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Special Offer: Outrageously Overpriced, Instead of SUPER-Outrageously Overpriced

Do you get bummed out when the player whose name is on the back of your $200 $250 $295 polyester shirt is traded, or retires, or ends up in prison? If so, then the Patriots have a deal for you, as you can see above (further details here).

Now, granted, I’ve never had the slightest interest in buying or wearing $295 polyester shirts, so this is admittedly an area in which I totally Don’t Get Itâ„¢. Still, here are a few thoughts:

After Aaron Hernandez ended up in the clink, the Patriots offered a jersey exchange to fans who’d bought his jersey. That makes sense — Hernandez was an accused murderer.

When it comes to retail jerseys… free polls 

But if a player is traded, or he’s released, or he retires, why does that suddenly make his jersey worthless? When I attend Mets games, I still see some fans wearing Jose Reyes jerseys, and why not? He was an exciting player and we rooted for him for years. The fact that he now plays for another team doesn’t change that. If his jersey was good enough to wear then, why isn’t it good enough to wear now? Hell, when I see someone wearing Reyes’s jersey (or the jersey of any now-departed player), one of the messages it sends, at least to me, is, “I didn’t become a fan just five minutes ago.” It’s almost like a throwback thing — acknowledging and celebrating the team’s history.

But many (most?) fans apparently feel differently. I had a little email back-and-forth yesterday with longtime Uni Watch reader Nik Streng, who said he likes what the Pats are doing because “getting the jersey of a player who then departs is one of my greatest fears.” Here’s some more of what he had to say:

As a Chiefs fan, I am hesitant to get many jerseys because of how fluid the roster is. If I had bought a Jon Baldwin jersey (KC’s first-round pick in 2011), that would have been a bad choice because he did squat for us and is gone now. If I had gotten a Brady Quinn jersey, I would be upset because he did squat for us and is gone now. …

Maybe this stems from 2007, when I almost bought a Jared Allen jersey but then we traded him seconds after he led the NFL in sacks. I think it matters if you have a jersey and the name on the back of that jersey is a player who is important/represented the team on the field. …

But many fans buy jerseys for players who’ve barely played for their team. When Peyton Manning was signed to the Broncos, you know lots of Broncos fans bought Manning jerseys. If he stunk up the place — which could have happened, what with his surgery and all — there would be a lot of Peyton Manning jerseys at Goodwill right now.

But here’s the kicker: Nik says his favorite current Chief is Tamba Hali, and he has a Hali jersey. So would he keep wearing it if Hali were traded? “I would be deeply saddened because he is a fabulous talent, but I would hope he finds success on any team and I would absolutely still wear that jersey,” he replied. So on the one hand, Nik wants to wear the jersey of a player who’s in good standing on the team, but he’s willing to make an exception in at least one instance.

This isn’t so surprising. The psychology of rooting for a team or player has never been particularly rational, so it’s probably pointless to expect rational consistency from fans regarding their jersey choices.

About the only thing we can state with absolute certainty here is that the teams just want to sell more merch. It’ll be interesting to see if the Pats achieve that with their discount offer, and if other teams follow. Meanwhile, I’ll stick to vintage jerseys.

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And speaking of jersey sales…: When it comes to jersey retailing, it’s not just that I Don’t Get Itâ„¢ — I’m opposed to it. For one thing, it helps drive bad design. For another, I don’t like the way being a fan is now conflated with being a consumer. And last but not least, jersey retailing makes people behave like morons.

The latest example of that last phenomenon comes out of Quebec, where an elementary school was going to hold a “Wear Your Canadiens Jersey to School Day” but then canceled it because an 11-year-old girl had worn a Bruins jersey the last time they did it.

The school had told the girl to remove the Bruins jersey when she wore it the previous time. This time around, rather than (a) risk having another confrontation with the same girl or (b) just letting the kid wear her favorite team’s jersey already, even if it isn’t for the home team, they decided to (c) scrap the whole thing. What a wonderful lesson to teach kids about diversity of opinion!

Have I mentioned that jersey retailing makes people behave like morons? Get rid of it and leave the uniforms for the athletes.

(My thanks to Phil for bringing this one to my attention.)

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The blog/ESPN dynamic: Obviously, my ESPN columns reach a larger audience than this blog does. Most of the email I receive, however, is from blog readers, not ESPN readers. I’ve always chalked that up to the blog readership being more engaged, more devoted, more uni-obsessed.

But my recent ESPN column on Uni Watch readers with team logo tattoos has turned the tables. When I first put out the call for logo tattoo photos here on the blog, about three dozen of you responded. But when the ESPN piece ran, well over 100 ESPN readers sent in photos of their tattoos within the first 24 hours after the piece ran. I haven’t received that much email from an ESPN column since I wrote this piece about Native American imagery.

A few other patterns emerged:

• For the most part, the ESPN readers’ logo tattoos were more elaborate than the blog readers’. Small example: the Packers tat shown above, which adds a cheesehead to the “G” logo, although many of the ESPN readers’ tats were far more elaborate than that. In general, the blog readers just had the logo, while the ESPN readers added lots of extra details and adornments.

• A surprising number of the ESPN readers didn’t bother to include their names when sending in their tat photos. (When I wrote back and asked for their names, they all responded quickly, no problem.) None of the blog readers did this.

• The ESPN readers’ photos were, for the most part, poorer than the blog readers’ photos — blurry images, glare from the flash, shadows, etc. (Most of them quickly sent better photos when I asked them to.)

• All of the blog readers who sent in photos were men. The ESPN contributors included one woman.

Make of this what you will.

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’Skins Watch: Here’s a good NPR report on that high school newspaper that wanted to boycott the term “Redskins” and was then overruled by the local school board (from Daniel Ferrarello). … Would even the most ardent defender of Chief Wahoo stick up for this late 1940s bobblehead? That’s Bob Feller, clutching what I suspect was a newly signed contract (from Bruce Menard).

Baseball News: The Yankees will retire Joe Torre’s No. 6 on Aug. 23. … The Richmond Flying Squirrels have surprisingly strong merch sales (from Tommy Turner). … UCF will be wearing Citronaut fauxbacks on Saturday. “The Citronaut was an unofficial mascot that appeared on the 1968-69 student handbook at Florida Technological University (which became UCF in 1978),” explains Eric DeSalvo. Here’s a close-up of the cap, which is pretty nifty. Additional info here. … Why are the batter, catcher, umpire, and fans wearing surgical masks? Because that photo was taken during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. For further details, scroll down to No. 8 on this list (from Jay Palmer). … Here’s a major discovery: In 2004, the Mets memorialized deceased broadcaster Bob Murphy with some very simple lettering. But it turns out they had considered using a patch with Murphy’s surname and a microphone. Further details here. … Negro Leagues throwbacks on tap tomorrow night for the Chattanooga Lookouts and Huntsville Stars (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Rays coach Don Zimmer is still hooked up to a hospital ventilator after undergoing heart surgery three weeks ago, so the Rays have his jersey hanging in the dugout (Phil again). ”¦ Manchester Orchestra, an indie band from Atlanta, sells Braves-themed T-shirts (from Tim Tribou).

NFL News: The Bills have added a memorial patch for Ralph Wilson. … Since last night was the NFL draft, one of the supreme laws of the universe states that someone had to do a story on how the draft picks’ jerseys get lettered up in time for their appearances onstage (thanks, Phil). ”¦ Also from Phil: After the Browns chose Johnny Football last night, they sent out a tweet congratulating him for being “the 22th” pick. ”¦ Speaking of Johnny Football, nothing livens up a draft party like Manziel cookies. ”¦ What do you get when you combine the NFL draft with puppies? This.

Soccer News: New home jersey for Bayer Leverkusen (thanks, Phil). … Also from Phil: The leak of Bayern Munich’s new kit is now confirmed. … The rest of these items are from Yusuke Toyoda: Here’s a slideshow of how the Panini World Cup stickers are made. … Meanwhile, a schoolteacher in Colombia confiscated Panini stickers from his students to help complete his sticker albums. … Azerbaijan’s sponsorship of Atletico Madrid jerseys has worked out well for the country, with the club on the cusp of winning a league title. But maybe being sponsored by a country with a sketchy human rights record isn’t so good for the club. That’s one of several embarrassing jersey sponsorships chronicled here.

Grab Bag: A reader recently pointed me toward a company called Oxford Pennant, which sells old-style pennants devoted to specific cities. I got in touch with the owner and had him send me a sample, and I’m happy to report that the product is really nice — soft felt, crisp graphics. Recommended. … We’ve seen lots of those “How to Wear Your Uniform” posters from various team locker rooms over the years, but here’s one from the WNBA. Haven’t seen one of those before (big thanks to Scott Cummings). … Here’s a slideshow on what NPR radio hosts and staffers wear to work. … One of the NYC subway lines is getting a Seinfeldian makeover (thanks, Garrett). ”¦ “A small-time roller hockey goalie in Florida has his own take on ‘Pink in the Rink’ by putting Pinkie Pie on his mask,” says Rob Siergiej. ”¦ Intern Mike Chamernik spotted this NASCAR-branded car wash in suburban Chicago last night. “It’s a chain, but it’s only located in the Chicago area, which is odd — it’s not exactly like it’s a NASCAR hotbed over here.”

Comments (203)

    I got a Deion Branch Patriots jersey, then he left… and then he came back, but with a different number.

    Anyone catch the Daily Show? If not, go watch the portion with John Hodgeman about buying the Clippers (and wanting to move it to Boston and only hire white players and call the team the Whiteskins, dig at Washington included)


    “But when the ESPN piece ran, well over ESPN readers sent in photos of their tattoos”

    Well over . . . what?

    I could’ve used this Patriots policy in 1994. I bought a Mats Sundin authentic Nordiques jersey in 1993 and he was traded to the Leafs 7 months later. I figured buying a jersey of a 22 year old franchise player was a smart move….I guess not. And to make it worse Quebec moves the following year, so I had a jersey, no team.

    Buy a Revis jersey now, he’s pretty much guaranteed to be one and done with the Pats, get your 25% rebate next year, buy a new jersey, Profit! (for the Pats)

    On the rare occasions that I buy a jersey with someone’s name and number on it, I do so expecting that I’ll have the jersey after the player has moved on. In fact, I most likely buy it on clearance, so the player is already gone.

    Good way to get one on the cheap.
    I believe there were Semyon Varlamov Caps jerseys that went cheap after he changed his number.

    I’m still rockin’ my Marshall’s deal: Vince Wilfork jersey with #74 on it (he wears #75). $19.99, baby!

    I found a white Steelers Bettis jersey for $15 at Gabriel Bros. in 1997 somehow…truly a find. I’m gonna bust it out one final time in Canton.

    I almost got a pro weight Bettis Rams jersey for $30 once. Decided against it, though I can’t recall why now.

    I bought an authentic Wes Welker Pats jersey at Marshall’s for $20 before the season last year. He’s still an awesome player, and leaving on bad terms with the coach doesn’t mean I can’t still like him, right?

    Getting cheap jerseys is a function of time and money. The more time you are willing to invest the cheaper the jersey.

    Good sources are the clearence racks at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Finish Line, and local retailers. NFLShop(after March) and can be very good). Ross currently has New Era batting caps, MLB game, and NFL on field New Era hats for 8.99. Hit or miss but I have had more hits than misses.

    Devils fans have been dealing with a lot of popular player defections lately, Parise, Kovalchuk, Clarkson etc. You will see a lot of masking tape nameplate changes to whomever gets the departed player’s number or an explative taped over the old nameplate. One enterprising fan taped TRAITOR over Kovalchuk’s nameplate on a number 17 jersey. So it goes.

    I just stick to jerseys with my own name on them. I’m a fan of the team, not so much the individual players. They’re all just mercenaries, essentially.

    I put “Capitals” on the back of my Caps jersey to avoid having a player who might leave the team or get busted for something.

    That works too, but it reminds me a bit too much of the 80’s Sears NFL jerseys with the team names on the front as if you needed to remind people what team you’re wearing because they wouldn’t know otherwise. Going with No NOB could work too, but with the number placement being designed around having the NOB, they tend to look bad that way.

    And now, of course, many actual NFL jerseys have those stupid word marks on them, as if we don’t know which teams look which way.

    When I go to a game I always enjoy seeing people with a custom jersey with their own name and number – “Griswold 00” etc. If everyone has the star player’s name and number it’s boring.

    There’s a picture of Johnny Manziel drinking at the draft last night. (A doctored photo makes it look like beer, but Deadspin shows that it was just water.)

    Is anyone surprised that it’s just a clear plastic cup with the draft’s logo? Wouldn’t we expect it to be a Gatorade cup, or something?

    I’ve NEVER had a Browns jersey, purely because I don’t want to spend that kind of bang when the guy won’t be there in a few years. I considered a Jim Brown throwback and lo-and-behold, he goes nuts against Browns management and became everything I hate about former players – the belief that the team still owes you something even though you haven’t played for them in decades. So I gave up on the thought. I’m more content to just buy Browns apparel. Shirts and sweatshirts, no jerseys.
    Ohio State is a little different. Those are just numbers with no NOB. I can’t count how many OSU jersey’s I’ve had.
    I’ve had 4 Reds jerseys in my life. Reggie Sanders, Griffey Jr, Votto, and Aroldis Chapman. Why? Reggie Sanders was in high school, when kids wear jerseys. Jr was a birthday gift. The last two were Chinese knockoffs that cost me about $40 total.
    And back in high school I had three or four Grant Hill Pistons jerseys.
    Yeah, so no rhyme or reason (or consistency) as to why I will or will not buy a team jersey. And no, I’m not buying a Johnny Football jersey…

    It is much easier with NNOB jerseys. I own a Red Sox home jersey that was Kevin Youkilis’ which has now become one for Ryan Lavarnway.

    as a browns fan is only get jerseys of retired players. my go to is a brown Bernie, but i did break my own rule when i recently bought a nike Josh Cribbs jersey, but it was only $25 bucks..

    as for the chinese knockoffs i bet the jerseys only ran you $40 but the shipping pushed it to $60 or more

    Nah, we had a group order so we had 10 jerseys so shipping was free. That’s why I got the Chapman. It was either me get an extra jersey and get free shipping or pay the same price for shipping and no extra jersey.
    Its a shitty jersey. They ran out of piping down the front of the jersey and just overlapped the new “roll” and started from there. Definitely get what you pay for!

    There are lots of “sports fans fall into two categories” areas, but Nik Streng’s comments make me wonder what the overlap is between these two:

    1. Fans who buy team jerseys; and
    2. Fans who, when referring to the team, say “we” and “us” rather than “the [team name].”

    I don’t buy jerseys and I don’t say “we,” for pretty much the same reason: I am not on the team.

    Are people who say “we” more likely to buy jerseys (and vice versa)?

    I think I’ve come to the conclusion that, in my case, I don’t care so much about the NAME of a team I root for. It’s more about the WHERE they are from. THAT is where the connection is for me–and I’d guess most fans. I’m a big Redskins fan, but if they changed the name tomorrow I it wouldn’t faze be at all. I grew up in the DC area and that is why I like that team. I like the Cubs because my dad grew up in Chicago (DC didn’t have a team when I was growing up), and by osmosis I am a Cubs fan. I don’t think fans pick their favorite teams by the name/type of mascot. Some may, but come on, that’s not what it’s really about is it?

    Am I making any sense?

    I don’t know, you gotta remember most fans aren’t actually local, as most cities don’t have upper level sports teams. Plus, we’ve got 24/7 sports coverage and the internet, so cheering for the closest team isn’t the only option. My so-called local teams would be Cleveland or Cincinnati, but I’ve never been to Cincinnati and I’ve only spent a few hours in Cleveland for a Metallica concert. I feel no connection at all to either city.

    Understood. But I’ll bet the team you DO root for wasn’t chosen because of their mascot/name.

    I mean, maybe some pilot from San Diego likes the Jets because of the name Jets (or some 4-year old). Or some Moms (like mine) that like the Rams because of their helmets. But I still think there is some other connection besides the team name that drives one’s fandon–so therefore team names are virtually (dare I say)unnecessary.

    I think most people choose fandom through osmosis, i.e. you’re most exposed to the teams you’re geographically close to or your parents support. So Dumb Guy’s choices make sense.

    And even if you don’t live in the team’s immediate market, the local media is probably treating the closest team as the “home” team, and the Foot Locker at the mall carries gear from the “local” team that’s 100 miles away.

    For example, I went to high school in Raleigh, NC, 165 miles from Charlotte, but the local media and businesses treated the Hornets as the local basketball team, so naturally, my friends and I were Hornets fans.

    That said, people need to stop giving shit to LeBron for not supporting Cleveland teams, when he grew up 40 miles away from the Mistake on the Lake.

    If there was a nationwide survey, I think we’d still find the vast majority of hardcore fans have geographic connections to their favorite team. That type of connection is stronger, and more likely to withstand losing seasons.

    The other fan may be devoted, but will lose interest more quickly when that team struggles.

    Though I’d argue it’s not so much geography, per se, but simply exposure to the (ugh) brand. Like, a Phoenix Suns fan in Virginia is surrounded by Suns branding and other Suns fans the way someone in Scottsdale is.

    Totally love the UCF Citronauts caps, especially the logo. The jerseys, not so much.

    The jerseys would look better if they didn’t have those side panels and they did something more with the collar. They should have kept the Citronaut as a mascot! Yeah, it doesn’t roll of the tongue well yet it is pretty danged unique.

    The jersey is one of Nike’s simplest templates, the DQT Summer jersey. I don’t know if any of that helps with explaining why the collar is flat, and why the side panels are there though.

    I know what you mean about wearing long-gone player jerseys. My go-to for Packer games was an 80s James Lofton, complete with the short-live G’s over the stripes. It was team accurate but still different. Sadly, it got lost in a recent move, and I finally replaced it with a new Eddie Lacy – only because I had a coupon for $30 off.

    The only hockey jersey I have that has a specific player on it is my 1991-92 Red Wings throwback (which was a Christmas gift) with Vladimir Konstantinov’s name and number on it.

    I’ve bought a few more hockey jerseys (and received some as gifts as well), and had a couple of them personalized for myself, but otherwise I wouldn’t go with a specific player. Haven’t bought one in six years, though, when it was still easy to get the CCM 550 models.

    Addendum to that, something I just remembered: while I haven’t bought another hockey player-numbered jersey, I did buy an NFL jersey about a decade ago – a Tom Brady Patriots navy jersey, a basic Reebok replica.

    Sure, Chicago isn’t a “NASCAR hotbed”, but the IL speedway that hosts Cup races is in Joliet.

    True, but if someone asked you the trivia question, “Where in the US is there a small chain of NASCAR car washes?” wouldn’t Chicago be the 24th most-likely guess?

    I’d give up guessing long before that!
    Chicagoland’s certainly an unconventional choice of location for any NASCAR-themed business; even though a track is close by, it only hosts Cup once a season.
    What’s stranger to me is the type of business being conducted under the NASCAR brand.
    A tire center or fill-‘er-up station would make more sense than a DIY(?) car wash, though perhaps not generate the dollars it takes to continually receive NASCAR backing.
    Aside from scraping off the grille, stock cars don’t get cleaned up much during a race, and removable windshield covers means no one on the pit crew even does windows anymore.

    That’s what I thought! Tying a car wash to NASCAR seemed to be an odd fit for exactly what you’re saying. I looked into it a little bit, and the car wash is owned by the same company that licences NASCAR. Maybe a car wash was the most opportunistic venture, and maybe Chicago was the best market for it.

    I used to work for a company which allowed us to wear NFL jerseys on the weekends during football season. I bought a whole bunch of old jerseys on eBay because I will certainly not pay more than $50 for team apparel. I ended up getting Patriots jerseys for Antowain Smith, Richard Seymour, and Laurence Maroney, Vikings jerseys for Erasmus James and Randy Moss, Jaguars Mark Brunell, and a Jamarcus Russell jersey all for under $125.

    “…Jamarcus Russell jersey all for under $125.”

    I hope that means all of the jerseys *combined* were under $125! I imagine JaMarcus Russell jerseys can be found extremely cheap! a fan could have removed the RUSSELL and claimed it was a Terelle Pryor jersey but he’s gone now too. It could be an Aaron Brooks throwback!

    Yes, I got the lot for under $125–not bad for seven jerseys. I’d rather do that than spend that kind of money on a new screen printed one, particularly since it seems that screen printing doesn’t last like it did back in the 1990s or early 2000s.

    Albertson’s (a now mostly defunct supermarket in FL) used to let the staff wear football jerseys on Sundays during the football season. Always thought that was a nice touch.

    There’s an Albertson’s five miles from my house in Phoenix. Not defunct here.

    I think it’s pretty natural for somebody to see something they like and want to take part in it…that’s basically what someone does when they buy a jersey. At the most basic level, a part of their brain says “that looks good on that player, it would probably look good on ME!” The point about jerseys driving poor design is taken, but I for one like wearing jerseys as a way to support my teams.

    As for wearing older players that leave, I think it depends a little bit on who the player is, but I think it mostly depends on time gone by before that player becomes an interesting part of the team’s history. I bought a Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala Steelers jersey on my way to their 2003 playoff game against the Browns, and he ended up scoring the winning TD. He got traded like a month later, but by 2007 or so, I started wearing the jersey again, and get way more comments about how “awesome” the jersey is compared to when I wear my Ward or Polamalu jerseys. It’s more unique than wearing a Lambert or Bradshaw or Bettis jersey.

    The only jerseys I own are retired stars – Howie Long, Sandy Koufax, Bo Jackson…

    No interest in current player jerseys, partly due to the fact that they could soon be gone but more often because of the potential for situations where the guy turns out to be an embarrassment off the field as pro athletes have been known to do (drug suspension, wife beater, murder suspect…the possibilities are near endless).

    Seems safer sticking with a legacy guy.

    It’s still risky with the legacy guys, as well. How many people had O.J. Simpson jerseys at the time of his demise?

    For every OJ Simpson, you’ll have 100 retired stars that have zero instances. I think the retired stars option is a good one.

    I need a poll choice to reflect my attitude toward jerseys: Love ’em, but will never pay retail. I totally get Paul’s objections, but the “$200 shirt” trope kind of rankles me. Only suckers pay retail!

    I’m with you 100%. I abhor counterfeit jerseys (and try diligently to avoid them), but buying a high-quality used jersey on eBay is a smart way to go. I’ve been loading up on $25-$35 CCM replica jerseys (“throwbacks” really, since they’re generally not manufactured anymore). Couldn’t be happier with building my collection this way.

    Yup, that’s about where I sit. I wouldn’t mind owning a good collection of jerseys, but I don’t, because there’s just no way I’m paying retail price or anything even close to that. I’ll stick to my shirseys.

    Not sure if the site is still around, but there used to be a blog called Straight Cash Homey, that made a point of taking pictures of odd jerseys at games. It usually focused on either out of place jerseys, like a Padres jersey at a Milwaukee Bucks game, or people buying jerseys with obscure names on the back, like owning a Rafael Belliard Braves jersey.

    Personally, I think Paul’s anti-jersey stance is ridiculous. Wear what you like and increases your enjoyment of the game. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a ton of them, or feel a need to change out when a logo or player changes, nor would I de-Chief if I had an indians jersey.

    Make your personal decisions, on what you will buy, and complain about the crass consumerism all you want, but if a team jersey makes someone feel like more of a fan, and they can afford the $200 for one “polyester shirt”, because they haven’t bought 50 “Camden Milkmaids” factory team softball jerseys on Etsy over the years, then good for them.

    I just don’t have the physique for a football jersey, and until recently I didn’t feel like repping anyone on the Panthers.

    I own a few soccer jerseys, but I never felt like customizing them. Plus, they go out of style so quickly that players leaving is never an issue.

    Soccer clubs do exchanges when players change numbers though (Liverpool did it when Gerrard changed from 17 to 8, and Arsenal did it for the three people who had Bendtner’s old number).

    TH, if you “just don’t have the physique for a football jersey,” then how can you have a physique for a soccer jersey?

    Soccer jerseys are built narrower these days (though they were cut much bigger in the late 90s/early 00s – players were practically swimming in their shirts back then). Maybe I’m assuming incorrectly that NFL jerseys are cut bigger?

    My taste in clothes in general is slim, though not formfitting, so women’s jerseys won’t work either.

    Ah. Had no idea. Still, if I do buy any Panthers gear, it’ll likely end up being a shirsey because of cost and comfort.

    Shirseys are the best. Comfortable, cool in the summer down here in Texas, and it’s just a t-shirt. You can wear it casually pretty much anywhere. In high school we had a group of girls who “supported” our baseball team make shirseys to wear to games and had them made up for the players too. So I actually have a shirsey of myself for a team I actually played for. Pretty cool idea.

    I figured I could rely on TH on bringing up the soccer tops. Those are some of the only ones I buy (and own). The best thing about them is they don’t need a name OR number on them. It’s just a top. No need to worry about anyone leaving, getting in trouble, or number changes that way.

    The downside with the tops are the styles change so regularly or the sponsor (ahhhhhh, sponsors!) change. If/when that happens, I just hang them up in the house.

    This is why professional jerseys should never have names on them. I like being able to “inherit” whichever new players take on the numbers of people who are traded or who retire.

    As a Chicago Cubs fan who is of average size, I had tremendous luck when my favorite number, 37, was issued to a player in my size (Angel Guzman) in 2005-06 when there were no names on either the Cubs’ home jerseys or their alternates. When the game-used jerseys were sold off by the team, I grabbed a blue one (with the walking-bear logo), and it is my most valuable piece of game-used memorabilia. And since it doesn’t say “GUZMAN” on it, it becomes timeless and fits with every future number 37. This year that’s Travis Wood (who is also around my size). Some day it will be someone else.

    Particularly in baseball, why buy a retail jersey when you can get a real game-used one — often for less money?

    Now I was lucky to get my favorite number. But if you don’t care about numbers, why not get a jersey of an obscure player for cheap? Spring training baseball jerseys with numbers like 60 and 74 are available for a fraction of what you’d pay for retai, and they’ll always hold some value.

    This is why professional jerseys should never have names on them. I like being able to “inherit” whichever new players take on the numbers of people who are traded or who retire.

    And that’s exactly why teams do put names on the back.

    It always cracks me up when people buy Yankee jerseys with names on them for this very reason.

    Todd Radom’s link was read by Mike and Mike this morning at approximately 8:30a.

    “Johnny Manziel has a logo. The Cleveland Browns do not have a logo”

    “… Meanwhile, a schoolteacher in Colombia confiscated Panini stickers from his students to help complete his sticker albums…”

    Great story.

    Question for fellow readers: what’s your policy on a player on your favorite team who has your last name? Would you buy a jersey when you otherwise wouldn’t? Would you pick that name instead of the more popular players?

    I ask because there’s a soccer player who has my last name on the bubble for a place in the World Cup squad. If he makes it, I’m probably getting his jersey.

    Red Wings, Maple Leafs, or Oilers?

    Of course, NNOB would be more accurate for the former two, and the latter would have to have the WHA link link to be accurate.

    Not so fast, The. You had a namesake who played preseason games for the Bills last year.

    Really? I actually went and searched all of the sports reference sites (, etc) and the only name that showed up was a player for the 1948 Packers.

    Probably because this guy didn’t have any regular season snaps. He shows up on, though.

    I would love it but I’ve only ever heard of one professional athlete with my last name (a Hof NFLer) and he played in the 1930’s I believe. I’ve never seen his jersey for sale anywhere.

    Lately I’ve been buying the international jerseys for soccer players that I like. Bastian Schweinsteiger will probably never leave Bayern, but he’ll definitely never not be German.

    Though international jerseys are on 2-year cycles and club jerseys are on one-year cycles, so it’s pretty much a certainty that the jersey will be outdated before the player, right?

    and called it a ” fatcat” move.But I like it.I mean,not all fans will take up on it.With the jerseys being so frikkin expensive as is,why not offer a discount if the player is a bust and you want to trade it in.I do believe its in response primarily to players troubled legal issues but Id like to see other teams take suit.Personally,I only tend to buy iconic players but the offer is fair

    I’m with you and not at the same time on the jersey issue. I dig buying jerseys and I dig wearing them, but I would never, ever, ever, EVER pay the retail price for one. EVER. The prices are ridiculously inflated, and if you get a name or number attached, chances are the quality will be shoddy. There are literally dozens of better options.

    It takes a little bit of work, but for most teams it’s fairly easy to track down an authentic jersey at a considerable discount. For sports like baseball and hockey, you can often find a blank one, then send it to someone awesome like Joe Hilseberg or David Frost to have customized exactly as you want it, and with a lot more care and attention to detail than you’d ever get from, etc. If you’re a little more obsessive, you get a game-issued jersey for a player who never wore it for way less than retail, strip off the numbers and do whatever you want with it. I dunno, for me these things become a fun project and putting a little work into it makes it my own.

    I really despise those Chinese fakes, though…in terms of pure aesthetics, they’re a nightmare. So many of the little details that make a jersey what it is (quirky serifs, etc.) are often wrong, and the stitching is usually bad…GHASTLY!

    I like to wear current players too, just to kinda be up to date on last night’s game or whatever…like when Brandon Sutter had a great game earlier in the playoffs , it was cool (if probably a little bit immature and ridiculous for a 40-year-old human man) to wear his jersey the next day. Classics and hall of famers never go out of style, though.

    I had written this in an email but decided to post in the comments. I’ll reply to Ullman here since it fits best and also he’s a rad guy.

    First off, I’m a jersey guy. Just wanted to get that out of the way. Now, when it comes to player names on those jerseys I’ve always been of the mindset that I want this jersey to last forever. I want to be able to wear it with pride with the correct team and player correlation, so I’ve rarely gotten a jersey with a current player’s name on it. I’m in the camp where it seems weird to me to be wearing the jersey of a player who currently plays for another team. It’s like you’re now supporting the other team and that is blasphemy. (NOTE: I am well aware that this is completely irrational thought)

    I’m a Cardinal fan so I have jerseys like Stan Musial, Mike Shannon, Willie McGee and Bob Forsch. I know that some of these gents played for other teams, even after their time as Cardinals. But when they retired they came back and it seems like they’re Cardinals for life. So I take that into consideration when buying (or making) my jerseys. Willie McGee is an icon here in St. Louis, He’s held in such high regard that you’d think he had a career like Musial. That’s the kind of player I want on my jersey. Not some guy who was here for a couple years and is now on another team.

    Sure, any of these guys could have post-career meltdowns and become a murderer or drug dealer or (GASP!) cubs supporter of some kind. And at that point I’d likely ditch the jersey because I wouldn’t want to support that kind of behavior. But my point is that I like having a player name and number on my jersey (in perfectly sewn, zig-zag stitched double twill). It just makes it feel more legit. I’ve always had a thing for names and numbers on jerseys.

    In a completely opposite train of thought, I have many jerseys of other teams as well and they’re all retired players. Harold Baines White Sox, Nolan Ryan Astros, Bob Feller Indians, etc. But the point remains the same: I just feel safe knowing that my jersey won’t go out of style by those players being traded. I mean, they cost a lot of money, y’know.

    One last item, I made a t-shirt jersey for myself a couple weeks ago with my 5-year-old’s team name and number on it. Hope he doesn’t end up on the trade block or I’ll have to toss this thing.

    I’m only replying to mention that Willie McGee is one of my all time favorite players, but from a SF Giants POV.
    Great player, great guy!


    I don’t readily accept that jersey retailing as such is the root cause of situations like the one in Quebec. If Canadiens jerseys weren’t publicly available, then it would have been Habs t-shirts, or caps, or whatever. As long as sports retailing exists, this problem will also exist. A jersey (short of a tattoo) is the most full-blown expression of fandom (or perhaps fanaticism) but it’s not the only one. The real problem is the attitudes of the fan(atic)s. Perhaps wearing jerseys tends to throw those attitudes into sharper relief though.

    I’m reminded of Bill Cosby’s routine about drug use. Someone told him they used a drug ( I don’t recall which one–cocaine perhaps) because “it intensifies your personality.” Cosby responded “Yes…but what if you’re an a**hole?”

    At least with drugs, your first hit is usually free. Not so much with team jerseys.

    I think the problem isn’t with jerseys, or even with fandom. The problem is that too many officials (including government officials and grocery store mangers) don’t want to allow non-conformism of the most simple matter. Sports are fun for many people because they allow a healthy outlet of conflict with our rivals. Letting a kid or employee wear an opposing jersey makes the experience more fun for everyone.

    However, it will also introduce conflict, and managers at all levels generally fear any type of conflict. They don’t want anybody to actually have to experience and interact with people who have different opinions. I don’t know what drives this idiocy (probably a society more obsessed with lawsuits than ever before), but I know that the attitude is rampant. Give the complainer whatever they want, so that they don’t complain more. Never mind if they’re right or not….

    I own a number jerseys, mostly baseball and soccer. I guess it’s my guilty pleasure, especially since they are ridiculously priced. I don’t wear them often though, and never use the term “we” when referring to my teams.

    Can you imagine the combined jersey collection of every uni-watch visitor? That would make quite a picture.

    I’m assuming the 22th pick will be wearing #2 for the Browns? If so, all the people who donated those Tim Couch jerseys to Goodwill (you can pretty much find his or LeBron’s jersey any time you go in there) will be kicking themselves now. With a little sewing or duct tape you could have saved 200+ dollars.

    When I was picking a Rams jersey a few years ago as a gift, I narrowed it down to two guys who weren’t even starters and who, unsurprisingly, weren’t on the team the next year: C.J. Ah You and Michael Hoomanawanui. Why? They had what I considered the best names on the team. And on a team as bad as the Rams were in those years, I figured those style points counted better than getting the same Steven Jackson jersey everyone else was clinging to as some desperate sign of being a real professional club. I get some weird looks and have had a few people ask me what the #99 Ah You means, so I explain that it’s actually a person, not some weird inside joke or something.

    I voted “Not my thing.” I have owned replica jerseys in the past but only ones I got cheap on Ebay, and I wound up getting rid of them later because I really HATEHATEHATE polyester. I would never spend the prices people are paying for new jerseys.


    Where do people find game used jerseys cheap? I only found a Yankee jersey once, on Steiner Sports. Game used Melky Cabrera jersey for $99. Unfortunately it was size 52, way too big for me.

    Great article in the Pittsburgh-area Tribune Review papers today about a local company that handles all the pro teams jerseys here in tahn…


    Only jerseys I’ve bought were the knock-offs you find on ebay for cheap, and I stick to throwbacks of famous players. Too much movement in free agency these days to trust that a player will stick around. Ripken will always be an Oriole and Lemieux will always be a Penguin. No need to worry with those guys.

    When the BP jerseys change(usually every year or so), I can usually find them at Dick’s Sporting Goods for around $20 on clearance. They fit great and I don’t have to worry about players leaving town.

    In regards to the girl who wore the Bruins jersey to the Canadiens jersey day at school, I can relate…

    I moved to Pittsburgh 2 years ago. A few months later, the company I was working for at the time sent out a mass internal email telling the employees to proudly wear their “black-and-gold” on Friday to support their favorite hockey team in the playoffs. Now I am not a Penguins fan and I don’t own any Penguins gear. So I wore my Bruins jersey, the original black-and-gold, to work that day. The directors at HR found out, pulled me into their office, and told me to go home and change since I was breaking the rules. I asked them what the deal was, because the email didn’t state a specific team, and was told that I couldn’t just wear what I want and that I “knew what the email meant.” They also went on to tell me that the Penguins are like a religion in Pittsburgh. To that I asked if I would be told not to wear a yalmulke during the company Christmas party.

    Long story short, I went back to my desk, in my Bruins jersey, and the next week’s black-and-gold email specifically stated Penguins gear. I left the company not long after.

    That behavior goes on with or without jerseys. If they weren’t available you’d still have people being told to wear regular clothes in team colors.

    Stories like this make me glad the place I work at isn’t run by a complete asshole. We get to wear “college shirts” on Saturdays during football season, and while it’s expected for everyone to wear Ohio State gear since we’re in Columbus, no one cares when I show up in a yellow Michigan shirt. I get a little bit of good-natured ribbing about it, but that’s it.

    I’m glad I work for myself. I wear a suit when I meet with a client and when I go to court. I wear whatever I want otherwise.

    My old company used to allow everyone to wear Red Sox gear on Opening Day in return for a $5 donation to the Jimmy Fund (or some other worthy charity). I would throw a $10 bill in the jar and wear my 1939 Lou Gehrig jersey all day. Everyone got a kick out of it. I guess I worked in an environment that appreciated diversity a bit more..

    David, it was just as wrong for that company to require you to wear that Penguins jersey as it was for the Boston Bruins to file a formal protest in 1980 when the Pens switched to black and gold.

    Even today, Harry Sinden calls it “infringement”, when talking about the 1980 Penguins switch, and that’s just laughable. Pittsburgh had pro hockey and used black and gold jerseys about a century ago, and the notion any Original Six team has a claim on team colors is ridiculous.

    While I agree, and have learned the history of the City of Pittsburgh and the relationship of the colors of black-and-gold to its sports teams, I think that the mass email was wrong on a number of levels. I am not the only non-Pittsburgher in this city. In fact, in the office I now work in, we have a much more laid-back dress code and can wear jerseys any day of the week (not just when we are prompted to). My issue was, and still is, that they used the word religion in their argument that I was wrong. Pittsburgh sports fan, in general, are nice people. They don’t care that you root for someone else. They are happy that you are as passionate about your team as they are about their team.

    And in general, my jersey closet consists of players that are either retired or dead. That way, they can never leave me in the present for another team. Or, my Red Sox jerseys are all home jerseys so there’s no name on the back.

    They also went on to tell me that the Penguins are like a religion in Pittsburgh.

    And there’s the real problem. Sports are supposed to be fun…they’re not supposed to be your whole life.

    Hope you’re in a better workplace now, David.

    That’s part of the reason I’m thrilled to have left Pittsburgh. Being yelled at with no provocation for wearing a Minnesota Vikings t-shirt or Boston Bruins sweatshirt got old very quickly.

    “They also went on to tell me that the Penguins are like a religion in Pittsburgh.”

    I don’t know what’s more disturbing – someone equating rooting for a sports team to a religion, or someone viewing religion in such a way that it justifies treating people of differing opinions in the exact opposite way that the tenets of the religion actually prescribe.

    I only buy jerseys of players in said team’s hall of fame. No way I’m buying a current player’s jersey only to see that player leave for a new team or get released completely after 2-4 seasons.

    As a Texas Rangers fan I owned a lot of “shirzees,” but after losing Hamilton, Wilson, Cruz, Napoli, and Kinsler I no longer buy player related merchandise. Instead I bought a personalized jersey with my own name and number so it will always be relevant. No more wasted money!

    I bought a Mark Prior #22 shirzee in 2004, in the store across from Wrigley, I thought I was so cool. Looking back, I was better off setting $25 on fire.

    You could have bought link, which has only the number 22 on the back, and gotten every future #22 (and past, for that matter) at no extra charge!

    I know the feeling. I’ve had to abandon half of my closet due to players leaving. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of those guys. But I can’t rep a player on my back when they’re now an in division rival.

    I not only don’t care if a player moves on, I embrace the idea of having a jersey for a player I liked who no longer plays for my team.

    Hanging in the closet right now are a John Lynch #47 (with a Super Bowl patch I had sewn on) and two Joe Jurevicius #83s (red and white). I loved those guys and have no problem wearing those on Sundays.

    Then there’s the Worn Ironically concept. I’d love to have a #19 creamsicle Gary Huff or a #11 creamsicle Jerry Golsteyn. I don’t know that I could go as far as a #14 Jack Thompson creamsicle (also because Testaverde wore #14 in orange and I never much cared for him).

    I don’t actually think I have any current player jerseys, unless it’s by accident. I surely don’t feel the need to get a Josh McCown or even Doug Martin (especially not these patchwork quilt jerseys with the 24-clock numbers) just because they’re currently on the team.

    That’s just me. I mostly look for throwbacks, obscure players or sales I can’t pass up. A Kurt Warner Rams jersey was on sale at NFL Shop for $10 (can’t pass that up), ditto a Trent Green Dolphins jersey. And I was in a department store in Austin a couple years back and they were clearing out all the old Reebok NFL jerseys in preparation for Nike coming in, and I got a cheap Tony Romo that’s really nice. I don’t care about Tony Romo one way or the other, but it’s comfortable and looks good.


    I don’t like to wear jersey’s with guys names on the back of it. I’d rather buy a custom jersey with a random cool number and no name on the back

    I do own players jerseys though. I collect Grizzlies jerseys- I have an authentic Battier ’01, Pau – Pros, Rudy – Tams, ZBO Beale Street Blue…some day ill get shadow boxes for them

    Okay Uni-watchers, what do you think of this? This was posted on a board game forum. Here is a pic of a 1970 Topps Washington Senators team card showing the team wearing BLUE caps. link

    Dressed to the Nines shows this as the red hat era. Someone guessed that perhaps Topps airbrushed the hats blue in anticipation of a change in cap color that never materialized. Plausible??


    The baseball card also shows them wearing blue stirrups, another conundrum as this was the red stirrup era.


    Generally I’ll wait until a guy is in new duds before I even think of buying his jersey, otherwise I’ll just wait for a team uniform change or something else that causes said player’s merch to go on discount.

    But I’m also cool with having weird jerseys of players who had a one-off stint with an unfamiliar team. Even without being a Broncos fan, I’d rather have an orange Manning jersey than a Colts one. Ditto for Favre on the Jets, etc. Weird jerseys create much better conversation.

    Shows the insane markup jerseys have that they can easily absorb a 25% price reduction.

    Does having manziel guarantee that the Browns’ uni upgrade will be extra zany?

    I have a bunch of jerseys, mostly Buffalo Sabres, Manchester City FC, and Ebbets Field Flannels products. I bought most of them on eBay; I rarely wear any of them. Mostly, they serve as testament to my fiscal irresponsibility.

    I tend to wear mine to walk the dog. I can only imagine that in some circles in my close-knit Boston neighborhood I may be known as the “Crazy Dog Walker Who Wears Obscure Hockey Jerseys.”

    I prefer buying a jersey/kit/sweater with no name or number.

    The excpetion is if i get a game worn.

    My issue with retail jerseys is the poor quality for the price. I really enjoy the quality of a good pro jersey – the stitching, embroidery, etc. I laughed when I first saw those jerseys where one layer of the numbers are printed onto the material to give a fake stitched on look. I also hate those thin, plasticky heat sealed logos and other shortcuts.

    Another option to this is to buy a game issued or preseason jersey – there are dealers who specialize in this. You can get a real pro jersey, sometimes for less than a replica. But, you are stuck with the name and number of some guy who never made it. But if you really appreciate a nicer quality jersey, it’s an option. I have one from each of my home teams and would never buy a retail jersey again.

    Expanding on the Montreal school “Wear Your Canadiens Jersey Day”, I had a similar situation happen when I lived in FL back in 2002. I was originally from Philadelphia, therefore I rooted for the Eagles. I was in second grade at the time, and the Buccaneers were playing the Eagles for the NFC Championship Game (same year they went to play the Raiders in the Super Bowl). My school said every student could wear their Bucs jerseys free of charge, but anyone who wore Eagles apparel had to pay $5. Me being the 8 year old rebel at the time, I wore my Eagles jersey and refused the pay the $5 finding it to be completely unfair. They made me either take off the jersey, or get picked up from school that day… I left school early. Just my 2 cents on jersey culture these days.

    I got penalized for being a fan of the team I grew up loving, so yes it was basically an Eagles jersey tax. I’m not sure where the money went (Catholic school so probably some church thing).

    Have 4 jerseys, 2 baseball and 2 soccer. Wear the baseball jerseys only to the stadium. Blank 90s-era Rockies that I got on e-bay for $20, and a Curt Flood #21 Cardinals.

    I also have a blank Arsenal jersey from the late 90s and one from the late 00s with Cesc Fabregas #4. Only wear them when I’m watching Arsenal in a sports bar. Risky to buy a current player, but from what I knew about Fabregas I figured there was next to no chance he’d do anything to make me regret it. I mean like some kind of criminal behavior — he did leave the team, but that’s okay, I still like him, and maybe he’ll return some day!

    The Houston Chronicle ran a photo this morning of a father and son tandem of Texans fans, who were hand chosen to deliver the Houston Texans Official Draft Day Cap to Radio City Music Hall. They were carrying it in a clear plastic case, like it was the Shroud of Turin, or the remains of Vladimir Lenin. Archbishop Goodell looked on, a beatific smile on his lips, giving his holy blessing.

    It was the single most idiotic moment in a event that brims with idiocy. There’s stupid all over pro sports — the theme t-shirt phenomena makes NBA playoff crowds look like cheering participants at a Southern Baptist summer camp — but the NFL has a gift for bombast, for excess, for puffery.

    My favorite moment (in the 10 minutes or so that I watched) was when ESPN had the split screen shot, Goodell on one side, Anxious Jets Fans on the other, and The Commish announced the Jets’ first round pick, some defensive back from some SEC school. A round little kid, squeezed into a Jets jersey paused for about four seconds – he had never heard of this guy, either – looking for clues in the reaction of the other fans. Then, he started his spontaneous eruption of Joy, for his team had Chosen Well.

    I liked it better when the draft was cigar smoke and telephones, and you read about in the paper the next morning. Where have you gone, Walt Patulski?

    This is at least the second year (maybe more?) that they’ve done the Lucite case cap-delivery thing. It’s embarrassing.

    Come on, man, have some dignity out there.

    Didn’t watch the first pick, but you want to talk about dignity? Where was Barry Sanders’ dignity when he went out with the Lions’ pick and shilled for EA Sports?

    That was even more disappointing than the Lions’ actual pick, because we knew the Lions would do something dumb like draft another TE when their strongest need is in the defensive backfield.

    Makes me glad I had school last night, and couldn’t have watched if I wanted to (I wouldn’t have).

    If it was up to me, each team would get 60 seconds in the first round to make their picks, in rounds 2-7, they’d get 30 seconds.

    Speed draft!!

    I can’t believe people pay as much attention to the pre-draft thing as they apparently do. UGH.


    That was another thing – I tuned in to see the Lions’ pick (10th), but it took so long for Goodell to get his butt up there with the Viking’s pick (9th) that the Titans (11th) were already on the clock!

    Picking nits: Bob Feller wasn’t holding a bobblehead, but rather an Artcraft ceramic statue.


    Its not surprising that there were issues regarding the Habs. Remember Roch Carrier’s “Le Chandail” (the Sweater)? Perhaps the original story about hockey jerseys and fans goes back to the late 70s.


    I’ve never purchased–and don’t intend to–an authentic jersey that would fetch upwards of $300. I do have generic (red) Cardinals BP jersey that’s about 15 years old. I find baseball jerseys look a little less weird than hockey, basketball, or football when they lack the name & number. As such, the only Rams jersey I own (also a replica) has Isaac Bruce’s name/number on it. I got that probably about 13-14 years ago when I was in HS and the Rams were still pretty good.
    I also have a couple of Man Utd shirts (Roy Keane & Wayne Rooney), both replicas I’ve purchased off eBay, and therefore spent nowhere near what Nike wants for them from any official retailer. If they’re knock-offs, I sure can’t tell.

    A few days ago someone (BvK1126 maybe?)reported seeing a burgundy and yellow Eagles sticker on a vehicle in Colorado. This morning on the way to work I saw one too. I didn’t get a great look at it as the sticker was on a side window and, for the most part, I was directly behind the car in question. It looked like it might have had some lettering at the neck of the bird.

    Gregg, that was me who mentioned the Eagles sticker. I just saw another car with that same sticker on it two nights ago. I’m beginning to think that what I saw (and maybe what you saw, too) was the logo of link in Centennial, Colorado. Their shade of red is dark enough that it could look burgundy in the right lighting. The logo doesn’t seem to have any yellow in it, but perhaps my eyes were just playing tricks on me.

    That was it, only the beak was yellow and the neck burgundy on the one I saw. That part of the mystery is solved. Why anyone would use such a silly name for a high school remains an open question.

    Is it possible this sticker is for the minor league Colorado Eagles that play up in Loveland, CO?

    Good question, Dan. But it’s definitely not the Colorado Eagles logo. Compare the Colorado Eagles logo…


    …to the Eaglecrest logo I posted above. They’re pretty distinct from one another. And only one is an obvious rip-off of the Philadelphia Eagles logo, which is what prompted DenverGregg to figure out who the “logo thief” was un the first place.

    When I was buying jerseys, I was a Yankee fan. So I was lucky that my team had no name on the back. Also, I was lucky that my team had no front jersey number, so I could have left the jersey numberless. (A baseball jersey with a front number looks terrible unnumbered. So this makes it necessary to confront the NOB question.)

    Nowadays, I no longer buy jerseys; I buy caps only. And I’m no longer a Yankee fan, or a follower of current baseball. My main sport is English football (soccer); but all those shirts are crap because of the ads on the front. I was lucky enough to be able to find an ad-free Chelsea training top, which I bought, but did not number. So the NOB question didn’t come up. Thanks to the lack of a front number, it’s possible to wear any soccer club’s shirt unnumbered, as it is with almost any hockey sweater (with a few exceptions, such as the alts of Dallas and the Islanders).

    But if I were buying a jersey that required a name on the back (meaning any American football jersey, any basketball jersey, or any jersey of a baseball team which has a front number), then I would certainly put my own name on it.

    I know that there are some people who look down on this practice; but I heartily endorse it. While some people refer to the wearing of team gear as “supporting the team”, I don’t see it exactly that way. I am doing it to support *myself* — when I wear a team’s gear, I am expressing something of myself, just as I am doing when I wear a hat that has the logo of a television show I like, the logo of my favourite band, a symbol of my political ideology, or the bicycle symbol (all of which I actually have).

    That said, if I did have a jersey with a player’s name and number, I wouldn’t consider that jersey to be ruined once the player leaves the team. That player is still part of the team’s history.

    Honestly, I love wearing authentic(ish) jerseys of my favorite teams. It could be reliving my younger years of playing baseball, etc, but I like the way they look and feel. However, the price tag is brutal. I always try to find deals on eBay while deftly trying to avoid counterfeit jerseys. Almost all of my jerseys (Packers Tony Canadeo Mitchell & Ness, various Brewers authentic, BP, otherwise) were lucky finds on eBay that took weeks, if not months of scouting. The only one I bought close to retail (i had a gift cert) through was my authentic Ryan Braun jersey. And now that is the one I’m least likely to ever wear again.

    The modern camouflage pattern on MLB’s new Memorial Day caps is the perfect way to honor the memory of my World War II veteran grandfather!

    I am ambivalent about owning and wearing jerseys. As a sports fan and devoted denizen of the uni-verse, of course I love the aesthetics of jerseys. Because of that deep appreciation for jerseys, I do own a few, which I have acquired at far less than the ridiculously over-inflated full retail prices. I may like them, but none of them are worth upwards of $300 to me.

    My rules for which jerseys I will own and wear are fairly nuanced. I only buy jerseys of players who have made such significant contributions to my favorite teams that the player will always be identified with my team even if he’s no longer there (whether that be because of retirement or joining another team).

    For example, one of the first jerseys I bought was a John Elway Denver Broncos early ’90s-era orange home jersey. I figure I’ll never have to explain to a fellow Broncos fan who John Elway is or why I’m wearing his jersey.

    I also have a Champ Bailey Broncos jersey. He may no longer be with the Broncos, but Denver fans will always remember him as one of the franchise’s all-time great players.

    The one jersey that I have that tests those rules is a Peyton Manning Broncos jersey. I got such great deal on it that I felt like I couldn’t pass it up. Normally, I wouldn’t buy a jersey of a player with such short tenure for one of my favorite teams. But Manning’s two seasons with the Broncos are quite possibly the best in franchise history, so I reckon that his contributions to the team will stand the test of time.

    Similarly my only identifiable jerseys are a 1998 Elway (when I first saw the redesign I hated it, but swore that I’d get one if the Broncos one the Super Bowl that year) and a 1994 Atwater sixties throwback.

    “when I first saw the redesign I hated it”

    I didn’t hate the new uniforms themselves as much as I hated the team moving away from the old “Orange Crush” style uniforms that I grew up watching them wear. The new uniforms grew on my pretty quickly when they won back-to-back Super Bowls in them, though. It’s amazing how much winning impacts aesthetic opinions!

    Regarding the jersey swap thing, I’m more worried about a player becoming a total douchebag. I almost bought an Alex Rodriguez jersey back when he was a Mariner. Of course, you couldn’t pay me to wear an A-Rod jersey now, regardless of which team he was on. But I’d proudly wear a Raul Ibanez or Jamie Moyer jersey.

    I have acquired quite a few jerseys (6 hockey, 5 baseball, 3 football, 3 soccer) over 20 years and I do enjoy wearing them while I watch games. Half of these were gifts and half I purchased on my own.

    Since the cost is high, I tend to only spend my own money on something I find particularly aesthetically appealing or personally meaningful. For example when I graduated college, I spent some of my graduation money on a flannel Nellie Fox 1959 White Sox jersey. My most recent purchase was finding an authentic, chain-stitched, Blackhawks jersey from about 1994 with the tags still attached being sold at a bargain price in a shop on Clark St.

    I only wear baseball jerseys to games and football jerseys only on game day. Since soccer jerseys have collars they tend to double as polos in summer time. My hockey jerseys sometimes are used like hooded sweatshirts outside of game watching. Useful for book reading on weekends.

    Mostly its an appreciation for the aesthetics and part of the ritual of watching or attending sports.

    “I only wear baseball jerseys to games and football jerseys only on game day.”

    I basically have the same rule for myself. Jerseys are “rooting for my team” apparel rather than fashion apparel.

    I’ll wear team t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other apparel out and about as casual wear. I don’t reserve them just for game days. I have my own rules about that, too, however. Unless it’s game day, I usually won’t wear a team shirt and hat together at the same time. For some reason, it just feels a little too “rah-rah” to me.

    I have over 80 jerseys (from the 4 major sports and soccer) about 10-15 have names and numbers on back. Of those, 4 are either my own name or family memeber nickname the rest were “active” players at the time I got the jerseys. I think there are only 2 or 3 that I wish I didn’t get a players name (or number) on and would love a “do over” (for example I have a 2002/03 Jagr Washingtion Capitals white jersey….)

    Back when I was buying jerseys, I was Yankee fan, so I was lucky that my team didn’t have names on the back. Also, I was lucky that I could elect to leave the jersey numberless — a baseball jersey with a front number looks terrible unnumbered, which makes it necessary to confront the NOB issue.

    I no longer look to buy jerseys; I buy caps. And I am no longer a baseball fan. The sport I follow is English football (soccer). But all those shirts are crap because of the ad on the front. However, I fortunately found a Chelsea training top without the ad, which I bought, but left unnumbered. Because of the lack of a front number, any soccer club’s shirt can be worn without a number, as can almost any hockey sweater (with a few exceptions, such as the alts of Dallas and the Islanders).

    But if I were buying a jersey that needed to be numbered (meaning any American football jersey, any basketball jersey, or any baseball jersey that has a front number), then I would certainly put my own name on the back.

    I know that some people look down on this practice; but I heartily endorse it. While the wearing of team gear is frequently characterised as “supporting the team”, I do not see it exactly like that. When I wear team gear, I am supporting *myself* — just as I am doing when I wear a hat featuring the logo of a television show that I like, the logo of my favourite band, a symbol of my political ideology, or the bicycle symbol. The point of wearing team gear is to express something about oneself; the team is just a means to that end.

    That said, if I had a shirt with a player’s name and number, I would not consider the shirt to be ruined once the player leaves the team. That player is still part of the team’s history.

    I collect game worn jerseys but never wear them. I have picked up a couple of “authentics” for a fraction of the price at Marshall’s when they change manufacturers, etc.,if they’re accurate.

    I don’t like buying into the whole merchandise machine, but I have to admit to having bought a couple of soccer shirts (an ’08-’09 Chelsea and a 2010 World Cup Germany) because I really liked them and knew I wouldn’t always have the chance to get them. I don’t feel any particular need to buy, say, a Yankees jersey because I know I can buy a couple, or heck, twenty years from now if I want, but I got hosed out of owning the truly magnificent ’06 World Cup Germany jersey because I waited too long.

    i purposely bought a JJ Hardy Twins jersey when he left. 1 – I liked JJ Hardy, 2 – it was half the price of a blank jersey!

    link looks like Johnny Manziel will keep #2 and Justin Gilbert will wear #21 for the browns

    This probably doesn’t apply to most of the denizens of this site, but I feel there is an age after which a man looks ridiculous in a jersey, and that I am rapidly approaching that age.

    Upon my future-wife’s 2001 trip to London, I tasked her with bringing me back a Roberto DiMatteo Chelsea kit. She complied just days before he announced his retirement and therefore, never wore that particular version of Chelsea kit. I kept that shirt and wore it several times over the next nine years, because Robbie was a genuine legend of the club.

    That kit got worn nearly every week following his appointment to club manager in 2012 and his taking Chelsea to the European Cup.

    After his shameful sacking and the even more shameful appointment of Rafa Benitez, this particular shirt became an icon of dissent over club management’s decision to erase DiMatteo’s legacy.

    I don’t regret buying a shirt when the departed player is a legend.

    Now, if I had sent my wife to get a Chris Sutton shirt….

    “Here’s a major discovery: In 2004, the Mets memorialized deceased broadcaster Bob Murphy with some very simple lettering. But it turns out they had considered using a patch with Murphy’s surname and a mircophone.”

    The patch on that Mets jersey has a drop shadow on the “Mets” wordmark. I’ve seen those before but never on an actual Mets uniform used by the club. I’ve only ever seen the original patch:


    Along with the later “Wilponized” version with the bad-looking Mets script:


    But now there appears to be a third one that the Mets used (discounting the black and blue patch they used wth the black tops).

    I have bought plenty of NHL jerseys at retail but in the RBK EDGE era I have only bought 2 Centre Ice style in shady deals at a gas station for $80 a piece. Quality was phenomia so I don’t care if they are knockoffs or ‘fell off a truck’. The cheapest reebok jersey’s problem in my eyes is the ugly corner patch. CCM, Koho and Starter used to make excelent replicas that were closer to the real thing.

    A mild surprise (at least to me): All day long, the response to the poll has shown a roughly even three-way split between “I buy jerseys,” “I used to buy jersey but won’t be buying more,” and “Not my thing.”

    So about two-thirds of the readers here are not active jersey customers. A welcome, if somewhat unexpected, discovery.

    Put me in the “used to buy” camp. When I was a dipshit teenager, I wore NFL and NBA jerseys all the time. I haven’t bought or worn a jersey non-ironically since.

    Though I do have Kevin Love and Brandon Jennings jersey T-shirts.

    Just a quick note to echo Paul’s positive comments re: Oxford Pennants. I “discovered” this company a week or so ago, & ordered a couple of pennants for gifts. They arrived yesterday, and are stellar. Design & construction both top-notch. I’d recommend Oxford w/out hesitation. (FWIW, I have no connection to this company other than being a satisfied customer.)

    Starting in High School and ending around the time I turned thirty, I was an avid jersey collector. They were relatively cheap. I haven’t lettered any, and I only numbered my Vancouver sweater because my pals at Big League Threads offered to do it at a discount. My Cowboys’ jersey has Gary Hogeboom’s number, my Seahawks’ jersey has Shaun Springs’ number and name, and my Dolphins’ jersey has Zack Thomas’s. Prices have driven me out of the hobby.

    The other aspect of jerseys is the idea of not wearing them at all, instead, having a framed jersey at home or in the office is very popular.

    I’m not sure what a mircophone is. Perhaps you mean a microphone?

    Jerseys. I have many. Probably 90% are, or closely related to, Montreal Canadiens jerseys. (This includes two Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL, and one Louis Leblanc from the now-relocated Montreal Juniors from the Q League.) They are all named and numbered up, because it’s history and it looks more complete. As for getting my own name, I objectively understand why, but it is simply not my taste. Cheers to you if that’s your angle though.
    It would take a Aaron Hernandez fiasco for me to not want to wear one man’s jersey anymore. Plus, I totally dig the uniqueness factor when I find a blank jersey that can be customized any way I want. I like to think I’m one of a super-duper rare few people who owns a Mathieu Schneider #24 jersey from his half-season trade from Atlanta to Montreal in 2009.
    I guess my collection is kept in check by my rooting interests and by what I already have. If not for the Habs’ centenary collection, my collection would be that much smaller. And on rooting interests, let’s just say that as an American, I wouldn’t wear a Canada jersey under any circumstance. Nothing personal, I just have neither a Canadian birth certificate, a Canadian passport, nor a Canadian tax return. A Canadian undergrad diploma can’t trump that.

    Do you have or have you considered getting a hockey jersey of the team of the university where you got your undergrad diploma?

    Blue Jays are wearing special hats tonight (very red), in tribute to National Day of Honour.

    Without admittedly reading any of the above comments, I’m always perplexed that you Paul, have such a hard time with people wearing jerseys of their favorite team. They want to be associated with the team and it’s hoped for success. It’s fun to be part of a group of like-minded people and fans want to show their allegiance with the players, and what better way to brand yourself for all to see is to wear the uniform that your favorite players do? It’s a show of support and a desire to belong to a hopefully successful team.

    As for not wearing jerseys of players who have left, it’s a desire to show you are a fan of the team on the field/ice/court that is playing for you TODAY. Sure, you can wear a Cal Ripken jersey since he only played for your team and made many great memories, but why would you want to wear a jersey of a player who is now trying to beat you? Put your Reyes jersey in the closet and wait for him to retire. Then you can relive the memories.

    I’ll proudly wear my Kirby Puckett jersey, but for the time being, Justin Morneau is on hiatus. I once saw “a rule’ that said you can’t wear the jersey of a player who left your team until he’s been gone for half the amount of time he was on your club. That means no Albert Pujols jerseys in St. Louis until 2017.

    Obviously the solution here is to wear a jersey that is not customized in the age of free agency.

    Have very few jerseys customized with a pro’s name. I do have a pair of Daneyko jerseys; no problem there as he only played for the one team. I live nowhere near any major league centre so the option of wearing a major league jersey of a past or present player to a major league game is unlikely to come up for me. Even if I could afford the trip and game, odds are I wouldn’t want to blow that much more money on a customized jersey.

    If I liked the player enough and he left “my” team, it really wouldn’t bother me if I had a jersey of a player on his “old team”.

    As far as the Daneyko jerseys – bit of a DIY with having to strip the original white jersey of it’s screened on twill logo and the original sewn on number; red came with the devils crest already sewn on and no number on back. Made the name and numbers for the pair of them; not perfect but good enough to wear out on the ice once in a while. White is the older double-knit style jersey and red is an air-knit style.


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