I have no problems wearing the replica jersey of my favorite athlete. At 26 it doesn't bother me one bit that I could be wearing the jersey of someone younger than me. So no, I do not care that I potentially look like my 11-year old brother when I throw on my Jay Novacek throwback. The problems arose when I took a look at what everyone else is tearing off the shelves.
Editor's Note: I find it overly amusing that Buffalo Bills fans find no shame in putting on that Orenthal throwback, if we can get a visa card deal out of this: priceless.
Every year the NFL releases a list of its most popular selling jerseys. In a recent podcast that goes unnamed (sponsorship on here isn't free), a question was bought up that caught my ear. As of today, September 23rd, whose NFL jersey is the hardest to wear to your tailgate? Before we get to that, I'm going to give you the top ten highest sold jerseys between April 1st-August 7th. (I don't believe Brett Favre had officially returned at this point.)
10. Minnesota Vikings RB, Adrian Peterson
9. New York Giants QB, Eli Manning
8. San Francisco 49ers WR, Michael Crabtree
7. Buffalo Bills WR, Terrell Owens
6. New England Patriots QB, Tom Brady
5. New York Jets QB, Mark Sanchez
4. Dallas Cowboys QB, Tony Romo
3. Pittsburgh Steelers QB, Ben Roethlisberger
2. Pittsburgh Steelers DB, Troy Polamalu
1. Chicago Bears QB, Jay Cutler
I'm sure your reactions were pretty on par with my own. We're really still on board with the Terrell Owens show? Why haven't more people wanted the jersey that says 'Ochocinco' on the back? Jay Cutler sucks & Brian Urlacher is going to be pissed. Finally, I didn't realize how many 49er fans were still around, did you?
Moving forward. Using this list and the first two weeks of the 2009 regular season, I've got some changes to make, naturally.
1. Defense has to get more love than this. Of the top ten jerseys sold only one player, Troy Polamalu, plays defense. In a league that is driven by the defense, this is unacceptable. For those who purchased the Troy Polamalu jersey, much respect. To help out those of you who didn't I'm going to give some suggestions: Ravens DB, Ed Reed. Patriot LB, Jerod Mayo. Texans DE, Mario Williams. For the 49ers fans who decided to buy a rookie Michael Crabtree jersey prior to finding out he is probably not going to play this season, this one is for you. REPLACEMENT: 49ers LB, Patrick Willis replaces Holdout Michael Crabtree. Willis is the best linebacker in the league, is bound to win more than one defensive MVP award, his 49ers defense is playing great, and the jerseys are actually pretty cool.
2. Don't be fooled Bills fans, you know who you are. The same guy who has his Bruce Smith & Jim Kelly throwbacks in his closet cannot and should not be purchasing a Terrell Owens jersey, seriously your just encouraging him. Furthermore, how often is he going to touch the ball in that offense? How long is Terrell really going to be there? Jerry Jones got rid of the guy and he sells jerseys, you don't see the writing on the wall? If your looking for a guy who just changed teams, will have an impact, and you probably could attend his Hall of Fame induction post retirement wearing his jersey. REPLACEMENT: Falcons TE, Tony Gonzalez replaces Bills WR, Terrell Owens. This guy is going to get alot of touches and the worst thing he'll ever do is get a speeding ticket.
3. I get it, the Bears are desperate for a quarterback. However, I don't know if Jay Cutler is your guy. I always loved it when the Bears fans would wear Brian Urlacher's jersey, it defined Chicago. Now that they've kicked that theory to the side and started buying up Jay Cutler jerseys faster than tickle-me-elmo, I'm a little upset. Cutler isn't going to win the Bears a Super Bowl and if not for the foot of the Steelers kicker, they'd have started off 0-2, deflate those Super Bowl picks. If Chicago wants to change up from the Urlacher jersey (considering he's out for the whole year) why don't we go with something familiar. REPLACEMENT: Bears WR/KR Devin Hester replaces Bears QB, Jay Cutler. Think about it for a second, he wears number 23, something Chicago fans swear by, it's a no brainer right?
4. Tony Romo is out of the top 10, period. Fans of America's Team deserve better. Being the 4th most popular jersey among NFL fans, there are alot of people folding it up and putting it in the back of their closet this morning. If Romo isn't going to win the big game, what point is buying the jersey? I understand he is the Cowboy quarterback and that will sell jerseys on it's own. [Insert joke about your Quincy Carter jersey] While the Cowboys do have two other players amongst the top 20 in jersey sales, TE Jason Witten & RB Marion Barber, I'm going to do them one better. REPLACEMENT: Cowboys DE, DeMarcus Ware replaces Cowboys QB, Tony Romo. Ware is going to be the cornerstone of America's Team on defense for the next 5 years. This adds to my theory of adding more defensive guys and he'll win a few defensive awards and attend some pro bowls, what more can you ask? (I'm guessing he won't ever be dating Jessica Simpson either) Just a hunch.
5. Super Bowl winning QB's are in, minus one. So we're clear on one thing, if you quarterback a Super Bowl winning team and your last name isn't Dilfer, you should make it on any top 10 list. With that said, Ben Roethlisberger is out. I can't buy your jersey if you have pending legal issues that involve rape. While Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez hasn't won a ring, he plays in the biggest city in the country, we're going to buy his jersey I get it. Giving that he's currently 2-0 with a victory over the Patriots, this purchase seems like a smart one. With Big Ben being out and me refusing to recognize stockboy Kurt Warner as a legit star. REPLACEMENT: Colts QB, Peyton Manning replaces Steelers QB, Ben Roethlisberger. Don't be mad Steelers fans, after this we're all going to a Lake Tahoe casino, blackjack anyone?
The LynchyRightNow Top 10 in NFL Jersey sales:
10. Chicago Bears WR/KR Devin Hester
9. Atlanta Falcons TE, Tony Gonzalez
8. New York Giants QB, Eli Manning
7. San Francisco 49ers LB, Patrick Willis
6. New England Patriots QB, Tom Brady
5. Dallas Cowboys LB, DeMarcus Ware
4. Pittsburgh Steelers DB, Troy Polamalu
3. Indianapolis Colts QB, Peyton Manning
2. Minnesota Vikings RB, Adrian Peterson
1. New York Jets QB, Mark Sanchez
Now that's better. Sanchez plays in the Big Apple and dropped the Patriots in his second start, show respect. Peterson is the best player in the NFL, if not for his jersey being purple, he'd be #1. Now go do some late back-to-school shopping!
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