Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beautiful Disaster: Goalies getting called out

I read this column by Colby Cosh of the National Post, who I presume is not a regular hockey writer, pretty much telling the goalies of the NHL that their mask paint SUCKS.

My excitement rose with each word. Giddy that someone is finally saying what I've been thinking: Mask design... really beautiful, simple mask design... is lost.

I can't say I'm in total agreement with his perspective, but I appreciate that he takes a firm stand against all these overwrought paint jobs littering the pro ranks.

And I do mean litter, because that's what I think most masks look like. Too much going on, too much detail that's meaningless unless you've got a megazoom lens.

Here's the bottom line, my beautiful masked men: Pick a theme. ONE THEME. Not one theme for each side, top, and back plate. One theme for the WHOLE MASK.

I know, I know. You can only get a new paint job every year (poor babies) so you have to fit it all in.

No, you don't! I promise! Here's what you do: In your Blackberry or iPhone or whatever 3G heat you're packing, start a little list of ideas. And then when it's time to design your new mask, PICK ONE IDEA. Not 3, not 5. ONE. And go to your Miska, Bishop, or whoever your painter is and say, "This. This is my idea." and let him go be an artist.

See how easy that was?

Now, what I don't agree with is that they all suck out there. I've mentioned before that I luuuuuv Ryan Miller's abstract, Asian-inspired buffalo mask. Magnificent!


Of course, I think Brusty's fighter pilot mask is pretty fly, too, if you'll forgive the brutal pun.

Nabby's creepy creature mask is pretty straightforward, too. And frankly, scary for being surrounded by a sissy color like teal.


Of course, you can go too far with simplicity, as Luongo did this past season. It looks like he rubbed some dirt on it and then put some Canucks stickers on. Just awful.


Though I did actually like his Johnny Canuck mask prior to this one. Would like it a little less detailed and more crisp but at least it's one theme.

And of course, Brodeur's mask is a classic (and this is me refusing to acknowledge his jinxed new paint job... guy doesn't get injured for 45 years with his old paint job and his arm explodes the year he changes the paint job... sorry, but that's a sign, homes).

Sweet buttered Christ, this photo sends me right over the edge.
There was a time not long ago where this photo couldn't be sold in Texas.

Now, this isn't to say that some of the art on these isn't really incredible. Ricky DiPietro's patriotic mask is exploding with crisp detail, and amazing to look at up close, but from a distance? Static.

And I'm especially not fond of that airbrushed look. Do you really want to look like you've been tagged by a gang. It's not 1985 anymore. Ah shit, some of you weren't even born in '85. Take off...

For what it's worth, my mask is solid black, and I have no idea what I'd get painted on it if my goaltending were worthy of a custom paint job, but you can bet I'd labor over it for ages since I'd only get one shot.

I do have Legace's signature on the back plate, and if there is any place where I'll throw goalies a bone, it's the back plate. Put your potatoes and Care Bears (yeah, MacIntyre, I still can't stand your mask, I don't care how sentimental it is or how much of an asshole that makes me) on the back plate. Make the back plate your catch-all spot if you must acknowledge your favorite charity, your wife, your kids, your grandma, your dog, your god, whatever.

So there's my rant. I know you'll all go right back to your snarling monsters and mascots and homages to musicians, athletes, or America that nobody but you and those on the ice with you can begin to appreciate because it's all too jumbled and tiny, but you're throwing away a platinum opportunity to be a hero to those of us who appreciate a really fine, classic paint job.

14 comments:

JL  September 8, 2009 at 11:41 AM  

I have to agree 100%...there's way too much shit going on with most masks. I liked Roloson's Oilers mask with the copper cage, Back's old mask with the simple Wild colors and logo...that kind of stuff.

artandhockey  September 8, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

Seems to me there was an article/blog/essay a few months ago showing off some OLD, some NEW, Good and Bad designs... do you recall that? Wasn't there some scary tiger, skull etc. one..
It all goes on the 'friz' (the word for toda LOL.
Bring back the classics...as we say K.I.S.S.

artandhockey  September 8, 2009 at 4:51 PM  

Just heard..you'll be tickled (I think) a Clutterbuck Bobblehead is in the offing on MARCH 20 during TOUGH GUY Night, duh?
And beach towel during Bikini Night, couldn't get any apropos'er, LOL.
TeeHeeing so much almost typed hickey for hockey... Pre season game starts 6:30 PM on 9/26...

Ms. Conduct  September 8, 2009 at 5:16 PM  

Really!? Now those are decent giveaways!

Sunshine36616  September 8, 2009 at 6:21 PM  

I'm the lone voice of descent lol. I love all the crazy masks. I love a Beautiful Disaster and actually don't like Marty's mask at all.

Then again, I probably do have a touch of the ADHD.

Ms. Conduct  September 8, 2009 at 6:30 PM  

I love dissent! I'll give you that I'm a little more heavy handed on the subject than most would be. If you saw my house, it would make sense. It's not even about tradition. I just don't like clutter. I buck clutter. I am a clutterbucker.

Okay, letting that one go.

AAH, I don't remember that article, but you're right I'm sure. I see so much goalie stuff I can't keep it straight.

Colby Cosh  September 8, 2009 at 8:14 PM  

I loved this entry (obviously), but c'mon! That screaming-skull-Shmoo thing on the Nabokov mask looks like it was drawn in the margins of a Grade 4 math book. When they come to their senses and make me NHL commissioner, any skull artwork on a mask will get you immediately ejected from the league for life.

artandhockey  September 8, 2009 at 8:21 PM  

As long as you keep your goalies on the 'straight and narrow' ;-). Helmets come and go, memories remain!

Ms. Conduct  September 8, 2009 at 8:41 PM  

Hey Colby,

Yeah, I hear ya, but Nabby won me over with that design when someone asked him who that was and he said Ovechkin. Ha! I mean, come on. The Russian made a funny.

Plus, you can tell what it is from maybe midway up the lower bowl, which is what I was looking for to make my point.

Anyway, great piece. I'd been wanting to go off on that subject for a while.

Ms. Conduct  September 8, 2009 at 8:43 PM  

Oh shit, not Russian... The Kazakhstani made a funny.

Snikpip  September 9, 2009 at 1:42 AM  

I'm gonna get me a sewing machine and start practicing up for the next phase of customization: embroidered pictures on the pads.

Who needs all those zig-zags and bowed lines? Let 'em start stitching a brick design on the leg pads. Maybe a roman shield on the blocker. The glove, a Pennywise-type, creepy-toothed mouth on the inside of the mitt. Or a wicked voodoo eye to freak out the attacker.

eyebleaf  September 9, 2009 at 2:53 AM  

Never been a fan of Brodeur's helmet. It's probably because I hate New Jersey.

Ms. Conduct  September 9, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

Yeah, that would tend to do it. I don't really give a crap one way or the other about the Devils (though I'm sure interested to see how they do with Lemaire Part Deux) but I do love Fatso.

hipchecks  September 10, 2009 at 11:53 PM  

The Hockey News had an issue, last season I think, completely devoted to the goalie mask.

I like simple usually but if I hear the story behind the mas and its good, I will tend to like it then.

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