Thursday, May 06, 2010

Should Adults Wear Sports Jerseys?

Interesting debate right now -- sparked by some Twitter discussion from Spencer Hall and Chris Mottram of SB Nation -- about whether adults should wear sports jerseys.

Hall says: Never.

Mottram says: Only when watching or attending games.

I'm going to fall somewhere in between.

I wear a Tebow jersey while watching or attending Florida football games. I'm sure you are shocked.

However, I recognize that -- as an adult -- I look foolish. That's the key for me: It's fine to wear the jersey if you acknowledge that, in fact, you do look a little lame.

I do think that there is a continuum of how dumb you look in a jersey. Basketball tank-tops are just not a good look. Football jerseys always make the wearer look like he put on his dad's shirt. Baseball jerseys are a little more subtle; maybe it's the button-down thing. Hockey sweaters are kind of awesome but are best kept in an arena. Soccer jerseys are actually acceptable. They look like interesting T-shirts. Which is a good segue...

I would like to offer a third way: I am a huge fan of the "jersey t-shirt" -- the replica jersey that is printed onto a T-shirt.

I have a jersey T-shirt for Tebow -- three, actually. Two blue ones and a white one that I wore exactly once -- the Kentucky concussion game, after which I buried it.

I think that is an appropriate way for adults to rock the jersey look, without actually wearing a jersey out in public in a non-gameday context.

I completely respect the opinion that wearing jerseys as an adult is lame and shouldn't be done. And yet I completely respect the group that wants to wear them on game day.

It's hard to pass judgment. We all wear stupid things from time to time.

OK: Your thoughts on adults wearing sports jerseys?

-- D.S.

UPDATE: Here's a SBNation poll on the issue. Heated!


Unknown said...

Wear it to the actual game or to a public watching party (e.g., bar). That's it. To me, an actual jersey is better than the t-shirt (excluding basketball). At least you shelled out for the real deal and not some cheap replacement. The tee is a cop out. Go all the way or not at all.

Jeff Puckett said...

At a hockey game, a jersey is a requirement to get in the building.

Joel and Sara London said...

After seeing the conversation on Twitter I had a feeling you'd weigh in. I'm with you on this (I think). It is kind of lame, but I feel it totally acceptable on gameday. Yes, you might be rocking the jersey of someone half your age, how is that any different from cheering for kids half your age sans jersey? Now that said, I may need to replace my Facebook profile pic of me in my Tebow jersey from last summer...

oversoldsituation said...

ds - i also think where you are sitting at the game has something to do with it. if i'm going to be in the upper deck at a pats game i'll probably wear my '12' jersey. if i'm club level, i want to look like i've been there before. you also have to dress to fit w/ the group you are going with.

SwaggerTooth said...

I don't see how jersey's are lame at all, Dan. Wear your jersey with pride. Cripes, it's just a piece of clothing that represents the team you love. Who is anyone else to tell you what looks "acceptable"? We are all spectators to adults PLAYING PLAYGROUND SPORTS, for crying out loud. Let's keep it all in perspective, people. And as fans, we are now judging our fellow fans for what they're wearing. Terrible.

Brian said...

Dan...Interesting subject. I wrote a quick post about how adult jersey wearing is viewed in Pittsburgh on my new blog. Take a look if you get a chance:

Unknown said...

Nooooooo! This a cop-out. You've acknowledged, and I agree, that rocking the jersey makes you(us) look ridiculous, but it's OK if you accept that fact. The t-shirt "jersey" is a fake of a fake. Go real-fake or go home.

Precourt said...

T-Shirt Jerseys are the lamest of the sports apparel.

Anonymous said...

I feel pretty silly wearing a jersey for any purpose other than watching the game at the arena/stadium/party/sports bar (opening day and playoffs only for that last point).

I make one exception: my Yankees road jersey. You nailed it on the head that button-down baseball jerseys have a whiff of class about them, and the Yankees' road unis are nicely low-key as well.

Another point that merits mentioning is blank jerseys vs. named/numbered jerseys. I prefer mine blank, mostly because I don't want to spend $100 on a jersey only to have that player jump ship to a rival the next year (almost happened to me when Scott Gomez was traded from the Devils to the Rangers).

Semi-related story. Years ago I went to my high school wearing my brother's Gator Bowl jersey. Everyone called me a poser for wearing a jersey with my name on it when I wasn't even on the football team. How quickly they forgot the team's star captain who graduated the year before!