There’s been a lot of movement this offseason. Whether it’s been through their own choices in free agency or team needs in trades a lot of guys are now on new teams. As a fan, it sucks. It’s inevitable and you know that eventually it’s going to happen but it still sucks. But for every dark cloud there is a silver lining. I’ve recently come to recently come to realize that silver lining is deeply discounted jerseys.
I’ll admit it: I’m a bargain bin type of guy. One of the first places I almost always look whenever I’m shopping is the clearance rack. Sure, maybe the stuff on there isn’t “in season” and maybe the player might not be “on the team” but guess what? It’s fucking cheap.
My two teams have both lost key players this offseason. The Hawks traded away Marian Hossa and the James Neal left the Knights via free agency. Hossa leaves a bigger legacy in Chicago than Neal will in Vegas but both players were important pieces of their respective franchises. That needs to be taken into consideration when you think about what it will be like to wear that player’s jersey five years down the road. Hawks fans will still be appreciative of Hossa then. Vegas fans may appreciate Neal then but he was only a one year guy. Unless you’re claiming to be a die hard fan, it would be tougher to get away with that.
Here’s the thing: hockey jerseys are expensive. I don’t want to spend $200 or more on a clothing item that I’m probably going to spill nachos on. That’s more money than I’ve spent on a suit. Yet for some reason, it’s not “socially acceptable” to wear hockey jerseys to funerals. Therefore, if I have the opportunity to get an authentic jersey for cheap I want to take it. Hossa’s (Reebok) jersey is currently selling on the Blackhawks website for $50, down from $170. Neal’s jersey is selling for $135, down from $225. I need to know how acceptable it is to buy one of these.
Can I buy one? Does it make a difference when I buy a jersey? Yes, I understand that if I were to pull the trigger on Hossa I would never wear that jersey to a game that he actually plays in. But if I go to a Blackhawks game in three years I feel the odds are pretty strong there will still be a good number of other people wearing Hossa jerseys. The same might not be able to be said about Neal in Las Vegas. Does that make it ok? I’m not a rich man. I need a ruling on this. As sports fans, what is our decision?