October 03, 2008

Sports fan Jersey Rules and laws.

Over the last couple of months I have had discussions regarding the wearing of sports jerseys. At one time there was a great online list of the rules, but I can no longer find the website. I had it bookmarked, but it looks like it has been taken down. Fortunately for me I copied and pasted the rules to my own computer for a quick reference. I feel that these rules should, nayÖ NEED to be out there.

Iíve had a lot of discussions regarding the wearing of jerseys and what is acceptable and what is not. For some reason I became a guru regarding jersey rules amongst my friends and acquaintances, probably because I memorized them.

Now before anyone yells at me over the rules, I did not come up with these. In fact Iím not sure who did as there was never any credit given and the original site even stated they were not sure where the rules came from. Legend has it that they where handed down over time since the late 1800ís. (If by legend you mean me making shite up) Now I did update some of the rules a little by adding examples. Anything in the parenthesis is something I added. I did that just for clarification. Since its football season and the only sport I follow is football, I only used football related examples. However these rules to apply to all sports and the wearing of jerseys.

Rules for Wearing a Jersey

1. All Jerseys should be an actual jersey, authentic or replica. Cheap knock-off and shirts that look like a jersey are not acceptable.

2. Only wear a jersey for a player that is a current member of your team. If you bought a jersey in the previous season and the player is let go or traded to another team you are no longer allowed to wear that players Jersey. (Example: Bret Favreís Packers Jerseys should not be worn because at the time of this post he is a New York Jet.)
2A. Players that are retired are acceptable as long as it is a jersey from the team in which they retired. (Example Jerome Bettisí Steelers Jerseys are acceptable)
2B. Players that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame as long as the Jersey is from the team they were inducted into the Hall of Fame. (Example: Joe Montana. He was traded to Kansas City in 1993. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. From 93 to 2000 you could not wear his 49ers Jersey but once inducted into the Hall of Fame it was okay.)
2C. Players that have had their numbers retired it is acceptable to wear their jersey
2D. All Star/Pro Bowl jerseys are acceptable to wear. As this is a mix game of the best players in the sport, it is acceptable to wear their All Star/Pro Bowl jersey even if they are no longer on the team they were with at the time of the All Star Game/Pro Bowl. (Example: TE Alge Crumpler was in the 2007 Pro Bowl as an Atlanta Falcon, he is with the Tennessee Titans at the time of this post. It is okay to wear his 2007 Pro Bowl Jersey.)

3. Throwback and retro Jerseys are acceptable as long as the jersey matches the style of the time the player was on the team. (Example: Do not get a Joe Namath Jets Jersey in the current style. Joeís last season with the Jets was 1976). Most official retro jerseys are correct.

4. It is not permissible to wear a customized team jersey. If you didnít play for the team you should not wear a jersey with your name on the back.
4A. If you share the last name with a player on the team it is okay to have that playerís jersey, as long as it complies with section 2.
4B. Customized jerseys that have the numbers 00 and a non-last name are okay. (Example: A Seattle Seahawks fan wearing a Jersey with the back saying ď12th ManĒ is okay, however it is not recommended.)

5. Jerseys must match the color scheme of your team. If your team does not play in color scheme of your jersey, it is not acceptable. (A lot of teams sell third color jerseys. The Green Bay Packers have Green as their primary color for home games, and white for the away. You can get a jersey where yellow is the primary color, the yellow jersey is not acceptable).
5A. Throwback jerseys of current players are acceptable if the team played at least one game in it.
5B. The specialized jerseys for females are acceptable for females. (They sell pink, fluorescent and rhinestoned jerseys fitted for women.)

6. Do not attend a game wearing the jersey of a team that is not playing. (If you are going to a Tampa Bay Bucs VS. Oakland Raiders game, do not wear an Arizona Cardinals jersey)
6A. It is permissible to wear jerseys of teams not playing to championship or all-star games. (Example: It would have been okay to wear a St. Louis Rams jersey to the Super Bowl (NY Giants VS. NE Patriots) or Pro-Bowl)
6B. This applies only to games where the wearer is in attendance at the stadium or arena. (If you are spending an afternoon watching the games at home, with friends or at a sports bar, you can wear your teamís jersey)

7. Jerseys should only be worn by an individual in support of their team. (You are a Washington Redskins fan; you should not wear a Chicago Bears jersey)
7A. If you are a fan of an individual player, than it is okay to wear that individualís jersey even if they are playing for a team that is not your favorite as long as it complies with section 2. (IE If you are a Packer fan and a Brett Favre fan, you can wear a Brett Favre Jetís jersey in support of Bret.)
7B. It is permissible to wear a rival teamís jersey if you lose a wager. (Example: A Pittsburgh Steelers fan bets a Philadelphia Eagles fan that if the Steelers make it to the Super Bowl the Philly fan has to wear a Steeler Jersey and vice, versa.)

Those are the rules, if you are caught in violation you may have a penalty thrown at you and be expected to make amends. It depends on the group of people you are hanging out with. Also, now Iím going to go rule by rule and break them down based on my opinion.

1) I think this one was pretty self explanatory. Weíve all seen the really bad knock off and cheap jerseys out there. If you are going to support your team, buy the real thing. Donít get something cheap and just embarrass yourself. If you canít afford the real thing, thatís fine. Get a regular t-shirt or something.

2) This is pretty cut and dry and I agree with it 100%. If you are buying a jersey you are not only supporting the player, but also the team. If you want to continue to support the player, then you need to support the new team they are with. Sure this impacts me as I can no longer wear my Favre jersey, but he is with another team. If he had retired from the PackersÖ or stayed retired sure I could still wear it, but no he went to another team.

3)All Iím going to say about this is that the last time I went to a Packer Game I saw a guy wearing #66 Nitschke jersey in current uniform style. He was a great player and a Packer legend, but he played in the 60ís not 2007. The uniforms, similar, are nowhere near the same. You can buy the retro jerseys, Iíve seen them. So this just doesnít make sense to buy a modern jersey for a legendary player.

4) Okay, I saw a guy wearing a Packer jersey with #15 and the last name Ecklinburg. First off, 15 is a retired number of Green Bay legend Bart Starr, this just looked goofy and gave the impression the guy was a huge dork. He was not on the team, and no one is going to believe he was. Seriously most fans know who has been on the team and the numbers, especially the famous numbers. If you are going to get a personalized jersey, at least get the number 00. As for the non-last name portion of this I can see both sides of the argument.

5) I agree with this one 100%. Iíve seen guys wearing the goofy off color jerseys, they look horrible, and to be honest, pretty dorky. Iíve also seen a guy that had a customized Bears jersey done in Black and Silver because it looked ďcoolĒ. It was hideous. Now for the female jerseys, Iím sorry I think they look sexy and if itís what it takes to get more females into the sport, let it happen. Drunken females at games are fun!

6) This rule is pretty self explanatory and makes complete sense. Every game Iíve gone to there has always been ďthat guyĒ wearing the jersey for a team that isnít playing. Itís okay to support your team, but if they arenít in the arena you are in, honestly just wear normal clothes or buy a t-shirt for whichever team you are rooting for. Iíve done it.

7) Nothing is more annoying then wearing a jersey for another team because you like the way it looks. I have a friend that does this and Iíve revoked his man card over it. He claims to be a Packer fan but owns jerseys for different players on different teamsÖ because he thinks ďthey look tightĒ. Yea, I get that annoyed. In fact mutual friends have gotten as annoyed. However, thanks to clause 7B I had to wear a Grossman jersey when the Bears went to the Super Bowl. The bet was just Bears gearÖ but I got a jersey. Sigh.

Now if youíll excuse me, Iím going to go look at the collection of jerseys that wonít be worn again. It's thanks to these rules that we have the Bad Jersey Blog.

Posted by Contagion in Football at October 3, 2008 06:48 PM | TrackBack

I agree with the exception to the jersey color rule regarding females - in fact I'm currently on the lookout for something to get for LabGirl...

Posted by: Shadoglare at October 3, 2008 08:03 PM

RE: rule #6.

Why wouldn't ANYONE want to wear a Tampa Bay jersey? For cryin' out loud....their ROCK!


Posted by: Tammi at October 4, 2008 06:22 AM

THEY not THEIR...for shits sake.....

Posted by: Tammi at October 4, 2008 06:23 AM

1st.... Why so many Steeler/Eagles refrences?

2nd Tammi, Cause it's ...... Tampa!!

3rd I hate to say it but I gotta agree with rule #6. Now I gotta get a St Louis jersey before my trip. Any suggestions? Anyone?

Posted by: Bruce at October 4, 2008 05:37 PM

Tammi, I think the question should be, "Who would want to wear a Tampa jersey?" :)

Bruce, there are only two steelers references and one eagles reference. I just picked teams that friends of mine happen to like or where I could find applicable references.

Posted by: Contagion at October 4, 2008 10:13 PM

That DOES IT! Buc's jerseys for EVERYONE this Christmas!!!!


Posted by: Tammi at October 6, 2008 07:35 AM

Thank you for the list of rules for wearing jersey's. My friends and I have argued over rule number 2 and this list proves that I was right.

A friend of mine has a Vikings Randy Moss Jersey he wears all the time, with this maybe we can get him to stop.

Posted by: Michael at October 7, 2008 03:22 PM