I don’t buy jerseys anymore. Partly because I’m pushing the age of 30 (I hear this is when all muscle function stops), but mostly because they’re not a thing that’s cheap, and I have a closet filled with the broken dreams of my youth in the form of discarded jerseys after the player in question either signed elsewhere or was traded. The T-shirt jersey (or Shirsey, for the real cool characters out there) is another matter, since it’s much more economically viable.
A lot of people do buy jerseys still, though, enough that it may in fact be an entire business for some, and the centerpiece of the greasy sports merchandise industry. And right now, Patriots fans are wondering what they’re going to do with that jersey in their closet which has the name of an accused murderer on its back. Not pleasant.
Never fear, because the New England Patriots organization has a solution. They’re offering an Aaron Hernandez jersey exchange on July 6-7 through either the team’s shop at Gillette Stadium, or the online store.
Here’s the statement from Patriots representative Stacey James:
“We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys but may not understand why parents don’t want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore. We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player’s jersey will be well received by parents.”
Though it comes with the stench of a PR move, this is a great idea for the exact reason James outlines, and it’ll do more than cleanse the Patriots of Hernandez’s filthy name and minimize the amount of No. 81 jersey sightings during home games on Sundays this fall (there are at least a few lunatics who will still wear his jersey, because there were at least a few lunatics who chanted in support outside of the courthouse). The jersey swap will also help to erase Hernandez from the entire city.
He’ll be gone, and banished forever.