With training camp in full swing, it's time for those of us with the necessary means to start thinking about which new Seahawks jersey we want to wrap ourselves in this fall. I'm pretty happy with my Hasselbeck home replica, but I'm hoping to score another jersey when I'm out in Seattle next week.
As I've said in this space before, I'm not big on the "replithentic/semi-authentic" jerseys because I don't think you actually get enough added value to make up for the increased delicacy of the garments. Authentic jerseys? If I had $250 to throw around, I'd use it to buy an Xbox 360, not a shirt. Throwbacks can be cool, but those that are readily available to buy are "semi-authentic" and a bit of a pain to take care of properly. Number 12 "fan" jerseys? A personalized jersey with your name on it? Total cop outs in my book.
It takes guts to put yourself out there and plunk $70 on a player's jersey, but it takes some brains to make sure that it's a good investment. What should you look for in a jersey (besides liking the player)?
-Is he any good? (duh)
-Is he at least not an obvious asshole off the field?
-Is he likely to be with the Seahawks for at least a couple more seasons?
-Is everyone else at Qwest going to be wearing the same damn jersey?
With these (and other) criteria in mind, I decided to rank the replica jerseys that are readily available online. I checked NFL Shop, the Seahawks Pro Shop, Seattle Teams, and a couple of other sites... Here's a baker's dozen +1 of jersey choices: Let's count 'em down! (Yeah, it's lame that there don't seem to be Mebane or Forsett replicas easily available online... What other jerseys do you wish were available, y'all?)
14. Leroy Hill
Um... No. Why don't you just go buy a Mike Vick jersey while you're at it?
13. Owen Schmitt
Unless you are into self-injury or from West Virginia, there's really no reason to spend your hard earned Nixon Fun Bucks on Captain Bloodface's jersey.
12. Deion Branch
I used to have a Branch jersey. I like the guy, and I think he is a solid WR when healthy.. Problem is he rarely stays that way. Unless he has a very productive 2010, he aint gonna be in town a year from now.
11. Julius Jones
JJ might not start this year.. Hell, he MIGHT not make the final roster. In any case, I wouldn't bet $70 to $80 on Jones being a Hawk that long.
10. Kelly Jennings
Free agent after this season... Stay away.
9. Russell Okung
As I'm writing this, Okung hasn't yet signed a contract. The longer he waits to get into camp, the less effective he will be this season.. I'd say stay away from his jersey for now.
8. Matt Hasselbeck
I love me some Beck, but it's highly likely that he's not a Seahawk next season. If I didn't already have my Hass jersey, I would wait to see if he gets an extension.
7. Earl Thomas
Thomas is in camp, and already flashing his first-round talent. I'm always hesitant to buy a rookie jersey, but Thomas looks set to be a perennial Pro-Bowler.
6. Golden Tate
I think this kid is going to be a superstar, and frankly the Top Pot thing doesn't dissuade me at all... The best choice if you are willing to buy a rookie's jersey.
5. T.J. Housmandzadeh
Should bounce back from a somewhat disappointing 2009, but you won't really stand out among the sea of dudes and chick dudes who got his jersey last season. Unlikely to be around through the end of his contract in 2013, but should be productive and in Seattle through 2011...
4. Marcus Trufant
An all-time Seahawks great, bound for the Ring of Honor. He's also a Tacoma native, a Wazzu legend, and as far as I know, not a turdy fellow. Also locked up in Seattle through 2013.
Already a Seahawks legend, and wildly popular despite that drunk-driving arrest a couple years back. Tons of people already have his jersey (which is a bit of a deterrent in my book), and he'll be patrolling the middle for the Hawks through 2015.
2. Aaron Curry
Curry didn't set the world on fire last season, but I'm among those who think he's going to go all 1987 Fredd Young on everyone's asses this year. He's also going to be in Seahawks blue through 2014 at least, so unless he starts sucking or gets all rapey and shit, his jersey is a good choice.
1. John Carlson
Great young up-and-coming player, by all accounts a decent guy, and will be a Seahawk at least through 2011. On a personal note, I also met his parents last season. I think it's your best choice, fellow Twelves.