Hockey Team to Honour The Tragically Hip, Auction Custom Jerseys for Gord Downie Fund

By Aaron Brophy 1/12/17 |

The Kingston Frontenacs' special Tragically Hip-themed jerseys — graphic via Kingston Frontenacs
The Kingston Frontenacs junior hockey team will honour hometown rock 'n' roll band The Tragically Hip and support cancer research during a special game being played Jan. 28.

Titled "A Game Honouring The Tragically Hip at Rogers K-Rock Centre," the Frontenacs will face off against Ontario Hockey League rivals the Mississauga Steelheads that night.

Of particular interest to fans of both hockey and The Hip, the Frontenacs will be wearing special custom-themed jerseys for the game, which are then going to be auctioned off with proceeds going towards the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research.

Downie, the lead singer of The Tragically Hip, publicly revealed he'd been diagnosed with gioblastoma brain cancer in May 2016. A subsequent tour across Canada by the band helped raised more than $1 million for the cancer research fund.
"Gord’s diagnosis touched our entire organization and everyone we spoke with, from hockey fans to music fans, across Kingston, and Canada," said Justin Chenier, Kingston Frontenacs' executive director of business operations, in a release. "As a team, we’ve talked about honouring The Tragically Hip and when the reality of Gord’s diagnosis set in, we knew we could to do something special to honour the band and help raise funds to help with the research for brain cancer."

There will be a number of special touches to the Frontenacs jerseys that will elevate them beyond the look of a traditional hockey sweater.

"We started with the base of the 1964 Boston Bruins home jersey, to reflect the year Gord Downie was born and his favourite team," said Chenier. "We added The Tragically Hip’s logo-wordmark from their 2011 concert at Bobcaygeon as the main logo on the front of the jersey, and their signature-wordmark on the back. In the background of the jersey is the name of every album and song recorded and released by the band, from their self-titled 1987 debut to 2016’s Man Machine Poem. We wanted to include the lyrics of every song they’ve recorded, but typed in 11-point Arial, the 30,333 words, or 128,380 characters was 45 pages long."

The Hip are no strangers to hockey. One of the band's most famous songs "Fifty Mission Cap" follows the mysterious death of Toronto Maple Leafs player Bill Barilko and its relation to the Leafs last Stanley Cup victory. The song "Fireworks" references the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and Russia, and "Heaven Is A Better Place Today" was written about Dan Snyder, an Atlanta Thrashers player who died in a car crash.

The Frontenacs say they'll release the full details of the jersey auction the week before the game.

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