Way back in the early and mid-90s, all four major sports decided that teal was just the coolest thing around. The Florida Marlins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Vancouver Grizzlies, The Anaheim Mighty Ducks of Los Angeles-Anaheim, and San Jose Sharks (and later the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks) all came into existence in the 90s and had teal or some variant as their main or secondary color. The only ones who still have it are the Jags and Sharks. Along with other intense marketing imagery, the teal explosion disappeared almost as quickly as it was thrust upon unsuspecting children of the 90s, who were unaware of the fact that they’d one day be identified by the horrible aesthetic trends. All of those unis have a certain nostalgia attached to them, but if the Flyers had gone forward with their proposed 1995 third jersey, people may have burnt Modell’s down.
The story goes, according to Icethetics, that the NHL commissioned some third jersey designs and Ken Loh (who designed the Patriots logo we know today) was on the project:
“Ken’s talents caught the eye of Pats fan and Boston native Scott Mednick — principal of The Mednick Group, another California design agency.
‘He hired me partially due to the Patriots work,” Ken said, “but also because his firm was interested in pursuing more sports work for various leagues. He had contacts at the NHL, so that’s when my work with the NHL started.'”
After designing the bearded fella over here, Loh moved on to the next team on his list, the Flyers:
“In 1995, Ken and The Mednick Group focused their talents on the Philadelphia Flyers — one of a handful of teams set to debut an alternate jersey during the 1995-96 season.
Fueling the NHL’s desire for unorthodox new sweaters was an advance in manufacturing technology which provided for the use of color gradients and oversized graphics. Hockey jerseys would never be the same again. Or would they?”
Loh designed the jerseys above and this secondary logo:
Loh told Icethetics:
“The idea was to break the mold and be less traditional with the designs. The league … wanted us to push the envelope, which is probably why there were some pretty garish patterns and gradients being used for other third jerseys around the league. Personally, I was never a fan of that approach so I tended to stick with solid colors in my designs.
While the brief was to redesign the jersey, we were encouraged to come up with new, alternate treatments for secondary logos and wordmarks. There wasn’t really any expectation that any of the artwork we designed would replace any of the existing team logos or identities at that time.
I don’t really remember any specifics around the use of teal, but as I noted, we were encouraged to experiment with ‘bold’ statements so I imagine that was part of where that came from.”
Loh went on to say that he was not part of any discussion with the team about the logo and jersey, so he’s “not sure how the Flyers felt about the design or the specific reason it was rejected.” Taking the obsession with teal at the time into account, I don’t know why it was rejected either, but oh man thank the gods above that it was. Teal was meant for Muggsy Bogues and Mark Brunell only.
[Editor’s note: We’re throwing it back, back, back today. Also, I bet the Flyers’ new third jerseys are the Winter Classic jerseys from 2012.]