Thursday, 17 February 2011

Buying a Jersey

When I was nine years old, I was obsessed with getting a New York Rangers hockey jersey. My friends and I were starting to get into hockey and we loved the Rangers. I remember seeing the Rangers jersey for the first time at a sports apparel shop in Lower Manhattan. I thought the jersey looked really cool with the long sleeves, and the word "Rangers" diagonally across the front.

I begged my mother for the jersey but she didn't want to buy it for me. She didn't see the point in getting a jersey that she thought I would not wear and she didn't know if this hockey obsession was just a phase. I explained to her that I loved hockey, I would wear the jersey to school, and I would wear it whenever I played hockey or went ice skating with my friends. Eventually she gave in and bought it for me and I will always remember that first sports jersey.

Many years later, I still have the same obsession with sports jerseys. It's nice to wear a jersey to represent your favorite team or player. I don't have as many as some of my friends but I have acquired a few random jerseys over the years. One of the things I promised myself after I decided on a new team would be that I would buy a new jersey which was really just an excuse to get something new.

A purchase like this can get pretty expensive. Stores charge an extra fee per letter if you want a player's name embroidered on the back along with the number which also has an extra fee per digit. I was getting Dempsey's name on the back and his name isn't short by any means. I also hate the fact that he chose number 23. Couldn't he have taken a single digit number and saved me a couple pounds? Although it could be worse. Thankfully I didn't become a fan of Dutch footballer Jan Johannes Vennegoor of Hesselink who didn't even have the decency to choose a single digit number.

Obviously I'm not nine years old anymore, I don't need to ask my mother for permission to buy a sports jersey. She would have no say in whether or not I could buy a brand new Fulham jersey.

So after my wife gave me permission to buy a Fulham jersey I placed my order online.

I was pretty excited to get this brand new jersey since you know....nothing says "cool" like a middle aged man wearing a funny looking shirt with a number on it, another man's name embroidered on the back and the logo of a corporate sponsor across the chest.

Eventually I'll get some more Fulham apparel, but this new jersey is a good start of representing my new team.

Whatever happened to that New York Rangers jersey, you ask?

I wore it one time (at home). I have never played organized hockey, I don't watch hockey and I've been ice skating about ten times my whole life and every time feels like the first time.


  1. Lol, nice one Kent. I think the jersey issue is quite funny, as I'm new to sports fan-ism and have always wanted a jersey but not known which one to get. So glad that Pat gave me my first Arsenal jersey though, as it took the decision out of my hands. Interestingly, Nick from football has loads of Japanese football league jerseys that his brother (who lives in Japan) sends him every year. It works for him because even though he's actually from Manchester, you can't really wear a Man U jersey without looking like a total tourist! Japanese jerseys are pretty cool too.

  2. Here's a link to my first ever Arsenal shirt.

    Not the actual one, I don't know what happened to it, would love to be able to sell it for £150.

    Took me till I was 14 years old to pursuade my parents to get me one. Wore it everywhere, including church on Sundays. The players ones had JVC advertised on the front, but in the old days, the sponsors hadn't thought to enforce fans to become walking billboards. That changed a year or two later...

  3. Every man has a soft spot for a sports jersey. Here were some of my personal favorites that I owned from childhood...
    Basketball - purple AND orange, not to mention slightly offensive from sir charles...
    Hockey - can't beat the mascot though i wish i knew what an ass roenick was back in 1992 when i was making head bleed in NHLPA for sega...
    Baseball - gotta love the 80s baseball gear where there are no buttons on the jersey...
    Football - Drew Bledsoe with double flying Elvis' on the arms was sweet....

  4. Might I add ... nothing says "cool" like a middle aged man asking his wife for "permission" to buy sports gear.

    You bought New Jersey? What are your plans for the state's budget crisis ... and the mysterious disappearance of Roy Rogers?

    Congrats on your new jawn! Thanks for not telling everyone how many jerseys I own! Go Union!

    -- Turtle

  5. My plans for the state's budget crisis is to tax everyone who is a NJ resident higher if they claim they are from Philly.

  6. Knowing Kent and his jersey obsessions, I'm surprised this "decision" wasn't a 3 parter as well. Oh how we both hemmed and hawed over which Giants jersey to buy - red or white or blue? Tiki or Manning? Kent was right about the white but I was right about Manning.
    On the soccer front, about 99% of the reason I play every week is to have an excuse to buy jerseys. White sounders away jersey, 2006 USA training jersey, 2010 replica USA jersey with my name and number on the back (thanks to my wife), a DC united jersey before the Sounders even exisited, and a few more random ones (like an arsenal jersey I bought because I thought it was Liverpool and my friend Rich supports Liverpool).
    Now I'm even eyeing a new white Everton jersey. Hard ot bring myself to buying something with CHANG across the front. Plus I'm betting they will be on sale after they get relegated.

  7. I love it when I see a Mets jersey with a "Rosenberg" on the back. The only thing more unrealistic might be "Yuen".

  8. I think the purchase of a "football" jersey whilst living abroad is sort of par for the course. When we lived in Sweden, my husband Mark adopted Liverpool as his football team. Since we had NO basketball, NO NFL, or anything, it was Swedish hockey and English football! I hope you are doing well Kent! Enjoy your adventure! Hugs, Carrie

  9. That's funny, Kent! It can be disturbing if you'll pay more than you expected because of your idol's long name. Hehe, well that Fulham kit amde by Kappa looks really nice. I would like to see Mark Schwarzer wearing his kit personally. :)

    [Lee Dove]