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?