The Lonely End of the Rink

Felt like the right photo for an article about Darth Vader and hockey.
Felt like the right photo for an article about Darth Vader and hockey.

While scrolling through Facebook I was greeted by an ad, “Exclusively For Avalanche Fans.” This particular exclusive was a t-shirt adorned with Darth Vader holding a hockey stick and in matching Star Wars font the words “Avalanche Empire.” At first glance this shirt seemed cool as it appealed to my hockey side and my nerd side, but as I gave it another thought I realized this shirt is stupid.

We learn right away in Star Wars that the Empire are the evil bad guys, building death stars and blowing up Alderaan and shit. Darth Vader’s idea of dealing with employee mistakes is to choke them. These are not traits people generally cheer for. So basically these shirts are equating the Avs to the bad guys. Usually you don’t want to think of your team as the bad guys. Even if they are, like the Patriots, Pat’s fans don’t think of them as the bad guys.

I mean I suppose Vader, The Emperor, and the storm troopers didn’t see themselves as the bad guys either, but that’s an entirely different essay all together.

Even if you overlook the bad guy thing, or embrace it, whatever, you still have the issue that the Empire loses. Not only do they lose, but they do it a couple times over three movies and lose to a rag tag group of rebels. In the first movie a whiney farm boy basically finds the goalie’s weak side and exploits the hell out of it. By the third movie we are shown the empire is basically a joke as a bunch of teddy bears are able to defeat them. So associating your team with the Empire is kind of like saying they let weaknesses be known and would probably lose to a pee-wee team.

Finally, we have this: when the Avalanche win a game the main Star Wars theme plays. The one that opens every movie. It plays during the crawl, the crawl that tells us the empire is bad. I always felt this music was upbeat and the direct opposite of “The Imperial March” that accompanies Vader. I could be wrong on this point, but it feels like the good guy music playing and yet you would be standing there with your bad guy Empire t-shirt like someone who doesn’t over think and over analyze t-shirts.

Maybe instead go with the adult onsie.

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