Again, I recently found myself in a mall, this time on an emergency memorabilia run for Mrs. Martini. After settling the emergency, I wandered into... well, in the interest of protecting the innocent (and they were nice enough to let me take pictures to illustrate my point), let's just call it a... "sports-centric haberdasher."
Reds, Tribe, Bengals, Browns... college, obviously very Buckeye-centric, but plenty of stuff for real and bandwagon fans of the major college football and basketball programs. Plenty of NBA stuff, even with seemingly no season on the horizon. Plenty of "brand" stuff... Nike, Adidas, Kangol, L.A. Gear (okay, I'm kidding about the last one).
Three walls... searching... searching... ah-HA!!!!
miniature rows of NHL hats.
And... not a CBJ hat among them ("We're supposed to get a bunch soon," I'm told).
The good news is, I was just browsing in the first place, because I had already made an "impulse swag buy" last week, when I discovered there were CBJ "Draft Hats" with the Cannon logo and third-sweater colors at the Blueline. I was not passing that up -- that 2011 design is awesome.
I was drawn to the Bruins hat, though, so I figured I'd take a closer look. It was a nice design, more or less. Nice front, nice brim...
...then I turn it over, and to my shock (read: horror)...
The old, retro, plastic adjustable straps. Apparently the kids call them "snapbacks" now.
Cue that noise from The Price Is Right. You know, the "fail" one... boomp-boomp-ba-bmmmmm... BOWWWWWWWWWWwwww...
I look at the employee... "Really?"
"Oh, yeah... the snapbacks are huge now. Think it started with a rap song about them... now they're making them again."
Mind you, his body language seemed to indicate he didn't get the appeal either.
You know those things that you remember from your youth that you liked, right? Certain bands or musical genres... clothes you wore...
Well, I don't know about you, but snapbacks... not on my list. And you can probably guess why.
You don't even have to abuse those hats at all, and the stitches that hold the plastic on start popping after a month or so. Then, the little pegs start peeling away from the strap, and heaven forbid you adjust the thing and the things separate and stay in the hole. So you resport to athletic tape to hold the darn thing together, and you know how quickly anything wrapped in athletic tape attracts dirt and crud. Then you get sick of it and just toss the damn thing.
That was a little less annoying when the hats cost 13, 14 bucks.
But these suckers cost thirty.
I don't even wear my favorite alumni hat from college (yes, it's that long ago) because I know that damn thing's going to break if I do.
"So, these are like some kind of industrial-strength plastic, then. right?"
"Nope... same old."
"When does some CBJ stuff come in again?"
"Cool. Thank you."
Follow @MartiniHockey on Twitter....
and/or you can now "Like" the blog on Facebook....