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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

When to Wear Their Jersey?

Last week my friend Jeff sent me a text with an important question:

With Max Talbot now no longer a Flyer is it okay to not feel dirty wearing his jersey again?

It's a solid question that got me thinking: when is it okay?


It's an interesting question, one that should perhaps include some guidelines:

If that person is traded you are free to wear their jersey right away without shame.  A player cannot help that they are traded.  Your Martin Straka jersey was fine to wear as soon as he was sent packing.

I didn't want to go.

If that person signs elsewhere wait a few months.  That Rob Scuderi jersey never really lost its luster when he signed with the Kings but much like hanging out with your ex who chose to move on it's best to be out of sight, out of mind for a while.

It worked out, though.

If that person signs with a rival wait a few years.  Maybe they'll redeem themselves through love and tenderness.  Kevin Stevens signed with the Rangers and, after some lackluster years, found his way back to the Penguins and the loving arms of fans.

We really won't talk about these years...
If that person signs with their original team you're in the clear.  It's hard to hate them for that.  It was heartwarming to see Ron Francis back with the team that originally drafted him, finishing his long career with them.

Or sort of original team

If that person signs with, like, all of your rivals maybe don't bother.  That includes if they were traded to a rival.  No, this isn't about anyone in particular.

Hmm... who could I mean?
If that rental signs with a rival just change the nameplate.  That Marian Hossa sweater you spent that money on?  Slap "NEAL" on the back and you're golden.

"Well this backfired..."
If that person is a beloved member of a Cup winner who won the Cup for the team and signs with a rival for an ungodly sum then is traded out of conference you can wear it as soon as that trade happens.  I mean without Max where are we?  Without another Cup, that's where!

This looks weird.

Most importantly: Live never buy a jersey of someone in a picture with Taylor Swift.  Ever.  Oh WEEEE won't ever, ever play with the Pens forever!

Go write a song about it.
As for me?  Well, wear the jersey when you want.  As long as you're aware of the consequences then you're okay.  I solve this problem, however, with franchise players.  Mario, Sid, Geno, Hines, Bettis, Roethlisberger all hang in my closet.  They'll never get old, they'll never go out of style.  Call me a front runner or whatever but I'll never wonder if I should feel shame in wearing those jerseys.

So what are your thoughts?  If a player you love is signed by another team or traded elsewhere when is it okay to rock their stitches again?  Is it ever?  Does it depend on the team?  I've laid out my guidelines.  What are yours?
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