It's cold here this morning (well, it's crept up to 50 now, but I'm still not in any mood to go cavort in the sunshine), I've done nothing of interest in the past several days (taking it easy recuperating from the cold -- I didn't even get drunk to celebrate Petr Tenkrat's return to glory), so as I kill time before going to drink beer and watch football (the Bucs aren't even playing 'til Monday), it's time for another jersey introduction!
It's an Aleš Píša home HC IPB Pojišťovna Pardubice jersey, from the late '90s. It's one of two Píša jerseys I own -- I could have picked up a third (a Rangers jersey) a month or two back, but I've sort of restricted the jersey-buying these days.
After a few star-level years with Pardubice, Píša came over to Edmonton in the early part of this decade, seemed to be doing well, and got traded to the Rangers -- then headed back to Europe when (I think -- I'm going by memory here) the Rangers refused to give him a one-way contract (the same problem that led to them trading away Marek Židlický's rights). He's spent the last few years with Severstal and Khimik in Russia, before moving back to Pardubice this year.
It's a really cool jersey, another of my favorites. I've never seen this numbering style anywhere else, and for once, the European ads don't really bother me. There's a lot of wear on it, and a bunch of what appear to be blood stains (though maybe a previous owner was wearing it when someone spit V8 juice on him).
When I bought the jersey, the seller said "I don't even know how to describe this one -- it's pretty weird." Actually, I think it's pretty sedate -- the lion head was the symbol of (now-merged) IPB Pojišťovna, an insurance company, and it's a rare advertisement that actually makes a good sports logo. IPB sponsored Pardubice from 1997-2002 -- in what must have caused some confusion, Sparta Praha was also sponsored by IPB at some point during this era, and had the same logo on the club jerseys for a time. Pardubice is now sponsored by Moeller Electric, and has had jerseys with that company's logo at times (other times, it's a cartoony horse, a version of Pardubice's traditional symbol). Which would you rather see on a jersey, a regal lion's head or a freakin' bell?
For the most part, everything is sublimated on this jersey. The EVC patch above the left breast is stitched on, and is a different material than the rest, and the nameplate is stitched on (but the name itself sublimated). Each shoulder, though, has an embroidered Staropramen patch. I've got a Kladno jersey from the late '90s that also has such a patch -- I believe Staropramen sponsored the Extraliga for a while. As beers go, Staropramen's no Czechvar/Budvar, but I'd take it over Pilsner Urquell. Now I'd like a beer, actually. Thankfully in just over an hour I'll be drinking some (but sadly, it won't be Czech).
I always thought Semtex was some sort of plastic explosive.
Once again -- the idea for these jersey profiles was stolen from the good-natured Tapeleg at Jerseys and Hockey Love. It's one of my favorite hockey blogs out there -- check it out!
(Addendum - one other credit: I scanned the pic of the Sparta jerseys out of the super-cool "Naše krev je Sparta" book. Anyone with an interest in Czech hockey -- which, I presume, is every single one of you -- should pick that up.)