Does Calgary Flames Merchandise Help Unify The City?

Does Calgary Flames Merchandise Help Unify The City?

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - 1800 block between 1st and 2nd Avenue NW


You know what I love? A city coming together for joy. Our city has seen better years – and worse I’m sure – but Calgary sure could use a unifying pick me up right about now. Oh wait, we’re going for the cup, aren’t we? Pull out your jerseys and hop on the wagon, kindly would you?

I use “we” liberally, of course. I know I’m not playing. I certainly know that as much as my housemates yell at the TV, they, too, are not putting in the extra minutes on the ice. That said, it feels a bit like we are. Aside from come-together-everybody-and-have-fun spirit of Calgary Stampede, the city can get quite vocal in their opposing views. Bid for the 2026 Olympics, a new multi sportsplex home, and politics are all real examples of how talking about current events can each wreak havoc over any dinner table. 

You know what is a pretty safe topic? Playoffs. Especially hockey playoffs as it’s Canada’s most beloved historic sport. When I need an easy conversation starter, my current go-to is the Flames. “How about those Flames?” is enough to break the ice. And that is saying something with all the heat in the city that has nothing to do with the weather.

I welcome this year’s NHL playoffs with almost as much gusto as the 2004 run. Who knows, it could develop into that same spirit or maybe more. Aside from the obvious sense of community I’m craving and common water cooler talk around offices, I love another thing. I love, love, love a matching aesthetic.

When I glance at the TV during a home game, or whiz around the city shopping, I see a “C” of red. There are vehicle flags, there are signs in homes and businesses windows, and of course, the Saddledome is bleeding red in shirts, jackets, face paint, and jerseys.

Not wanting to be swayed by being too close to it, I went looking for some perspective to see how immersive all this merchandise really is. According to an insider website, Hockey By Design, the Flames have the third best jerseys in the league. Forbes names it 20th overall in value. Cool. So it’s a thing for sure. Wear those jerseys, fly those flags – these too – and savour it.  

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Though I am not a super loyal, watch-every-game-die-hard fan, maybe that’s a good thing. I can see how much joy it is bringing others. I take a simple slice of delight from that. It reminds me that not everything is for me or for you but that doesn’t mean it’s not ultra rad for another. Life and personal style – including supporting your team by gearing up - is a buffet after all.  

I want the fans, clad in red, to have their moment, however long it lasts or how far the team gets. It’s a glimmer of celebration, vitality, and maybe this party will bring this city a bit closer together.

Open Letter: Sorry Earth. Love, Fashion.

Open Letter: Sorry Earth. Love, Fashion.

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