Why the Jets home opener against the Canadiens needs to be a Whiteout

Posted by David Minuk in Winnipeg Jets on October 3, 2011 — 35 Comments

We are less than 1 week away from the biggest home opener, and dare I say, biggest regular season game in the history of NHL hockey in this city.  I’ve attended 2 of the 3 exhibition games and the crowd wasn’t simply loud, they were THUNDEROUS.

However despite the fervor from the crowd and the energy the team seemed to get from them, there still seemed to be something lacking.  When I looked around at the crowd during the game from the Press Box, something seemed off.

As you can see in the above picture there is a lack of uniformity in our crowd.  Some people are wearing old Jets 1.0 jerseys, others are wearing the new Jets 2.0 shirts and the colours in the bowl ran the full spectrum.

If you look around the league, there are a number of places that have a tradition of wearing a certain colour.  Check out these photos:

Verizon Center – Washington Capitals

Saddledome – Calgary Flames:

Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia Flyers:

So what can we in Winnipeg do to create our own tradition?  Something that will give our crowd a uniform appearance and will be the icing on the cake to making the atmosphere in the MTS Centre the most electric and hopefully intimidating in all of the NHL?

There is but one tradition that we in Winnipeg can carry forward from our days of the Jets 1.0 and that, of course would be the return of the Whiteout.

Winnipeg Arena – Winnipeg Jets 1.0:

In case you’ve forgotten what a TRUE Whiteout looks like, let’s go back to the 1992 playoffs against the Canucks.  Watch the crowd and listen to that crowd noise.

The old barn used to be boisterous and this tradition should continue to make the Jets home arena an intimidating place for teams to play.  While I understand that the Whiteout was a playoff tradition, I think the home opener should be an exception to that old rule.

Now you might think if the Jets are wearing the Polar Night Blue and the fans are wearing white won’t that seem off? Additionally if the Canadiens are wearing white, won’t it appears that fans are cheering for the away team?  Both are valid questions.

As to the first question I posed (will the polar night blue clash with the whiteout) I think that the uniformity of the crowd will more than compensate for this possibility.  As to the second question, the whiteout might actually frustrate the plans of Habs fans in Winnipeg who might think of wearing a white Habs jersey.

As an alternative fans could go with a polar-night-blue-out™ to keep in synch with the team’s home colours, but I’m not sure there are yet 15,004 people in Winnipeg who own that colour (although based on the sales of Jets 2.0 merchandise, they might be close) and it may be a bit difficult to say out loud for television broadcasters.

Ultimately the city is going to be exploding all weekend long.  From the start of festivities on Friday, October 7th until the 4pm start time on Sunday, October 9th when the Jets begin the 2011/12 NHL regular season.  We at Illegal Curve think that the fans can put their own mark on the game by making it a playoff like atmosphere, wearing the white and re-creating the Whiteout!!!

As always, we want to hear what you have to say.  Do you want to see the Whiteout return for the home opener or do you think it’s something best left in the past?  Sound off in the comments.

  • http://twitter.com/TheJetsAreBack Pokey Reddick

    Davydov! Tabaracci! Grapes! Goosebumps watching that clip.  Great piece, Dave. Couldn’t agree more. I, for one, will be breaking out my Teemu #13 white home jersey for the game (P-1!!). The preseason games looked amazing but there was something just not right about everyone not being in team colours.  I know the home colour is technically blue, but the WHITEOUT is Winnipeg.  GO JETS GO!

  • Kris Merrells

    This is the (last) first ever home opener for the Jets. We haven’t had a meaningful game in 15 years. I think this is strong enough reason to overrules the whiteout’s tradition of being used specifically for the playoffs. Once in a lifetime event – let the White Out be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504326040 Mike Florence

    i’ve been waiting for this to come up. it HAS to be a whiteout! Don Cherry will be there and I’m pretty sure he’s already said he’s expecting one.

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree! The White Out needs to happen. I’ll be wearing white but I believe it will be up to the media to really spread the word to the masses.

  • Anonymous

    A respected friend from outside Manitoba once told me that he never really understood the white out, and didn’t think it intimidated the opposition as white is the color of surrender like in waving the white flag. I suggest a blue out since the majority of fans are going to be purchasing the home blue jerseys anyway. Time to turn the page, new team, new color. P.S. Even though we started the white out, both Phoenix and Pittsburgh seem to have adopted it. I’m not aware of any team that has a blue out.

  • http://twitter.com/ICdave ICdave

    I’m fine doing the polar-night-blue-out™.  In fact due to the fact that I’ve trademarked the concept, I’m actively going to push it now. ;)  

    I would just like to see the fans with a uniform look, whether that is the whiteout or polar-night blue.

  • http://twitter.com/ICdave ICdave

    I agree Kris.  As I said, there is a need to display a united front, and fans can do that by wearing a uniform colour.  

  • Anonymous

    Dave: I think you should push for it. It would be interesting to see if there is some momentum for this. I think it would be an exciting new idea that could be even more powerful than the white out, especially for getting the youngens on board who might not feel the same way as the oldtimers. Change is progress! 

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if i agree that the majority of the fans are going to purchase a jersey (home or away), maybe t-shirts but i think it might be 3-5 years before you start seeing massive amounts of new jerseys at games.  The White Out started in Winnipeg and no city has done it better. In Pitts/Phoenix they have to give away free white shirts to make a White Out happen. There is no way that any other team could do it better, just watch that clip – you don’t see fans like that in a Pitts/Phoenix white out. It’s not only a Jets tradition it’s a Winnipeg tradition. It needs to be a White Out.

  • http://twitter.com/TBonnar Timothy Bonnar

    I don’t mind the idea of this game being a whiteout… but…

    People who just dropped $400 dollars on a blue jersey will be choked to leave them at home.

    Also, the team has been saving their blue jerseys for this game. 

  • http://twitter.com/ALECKER1978 ANDREW LECKER

    unless the jets organization says or puts something out there nothing will get done…… white-out or blue. the fans need to know…..

  • Anonymous

    I agree, we just dropped a bundle on a home blue jersey LOL.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512889298 Mike Wery

    I Dont think i will even have my jersey for sunday, i got a replica and said they wont be in until middle of october anyone have news on this?? also Sunday is going to be soo nuts i cant even wait P6

  • http://twitter.com/ICdave ICdave

    Agree that the team should be directing the fans in this case.  However a groundswell of support could possibly swing the momentum in one direction.

  • http://twitter.com/ICdave ICdave

    Do you have the jersey yet?  My understanding was they weren’t out yet.  What happens if they don’t arrive before Sunday?  Would you then be open to wearing white?

  • http://twitter.com/TBonnar Timothy Bonnar

    It could. I honestly don’t see it coming together that quickly though.

    I would like to see a white out against the Coyotes. 

    Aside from that, let it be a playoff thing.

  • http://twitter.com/masteranglerz Master Anglerz

    WHITE OUT… I can’t believe this is even a discussion… we started it… heck other cities have copied it… I am pretty sure the JETS will know who’s side the crowd is on… GO JETS GO! I am wearing white see all you other screaming fans there on the 9th!

  • http://twitter.com/sagasal Solo

    the white out is played out!!

  • http://www.winnipegcentralhockey.ca Wpg Dynamo

    The jersey that were ordered are actually in now. If you had ordered custom number and name they will be ready for game 1.These are the $300.00 unis

  • http://www.winnipegcentralhockey.ca Wpg Dynamo

    I am all for a white out, but they will be wearing their blue uniforms for home games.
    Unless they decide otherwise for other games in the future, I will wear what matches our team on the ice. At the end of the day in my mind the whiteout was all to do with all being on one side and anyone else not wearing the same was the opponent. Maybe we can ask the NHL to go back to the way it used to be. yeah right…..

  • Anonymous

    I like the idea of the polar-night-blue (TM Illegal Curve), however it should not only be seen inside the MTS Centre. We should flood the forks with polar-night-blue and show the NHL how we celebrate hockey in the peg! This game is going to be nationally televised and we have the opportunity to showcase our passion (fueled or otherwise) for OUR Winnipeg Jets!

  • Anonymous

    White Out is in order. Why?

    1. While past White Outs were specific to playoffs, this is a rare occasion and it is a tradition that fits the enormity of the event.

    2. Many people who have ordered jerseys will not have them by Sunday.

    3. All people in attendance can access a white shirt in some form whether its new, old or even related to the Jets. If you want something like this to be successful, you must make it as easy as possible for people to participate.

    4. The lighter colour will have a greater visual impact than the dark blue.

  • joe cefali

    White Out is reserved for Playoffs — always has been, always should be. 

    HOWEVER,  Opening Game vs MTL should be TUXEDO NIGHT!!    Let’s get our traditions correct. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TCFNQSYTPX3AB4E7UYHBT3LA3U MIghty Jets

    It should be a whiteout,  everything white and the only site is the dark blue jets,  call it the polar bear night-  the only thing you can see a mile away is the dark snout –  all is white

  • http://twitter.com/benjaminwett Benjamin Wettlaufer

    if true north wants to dish out 15000 free tshirts for the opener, i’ll gladly wear white. otherwise, ill just be wearing the jets gear i have already purchased.

  • http://twitter.com/ICdave ICdave

    Good to know.  Seems like we might have a white and blue out then!!

  • http://twitter.com/ICdave ICdave

    Like it!!

  • http://twitter.com/ICdave ICdave

    That would be a lot of White Tuxedo’s.  

  • Anonymous

    I think that a white out can be used for specal occasions like this one, but eventually we should always wear blue. Most people like the blue merch better than the white, the team will wear blue, and white is not the core color of our team, blue is!

  • http://twitter.com/Brent_Hawryluk Brent Hawryluk

    I agree.  I ordered a blue/home Authentic EDGE jersey, set to arrive on October 8, which I’m planning on sporting to the game…

    And as an FYI – For those who see me, HAWRYLUK #10 isn’t a typo, wasn’t intended to be HAWERCHUK, although he was my fav growing up. :)

  • http://twitter.com/Brent_Hawryluk Brent Hawryluk

    Bingo.  Was thinking the exact same thing. 

  • http://twitter.com/ICdave ICdave

    @mremis:twitter mentioned that he spoke with the Jets Scott Brown who told him that the Jets do not have any official plans for any whiteouts or polar blue outs.  Anything done will need to be done via a fan initiative. 

  • Anonymous

    Wow, there are alot of great comments, views and feedback posted here. I’ve often wondered what a “skin out” would be like, could be discomforting for some, but pleasing for others?… I know my adrenaline will be flowing come game time so the cold wouldn’t bother me! Don’t mean to offend anyone here, i’ve just wondered…
    Seriously though, whether it be a “white out” or a “blue out”, or hopefully a “blow out” of those Habs :), I agree that a few posts on a forum isn’t going to achieve the “united colour” coming together, there needs to be some social media or True North group providing some direction to Winnipeg as to what the plan is.. I know that I will be prepared with my team colours for both! Go Jets Go!!

  • Jerry Lemay

    One thing I noticed missing in these posts is the fact that True North actually trademarked “The Whiteout “. I find it somewhat odd that they haven’t pushed any initiative for a “Whiteout”. Maybe the TM was to discourage the Coyotes from our tradition? Just putting it out there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=685175026 Derek Gagnon

    I’ve got to say it: If we all wear dark blue the place will look empty. You need to wear a colour that pops out and white has done and will continue to do the trick