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 of the mind that a Seahawks jersey is the ONLY appropriate gameday garb for a Soldier of Twelve, and I also can't bring myself to wear the jersey of a player who is now on another NFL team- So my Hasselbeck jersey is out. Particularly in these times of want and woe, I'm not going to get on anyone else's case for continuing to wear a Hasselbeck jersey... But I simply can't do it. This means I gotta buy a new jersey.
(Another variable? We will probably adopt new uniforms next year, so you should keep that in mind before plunking down $85 on a jersey- But for me, I simply can't hold out another year before I get a new jersey. So off we go!)
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 or a PS3, 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? I know some people go with those options, but it's just not me.
It takes guts to put yourself out there and plunk $85 on a player's jersey (particularly given the current front office's penchant for tossing veterans overboard), 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 Seahawks Stadium 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 Team Shop, and a couple of other sites... Let's count 'em down! (Yeah, it's lame that there don't seem to be Obomanu or Hawthorne replicas easily available online... What other jerseys do you wish were available, y'all?)
17. Charlie Whitehurst
HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You've got to be SHITTING me, NFL.com!
16. Kelly Jennings
I've NEVER seen anyone in a Jennings jersey, have you? Might not make the final 53-man roster.
15. Leroy Hill
I was surprised to see his jersey available. I'm guessing they still had jerseys left over from a couple of years ago?
14. Tarvaris Jackson
I think T-Jack WILL exceed expectations, but I still wouldn't lay out the cash for a "bridge guy" at QB. If you want to buy a QB's jersey, hold out for whoever we draft next April.
13. Golden Tate
I think Tate will improve this year, but the main motivation for buying his jersey would have to be pissing off NASCAR fans, right?
12. Marcus Trufant
A Seahawks and Wazzu legend, and a Tacoma native. But after Hasselbeck and Tatupu were shown the door, how confident can we be that Trufant is going to be with the team next year? Shit- Next month?
11. John Carlson
JC is a fan favorite, but free agency approaches, and the possibility of a trade still dangles over #89. At best, he will probably have a diminished role with Miller now in the fold.
10. Justin Forsett
Young Nastyman is a dynamic player and solid citizen- I'm just concerned that he might become the odd man out in the Seattle backfield- Buyer beware in this case.
9. Aaron Curry
Yeah, he's been a bit of a disappointment, and yes, his rookie contract is nearing its end- But I've bought into the hype that 2011 could be a breakout season for Curry. Also, I've worn a #59 jersey before (Julian Peterson) and it looked great on me.
8. Marshawn Lynch
How can the Beastquaker himself be this low? He's a free-agent after this season. I'm sure plenty of people will still roll them bones, though- Dude's a Bad Mother Fucker, and has a permanent place in Seahawks history.
7. Mike Williams
BMW is a GREAT story- But I'm a bit afraid that he'll regress, or at least that his impact might decline with Rice and Miller also around taking targets away from him. Full disclosure? I also irrationally dislike the fact that anyone is wearing Dave Krieg's number. No, I don't think it should be retired, obviously- Like I said, irrational.
6. Leon Washington
I LOVE Leon: The Professional, and he just signed a new contract. If it wasn't for that STUPID new kickoff rule possibly diminishing Washington's role, he might be as high as #2 on this list. You fucked up, NFL.
5. Russell Okung
If it wasn't for the ankle problems, I'd probably put Okung at #1. I have a weird thing about not wanting to wear the jerseys of injured players, so I'm a bit skittish about buying an Okung replica.
4. Zach Miller
Another newly minted Hawk, a great guy by all accounts, and one of the best tight ends in the game- We all hope he redeems #86 from the taint of Jerramy Stevens.
3. Earl Thomas
Young, early in his contract, and may end up as Seattle's best DB since Kenny Easley. A great buy.
2. Sidney Rice
I think this is the jersey that will take over Seahawks Stadium by the end of this season- Rice will be around for a while, and I really think he has the potential to be the best Seattle WR since Largent. Definite buy.
1. Brandon Mebane
Bane just signed a huge new contract, and he'll be in Seattle for a good long stretch. He is also fucking awesome, so I'm planning to snap up a Mebane replica the second I have the money. I also vowed to Meeb himself on twitter that I'd buy his jersey if he re-signed with Seattle, so I'm kinda locked in (in a good way).
What do you think, sirs?