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Thread: Bill Simmons article

  1. #1
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...simmons/041208

    Your jersey says something

    By Bill Simmons
    Page 2

    Editor's Note: This article appears in the December 20 issue of ESPN The Magazine.


    During a recent Pacers-Clippers game, I noticed a fan wearing a yellow Indiana jersey with "ARTEST" and "91" on the back. You're not going to believe this, but he was acting like an idiot -- spilling beer, yelling at Clippers fans and generally carrying on like a lunatic. By the third quarter, two Staples Center guards were standing near his section. You know, just in case. Somehow he made it through the game without pulling a William Ligue Jr.



    One thing's for sure -- wearing an Artest jersey makes some kind of statement.
    But he got me thinking. What kind of statement was an Artest jersey? What was the dude trying to say? Was it ...


    A. He's my favorite player, and I'm standing by him.


    B. I'm a Pacers fan, and this was the only jersey I had.


    C. I support anyone who charges into the stands and attacks innocent fans.


    D. Much like Ron, I'm completely insane -- please be afraid of me.


    I don't know the answer. If pressed, I'd guess D. But that made me start thinking about jerseys in general, especially throwbacks, which have become an improbable billion-dollar industry. Jerseys used to be simple. Fans bought them because they wanted to dress like players on the team. Not only were we supporting our guys, but the player we chose became an expression of sorts. And in the old days, this worked like a charm. When I held a gun to my dad's head and made him buy me a Wade Boggs jersey, he knew No. 26 was sticking around for a while. And I knew the jersey designated Boggs as "my guy."


    These days, because of free agency and impatient front offices, not only do stars bounce around, but teams switch uniform styles as often as Christina Aguilera changes her hair. Just ask New Englanders stuck with Bledsoe's light-blue jersey from the '94 Pats season (one starting QB and two styles ago). When I take office as President of Sports, fans will be able to trade in dated jerseys for a 33% discount on new ones. Until then, you're screwed. At a recent Pats tailgate, our friend Grover needed a new jersey, but his pals were already wearing certain players whom he considered "claimed." Grover wanted his own guy. Worried that any new purchase could leave in a year or two -- like his last choice, Lawyer Milloy -- Grover discussed his options with the intensity of someone shopping for a new car. Now he's leaning toward an Andre Tippett throwback, "just to be safe."


    That's the thing about throwbacks: you never have to worry. Pete Maravich isn't getting traded from the '77 Jazz. Nolan Ryan isn't getting traded from the '80 Astros. Not only are you exercising a form of personal expression -- this player was cool, this uniform looks cool and right now, I'm feeling cool! -- but you aren't blowing $200 on a potential lemon. Once celebs attached a "hip" factor to the whole thing, throwback makers started popping up like Starbucks franchises, with Mitchell & Ness (the pioneer) and Distant Replays (famous for their Atlanta store) emerging as industry leaders. For musicians and athletes, throwbacks are a fashion statement, much like gold teeth and 22-inch rims. Fans inevitably followed suit. Now everyone seems to be making a statement.


    But what's the statement? I used to have a running joke that someone should make Disgraced Throwback Jerseys for guys like Chris Washburn and Lloyd Daniels. I was kidding. Well, over the past year, I've seen people wearing throwbacks for O.J. Simpson and Lenny Bias. How could you possibly explain this?


    Then again, how can you explain any jersey? About six years ago, I was pretty much broke ... and that still didn't stop me from spending $160 on Tony Simmons' No. 81. I always wanted the Pats to have a wideout with my last name. I had to have the jersey. I wanted to wear it to games and have people say, "Cool, he has your name," and then I'd feel good about myself. Which is pretty weird, when you think about it.


    Should adults even wear jerseys? Some naysayers are condescending about this -- the whole "Grow up!" mentality -- but I would argue that it's a reasonable way to support your favorite team, no matter how old you are. As Seinfeld once joked, we're rooting for laundry, anyway. So why not wear the laundry? During the 2004 ALDS, I defiantly wore my game-worn '86 Sox jersey into Angel Stadium. Whenever I noticed other fans wearing Boston jerseys, we invariably nodded at one another, maybe even shared a high-five. It's like Fight Club. Who cares if I graduated from college 12 years ago? I was there to support my guys.


    Just like that Artest fan last week. Whether he was backing his team or aiming for a reaction, his No. 91 jersey certainly did the job. I noticed him and I was afraid of him.


    Mission accomplished.


    Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His Sports Guy's World site is updated every day Monday through Friday.

  2. #2
    Pacers fan in FL Deadshot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    I wore an Artest jersey today and got quite a few comments and questions

  3. #3
    Pacers fan in FL Deadshot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    I'm not really interested in another one - but just out of curiosity, which ones are they? I'll probably buy a retro Reggie before I buy anything else though.

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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    I think I am going to wear my Artest Jersey out to dinner tonight after reading that article.

  5. #5
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    I wore my Chris Mullin jersey the other day.

    My desired Christmas present, an authentic 86-90 Chuck Person jersey - even though I hate the royal blue on those.

    Which reminds me, can one of you CFH regulars stop by the jersey store to see if they have received their inventory of authentic retros? As of the Bobcats game, there were inventory issues.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
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    And life itself, rushing over me
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    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  6. #6
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    This is why I refuse to buy a Pacers jersey, I'm scared to death that if I get one, whomever it is will be traded.

    Thankfully, as of this week it looks like my Marvin Harrison jersey is safe.
    Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    Nice article. I was at that Clippers/Pacers gaming wearing my JO jersey and my friend was wearing his throwback Artest jersey. I thought this thread might be about my friend, then I read the article and the Artest jersey wearer in the article was being an ***. The Clippers fans around us were all cool. They were joking around with me and being nice. Only one guy was being obnoxious by saying "Pacers suck" over and over, but I didn't feel threatened wearing a jersey.

    I did see other people wearing Pacer's jerseys at the game and its exactly how Simmons describes. We gave each other the nod and acknowledgement. Pretty cool.

  8. #8
    Pacers fan in FL Deadshot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    This is why I refuse to buy a Pacers jersey, I'm scared to death that if I get one, whomever it is will be traded.

    Thankfully, as of this week it looks like my Marvin Harrison jersey is safe.
    You know you probably have at least 6 years with a Tins jersey - but I don't plan on buying any regular jerseys this year since we are supposed to get new ones next year.

  9. #9
    Member Ragnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    This is why I refuse to buy a Pacers jersey, I'm scared to death that if I get one, whomever it is will be traded.

    Thankfully, as of this week it looks like my Marvin Harrison jersey is safe.
    I think you could go with a Reggie Miller jersey. I dont think that he will be traded at this point.

    Jermaine will be a Pacer for a very long time. I think Tins will be here as long as this group is competitive. Donnie has a history of dumping his good pg if he is thinking about breaking up the rest of the team.

  10. #10
    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    You only need a 31 jersey, anyway. Retro and comeback all at once. No fear of trade, either.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    This is why I refuse to buy a Pacers jersey, I'm scared to death that if I get one, whomever it is will be traded.

    Thankfully, as of this week it looks like my Marvin Harrison jersey is safe.
    Do you wanna buy a Kenny Williams #44? That one didn't work out too well...

    I really wanted an Eddie Johnson #8, too. My wife talked me out of that one.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  12. #12
    sweabs
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    Default Re: Bill Simmons article

    Quote Originally Posted by vapacersfan
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    I want to get a Tinsey jersey
    I have an authentic one

    Had it for a couple years now - everyone in my city loves it.

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