At my son’s insistence, my family fell in love with hockey this winter. He’s really caught the bug and talks about hockey with (almost) the same passion as he uses in describing his Lego spaceship creations. I’ve even laced up a pair of hockey stakes and hit the ice for the first time in years.
It feels odd, because hockey is quite a departure from my usual geeky hobbies. But not according to Dave Delisle. “Anything can be geeky, even if it’s not inherently so,” says Delisle. “Sure there will be resistance to the notion of hockey being geeky, but the geek collective will assimilate.”
Delisle, who lives in Vancouver, BC, and works as a video game generalist, as well as a freelance artist and animator, has strong hopes that he’s right because he runs Dave’s Geeky Hockey, a site dedicated to some geeky tangents of the game. While he has proposed some great ideas, like his Lego/NHL minifig prototypes, none of his other ideas have generated as much interest as his geeky hockey jerseys.
For some time now, Delisle has been running his blog, Dave’s Geeky Ideas, which is a collection of “wishful thinking” on his part. It’s a repository for everything from fantastic ideas for Blu-ray collector’s packaging to Jurassic Park furniture. But, on a pretty regular basis, his creative mind would drift toward one of his real passions, hockey.
“You might think [I design hockey jerseys] because I’m Canadian and, thus, have a one-track mind. The real truth is hockey jerseys are a brilliant canvas on which to showcase a team’s identity. That logo on the chest is like a Superhero insignia. No other sport has a jersey or uniform where the team logo can be so prominent.”
The fascination of merging hockey and geek worlds began last July. “I was caught up in Game of Thrones fever, and had noticed all the house symbols would make for excellent sports team nicknames and logos. Then Reddit got wind of these, and I was flooded with e-mail requests, and since I wanted one too, I arranged a team order.” The result was a short run of actual hockey jerseys based on his design.
Since then, the geeky hockey jersey ideas have come quickly and often: Dr. Who, Ghostbusters, Battlestar Galactica, Voltron, and The Last Starfighter are among the jersey ideas that Delisle has envisioned. Some he has tried to bring to fellow geeks, but, unfortunately, lawyers have forced the production of at least one jersey to be cancelled.
He hopes to avoid future legal problems by making the jerseys a strict non-profit venture and limiting production to very small runs. It’s Delisle’s hope that IP holders see these short-run, zero-profit jerseys as one-off events and geeky fan movements that celebrate and keep the original IPs alive, long after their original releases.
As for the future, if nothing else, Delisle plans on posting more and more designs. He’s got lots of ideas for Marvel and DC superhero jerseys, as well as Star Wars and Star Trek sweaters.
But what about his fans? Do they have any suggestions? “I get many requests for a Klingon jersey,” says Delisle. maH Har SoH!