This is my five part series in how to buy a sports jersey. I didn’t plan for it to be a series, but your Mom didn’t exactly plan for you, these things happen. Also, I’M BACK!
The sports jersey is one of the ultimate signs of fanhood in our time. Now, if you think I’m going to look up facts about the modern day sports jersey, such as when it was introduced and which team pioneered the idea of selling it, you clearly haven’t read this blog before (and more importantly my posts.) Instead, I’m going to give you a couple of pointers on things to look out for when buying a jersey, how to narrow down your choice to the star 3rd basemen, or the phenom goalie you just signed. Jerseys are expensive without the nameplate and number on the back, but if your going to just buy a blank jersey and wear it around you need more help than I can give you. Real fans wear numbers. I was recently perusing a Colorado Avalanche fan blog, and in the comments of some article, the talk of new jerseys came up. One poor sap lamented his recent troubles, saying he bought a Craig Anderson two years ago, and Kevin Shattenkirk the year after. Obviously, you guys know that both of those players were traded (on the same day!) in February last year. Unfortunately for this guy, this all could have been avoided. If he had
just left a note just read my column. From the future.
Reason Number 5: After the jump.
#5 Never Buy A Rookie’s Jersey
This one seems like it should be obvious, but so does the debt crisis solution (PRINT MOAR MONIES!). A rookie jersey is an easy idea to entertain because of two reasons. Reason #1: The growing up period. You see, you get Player X’s jersey after game 13, when he hit for the cycle and the team’s veteran was quoted something like, “pound for pound best pure hitter I’ve seen in years.” Now you’re thinking, this is my guy. I’ll get his jersey and for the next 10 years me and him will win divisions and championships, MVP awards and All-Star Games. As he get’s older he’ll get a few scars in his game, just like my jersey my get a hole or a coffee stain here or there. I’ll grow up, with this kid. Reason #2: I’ll know him before anyone else. It’s the preseason. You watch each game and notice that the 3rd string tight end is different. He runs his routes perfectly. His jump-turn-catch is uncanny, he almost looks like he’s straight out of a video game. You order his jersey thinking “When I wear this to the game, man, people will be so jealous.” He starts scoring touchdowns, you look like footballs version of Nostradamus.
Like this, but with Doritos crumbs in your beard.
WHY IT FAILS: This one is cruel, but you have to look at these kids not as a fan, but as a member of management. Reason no.1 isn’t a sure fire thing because for every new phenom there is an Alexander Daigle (look him up folks) just waiting to break your heart. Yeah he hit the cycle in game 13, but by game 55 he’s swinging at everything and every one including the bat boy knows how to strike this kid out. Next thing you know his most accurate jersey is for your minor league team. Reason no. 2 fails because of the kid on the Avs blog I mentioned before. His Kevin Shattenkirk jersey seemed like a good idea, mid-season, when Shatty was called up because of injuries and absolutely killing it on the blue line. Hey, you know who is more crazy about that offensive defenseman who came out of nowhere than your teams GM? EVERYONE ELSE’S TEAMS GM. And that is exactly what happened to Kevin Shattenkirk: Dangled as unproven but flashy trade bait and used to acquire the Avalanche’s new blue chip All-Star defenseman/future captain/future new J. Auger jersey (exception to Rule number 3) Erik Johnson. THE KID’S AREN’T ALL RIGHT.
THE EXCEPTION: For this one I will use my own experience. The year: 2009. The Date: Christmas Morning. The Present: An Avs Third Jersey, Number 9 on the back, Matt Duchene. “But Joe,” you say, “didn’t you just break your own rule and buy a jersey of a rookie half way through his first season? And, as a rule of thumb, don’t you distrust people named Matt?” Why yes, that is true (both parts, Hiller) but you see to every rule there is the exception, and Duchene, or your teams version of him, is that. You see, Matt Duchene wasn’t just any rookie. He was picked third overall by the team, and heralded by management as the next superstar (you’d be surprised by how buying a jersey and thinking like management goes hand in hand.) I would only regret this buy if the kid was a bust, which was unlikely having watched him score his first goal against Detroit (that’s kind of like if Obama killed Bin Laden during his first team in office. Oh, wait.) I just knew, as did everyone else, management included, that this kid was going to stick around and produce. Which he did, leading the team to the playoffs and just being a trip to watch play.
By the way, I included this clip because of the allusion to the “Ordinary Craig Anderson”, which will be a big part of Reason No. 4, dropping tomorrow. Later Lazy Gator Haters.