There is something utterly fascinating about flight and what it has meant to U.S. history and the protection of our land from coast to coast. It’s easy to picture those early pilots with goggles and a scarf fluttering off to the side in the wind as well as those who came later and braved the unfriendly skies in our defense.
You still see Air Force and Navy flyovers at big sporting events. It’s a source of overwhelming pride. The NHL and the Los Angeles Kings are embracing the aviation days of yore, adding a military slant, with the newly unveiled uniforms the Kings will be wearing in the 2020 Stadium Series game Feb. 15.
Los Angeles Has Long Aviation Past
In a way, the idea is a no-brainer. The game against the Colorado Avalanche is being held at Falcon Stadium, the home of the U.S. Air Force Academy football team in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Los Angeles has a long connection to aviation pioneering and to the military aviation industry.
The Kings rolled out a slick video Friday, featuring captain and All-Star game-bound Anze Kopitar and the P-51 Mustang, the single-seat fighter jet that, according to LAKings.com, was manufactured in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo, where the team’s practice facility is located.
“Our fan base is incredibly connected to the aviation industry. The state of California and the city of Los Angeles have a rich heritage related to the industry. From Howard Hughes to some of the first test pilot planes created here in LA. We wanted to tap into that. … (The P-51 Mustang) is one of the most iconic planes to have an impact on our nation. We wanted to draw an inspiration around the P-51 Mustang … as we designed the jersey.”
According to LAKings.com, the Stadium Series jersey “takes a unique twist on the team’s brand markings, with motion lines trailing from a slanted ‘LA’ crest.”
Kings’ Franchise Has NHL ‘Pioneering’ History
A small mention was made by LAKings.com about an allusion to the Los Angeles Kings as jump-starters of hockey’s takeoff in the West, which was piloted by the Great One, Wayne Gretzky. And there is no doubt that, just like the city of Los Angeles was a key area for the growth of flight, the Kings have been at the forefront of the growth of the NHL that led to franchises installed in non-traditional, warmer-weather places such as Anaheim, Arizona, San Jose, Dallas, South Florida, Tampa Bay and Nashville. The uniform also includes a silver helmet, that Forbes.com is reporting is nearly chrome.
Fans Can Give Their Thumbs Up or Down
Fans can vote on whether the uniforms are “pass or fail” at NBCSports.com. Fans can also do the same for the Stadium Series uniforms to be worn by the Colorado Avalanche that were unveiled Thursday.
The Kings have played in two Stadium Series games previously. They lost to the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 on Jan. 25, 2014, in front of 54,099 at Dodger Stadium, and then they beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Feb. 21, 2015, at Levi’s Stadium with a crowd of 70,205 watching.