April 28, 2014

NFL by the Numbers: 1994

The 1994 NFL season marked the 75th regular season of the National Football League. 

And in celebration of this special anniversary, a commemorative patch was designed by the NFL for each player to wear on their jerseys throughout that season. The league also honored its 75th birthday by having each team wear “throwback” uniforms during selected games. “Throwbacks” are uniforms that are styled to resemble uniforms that a team wore in the past. For example, the Detroit Lions almost always wear throwbacks during our time-honored game on Thanksgiving Day – and I quite like our throwbacks. Kennedy (sitting in her Bumbo seat) is wearing Scott’s throwback jersey – with the 75th anniversary patch – in the photo above.

Many of the football jerseys that Scott wore on the field have been professionally cleaned, framed, and are on display in our home. But a few are tucked away in drawers so that we can pull them out and wear them on game day. The one on Kennedy is by far my favorite of all of Scott’s jerseys, and I keep it hanging in my closet.

For a not-so-great example of a throwback, click here. (I deeply apologize to any Pittsburgh Steelers fans, but I think these throwbacks look like Halloween costumes, in my bumble – er – humble opinion.)

Aside from a helmet and shoulder pads, a player’s jersey is arguably the most important piece of a football player’s ensemble. (Scott and I debate this from time to time, and he actually says it’s the shoulder pads because when you’re tackling and bringing down 300-plus-pound men, your shoulder pads can make all the difference.)

At first glance, one might think that there is little difference between an authentic jersey that a player wears and a decent replica jersey worn by a fan – they’re the same color and don the same name and number, right? But in fact, they are pretty dissimilar. And here’s how:

Unlike replica football jerseys which tend to fit loosely, the jerseys that players perform in are contoured to hug their body and are quite form-fitting. The reason for this is two-fold: The jersey has to allow enough room for a player’s pads (which are why the arm holes and hem are lined with elastic), but it also has to cling to a player’s body so that his opponent can’t grab onto his jersey and hold him back.

The authentic football jerseys are made of heavyweight mesh and polyester. (The one pictured above is hot as hell to wear), while replica jerseys are made of 100% nylon.

Names and numbers
The numbers and names are screen-printed into replica jerseys, whereas the names and numbers on authentic jerseys are made of a heavy-duty, high-quality fabric and are individually sewn on.

Most sports fanatics wear jerseys on game day, and we, of course, are no different. However, Scott and I have also found another way to incorporate his jerseys into documenting the growth of our children, Scotty and Kennedy: On every birthday, we photograph Scotty in the same football jersey so that we can one day look back and see just how far he’s come, size-wise. I first did this when he was one, I did it last September when he turned two, I’ll do it again this year when he turns three, and I’ll continue to until he turns 18. We will also do the same with Kennedy…so we’ll put her back in this jersey in an official capacity in September when she turns one.

Do you own a football jersey? If yes, do you wear it often?

If you'd like to read more of my NFL-themed posts, you can find them by clicking on NFL on my list of post categories on the right side of this page.

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  1. Great post! I love the history (didn't know a lot of this!), and that you are documenting your kids in your husbands history! I personally down own a football jersey, but have plenty of Miami HEAT ones!

    As a sidenote, you are the best commenter in blog-landia! Always leaving thoughtful, and witty responses! I love your blog - and read it every week. I will tell Keith hey for ya! Btw...my family lives in Dearborn, so I unofficially root for the Lions when my hubby's Fins aren't playing!

    1. OMG!!! First, The Hubs is right here next to me right now and said that we (The Lions) play your Hubby's Dolphins this year! So you'll be forced to make a decision this year! lol

      About the commenting, Kristen, thank you times a million for your kind words -- expressing myself on blogs I enjoy reading comes quite naturally! Your blog rocks, and is so lovely to read!

      GO HEAT!!


  2. Yes Ma'am I own a Tom Brady #12 New England Patriot jersey I wear it quite often even dressed it up with red heels once :) I also have a Randy Moss New England jersey...*sigh* how I miss seeing that duo but anyways...I like most of the throw back uniforms + I'm excited about the draft in a few weeks I could go on and on I love football :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. Good Morning, Cookie!!

      I am a U of M grad, and actually attended while Brady was our quarterback. He was a super low-key guy. Not big-headed at all...

      I am so psyched for this year's draft, too! (No surprise, there. lol)

      The draft starts next Thursday night at 8 p.m., and I will have a pretty big draft post the next morning, Friday, May 9, so please come by and check it out!

      Thank you for commenting. xo

  3. I actually do not own a jersey (such a shame huh?) But if I do get one I'd get the Raiders because they're my hometown team although they suck really bad.

    I like the idea how you take a picture of your kiddos in your husband's jersey each year. Great way to see how much they've grown over the years.

    1. Hey, Louida! Nah, I don't think it's a shame at all that you don't own a jersey -- I totally recognize that not everyone is is a huge fan of the game. (Now, on the other hand, it would be a shame for me not to own one! lol)

      I am a seriously ride-or-die fan when it comes to representing my teams, so I take a totally different approach to your perspective on whether to wear a team's jersey of they are doing poorly: For me it's about the game first, not whether the teams wins or loses. I just love the game of football. And teams are like the weather: Wait a moment, and they will change. So they can be good one year, bad the next...or go several years with a winning or losing stretch. It will change, though. Eventually.

      Second, when it comes to my school or hometown, I put my love of "repping" that city or school above all else -- I am so proud to come from there, that I could really care less whether they win or lose...in fact, if they are not doing well, to me, that is an even greater incentive to represent!

      Thank you so much for commenting! <3

  4. We do have a jersey hang in our closet but it's not a pro one. The hubs played semi pro for the Nor'Easters when he lived in Boston. He has a ton of old injuries from playing football in high school and waaaaaay beyond! No matter what team he was on he always was number 31.
    That color blue looks phenomenal on your daughter!

    1. Aww, thanks, Susie, about your kind words about Kennedy! (I hope she ends up liking the color on her as much as we do..lol)

      Isn't it funny how players seem to have a particular allegiance to numbers? Scott and I share a pretty intense affinity for the number 7...and it has always -- someway, somehow -- been worked into his jersey number. He was 76 throughout his entire professional career, but he was 43 (4+3 = 7) in college, and 77 in high school...

      Don't even get me started about football injuries. (Sigh.) Do you know what seven years of hitting 300-plus-pound men can do????? It ain't pretty. I mention it in this post:


      Thank you so much for commenting, Susie!

  5. I am a die hard Patriot fan (Sorry to the hubby) but I can't stand their throwback uniforms. And the funny thing is when I watched when they were playing in them it didn't really matter. LOL I do love the fit of the uniforms on all the players. It shows their contours so well. This is why I watch the game. OK not really but it is a major part. I just always wondered how the players handle playing in coooooold snowy icy weather because to me those are the best games to watch but I know it takes a toll on the players.

    1. Hey, Angela! Why are you apologizing to The Hubs? No need. No 'head and root for your Pats!

      With regard to watching football because of the -- ahem, "bodies" -- I feel ya on that one! ;-) LOVE looking at pics of The Hubs in his "Sunday finest."

      And about the cold weather, Scott has got stories for days about what it was like to play, say, at The Frozen Tundra (aka Packer Stadium in Green Bay). He actually said that during one game there, the windchill was -40, and the Vaseline that players put on their faces actually peeled and cracked off. 100% true story. I should write a post about some of those hard-to-play games...

      Thank you for commenting. :-)

  6. Cute idea to photo Kennedy in the football jersey every year! Her little face is adorable!! My husband is a Steelers fan, so I was subjected to watching them in those ridiculous outfits. I get in trouble for referring to them as outfits instead of uniforms, but whatever. I always wondered why football players look so much better than guys watching the game and wearing them -- I thought it was just because regular people are puny or the shoulder pads make the shirts fit tighter, but now I know the truth!

    1. LOL Thanks for your kind words about little Kennedy, who was so not a willing participant in that photo op...

      I like the Steelers, too, but, who in the hell came up with the stripes?????

      Thanks for commenting.

  7. What a great idea to have the kiddos wear your hubbie's jersey!! They'll definitely love it when they get older. Not that it's the same thing, but, I have a pick of me wearing my Dad's coat when I was little (age 4 or 5?) and for his 70th b'day we put together a slide show of pictures and I replicated that pic. He got a kick out it :) I was just amazed that he still owned that coat...

    1. OMG, Monisha!!! THANK YOU for sharing this absolute gem of a comment. That was a most fabulous addition to your slide show!! (I am seriously swooning over here.)

      I totally foresee a jersey slide show in S and K's future. I'm thinking high school graduation party...

      Thank you so much for sharing this lovely comment! <3