AHL's Springfield Thunderbirds Honor "The Simpsons" With Unis
The AHL Springfield Thunderbirds tapped into "The Simpsons" by "rebranding as the Ice-O-Topes" for their game against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday night, an homage to a '94 episode titled, "Lisa On Ice," according to George Richards of THE ATHLETIC. The team wore "specially designed sweaters in Simpsons yellow, blue and pink with a nod to the nuclear power plant Homer Simpson has worked at" throughout the series. Thunderbirds President Nate Costa said, "We wanted this to be, 'What if the Ice-O-Topes were a real team?' This is an ode to 'The Simpsons,' and we wanted all the details to hit. Like the sprinkles on the jersey, the nuclear logo on the bottom. We wanted the hardcore fans of the show to appreciate this." Richards noted the team's promotion was a "huge hit," based on the "long lines of fans waiting to buy the specialty designed caps and shirt." The game "brought a sellout crowd" to the 6,793-seat MassMutual Center, and the "Ice-O-Topes may have sold more gear in one night than they have all season." Although the Thunderbirds "made T-shirts and jerseys available for presale, no other Ice-O-Topes paraphernalia was made available until Saturday night." By 5:30pm ET, there were "more than 50 people in line waiting to get into the small team shop." An hour later, the line had "tripled in size and snaked all the way through the concourse" (THEATHLETIC.com, 2/3).