Sunday, September 13, 2009

Show Your Colors

As the official NFL season kicks off this week, I dug out my Patriots jersey to get ready for Monday night. I started to recall how I came upon the jersey and thought I'd see how our crew thinks.

When you decide you're going to buy a team jersey (in any sport), what's your M.O.? Do you go with a current player? Do you choose "blank"? Do you avoid it altogether given the transient nature of superstars in all sports these days?

If I'm going to shell out the clams for a real player jersey (not just a t-shirt), I like to dig out the "old school" vets that are reminiscent of what I recall as a kid. I also like to go with a little bit obscure star. In fact my first choice for a Patriots jersey was Mosi Tatupu, but I couldn't find one. Steve Grogan was a solid 2nd choice, although a more accurate representation would have been one covered in grass stains on the back. What's your jersey of choice and how'd you decide?


KFFBOS said...

Great topic. I have five sports jerseys:

1) #54--Ted Bruschi
Bought the retro Bruschi jersey after his stroke because proceeds were going to charity.

2) #11--Drew Bledsoe
Purchased in 1997 right before the Super Bowl against Green Bay. It's one of those faux jerseys and it was on sale at the Salvation Army in Lewiston, ME.

3) #83--Deion Branch
Ugh, a friend bought this for me after he went to Seattle and they were on sale at the pro shop. I just can't bring myself to throw it out.

4) #34--David Ortiz
I'm not a fan of Baseball jersey purchases, mainly b/c they are uncomfortable to wear. My mother-in-law bought this for me on 10/3/04 and I wore it throughout the '04 playoffs. Yes, I'm responsible for the World Series victory.

5) #__--Boston College Hockey
Purchased when my wife and I saw them at the Frozen Four in St. Louis, can't remember the year. You can't bring booze into NCAA championship events and we wanted to sneak in some flasks...a hockey sweater is perfect.

In summary I only buy jerseys when they are cheap, the money goes to charity or I need to smuggle in alcohol. Those are my reasons.


Aaron_Strout said...

I think this is a stupid topic.

Kidding of course... Thanks once again to AC for keeping the convo alive over on BigP.

The two jerseys I own are a '97 or '98 signed Bledsoe jersey (the thing swims on me). It was a gift from my dad. The other is a Bruschi jersey that was also a gift. My highlight with that jersey was wearing it to the Cowboys/Patriots game in '07 (yeah, the game the Pats absolutely destroyed the 'Boys). I was a tad uncomfortable walking out if Dallas stadium with that shirt facing thousands of drunk and angry Dallas fans. But oh well...

In general, I don't end up buying many jerseys but like Adam and Kyle, I'm more of a retro guy. That ensures that you don't go out and buy a jersey of a player that gets traded or that turns out to be a douchenozzle.

BTW, how big was Beckett's performance last night? I'll tell you what, on more week of winning by the Sox and it's game over for the Rangers (who gave a great chase this year).

Tim Walker said...

I own zero sports jerseys.

If I were to buy one, I might get a retro #9 Sox jersey.

Keep in mind that I grew up in a sports no-man's-land out in West Texas.

KFFBOS said...


Aaron_Strout said...

Tim - excuse me but if you get a jersey, it's gonna be Tris Speaker's. End of argument.

Kyle, you like?

Jeff Cutler said...

Passions run deep and are often irrational when it comes to sports. I know if I were to buy jerseys for political figures I'd have gotten a Gary Hart, a Richard Nixon, a Ronald Regan and definitely an Obama.

But for sports - and especially for a former NESN sportswriter living in New England - my passions run a little south when it comes to football.

As we sit here on opening day (not counting the Steelers on Thursday) I would be gladly wearing my Bob Griese jersey if it still fit.

It turns out that I cut out the 12 and still have it, along with my faux leather sleeved jacket, somewhere in a tub in the basement.

My other faves over time - especially because KFFBOS has decided to take us through every piece of clothing he's ever owned - would be...

Steve Lyons - #11
Paul Warfield - #42
Roberto Clemente - #21
Dwight Evans - #24
Bob Griese - #12
Bobby Orr - #4

and probably many more.

Good topic AC.

Derek Peplau said...

Great topic, Adam. I've got two, and specific reasons for buying each.

1) #8 -- Carl Yastrzemski home jersey. I bought this one right after I graduated from college. With Red Sox home jerseys it's obviously a little easier to buy one with a retired number; that way there's no doubt who it is. I'd love a #24 (Dwight Evans), but the problem there is, with no names on the back, most people nowadays will mistake it for the someone I have a lot less respect for.

2) #11 Bill Mueller Road Jersey (of the style they wore until this season). This one I purchased in the Fall of 2004, but since it was a special order (they didn't stock them like they did Schilling, Ortiz, etc.), it didn't arrive until November.

This one I bought because Mueller exemplified many of the things I value in a player for the Boston Red Sox: he was a team player, a quiet professional, a rock solid 3rd baseman, had a knack for hitting in the clutchest of situations, and he positively owned Rivera. And this decision was looking even better after his rocket up the middle and the subsequent Rivera yard sale scoring Roberts in Game 4.

I wear these pretty much only to games, but I mostly wear the Mueller one nowadays. Not many people have his jersey, and I get several positive comments and thumbs up every time I wear it. He wasn't the best player we've ever had, but along with Evans, I'd say he was may favorite.

There has to be some sort of equity built up in the player (even if, in Mueller's case it's only a couple of seasons) in order to hedge against the threat of obsolescence via douchenozzelry referenced above.

Bryan Person said...

Weird, but I don't think I've ever bought a sports jersey with a player's name on it. I have a Red Sox mesh jersey with no name that I do wear on occasion, though.

adamcohen said...

If I had to guess the answers for each of the folks who responded already - after some careful thought I think I'd be 90% correct.

I should have noted I do have #34 for the Red Sox, home jersey. I thought after 2004 there was no way Papi would be questioned. Boy was I wrong.

By the way, if there's ever a tangential benefit to participating on this blog, it's what this post added to our collective vocabulary: "douchenozzle" and "douchenozzlery." Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Jim Storer said...

Like Tim, I don't own a single player jersey. I'm such a stingy New Englander I've never been able to bring myself to buy one and I guess all my friends are two cheap to give me one as a gift.

With that said, I was really close to buying one a few years back. During the run in 2004 I developed a man crush on Mark Bellhorn that was only solidified by his clutch home runs in the playoffs. I think it was rooted in my belief that he wasn't getting a fair shake by the Boston fans/media because he wasn't a happy "idiot" like so many of the 2004 Red Sox players. I had a lot of fun defending him to friends, as irrational as they seemed to think my arguments were.

In any event, he was was with San Diego in 2006 and business brought me there during their opening homestand. I walked up to the ticket window and bought two seats, thirty rows off the field on the first base side for $40 a piece (I still shake my head every time I remember this story). Before the first pitch I went to the in-stadium pro shop and looked for a SD Bellhorn jersey I could proudly wear to Sox games back in Beantown. Unfortunately, the SD Padres media dept. hadn't yet "discovered" the untapped popularity of MB and all they had were crappy t-shirts with his name slapped on the back. I'd love to have a 2005 San Diego Padres home jersey with Mark Bellhorn's name/number on the back.

Side note: I think I scared everyone in my section that night when I gave Dave Roberts a five minute solo standing ovation when he entered the game in the eighth inning for the Padres. Gives me chills to this day.

Adam said...

Here are my Boston eBay purchases of the mind...

PATRIOTS: I'd have to agree with Adam's Mosi Tatupu #30 pick for Pats. Long Live Mosi's Mooses!

I met him outside the Orange Bowl after Grogan closed the stadium forever for Jeff Cutler's pitiful Dolphins with a button hook TD to clinch game in 1987. Mosi has the biggest hands on the planet.

RED SOX: Easy - #23 Oil Can Boyd, Luis Tiant
The Can

CELTICS: I stole my brothers #7 Dee Brown in time to add a 1 before Celts got banner #17. Home-made look is cool - yeah right.

If pressed for a new shirt, probably have to go with #5 Bill Walton because he was a party (and KG wears it now) or #6 Bill Russell as he is the greatest winner in history of sports.

Keep on Trucking Bill

BOSTON MINUTEMEN (NASL): #12 Ade Coker. I sat next to him on a plane when I was 9. See bottom right for Ade's moves

(By the way, I had a 1977 New York Cosmos shirt - wonder if that's in a box somewhere?).

BOSTON LOBSTERS - #20 Martina Navratilova 1977-2008. Laugh away, but this is how the sporting dominance of Robert Kraft began. Navratilova started with the team in 1977, when it was owned by Robert Kraft. Kraft recently sent her a letter congratulating her on 20 years - all the players wore #20 on their shirt last season. Kraft has said he's made many trades in his career but two really stand out - Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Navratilova.

By the way Martina's current fiancée was the last Miss Soviet Union

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION #1 Walter Zenga. I was a season ticket holder for the first two years of this sorry franchise in this sorry league. Zenga was hilarious as the aged Inter Milan refuge. I imagine many late nights with the ladies in and around the North End.

Always loved Walter's hat - Hey, my shirt's in a damn frame

Enough of Boston. As Bryan Person and Derek Peplau know, my real sporting passion is for the greatest football team the world has ever seen ...

LIVERPOOL F.C. - #7 Kevin Keegan. From 1974-1983 we had the same "Jewfro" perm part down the middle haircut.

Kevin Keegan 1974-75

Adam Zand 1983

Jim Storer said...

I'd like to nominate Adam's comment as the best ever on Big Papelbon. It's without parallel. Be sure to click on High comedy. Thank you Adam.

Aaron_Strout said...

Jim - I second your nomination. Sheer brilliance!

KFFBOS said...

Standing and clapping. Well done sir.

Derek Peplau said...

Nice one, AZ. You truly brought it. The lesson here, links in comments (particularly of the quality of these) = value add.

Doug Haslam said...

Adam closed this post the way Grogan closed the Orange Bowl. What's the point?

If pressed, my answer is closer to Tim's. I would get A Yaz #8 and a Bobby Orr-- I had the pleasure of wearing my big bro's threadbare hand-me-down #4 at least, When Orr and the Big Bad's still mattered.

As for now? Do T-Shirts count? They do if there's a story. I have a Lester Tee I bought at Fenway after spilling a beer all over myself (and part of John Yarmis) at the Technosailor Tweetup

g said...

Ben Coates. End of comment.

Adam Zand said...

Thanks sports fans!

I'm glad no one called a penalty on me for not enough men on the ice. I was thinking about hockey, but got distracted fantasizing about BOSTON BREAKERS defender #2 Heather Mitts or was it Navratilova?!

BRUINS: Again, easy choice -
#24 Terry O'Reilly: Art paired with AC/DC