shacklett could have been talking about…but I doubt it.

1932-1934 Detroit Red Wings


…and there the Winged Wheel makes its first appearance and then never leaves.

In fact – the jersey would undergo very few significant changes for the next 78 years (aside from the addition of the home and away darks and whites…

1937-1940 Detroit Red Wings


…we now have two sets and the numbers on the red jersey is solid white.

1940-1948 Detroit Red Wings


…no changes other than adding the white stripe on the pants.

1948-1961 Detroit Red Wings


…slightly altered logo, plus the jerseys are no longer sweaters and have different seams.

1961-1973 Detroit Red Wings


…white jerseys are updated with predominately red sleeves.

1973-1977 Detroit Red Wings


…names are added to the white jerseys only.

1977-1982 Detroit Red Wings


…names are now added to red jerseys as well.

1982-1983 Detroit Red Wings


…logo is enlarged/centered. Also the numbers are more fancyand the names are vertically-arched (first time helmets are included as well).

1983-1984 Detroit Red Wings


…numbers go back to block font and bottom stripe on red jersey is raised.

1984-1986 Detroit Red Wings


…slight alteration in color of logos.

1986-2007 Detroit Red Wings


…bottom stripe of red jersey is returned to absolute bottom.

2007-Present Detroit Red Wings


…the new RBK Edge Uniform System (with team name on the helmet).

So I say again to Rick Shacklett- who you callin’ ugly?