[twitter]The only name you should ever get on a pro sports jersey is your own.
The reason is simple, Gretzky was traded – your guy will get traded too.Jarome Iginla has played for the Calgary Flames for 17 seasons. By Wednesday next week he will likely be wearing a Bruins, or Kings jersey. Tens of thousands of people who have bought Iggy gear over his career will now be sitting in the C of Red with an obsolete jersey.
I remember the night Petr Nedved was traded from the Canucks to the Blues. I went to the first game without the young petulant star in the Canucks’ line up and saw a few people in the crowd with jerseys that had the name duct taped out across their shoulders.
It was then that I knew I would never get a player’s name on the back of a jersey. Those jerseys aren’t cheap. A replica will set you back at least $150, an authentic jersey will be closer to $300 once you put a player’s name on it. That’s a big investment only to see them traded.
Okay, I understand you really like the guy and even though they may never get traded, they could still change numbers over the course of their career with the same team. Michael Jordan did it. Pavel Bure did it. Mike Cammalleri did it.
Is it more cool or less cool to have a Bure 96, or Jordan 45 jersey?
There is too much flux in a sporting career to have a current player’s team jersey and number on your back.
Still, if you really need to fly the colours, there are exceptions:
1. National Team Jerseys
A Team Canada jersey with Iginla on it, or an Argentina jersey with Messi on it will always be cool. Players don’t change nationalities (well, they usually don’t – again with the Petr Nedved reference)
2. Retired Players
Once your guy is no longer playing pro, feel free to grab the jersey with his name on it from the team you loved the most. (again this doesn’t always work either as sometimes they “unretire” – see Michael Jordan in a Wizards jersey)
The only jersey in my closet with a player’s name on it is a Canucks jersey with Trevor Linden‘s #16. I got it from him after he retired, and he signed it for me the week before I moved to Calgary.
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What are you saying.. that my Kesler jersey will be obsolete?! No!! I won’t believe it 😉
So what if he does. My jersey is an authentic one with the Stanley Cup patches on it. So if he does ever get traded, at least people will know it was from that period in his career. Besides, if he were to get traded, I probably wouldn’t wear it.
I do have a Canada Team jersey, though it has no name on it. So I guess I’m good there eh?
I like my (what I call) ‘old school’ jersey. It shows I have been a BC Lions fan AT LEAST since Cam Wake left to become a Miami Dolphin. Worse would be if you invested in the jersey of some young buck who turned out to be a bit of a brat. That would be a jersey to retire. Lions fans know who I’m talking about. At least his number has gone on to greater glory on other players.
I have to disagree, I would never get a jersey with my own name on it. Mainly, it confuses others. I’ve seen people on the Skytrain with their name and a number and sat confused for a moment and wondered when that person played for the team.
Thank you for this point of view though, for years I’ve looked at people with their own name on a jersey as someone who couldn’t let their fantasy die and is trying to grasp on to childhood dreams of playing for their team. Or that they were taking the “We are all Canucks” slogan a little too literal.