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Best and worst sweaters of all-time: Philadelphia Flyers

Aug 10, 2011, 11:01 AM EDT

Bobby Clarke

You don’t mess with the best, and the Flyers have one of the best and most iconic logos in all of sports. Putting that on a sweater that looks good is something the Flyers have excelled at throughout their history. Considering that orange is their primary color, they deserve some kind of award for helping make that look good.

Best: The Flyers are tough for fans to love outside of Philly. Their style of play rubs people the wrong way and then they go on and wear orange and black to look like a Halloween gang. There is one look that remains iconic for them: Their road orange sweater from 1972-1977. I specify those because that was the height of the “Broad Street Bullies” days and when they came to your arena, there were no names on the back of the sweater, just numbers. If you had a bone to pick with any of the players, you had to know what number they were rolling with. Chances are good you knew what that was too.

Worst: Oddly enough, orange is at the heart of their worst sweater. For a spell in the 1990s and early 2000s the Flyers ditched the orange sweater opting for a black sweater that worked as their third jersey from 1997-2001 and then as their road sweater from 2001-2007. From 2002-2007, their orange alternate was added as some fans were upset about losing an orange sweater to their repertoire. What they got instead was a jersey that made it look as if the iconic Flyers logo and numbers were raised up in a almost 3-D look. When you go from a look that was one of the best in the NHL already to something that deviated just enough to be off-putting, you did something wrong. The Flyers realized the error of their ways and ditched it in favor of sticking with black alone for a few more seasons.

Sweaters and pants don’t mix: While the Flyers look through the 80s is one that became more than well known to fans all over, there was the Cooperalls era. If you don’t know what those are, you’re better off, but the Flyers (and Whalers) for a time wore pants instead of breezers on the ice. Think of them as hockey playing warmup pants. Not good. The Flyers wore Cooperalls for two seasons before ditching them and let’s just say there’s a reason why you don’t see NHL fans wear warmup pants to games and it’s got nothing to do with not being a member of the Sopranos.

Assessment: The Flyers current set of sweaters are perfect. The off-colored name plate on the back takes a minute to get used to, but with the garish orange and white sweater at home and the white with orange trim sweater on the road, the Flyers give off the air of being like the Broad Street Bullies but with a modern twist, something Chris Pronger would be more than proud of.

  1. saturn1111 - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Ya HAD to go and mention the Cooperalls, huh?

    Great article!

    • kellyb9 - Aug 10, 2011 at 12:58 PM

      I think it needs to be reinforced just how bad it was so that it NEVER happens again.

  2. emperorzero - Aug 10, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    I demand the return of Cooperalls! IN fact, I remember when I was 10, I was the only kid on our team without Cooperalls and I was shunned as the nerd…

    • whitehorservblog - Aug 11, 2011 at 8:17 AM

      I was playing in an adult leauge then and Cooperalls were all the rage. I still had them up until a few years ago. Totally gross by then!

  3. kellyb9 - Aug 10, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    I disagree with orange in sports… except for the flyers. They are the only team which has ever been able to pull it off.

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 10, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Great article. Love the Orange and Black. One of those jerseys that haven’t really been messed with. Nor should it be in the future.

  5. phillyphever - Aug 10, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    Bring back the black jerseys.

  6. disp350 - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Are you kidding?? The third jersey (orange) from 2002 – 2007 was their best looking jersey of all time. I was crushed when they retired it and continue to wear only that jersey to games, as quite a few of us still do

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