Jerseys, Jerseys, Jerseys
The theme of my first post of the day is Jerseys. Here are 3 random thoughts I've had that I've put under one post:
First: Authentic game-worn jerseys for sale.
Yesterday, I did a post on the fall of Tony Boles. His heyday was his sophmore year of 1988 in which he ran for 1,408 yards and he capped off the season by playing in the 1989 Rose Bowl. His Rose Bowl jersey is apparently for sale for $999.00 at http://www.collegejersey.com/store/viewItem.asp?idProduct=22182
Second: Nike "Authentic" Jerseys vs. Nike Replica Jerseys
For those of you who don't feel like making a mortgage-like payment to buy a jersey, there is always the option of the buying a jersey "like" the players wear. The question is how much are you willing to spend to have a jersey "like" those worn by the guys on the field. The Nike "Authentic" Jerseys for sale at the M Den are extremely high quality but are $150.00 each. (Note: I put "authentic" in quotes merely to distinguish it from the authentic game-worn jerseys mentioned above.) Although obviously not game worn, you will look like a player as the jerseys are of the same quality as those worn by the players. However, since it is unlikely that Coach Carr will look into the stands and ask you to come down and serve as the gunner on the special teams unit you are probably ok if your jersey is not game quality as long as it looks good. This leads us to Nike Replica jerseys which are generally 1/3 the cost of Nike "Authentic" jerseys and thus look very attractive just from that perspective. Even at $50, these aren't exactly cheap. Although they don't generally have the stitched on numbers, the jerseys are generally of a very high quality and look very good. The Replica jerseys seem to be the most popular choice because you are getting a good quality product for a much better price. More bang for your buck. For those who want to distinguish themselves a bit from the pack of people who own Replica jerseys, you can order a custom-made replica jersey from the M Den. For $65, as opposed to the normal $50, you can special order any number you want on your jersey and/or have your name placed on the back. (Note: They don't allow you to put the name of current or former players on the back of the jersey. I assume that has to do with some kind of licensing issue). To check out these jerseys, you can go to the M Den's website here: http://mden.com/shopping/index.cfm?dept_id=1033
Third: Michigan's "piping" hot road jersey that debuted last season
U-M had new road jerseys with piping on them in 2005 which can be seen here. This was hardly a bold change to the uniform but it was just enough of a change that people would certainly know if you did not keep up with the times by plunking down another $150 for the latest version of the road jersey. Although the change in style was ostensibly for the purpose of sprucing up the uniform it had just as much, if not more, to do with the bottom line. With each change in style, the die-hard fans buy the updated version which leads Nike and the University to decide that while tradition is great for the helmet that change is good for the jersey as it generates revenue. I fully expect further revisions in coming seasons once the market cools on this "piping" hot jersey.