Hamilton Bulldogs: Back in Black (and Gold)
There is probably not a soul in the city that is surprised that the Hamilton Bulldogs are swapping the Habs colour scheme for the traditional “Black and Gold” colours. The announcement was a win for the Gameday Operations crew. There was a pretty fantastic video that showcased the three fans who created the final “inspired” designs, the history behind voted selection and of course Bruiser was the ideal model.
What is interesting to note behind the whole switcheroo is that this team is now wholly cemented as Hamilton’s product. The organization has been a bit obtuse when it comes to recognition the bonds that unite players and fans to the Belleville Bulls. There were some great designs that showcased Belleville colours or references, and these were pretty much ignored by the team. Some of the lets say, unique designs, received hat-tips and mentions via the “Dogs Inspired” campaign whereas anything that paid homage to the Bulls went unnoticed. Basically, we’ve got some fresh paint, so let’s make a fresh start out of this. There is no denying that from here on out, this team will have a strictly Steeltown vibe to it.
“The Hamilton Bulldogs have been part of the fabric of the city for the past 20 years. It’s only fitting that they adopt the colours synonymous with sports in Hamilton”. – Hamilton Bulldogs majority owner Michael Andlauer
A divisive choice
There has been mixed opinions on the Ol’ Al Gore (if you didn’t know, the former VP invented the internet, and the question mark) regarding the new design. My go-to quote from the wisest of the wise – T-Swift – is the best response to the backlash from out of town fans. Haters gonna hate. Here’s some of the choice tweets, both positive and negative that are out there currently:
— Barry Gray (@_barrygray_) March 13, 2016
Now, why didn’t any other #OHL team think black and gold would look good together….
— Anthony Nicholson (@N24Nicholson) March 13, 2016
— MISE (@mise35) March 13, 2016
@CBJProspects Hamilton is actually the Pittsburgh of Canada – always been known for steel industry. Old NHL team used those colors too
— Ryan Kennedy (@THNRyanKennedy) March 13, 2016
— James McCowell (@jamesmccowell) March 14, 2016
Love the Bulldogs new black and gold uniforms .. Always thought all pro teams in a city should have the same colour scheme!!
— Riley Arnel (@ARknee_) March 14, 2016
— James (@JamesD_TO) March 14, 2016
New Bulldogs jerseys look nice but I feel like I’ve seen them before…… pic.twitter.com/GABeyYpmRr
— Luke Vermeer (@TheLVermeer) March 13, 2016
As long as the wins come
At the end of the day, it the silks the boys wear aren’t the most important thing to fans. Sure, having a unified brand can be great for the culture and players tend to want to play for an excited crowd but what matters most to any fan base is more wins than loses. Hopefully the positive energy behind the new brand and the big win against the powerhouse potential rivals the Niagara IceDogs will be the final push the team needs to squeak past Oshawa into the playoffs. One of the team’s candidates for defender of the year, Jesse Saban, had a great perspective on the final playoff push and the new jersey. “We knew coming into this weekend this was a huge weekend, that it’s do or die now. I think we have a young team and I think the older guys in the room gotta take charge, set an example for those guys and I think that we did that. Everybody played a more confident game.” Saban is one of the players on the team who, at only 18, will be wearing his four OHL jersey thanks to the new transition, and he couldn’t be happier. “I love the colours, I’ve always loved that Boston/Pittsburgh look so I’m pretty excited to see them and wear them next year. It’s definitely a cool transition going from all these different jerseys. I’m excited for it”.