When Denim Invades Sports


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Wait, are you SURE those aren't actual jeans on Shaun White?

When you think of a hockey jersey, you most likely think of a relatively lightweight yet durable mesh fabric that allows for full athletic motion and easy cool-down. After all, when you're skating up and down the ice at full speed, all while wearing a bunch of pads, your body is naturally going to heat up a bit. It doesn't take much for you to start sweating, despite the fact that you're within feet of frozen water.

So, when the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL (Westen Hockey League) teamed up with Wrangler Jeans to create a denim jersey in honor of the Pro Bull Riders Canadian Cup National Finals in Saskatoon, a lot of people were confused. But, lo and behold, the jersey has been created and was unveiled this week.

OK, so it isn't actually denim. The jersey was made in such a way so as to look just like real denim, even though it's just as lightweight and airy as any other jersey out there. The attention to detail, however, is quite admirable. The jerseys, which replicate a jean jacket over a white t-shirt, are fully-equipped with faux white stitching to mimic actual stitching and jacket pockets, as well as the jacket and t-shirt collars. From afar, it's pretty hard to tell the difference. Whether or not the jerseys are a hit with the fans remains to be seen, but we certainly give kudos for the effort.

Like it or not, this isn't the first time that denim has infiltrated the sports world. During the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Shaun White and his fellow Team USA snowboarders were sporting snowboard pants that looked just like real jeans. As it turned out, the pants were wildly successful with fans and became available to the public shortly thereafter.

Although Team USA snowboarders made the imitation denim a countrywide hit, the first big splash was actually made by the 1996 Kentucky Wildcat men's basketball team. En route to their NCAA Championship, the Wildcats sported jerseys that were made to look like denim. Since this was the first known attempt at creating such a jersey, the outcome was a tad less impressive as the snowboard pants or WHL jersey. But, hey -- someone has to get the ball rolling. Given the success of today's faux-denim athletic attire, we're sure those Wildcats jerseys are proud of their legacy.