For those who buy NFL jerseys, you’re one brave soul. Personally I’ve only ever owned one jersey and that is a franchise player but this is Derek’s story on how he thinks Nike should handle expensive jersey sales should that same player get traded to a new team.
Back in August of 2011, my pal Dever and I went to check out a practice at Patriots Training Camp. After practice, we proceeded to the Pro Shop, which I make a point to do every time I am at Gillette Stadium.
One of my favorite young players at the time was Brandon Merriweather, which lead to me seriously considering buying this guys t-shirt jersey, because lord knows I can never get enough Pats gear.
We spent maybe fifteen minutes in the store, and while I was wandering around browsing at various items in the shop, I had this damn t-shirt still in the back of my mind. For maybe 3-5 seconds, I seriously contemplated buying his on-field jersey, instead of the tee.
Then I realized that $75 to wear something that people (girls) would chuckle at seeing me in maybe wasn’t the best decision.
I just recently got out of my awkward XXL Pats jersey with a pair of jorts phase. Believe me – I’m never going back to that life. Ever. I hope.
In the end, with a little convincing from the Deev, I decided to splurge, and pay for this $25 t-shirt with my credit card that already had a balance of one arm and two legs.
Fast forward three weeks later: the Patriots released Brandon Merriweather. God dammit.
I spent 25 bucks on this guy, hoping that his t-shirt would be relevant long enough to get the Pats a couple of wins on Sundays, perhaps even earning the title of “Good Luck Tee”.
Or at least until I got a girlfriend, and she slept in nothing but the shirt on multiple occasions.
Now, I’m thinking of the poor suckers who actually spent $75 on his on-field jersey. They must be so pissed! Fear not though, my foolish friends. I’ve come up with a solution, or at least a proposal, that could benefit the entire poor, NFL jersey wearing bastard demography around the globe.
Basically, it is a contract with NIKE that you have the option to sign within one calendar year of the date of your jersey purchase.
This contract states that if you buy a player’s jersey, and he gets traded to another team, you would have the option to get, for a reduced price: a) this player’s jersey for his next team, or b) the player’s jersey that replaces your guy at his specific position on the original team.
For example, if I had actually bought the Merriweather (who plays Safety) jersey, and signed the contract, I could have either received his jersey for his next team (Da Bears), or I could have received another Safety on the Patriots roster’s jersey (who, at the time, would have been Pat Chung, or Sergio Brown. It seems Patriot safeties have a shorter shelf life than Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers at Hogwarts).
Since the average NFL jersey costs $75, let’s say this contract goes for $40. Or, if you wanted the package deal (the contract & the jersey), it would only cost $100.
As stated earlier, you don’t have to sign the contract the day of your purchase. You have one calendar year to decide, but it would cost a bit more than if you did it the day of said purchase.
Also, if you don’t sign the contract the day of your purchase, and the player gets traded to another team (or released) before you sign it, you lose your opportunity to sign a contract for this particular jersey.
So your player gets traded away from Team A to Team B, and you want his jersey for Team B. It would only cost you $25 for this jersey. Say you don’t get the package deal, but end up signing the contract after a few weeks of buying a jersey. You would spend $75 for the jersey, plus the $40 for the contract. Then your player gets traded, and it would cost you $25 for his next jersey. You have spent $140, rather than the $150 you would have spent if you didn’t sign the contract.
I know you’re thinking that saving 10 bucks really isn’t worth the hassle, but now Team B has just released your player, and Team C has picked him up. His Team C jersey would only cost you $25. Now, instead of paying $225 for three jerseys, you have only spent $165.
In 2001, Drew Bledsoe gets drilled by Mo Lewis, and in comes this young stud Tom Brady. You figure this kid shows promise, so you decide to buy his jersey. He ends up winning SB36, and now you are convinced you want this guy’s jersey to be a part of your life, no matter what team it represents.
Or, at the very least, you want to have the next Patriots QB’s jersey for a reduced price, if Brady ever got traded (God forbid). You decide to sign the contract, and end up spending $115 total. Assuming Brady will retire with New England, you will have wasted $40, and you would have never benefited from signing your contract.
Here’s where you say “but Derek, wouldn’t I be able to receive his replacement’s jersey after Brady retires?”
My response, no doubt, would be “Ha-Ha! You silly, blind contract-signing, son-of-a-bitch. If you had read the fine print on the contract you signed, you’d have read the words ‘CONTRACT RETIRES WHEN SAID PLAYER DOES’.”
If a player decides to retire, but then makes a triumphant comeback, and breaks his own receiving records (I’m looking at you, Randy Moss), you still would not be under contract anymore. You would have the right to sign a new contract for a reduced price, but at that stage of his career, it’s very unlikely that he will be traded, or released, before he retires a second time.
My Uncle Frank is a die-hard Green Bay fan (he actually got a cut on his arm last week, and I watched green & gold ooze out of him. It was very disturbing). He definitely would have signed the contract for Brett Favre’s jersey ten years ago.
As the story goes, Brett became a Jet (then a pervert, then a Viking, then took over the Jerry Springer Show… wait, that hasn’t happened yet?). Uncle Frank decides to not stick with the old man anymore, and wants a new, hip Aaron Rodgers jersey. This jersey would only cost him $15. What a bargain!
There is a catch though – with giving up the rights to his old jersey, he is no longer under contract. If he wanted to, he could sign another contract with his new A-Rod jersey for $40. This would be completely separate from his old contract, which would now be null and void.
With each new contract you would sign, there are little add-ons you could buy for very cheap. Let’s call it insurance. If somebody bought Player X’s jersey & signed the contract, for an extra $5, this person would be assured that if Player X gets traded/released within three months of the contract signing, you would get his next jersey, or his replacement’s for…..wait for it…..FREE!
CRAZY, I KNOW!
Let’s call this next add-on the “Confused Identity Insurance”. It is more or less protection against a player who may decide to change his number, or last name (hmmmm).
For a mere $3, you would be assured to get his replacement jersey, with his updated number/last name. This is also a fun way to guess which players are crazy or not. You wouldn’t pay the $3 for somebody like Matt Ryan or Adrian Peterson (You absolutely wouldn’t spend it on D’Brickashaw Ferguson. Who wouldn’t want that name?).
But you could spend it on somebody who is likely to go off the deep-end (Brandon Marshall, anyone?).
Obviously, this idea would never get the green light from NIKE, seeing as how I’m just a young asshole who drinks, and smokes way too much pot (Hey! I just realized what I could do with the ten dollars I saved by signing the contract!)
Now if only I had signed the contract on my damn Brady Quinn jersey.
This article was written by Derek C. Lombardo. Be sure to check out more of his great musings on his blog.