This is not a declaration about the relative merits of my home state, nor is it a list of the guidelines members of the mafia follow in order to avoid being brutally murdered with a claw hammer to the head or a scissor to the brake cable.Â No, this is the simple rule I have established to let you, the American sports fan, know how and when to dress in public while supporting your local athletic franchise.
Why now? Well, I realized it was time when I attended a Red Sox game at Fenway Monday night with the BU Trio and saw old men wearing Ellsbury and Papelbon shirts. That came just a day after I received this photo, via email, from SCP favorite BShrek, who is gearing up for the birth of his first child, a son:
Now,Â first of all, this will be adorable. (Though the Giants jogging suit might be a bit much. Unless the kid plans to immediately get a no-show job on a construction site.)
Also, it will be appropriate, because it goes to the crux of my Jersey rule.
YOU SHOULD NEVER WEAR THE JERSEY OF A PLAYER WHO IS YOUNGER THAN YOU.
That’s it. That’s the entire rule.
Its brilliant in its simplicity.Â The main problem I see with the entire jersey phenomenon is most adult males look ridiculous wearing them. Athletic apparel is designed to fit athletes. You are not an athlete. You are a fat guy who is probably as excited to be going to the game because it means you can eat hot dogs as you are to be seeing the game.
So, the rule addresses that. As you get older, your choices dwindle.Â Your team has a hot new rookie? Great. Enjoy watching him while wearing a polo shirt and khaki shorts, becauseÂ he is 22 and You are 31. You are banned from buying his jersey. As the years roll by, there will be less and less players who end up being older than you. This is good. It will ween you off the habit. No one is promoting a cold turkey approach to wardrobe changes here.
Ultimately, the time will come when you are older than all the players on all the teams. And that is when you will know you are officially too old to be wearing a jersey of any kind. Congratulations, you are officially a full grown man. Pass this lesson onto your children. Because like alcoholism and other addictions, a jersey habit is something that’s passed on from generation to generation, and if it goes unchecked, it can haunt your family forever.