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Way Back Playback: Revisiting a Sharks Classic

Breaking down Holiday Sweater in all its’ glory.

Edmonton Oilers v San Jose Sharks Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The NHL is on break for Christmas so it is time to dive into the vault and breakdown a seminal moment in Sharks history. We are going to go back to 2014 to discuss the greatest moment in San Jose, nee hockey history. Let’s fire up Holiday Sweater!

A few opening thoughts before we get into the heart of the video. This is the greatest holiday video San Jose has produced. Everything else is ok, but this is the height of perfect cheesy comedy by athletes. Going in you don’t actually know what to expect so everything is in play, except the timer on YouTube says 5:14. This isn’t a half assed attempt by the organization, they go with the Fully Monty.

00:00- Four lines of text appear in the bottom corner. Anybody over the age of 25 knows this style, as it is the same as MTV (MuchMusic for us Canucks) music videos. This is our first clue that we are in for a trip. The line “Won’t You Rap My Present?” appears to be the album name. I wonder what else is on this album. In the background we have a turntable with a Sharks flag draped over the front. There’s also a Christmas tree. It is set inside the SAP Center, and appears to be very foggy and/or smoky.

00:01-00:05 – A man in a suit walks out and places a record on the turntable. We get an obligatory record scratch. Buckle up because this shit is about to get super real.

00:06-00:16- Dan Rusanowsky appears with an ugly Christmas sweater and a “chain”. Dan Rusanowsky is the least “gangster” person I have ever seen. He does a couple rhyming lines telling us to “rock it”. Clearly the high point of his broadcasting career.

00:17-00:24- Numerous Sharks players appear out of the Sharks head. Mat Nieto, Alex Stalock, James Sheppard, Jason Demers, Barclay Goodrow (I think?) and holy shit Antti Niemi comes out with a keytaur. The fact that the ridiculous hats, sunglasses and ugly sweaters are the least memorable part of the video means the video is already an A+.


00:25-00:34- Matt Nieto gets the opening verse. It is a food based verse, where he uses the sharpness of cheddar as an analogy for the stylishness of his sweater. It’s a decent intro. Solid B, where his lyricism is much better than his flow.

00:34-00:44- Alex Stalock is up next, with his voice having a very distinct sound. His verse is fairly weak and uninspired. Maybe a C+, just like his goaltending.

00:44-1:03- The chorus of the rap takes place. Everyone chimes in singing and the camera cuts from the locker room to the ice. Jason Demers is the MVP so far based solely on his dance moves. It takes confidence to be that bad. Also shout out to whichever Shark is rocking the Flava Flav clock chain. Dan Rusanowksy has lost the usual sparkle he has in his eye, because he knows he is better than this.

1:03-1:12- James Sheppard takes a turn on the mic and you know what? It’s pretty good! Sheppard has a voice that sounds nice in your ear and his lyrics are as legit as they can be in a holiday sweater rap parody. Also, a growing theme is that this video is littered with Sharks who are no longer with the team.

1:12- The video cuts to John Scott and Barclay Goodrow. Scott for the record is wearing an ear-flap style hat which actually isn’t all that uncommon to see in Canada, because cold. He also has a fantastic ‘stache. Barclay is holding a mistletoe above Big John, which means they have to kiss according to the rules of Christmas. I don’t think Goodrow thought this through.

1:12-1:21- John Scott rap time. Spoiler: it is awful.

1:22-1:24- Jason Demers holding it down with the dance skills. I miss Daddy.

1:24-1:40- The chorus starts up which means the video cuts around to the players doing different things. SJ Sharkie shows up as well. A Shark hoists up a boom box on his shoulder, which instantly vaults him into the MVP talk. I actually don’t know who it is, but I am sure all of you will be super friendly and kind telling me in the comments because everyone is nice on the Internet.

1:41-1:50 Matt Nieto returns for a second verse. This more action than he has gotten in the entire DeBoer era. He mentions scoring an empty netter which would be nice seeing as how he doesn’t score at all. The verse kind of sucks and I think Sharks PR is trying to figure out a way to go back and edit in Micheal Haley.

1:50-2:00- A musical interlude. Jason Demers still killing it with the moves. Antti Niemi comes back with the keytaur but isn’t allowed to speak I guess.

2:00-2:10- Check these bars; “I call all the goals, I call all the hits, the play-by-play is where I spit. Put all my ties in the paper shredder, they ain’t as deaf as my holiday sweater.’ SHUT IT DOWN; RANDY HAHN JUST WRECKED THE BOOTH. San Jose may not have a Cup yet, but we have Randy Hahn and that is 98% as good.

2:10-2:28- The video goes back to the chorus as I assume no one wants to follow MC Hahn and his bars of fire.

2:28-2:38- Jason Demers should still be a Shark. His verse is nasty, as he rhymes sexy and plexi. He also is rocking a huge dollar sign chain and reindeer sweater. Demers is the Gretzky of this video, no one is coming close to his performance. Long live Daddy.

2:38-2:248- Nieto again. Each verse has gotten worse, much like each of his seasons.

2:48-2:52- Yeah I dunno. John Scott in pseudo drag barking at the camera. This is a low point, even in his career.

2:52-3”02- John Scott and Sharkie team up for a quick verse. Things are going downhill, we need a saviour.

3:02-3:11- And we have a saviour!! Two actually, with Niemi saying Anaheim, while still playing his keytaur and Jason Demers being front and centre with a line and a head shaking dance maneuver. He has done this move a couple times now and I don’t know if he thinks it is cool or funny.

3:11-3:21- Chorus again. Demers continues his tour de force by playing the keyboard and giving out a double low five.

3:21-3:23- HAHN BACK.

3:23-3:30- Finishing the chorus here with dancing and stuff. James Sheppard is wearing a minimum of three acorn chains. Good job by Shep.

3:30-3:40- There is an auto-tune chorus briefly. Jason Demers gets in a few more dance moves and a couple camera punches. This is an all-time athlete performance in a movie/video/commercial. The music also cuts and it appears we have reached the end of Holiday Sweater.

3:40-3:49-We get a nice message wishing us a happy holidays.

3:49-4:43- They do a roll call of everyone in the video. They each take their glasses off and smile. Tomas Hertl was the mystery Shark with the boom box!! This makes me happy. Mirco Mueller, Chris Tierney and Matt Irwin (remember him?!?!) were all also in the video. They didn’t do much. John Scott is super over this as well. Randy Hahn is lit.

4:43- Jason Demers appears and it says “Special Appearance by Jason Demers of the Dallas Stars” The backstory is that at the end of November, the Sharks traded him away for Brenden Dillon. I was not and am still not down with that trade for the record.

4:43-4:52- The end.

4:52=5:14- Just Kidding! We get the high point of Dillon as a Shark. He comes in and asks if he can still rap. An off-air PR lady says no he missed it. Dillon looks sad and whistles the tune. Everything has been downhill from here for Dillon.

The MVP of Holiday Sweater is far and away Jason Demers. This was his Thriller. So grab a rum and eggnog and kick back for some holiday fun. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa etc… and enjoyed revisiting the delight that is Holiday Sweater.