As regular readers of my posts may realize by now, with football season in full swing, I’ve gone a little football crazy. There are a few reasons for this, but the two most important ones are: 1) I have TV this year, so I can actually watch it, and 2) the Vikings aren’t expected to go too far this year, and so far, all three regular season games have been immensely entertaining. With a 2-1 record in Week 3, things are looking up for the men in purple.
Anyway, last week, I pulled the trigger on a custom Nike jersey to celebrate punter Chris Kluwe (it’s a long story). But quarterback Christian Ponder is doing some great work in his first year as the starter from day one, and I’m feeling like I might want to add another jersey to my burgeoning Vikings collection. For a cool hundred bucks, I can get Nike’s current design of Ponder’s jersey.
But what’s important to keep in mind is that, just a year ago, Reebok was handling the NFL’s uniforms. As such, grabbing a Ponder jersey in last year’s style offers a $40 discount right now—the NFL shop is holding a clearance sale to get rid of jerseys that aren’t current. If you look closely, you can see the differences. At first glance, though, it seems like, well, a regular football jersey.
Here’s where things get dicey: the only thing I like more than cool memorabilia is getting a bargain. And that’s where the conundrum comes in: the Vikings have been going through quarterbacks like tissues over the last few years. While this is Ponder’s first year as the day-one starter, it’s actually his second year in the NFL. He took over for Donavan McNabb, who only played six games before asking to be released from the team after a 1-5 record. Needless to say, McNabb is not a well-remembered experiment.
But you can get his jersey for only $35! What a steal!
Then there was the guy who held the QB spot before McNabb came to town: the legendary Brett Favre. The Gunslinger’s first season in Minnesota went pretty great, bringing the team one game away from the Super Bowl. A year later, however, Favre’s age began to show, and finished the season with a 6-10 record, retiring shortly thereafter. During that second season with the Vikes, however, Favre’s age wasn’t the only thing that began to show. With the scandal, a losing season, and the fact that he had for a long time been the star of the hated Green Bay Packers, Favre’s reputation in Minnesota isn’t what you’d call sterling.
The only real benefit to this one is that maybe you’ll blend into your surroundings, and no one will be able to see the horror show you’re wearing.
So that’s the real question: how good a deal is a good deal? These are authentic jerseys for some of the most successful quarterbacks in modern football. Before coming to Minnesota, McNabb was a force to be reckoned with on the Philadelphia Eagles. And Favre’s prowess on field can’t be disputed, no matter what he did or didn’t do with his cell phone during that one year on the Jets. And you’d think that with their time in Minnesota being so short, these guys’ Vikings jerseys should be more valuable, right? There’s got to be way fewer of them than of their respective Eagles and Packers duds.
And yet…yet…something about even considering buying them makes me feel slimy. Is it that the combination of those names on those uniforms has tainted the garment itself? Or is it all in my head, and I should seize the opportunity to add to my collection? What would you do?