The Flint Firebirds are making a splash in their debut season in the Ontario Hockey League. This Saturday, February 13, they’ll bring to life the fictional Flint Tropics, first imagined by Will Ferrell as a basketball team in the 2008 movie Semi-Pro.
The Firebirds will adopt the decidedly un-Michigan color scheme first seen on the big screen as worn by Jackie Moon, Clarence Black, and Monix, teammates on a plucky ABA team trying to secure its spot in the NBA. The uniforms will feature custom jerseys, pants, and socks.
All of this frivolity and fun comes on the heels of much-publicized team drama earlier this season. In November, head coach John Gruden was fired, ostensibly for not giving the team owners’ son enough playing time, then rehired after the entire team quit in protest.
For a minor league hockey team in its inaugural season, this is a particularly strong idea for a promotion. The night will feature giveaways, tropical music, and a live auction of game-worn jerseys after the game. No word yet on whether a live bear will be released in the arena.
Paul Caputo is a grown man who collects plastic ice cream helmet sundaes from minor league baseball stadiums because he likes logos that much. He is the author of the first book published by SportsLogos.net, The Story Behind the Nickname: The Origins of 100 Classic, Contemporary, and Wacky Minor League Baseball Team Names (also available on Kindle). He can be found on Twitter at @Count2Baseball and he maintains the Countdown to Spring Training on Facebook. Paul is a Philadelphia sports fan, but he's not so bad.