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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