One of the more interesting aspects of following sports is going to games and seeing the folks who sport jerseys that have some sort of customization. The typical thing is to get a jersey that has the name of your favorite player on the back, but this is not something everyone does. Some people don't even bother with a customization. There is a friend of mine who refuses to put the name or number of a player on the back of any shirt or jersey she buys because she says when she does that, the player ends up injured and out for at least a few weeks, if not the end of the season. Did I mention that sports fans tend to be a superstitious bunch? We're just as bad as the players, if not worse.
One other thing I have seen is folks customize a jersey with their name or a nickname. For the most part it seems to be taken well, but there are those folks who take issue with that, they call it a "jersey foul." Now there are some jersey fouls I can understand, such as a person wearing the name of a player that never played on the team, or even wearing a current player's name on a retro jersey, and maybe perhaps the OBAMA 08 jerseys that I did see while at a Caps game. However, I'm not so sure that people should get bitchy about those who customize their jersey with a favorite nickname or name.
One line of thinking about why a person would customize a jersey for themselves is because players come and go and so instead of being stuck with wearing a jersey of your player that moved on to another team or even retirement, you can show support for your team and not have to change your jersey every few years. The only exception would be if your team changes their style of jersey, but even then, you can still wear the old one, I see plenty of folks who do that.
My thought though is this; customizing a jersey with something like a name or nickname is your way of showing support of your team without necessarily being tied to a player. It's for when you're emotionally vested in the team, but not quite to the point of sticking with certain players. Let's be honest, players do move around and the player you like today may not be there tomorrow, and then you feel that you have an obsolete jersey. Let me also say that jerseys are not cheap, so most folks in that mindset wouldn't want to have to buy a new jersey every year or so. Using a personal name means you're not switching out jerseys every so often. Besdes that, if your player is a popular one, then everyone and their mother has a jersey with the same name, and then you look like everyone else in the stands, and who really wants that at times? Even if the folks that would cry jersey foul over it, it's probably a better idea for those folks all around.
I bring this up because I have been doing some jersey hunting for myself. I am liking the new Orioles road jerseys this year with Baltimore across the front of them, so I would like to get one, but ya know, I'm not really following the players that closely. The only one I really pay much attention to is George Sherrill, and I got a free T-shirt last year from one of the T-shirt Tuesdays. When it comes to the Capitals, I just got into them so I am not that vested in any particular player, so I would rather support the team.
The one exception is the Ravens, I follow them very closely, and I do have a few player jerseys that I would wear, and at this point I would not consider getting a personal jersey because I know I can wear these player jerseys for a while. If anything though it does make me a bit crazy to see all of these folks sporting Flacco jerseys now because I feel like they're being bandwagoners. I ordered my Flacco jersey before Flacco was even cool.
Anyway, so how I'm feeling about this is that I am going to say screw the haters, when it comes to the Orioles and the Caps, I'd rather have a personalized jersey than a players jersey because it gives me more flexibility for now. From the opinions I gather from some other folks I've talked to, they could care less about seeing so-called jersey fouls.
Now to just find a discount on a jersey since the Baltimore ones are finally in.