July 1, 2013
Regret, Remorse, and Reebok
For many fans, buying an NFL jersey isn't a frivolous decision. As I've talked about numerous times in this space, the jersey you choose to wear says a lot about you, and the high expense of a jersey (At least $100, unless you go the used/counterfeit route) forces one (or at least SHOULD force one) to deliberate seriously before making a decision.
Two things have happened in the past week that underline the inherent peril of buying an NFL jersey. Aaron Hernandez's arrest for first-degree murder is among the most henious examples one could ever imagine. Anyone out walking around in a Hernandez jersey right now might as well be wearing a sign that says "I Am A Giant Fucking Shitbird," so it makes sense that the Patriots are allowing many fans to turn in their tainted jerseys.
A less spectacular (and less troubling) example is Earl Thomas' decision to change the nameplate on the back of his jersey to "THOMAS III." Obviously, he has every right to wear the name on his jersey that he wants, but this is a HUGE pain in the ass for fans. Maybe I'm just way too anal and persnickety, but if I had an E.T. jersey that said "THOMAS" on the back, I'd be salty (and way less likely to wear the jersey).
All of this got me thinking about the phenomenon of "Jersey Regret," and I look at it from two angles. First, there's the regret associated with buying a jersey, then having to deal with the player sucking/being an asshole or a felon/leaving WAY too soon after you buy the jersey. Secondly, there's the regret associated with getting rid of a jersey, then later realizing you should have held onto it. Here's my top 5 most regrettable jersey purchases, and the top 5 jerseys I wish I had held onto...
5. Julian Peterson
Peterson was a productive player in his three Seattle seasons, but he filled me with rage (ok, not rage, but intense annoyance) when he changed his number from 59 to 98 before the 2008 season. I got BARELY a season of use out of my #59 Peterson jersey. Blerg.
4. Shaun Alexander (2002 Reebok Color Error)
This isn't because I'm an Alexander hater. I'm not. No- the problem was that the first batches of new Seahawks jerseys that came out in 2002 WERE THE WRONG COLOR. The shade of blue that was used in 2002 jerseys wasn't even close to what the players on the field were sporting. Reebok corrected that error in 2003, but that was too late for me and the $75 I pissed away.
3. Deion Branch
Thousands of Twelves are in the same leaky boat on this one. Branch was supposed to be a difference-making receiver, only two years removed from being Super Bowl MVP with the Patriots. He never came close to living up to that potential, or justifying the first-round pick we traded away for him. I also fell prey to the lure of "Hey, #83 looks good on me!" Yes, I am firmly convinced that some numbers look "better" on me than others. I need professional help.
2. John Carlson (2009 Neon Green)
Don't misunderstand me- I was (and still am) a John Carlson fan, and one of my favorite moments as a Seahawks fan was when I happened to meet his parents before a game in 2009. His brief time in Seattle was mostly awesome, and his two TDs against New Orleans in our 2010 Wild Card win should never be forgotten by the Twelve Army.
But I still TOTALLY regretted buying his jersey. For one thing, I got the infamous bright neon green version, which the team wore once in 2009, then never ever donned again. Personally, I liked those jerseys, but the fact that we never wore them again (and the fact that they're forever linked to the awful MoraHawks) soured me on them.
Also, I bought it in the summer of 2010. Carlson not only had a relatively disappointing season, but he got injured before the 2011 season, and left for Minnesota as a free agent in 2012. I wore it to one game. Ugh.
1. Josh Brown
It was the Spring of 2007. I was out in the Spokane area for a job interview, and while I was at one of the local malls I spied a Josh Brown jersey and couldn't resist the urge to buy it. Yes, now we all know him as The Traitor Josh Brown, but at that moment, his jersey was irresistible to me. In 2005 and 2006, Brown kicked SIX game winning field goals on the final play or in OT. In 2006, I saw two of these dramatic victories in person (at Detroit and v STL). I thought it would be really cool and unique to wear a kicker's jersey, and I thought #3 looked EXTREMELY good on me.
I had the fucking jersey for one year, then that little bastard bolted for St. Louis. I couldn't unload that thing on eBay fast enough.
I used to have a HUGE problem with getting rid of Seahawks jerseys on eBay in times of financial need (or just when I was momentarily pissed at a player). I'm done with that crap. From now on, I plan to hold onto jerseys that I buy, simply because I don't know what the future will hold. Here's a few examples of how I learned this lesson...
BONUS NEAR MISS: I almost got rid of my Matt Hasselbeck jersey in 2011, but my friend Katie saved me from a grievous error I would have immediately regretted.
5. Ricky Watters
As I've said in this space before, I have very fond memories of Ricky Watters' years in Seattle. Every time I see a Twelve in a Watters jersey I think "that's DOPE!" I could be one of those people, but I unloaded my Watters jersey after he got eclipsed by Shaun Alexander. I'm not the best at long-term thinking, am I?
4. Warren Moon
I loved my Warren Moon jersey. I bought it at the height of his Seattle tenure, and the combo of that old school Seahawks royal blue and the number 1 just looked SHARP. After the 1998 season, it was clear that Jon Kitna was the (short term) QB of the future, and Moon left to play out the rest of his career in Kansas City. In a stupid and short-sighted move, I just unloaded the jersey onto my best friend's girlfriend, who couldn't have given less of a fuck about football but wanted the jersey to use as a nightgown. Fuck! If I still had that jersey I'd wear the SHIT out of it.
3. Cortez Kennedy and 2. Walter Jones
Holy shit. Why did I get rid of the jerseys of two of the top three players in franchise history? I don't even remember now.
1. Dave Krieg
In 2001, I sprung for a custom Dave Krieg road replica jersey. It was pricey, but that was the last year you could easily get customized "old school" Seahawks jerseys from NFL Shop, so I made it happen. The problem was I could only get it in a medium, and even at that time it was a snug fit. I remember letting my friend Katie wear it to a game in 2003 because she could actually fit in it (and she was SHOWERED with compliments on it, by the way). Unfortunately, I got even fatter and when I needed money at some point in 2004 I unloaded it. That was really fucking stupid, particularly since Krieg is my all-time favorite Seahawks player, and at some point I might actually fit into a medium jersey again. *sigh*
What are your stories of jersey regret? Share them in the comments!