June 27, 2013

Your 2013 Seahawks Jersey Buying Guide

With Seahawks Training Camp less than a month away, it's time for Twelves to think about buying a new jersey for the upcoming season. Particularly if you're planning on catching one of those public sessions at the VMAC, you don't wanna be the poor bastard that has to show up in a Matt Flynn jersey. So if you have the necessary means (at least $100 - Damn you, Nike!), now's the time to start your deliberations. First, my annual advice to all Twelves when it comes to jerseys:

As usual, I'm setting aside throwback jerseys and #12 FAN jerseys (though I've changed my tune on the #12's- Given how precarious roster spots are under PCJS's rule, I can't blame a fan for playing it safe with such a substantial investment). Remember that the Nike jerseys run a size smaller than the old Reebok ones- I used to wear a large, but I had to bump up to XL after Nike took over (and no, not because I got fatter, smart-ass). I also argue that there's really no compelling reason to buy the pricier Nike models. The $100 ones look just fine as far as I'm concerned. My biggest caution? NEVER PUT YOUR JERSEY IN THE DRYER! Dryers kill jerseys! Don't do it under any circumstances. With proper care, these Nike duds should hold up for a nice, long spell. If possible, wash them on the delicate cycle in cold water by themselves.

One bit of great news for fans is that NFL Shop has a wider selection of jersey options than I've seen anywhere else (Full disclosure: they're my main advertising partner, so I'm not going to pretend that I don't want you to buy your Seahawks gear by clicking through on one of the banner ads in the right column). Because of this, I'm not going to go through EVERY available jersey option like I have in past seasons.

So how should you decide on a jersey? For me, it basically comes down to four criteria

Awesomeness: How much ass does this guy kick? Why wear the jersey of "just a guy?" 

Longevity: How injury-prone is the player (I HATE wearing the jersey of an injured player)? How long is his contract? 

Originality: Will this help me stand out from the crowd? 

Likability: Is the player a decent human being, or at least not an obviously giant asshole? 

10 DON'T BUYS: Bruce Irvin, Chris Clemons, Golden Tate, Brandon Browner, Doug Baldwin, Walter Thurmond, Michael Robinson, Michael Bennett, Antoine Winfield.

These are the jerseys that carry the highest probability of causing serious buyer's remorse. Bruce Irvin still has potential, but why plunk down the money on the jersey of a guy who won't see the field until October due to his 4-game suspension? Chris Clemons might still be a monster this fall, but he IS coming off major knee surgery. It doesn't help his case in my eyes that he made what could be construed as homophobic remarks about potentially having a gay teammate. Tate, Baldwin, Robinson, Bennett, Winfield and Thurmond ALL might have great seasons, but all of them are also unrestricted free agents in 2014 (Browner will be a restricted free agent). Unless you want to emulate the awful Josh Brown mistake I made a few years back, just buy the jersey of a player with more years on his contract.

5 RISKY BUYS: Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice, Cliff Avril, K.J. Wright, John Moffitt
I own and proudly wear a Lynch jersey, but his style of play (and still-looming threat of a DUI-related suspension) would make me hesitant about buying one now. Sidney Rice won't be a free agent until 2016, but his relatively disappointing production in Seattle thus far (and history of injury problems) puts him in the "risky buy" category for me. Avril is a new free agent acquisition, and he's only under contract through 2014. Wright and Moffitt also become UFAs after the 2014 season.

5 SOLID BUYS: Zach Miller, Brandon Mebane, Russell Okung, Bobby Wagner, Red Bryant
All of these players are important contributors with a LOT of years left on their contracts and their jerseys carry the added cache of not being worn by thousands of Twelves already... Still, there's an elite half-dozen players that I think represent the best options for Twelves in the market for a new jersey this season...

6. Percy Harvin 
Harvin is an electrifying talent, and he will end up representing the Seahawks on the SportsCenter Top 10 regularly. He also is locked down contract-wise through 2018. The only reasons I have him at #6 are his injury history and the inherent uncertainty surrounding a player who has not yet worn a Seahawks uniform.

5. Max Unger 
I've always been apt to consider buying the jersey of an offensive lineman when the opportunity arises. Almost nobody seems to wear these guys' gear, so I automatically respect someone a bit more when I see them in an O-lineman's jersey. When you've got a lineman who was just voted All-Pro and is under contract through 2016, his jersey becomes an attractive option to me.

4. Earl Thomas and 3. Richard Sherman
Both these guys are spectacular talents, and I think both of them are on Ring-of-Honor or even Hall-of-Fame trajectories. The only thing that makes me even slightly hesitate with them is their UFA status after the 2014 season. I'm 95% percent sure they'll get extended and be career Seahawks, but with PCJS we just don't know yet... Which is why their fellow Legion-of-Boomer is above them at #2...

2. Kam Chancellor
The Slayer Of Vernon Davis. Bam-Bam Kam. The most feared, intimidating defensive back in the NFL. A total Ken-Easley-level BADass. He's also under contract through 2017, and you don't see TOO many of his jerseys at Seahawks Stadium, so buying his jersey is a choice that's hard to beat... But not impossible to beat.

1. Russell Wilson
Yes, everyone has (or will have) a Wilson jersey. In this case, who gives a damn? Hell, I already have one, and I want two more! He's our franchise quarterback, and the man who will bring a Lombardi Trophy back to the Emerald City. He'll be a career Hawk, and perhaps the best player in franchise history by the time he retires. Every Twelve should have a Wilson jersey if they can swing it financially. Any other jersey should simply be your back-up option.

What do you think, sirs? Am I totally wrong? Did I miss any interesting options? Let's hash it out in the comments!


it's all in D Hans said...

Bought my wolf grey Earl Thomas Jersey before last season began. Bought my Russel Wilson home jersey after the loss at Atlanta :(

Already own an on-the-field Reebok jersey of Lynch, so I am hesitant to buy a Nike version. I have to agree that Kam or Sherm jerseys are next on my list.

Bucket list is to get a personalized jersey with my name and birth year. A #73 Hansen would be prime, but just can't spend the $300 to get one.

And love your blog. It's nice to read to my wife so she sees that I am not the only Seahawks fanatic out there. Thanks Dave - GO HAWKS!!!

Laird of Madrona said...

I've been giving this a lot of thought, lately, since I'm considering buying my first jersey since the throwback Largent number I bought 10 years ago.

I live deep in enemy territory (San Francisco), so I don't need to go to an effort to have my jersey stand out. My best judgment tells me to get a Wilson jersey, but I still can't give up on the idea of a custom jersey with the number '25' and the name 'U MAD BRO.' (But there is some downside risk, there...)

DKSB said...

Thanks, man. You can call me Johnnie, by the way :)

DKSB said...

Sherman will be my next jersey buy, even though I'm a bit skittish about him becoming a UFA after 2014... I'll probably just ride or die with my Lynch and Wilson jerseys this season...

Brent said...

Laird, wearing a Seahawks jersey in San Fran is likely to mean a visit to the E.R. Although it's probably not as dangerous as wearing a Dodger's jersey at AT&T. For a city that boasts of its tolerance and freedom of expression they are quite INtolerant of opposing jerseys.

I still have my Easley (can't wear it; it's two sizes too small now) my John Randle (I guess you could call it a mistake going by the parameters listed in the article) and a "12" I received for Christmas a few years ago. I should have picked up a Walter Jones Reebok but didn't. Since I do not, and never will own anything with the swoosh on it, I'm out of luck on an "officially licensed" Unger, Chancellor, or Wagner jersey.

Interesting how a good year or two can change perception. An Okung jersey looked like a bad move for the first couple of years given the injuries, and Unger was "meh" until Cable moved him to center. Now they're Pro-Bowl players.

DKSB said...

Brent- Yeah, Okung and Unger are both solid buys in my eyes at this point.

I think it's awesome that you have a John Randle jersey, dude. I wish I had hung onto jerseys like that, rather than selling them on eBay...

juiceboxjuicebox said...

I don't know if this is possible but I have always wanted to get a custom printed jersey of a long gone Seahawk done in new color schemes. Imagine gentlemen:

-Largent #80 in the modern style
-Zorn #10 in the same


wait for it...

-Bosworth #55 in the Lime green one-offs


Also rans:
-Rufus Porter
-Fan #12 in Lime green
-Brian Blades
-Jerry Rice #80 in Lime Green
-Moon #1

neurocell said...

I wish that I could find my Largent tunic that all the kids bought back prior to '83. Okay, enough nostalgia.

Trying to figure out whom to buy. I bought a Thomas home jersey the day they came out, and a Lynch wolf grey during the season, now I'm trying to figure out an away jersey. I've thought about it for months. Our criteria mesh pretty well, with the only difference being the order.

I'd love to get a lineman's, but I played wide receiver and defensive back in high school, WR, tight end, and linebacker in the Air Force, and even quarterback in a rec league. It would just feel weird sporting a current big guy's jersey. (Reggie McKenzie and Jacob Green were friends with my sister, so wearing theirs would just feel right.) It also just looks weird when a 5'9", 195lb guy wears a big guys jersey.

I thought about buying a Wilson jersey last July, but I couldn't find one in Vancouver.

On a side note, I didn't think that he'd start week one. I thought that he'd start later in the year. I knew very little about him when he was drafted. Through research, I came to be a fan. I only wanted to buy his jersey because I really wanted the short guy to succeed.

I'm still trying to figure out whom to buy. The whole uniqueness aspect is holding me back. But just like Laird, I live in California (Sacramento), so no matter whom I get, it'll be unique.

it's all in D Hans said...

You got it, Johnnie ;) GO HAWKS!!!

Druid57 said...

I still have my Original Royal Blue Largent Jersey nana nana boo boo! Like you Kreig is my all time favorite Seahawk. I want a Curt Warner Jersey and a Kenny Easley Jersey. I need a Boz jersey just to piss on and a Nash Jersey would be dandy. I saw a Warren Moon Jersey at a sports show that was two sided, the front was Seahawk and the back, UW. Obviously some creative seamsmanship. One sleeve from each team. The lady that made it wanted $375 large and claimed it was a one of a kind. It had no brand tags but looked very professionally done. Never saw another like it.