where to get nfl jerseys cheap A Guide to Proper Jersey Etiquette
Any time that I go to a Saints or Hornets game I am always amazed by the different jerseys that people pull out of the closet. Sometimes I am amazed in a happy way. This normally occurs when you can tell the person is not serious and is wearing the jersey for shock value. They have a jersey of a guy from 10 years ago that everyone has forgotten about and it makes you laugh when you see it. If nothing else, the jersey is acceptable pretty much because it is a joke, a good luck charm, or something of the sort.
Sometimes, however, I am amazed in a bad way. Like when somebody is wearing a jersey of a player that everyone hates and whose departure from the team was celebrated (Aaron Brooks anyone?). Sometimes I see jerseys that really just aggravate me to the point where I contemplate walking up to the person wearing it and offering to buy them a new jersey. I don’t know why things like this bother me, but they do. I saw a guy with a Tebucky Jones jersey on the other day and I almost snapped and drop kicked him in the back of the neck. True story. Now, while this is just further proof that something is seriously wrong with me, in the words of the famous George Costanza, “Do you ever get down on your knees and thank God that you have access to my dementia?”
And it doesn’t stop there. I have seen numerous Baron Davis jerseys so far at the Arena this season. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this is totally unacceptable. These are the types of things that make me want to drop to my knees in the middle of a crowd and scream “WHY?!” at the top of my lungs. However, I have finally come up with a way to cope with my jersey provoked rage. Rather than have various jerseys shave years off my life and add gray hair to my scalp, I have decided to come up with a guide to proper jersey etiquette.
For your convenience I have broken it down into two distinct categories: Allowed and Not Allowed.
Remember, these are the rules that apply when you are wearing a jersey to a sporting event. Most of the examples will be relevant to the Saints or Hornets, but the rules apply to fans of all teams.
That’s simple enough. If the player is with that team, then you’re good. As long as the team, player, and number are all accurate then you have nothing to worry about.
2.) Jerseys of Retired Players
This means that if you have the jersey of a player that is no longer active, then you’re fine. None of what happened after he left the team matters. As long as he isn’t on a current roster, you’re good to go. So go ahead, dust off that Bobby Hebert jersey and wear it with pride.
3.) All Star or Pro Bowl Jerseys
These are allowed because they represent a certain season. So say Drew Brees demands to be cut or traded this offseason and winds up in Tampa Bay. It would still be alright to wear his Pro Bowl jersey because it represents only his contributions to the 2006 season and not his entire career and legacy as a Saint.
4.) Throwback Jerseys of Famous Players
If it is a designed throwback, then you’re ok. If you just kept it for a really really long time and all the numbers and logos are peeling off, it’s not ok. Old by design is fine. Old by carbon dating is unfortunate.
As long as the player is not currently with another team and did not have an infamously negative impact on the team, all is fair game. This rule is allowed simply so I can catch the occasional Tyrone Hughes Saints jersey or the always popular Kirk Haston Hornets jersey. The more obscure, the better.
(By the way, obscure jerseys are the best. If you can get someone to look at your jersey and ask, “Who is that?” it gives you a reason to act really smug since you know so much more about the team than them.)
If a player has switched teams and is still active with a team other than the team on the jersey you have, you cannot wear it. That means you need to put those Joe Horn jerseys away until he either retires or re signs with the Saints. I’m sorry, but no matter how much you like Joe Horn, you are a Saints fan first. Your loyalty lies with the Saints, not with Hollywood Joe. Same goes for Willie Roaf and all of your other favorite former Saints who are still playing for other teams. (Wow, I knew that Willie Roaf retired and I still typed it. Inexcusable error on my part.)
I hate to do it, but I have to. Personalized jerseys with your “name” and your “number” are not allowed in public. Please have some respect for yourself. Especially if you take them seriously and put your full last name with your high school football number underneath. Let it go. It’s over. However, I will make an exception and say that if you put a nickname on the back I’ll let it slide. At least this shows that it’s all in fun and that you’re not waiting for touch football game to break out during pregame tailgating so that you can show everybody “how good you were back in the day.”
9.) Jerseys of Players Who Have Had a Negative Impact on the Team
If you can look back on a player’s career and there are substantially more negatives than positives, you need to go ahead and use that jersey to decorate the inside of your garbage. That means you Aaron Brooks. You too, Ricky Williams. These jerseys are not to be worn under any circumstances. Other players off the top of my head who fall into this category are Kyle Turley and Baron Davis. There are also plenty of others but we’ll get to that another day.
(By the way, this rule overrides rule 2. If the player had a negative overall impact on the team you cannot wear his jersey whether he is dead, retired, or anything else. Sorry, but rules are rules.)
10.) Jerseys of Teams/Players Not Playing That Night
This is not debatable. If you are going to the Superdome to watch the Saints and the Falcons play, you cannot wear a Jacksonville Jaguars jersey. You just can’t. It goes against everything fanhood is about. The only exceptions to this rule are the children ages 10 and under who wear their recreation football jerseys to the games. I understand it’s the same city and whatnot, but I’d try to avoid it. Please, please, please, if you are a grown man and you are considering buying a jersey, do not buy the Youth XL. I know that you think the length is long enough and the sleeves aren’t that short. But please, don’t do it. Have some decency. Just go ahead and spend the extra $25 and get yourself an Adult sized jersey. The guy in front of me at the Superdome has been wearing a Deuce McAllister Youth XL jersey for two years now. Two years. I honestly can’t even look him in the eye. I understand that times can get tough, but if money is that tight, should you even be buying a jersey in the first place?
Look at the tag on the inside of your jersey. If it says something slightly unrecognizable or unfamiliar, take it off immediately. Give it to a homeless person or something.
Now, just remember that I don’t make the rules, I simply relay them to you. I really wish you could wear your Donte’ Stallworth Saints Youth XL jersey shirt. I do. But, unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes you buy jerseys and you get five, six, or seven years out of them. (Could you imagine buying a Fred McAfee jersey in 1991 and getting to wear it during every division championship season?) Sometimes you buy jerseys and you don’t even get a whole season for your investment. That’s just how it works. Buying a jersey is a commitment that carries risk. However, it’s all part of being a dedicated fan.
Now, if you don’t see the point in possibly spending $70 dollars every year or so on a new jersey, then you probably don’t even get it to begin with, and by it, I mean being a die hard fan. You have to live with the team and die with the team. Sometimes you may even have to buy a new jersey three years in a row. But guess what? That year when you happen to buy that jersey that winds up lasting you a decade, it makes it that much more worth it. Take it from me. I think about that every time I look at my Marques Colston, Drew Brees, or Reggie Bush jerseys hanging in the closet next to my Troy Davis, Joe Horn, Dale Carter, Mario Bates, Vaughn Dunbar, Ray Zellars, and Andre Hastings jerseys. Hey, you win some, you lose some. And isn’t that what sports and being a fan are all about anyway?