April 24, 2012

Am I About to Flip-Flop on "12th Man" jerseys?

Over four years ago, near the dawn of this blog, I wrote this:

"To me, the 12 jersey is a cop out; It tells me you don't have the onions to commit to a current player on the roster. The jersey you wear says a lot, and to me a #12 jersey says you don't really like anyone on the team all that much."

Up until today, that was still pretty much my point of view. What has me wavering? What has me thinking about getting a #12 "FAN" jersey for the first time since I got a cheapo KIRO promotional version back in the 80s?

A) The cheapest Nike Seahawks jerseys are going to be not $70, not $80, but $100. Damn you to hell, Phil Knight. Even with the gift card money I got for my birthday, that's pricey.

B) I'm underemployed and not exactly flush with cash these days.

C) Even if I pinpoint a player who is young (or at least not OLD) and at the start of his contract, that player could still get hurt... and I HATE having to wear an injured player's jersey. This is why I've typically had at least two jerseys in my "rotation."

Since I'm not likely to be able to afford a 2nd jersey for a spell, the arguments in favor of a #12 jersey are starting to look more persuasive: Mainly the unique relationship between the team and its fans (The 12th Man Flag ceremony, the retirement of the #12, etc), and the simple fact that #12 isn't going to get injured, cut, or traded. If one takes proper care of their #12 jersey, it'll be "current" for a good long while.

Just to dwell on the tradition for a bit: The Seahawks are still the only NFL team that has retired the number 12 for the fans. If Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers came to the Seahawks, they'd have to switch numbers (unless they could successfully bribe all of us). That's pretty fucking awesome, and if anyone asks why you're wearing a jersey with "FAN" on the back, that's an opportunity to drop said awesomeness upon that Philistine.

I'm trying HARD to talk myself into this, aren't I? I'm not really convincing myself about it, though. What do y'all think? Does the price tag of the new Nike jerseys make a #12 model more appealing to you? Who do you think is closer to the truth? 2008 me or 2012 me? Deep down, I still want a Lynch jersey... but dammit, running backs get hurt. A lot.

What do you think, sirs?


Eric Flatness said...

Just think of it this way: by getting a 12 jersey, you're wearing your own number. Why don't you spring just this once and get one with your last name on the back, of course with our number.

BTW my favorite aspect of these new jerseys are the nods to the twelves throughout. 12 feathers on each side of the neck, 12 down each leg, and a 12 flag on the back of the neck and pants.

it's all in D Hans said...

I have to agree. I always felt that a 12th man with FAN on the back was a cop out. But since I received an Premiere Reebok LYNCH jersey for X-mas last year (thanks honey) I just might spring for a #12 Nike with HANSEN on the back. This shows that I am invested in my team 100%. Even if I am 5 states away, I can be the 12th man in my living room. Screaming at the TV in support of my team - yes honey, THEY CAN HEAR ME! I can't beleive they are going to jack up the prices though... Nike bastards.

The other option is to start collecting throwbacks, as the Reebok jerseys are dropping in price. I still want a Walter Jones jersey for my collection...

Go Seahawks!!!

neurocell said...

i just returned to school. My financial aid arrives on May 4th, the same day that stores around Vancouver, WA are supposed to get the new jerseys.

I was thinking about Earl Thomas, Ricardo Lockette (I wore 83 from high school through colege), or 12.

12 has always been special, because when I joined the Air Force in '88, pepole would ask me who "Fan" was. They couldn't figure out who he was. Some were confused when I explained who Fan was. Others looked at me like I was crazy. One comment stuck with me: "I wish my team cared about me as much as yours." That comment was enough to make me laugh at guys that tried to make fun of the Hawks.

12 and Seahawks Stadium go together well. I'm not sure about 12 in another stadium. It does work out and about, I just don't know about it in another stadium. It'll probably grow on me. If nothing else, you can thumb your nose at idiots, and tell them that only your team has objective evidence that they respect you, that you, as an individual fan, matter to them.

bleedshawkblue said...

Can I get a 12 with the cool feathers and stuff for less than a hundred bucks? Also like the 12 with your name on it - might I suggest "The Beard" as an option?

Howzabout a 2010 commemorative BeefQuake throwback?

Liking the Reebok throwback option, and throwbacks are always on the cheap side - personally, I would really go for a Mack Strong jersey, as he is my favorite sleeper pick for the Ring of Honor and the Hall of Fame. When I actually get the spare cash for something this important...

John said...

For me, it isn't about the price of the jerseys. It's about how free agency and the realities of the game mean that there are precious few players who end up as long-term cornerstones of a team.

A few years back, I would have dropped serious coin on a Tatupu jersey, convinced that he was going to be the face of the Seahawks defense for the next 7-10 years. Whoops. Who could we identify now as a guy who will be here for years and years? Thomas? Maybe. Bryant? Not sure. Lynch?

In the end, I'm usually fine with getting a player's replica jersey, but I like to reserve the bigger purchases (like an authentic that will last forever) for players whose place with the team is chiseled in granite: Hasselbeck, Big Walt, Largent. The only exception is that I have a Lynch authentic I got for $75 - couldn't pass that up.

I'll eventually get one of the Nike Elite jerseys, and I will likely go with #12, as you're suggesting. I'll probably skip the generic "FAN" nameplate and customize it with my own, though.

Unknown said...

Totally understand about not wanting to wear a jersey of an injured player or even worse one that leaves for another team. I have about 12 of those hanging in my closet. My only valid jerseys last year were Earl Thomas, Russell Okung, and Walter Jones (he will always be valid).

But I still can't convince myself to buy a 12 jersey. I love the 12th Man, love everything behind it, love that #12 is retired, but I still don't know if I can buy a 12 jersey.

Ean said...

I really don't get all the hub-bub around NOT having a 12 jersey. As pointed out, players come and go, but 12 stays put.To me, it is, always has been and always will be MY number. I am a Seahawks fan. And if I wear my 1st, second, third fourth or fifth incarnation of the Seahawks jersey, I will always be recognized as such. No one will guess that I am a fair weather fan because I am wearing a #94 jersey with the name "Brown" on it , because that's how long ago I bought a jersey or went to a game. Of course, my last name is on the jerseys, not the word "Fan". That is a little too generic. And I agree that the sticker on the new ones are rape. Bastards never ask me about changing the uniforms, and I have spent a small fortune on gear in the last 36 years. They should offer people who have been loyal a discount at least.