Blog Entry

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

Posted on: October 23, 2008 4:07 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2008 12:41 pm
Like running a marathon or driving an EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle into the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, life is full of checkpoints.

Some are formal occasions, like a Bar Mitzvah, graduation or wedding.

Some are informal occasions, like a first smooch, first pint of Guinness and eventual first relapse. Jay Z

Some are inevitable occasions, like going bald or losing a pet.

(What daaaaaayaaaaa mean fish need food?!)

Then there are checkpoints where one must decide, what am I really about? And by that I mean jerseys. Namely, when do I stop wearing them? Not when do I stop wearing a jersey to the mall or to the beach, but when do I stop wearing a jersey altogether? When does the jersey cease to be a staple of my wardrobe?

This my friends, is our Weekend Debate.

Let's begin with an expert on the subject, Jay-Z.

In the fall of 2004, the rapper-cum-NBA owner told Time, "you can't be running around in jerseys when you're 30 years old."

That's a good place to start. A nice clear-cut number. Three decades into one's existence wearing a jersey becomes unacceptable.

Imagine the possibilities if this, in fact, were a rule. Being 29 and 364 days old would have new meaning. It would be like being 20 and 364 days old, but instead of doing 21 shots you'd try to squeeze on 30 jerseys. Not at once, I'd imagine.

But there are other voices to be heard. A 20-something CBS video producer in L.A. (by way of Connecticut) says, "late '30s, but keep in mind, I'm getting buried in my Red Sox uniform."

A self-described fellow curmudgeon like me and editor here at says, "It's never acceptable for a grown man to wear a jersey." Another said, "I don't own one." (He actually just sold his [and what was only] custom TrailBlazers jersey on EBay to somebody in Japan. Yes, somebody across the world just purchased a Portland jersey with a random guy's name on the back.)Dick Vitale

I move too fast. Some quick background: This all got started while watching ESPNews and seeing Dick Vitale adorning a Rays jersey while being interviewed.

Now Vitale predates America's entrance in World War II, Watergate and Twitter. But there he was, in alopecia glory, sporting a baseball jersey on a cable sports network.

Let's speed back up. There are two types of jersey wearers: those sporting a jersey with a real player's name on the back and those with anything else. We'll classify those with blank jerseys as leaning toward the former and those with nicknames or funny sayings on their back as leaning toward the latter. But they are clearly sub-sects of the two jersey genera and not their own.

Our assistant managing editor says, "Only player names on the back." I say, "Not a big deal either way." He says, "You're an idiot."

Maybe so.

But here are my thoughts on jerseys. Basketball, football and hockey jerseys are no dice for grown-ups. Basketball jerseys are meant to be worn without anything on underneath, and the public doesn't need to see that much skin or arm pit hair. Football and hockey jerseys were meant to be worn with pads, so unless you have a hecukva set of traps, you're probably not filling out the apparel. In short, you look silly wearing a synthetic nylon top with jeans. The worst offenders are people who dress in suits or slacks and a shirt and head to the NBA arena after work with a jersey on top of their Brooks Brothers oxford.

(I'll also add, and this has since been touched upon below, that wearing the name of another human being on your back [particularly somebody younger than yourself] is a bit awkward. Wearing another human being's name on your back represents a sort of adulation of somebody's talents or persona [as expressed below in the comments] or brand [players as products] you align yourself with. Maybe it's just me, but there are few athletes I feel that strongly about. In this current sports atmosphere I align myself with organizations, not players, more often than not and I tend to find that few athletes are well-rounded enough human beings to want to show my respect for by wearing their name on my back.)

I'll leave you with my thoughts on baseball jerseys. I think they fly no matter how old or young you are. Baseball jerseys are only jerseys in the loosest sense of the word. Most of the time they are cotton (or polyester), feature buttons and a collar. In short, for a big slice of the population, it's an upgrade from the normal day-to-day attire.

Enough from the news desk, if you feel strongly about wearing jerseys regularly you should probably go enroll in Madden Nation. Or share your thoughts if you're inclined. 
On to the best blogs ... around

How do seven NCAA tournament selections sound? That's what the ACC is receiving, according to the Sports Report. The blogger breaks down the fates of all the teams in college basketball's best conference.

If you're impressed with the start of Matt Ryan's career, you're not alone (I sure am). View from The Branch... compares the Falcons rookie's stats with 10 other premier quarterbacks, and you'll be surprised with how Ryan stands out. One QB not on the list, to my shock, was Ben Roethlisberger.

The game is surrounded by hype, which is why In Love with the Game, Mom's View is here to put some perspective behind Sunday's matchup of Giants-Steelers.

Mike Nolan became the latest head coach to lose his job midseason. Toxic Talk breaks down the other candidates, from Herm to Mangini, who could be out of work before the season ends.

Klick of the Day

Andy Samberg and Terry Tate both encourage you to vote
Category: MLB

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2008 3:32 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: October 27, 2008 1:04 am

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

well im 36 and stopped wearing jerseys a long time ago but i guess its ok if your going to a game and wear your teams jerseys but to wear another guys name on your back is leaning toward the gay side for me. i played hockey from 6 years old through college and by about 15 to wear a jersey with gretzky or whoever on the back would catch you a slap in the locker room. so to all you big fat beer belly 45 year old guys wearing a randy moss jersey i hate to tell you but people are laughing at you.

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: October 26, 2008 9:19 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

I collect jerseys and have like 50 of them. I have mostly Colorado sports teams but some others too. For some reason I never wear them except to Bronco games. It's kind of weird but they serve no purpose other than sitting in their own designated closet. Occasionaly i'll just go over to them and stare at them collectively for a few seconds and then walk away. I don't know why I like them so much and why I always have to buy them even though I have no intention of ever wearing them. I guess it's just " my thing ". I just don't understand why I don't want to wear them. I go to all the Broncos games and whoever is the starting QB for them at the time I will don their orange alternate jersey, but thats it. I use to go to all the games with my Dad who had had our season tickets since the 60's and I bought him a  Eddie McCaffery jersey and he wore it the game every week at the age of 50. He looked damn good in that jersey. I don't think there is any age in which somebody shouldn't sport a jersey if it feels comfortable on them. Jerseys are timeless and take you back to a time in which you were watching that player play. My old man passed away unexpectedly at the age of 53 and was buried in that same Eddie McCaffery jersey. No joke.

Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: October 26, 2008 1:33 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

I think, if the jersey youre wearing is a team that youre a fan of, then I dont have a problem. Now if the jersey doesnt fit, then friggin buy a new one. I thinkif a player was traded away, them either buy a new player or buy a blank jersey or a retired player of that team. But yeah, I mean its retared to see Nick Van Excel Lakers jersey when I go to the Staples center on people!

Since: Jan 27, 2008
Posted on: October 26, 2008 1:01 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

While a interesting question, it is a no brainer for me. At 42 years old, I have and will continue to wear any one of my 15 Buccaneers jerseys every Sunday during football season. Today if is my authentic Derrick Brooks, last week end, how could you not be wearing the A-Train's number 40 in honor of the man.

I am no slave to fashion, don't care what Jay-Z or anyone else wishes to say about my jerseys and my age. I am a proud Bucs fan, and will be burried in Brooks Jersey. I will even wear my throwback Leroy Selmon when the Bucs are going to roll out the Creamcycle Orange for the opening of their ring of honor at Ray Jay. It brings me back to memories of 0-26. A time when I loved a team with no predjudice, just because I was a kid. 10 years old and living in NJ and loving a team that no one else liked. 3 years later a rain drenched chance to move on to the Super Bowl.

So the real answer to the question.....when you feel like you are no longer a kid again at heart. 

Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2008 11:15 am

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?


ManLaw for Women wearing jerseys = Women can wear anything that they look hot in, and in my opinion women look hot in jerseys.


Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2008 11:10 am

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?


I could not agree with your thoughts more.  I have been saying this for years.

Since: Aug 26, 2008
Posted on: October 26, 2008 10:07 am

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

Jay Z has it right. I will admit will I don't want to grow up, I would love to be 25 for the rest of my life. If you are going to a game, I think its ok to wear a jersey. I don't like wearing the named jerseys though. If you are going to mock fantasy draft or watching a game it's ok. Let's be honest here. A large number of people over 30 wearing these jerseys are horses asses. You can show support for your team, wear the jersey, but as everyday fashion,   sorry no can do.

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2008 9:06 am

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

I want my grandma to come in to the living room and say something like, "I don't know how you all know what's going on.  There are guys running everywhere. The apple crisp will be done in 10 minutes."

Well Joe....

I made homemade pumpkin butter yesterday...will probably make an apple crisp next Saturday.  Want it hot on Sunday your grandmother a microwave 

Since: Apr 29, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2008 8:19 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

I'm Colts fan and for the longest time they suuuuuuucked. Now they have been on top for 6-7 years . I feel proud to wear my 18 jersey.  There wasn't a jersey I could wear when I was growing up with 80's and 90's Colts, maybe Faulk or Dickerson but that's it. For those of us that couldn't wear one when they were young,wear your jerseys any time any age.

I wear my jersey every gameday home or away. I'm a season ticket holder and can't remember in the last 4-5 years that I didn't wear my jersey to the game. I'm 34 and I have been wearing it all of my 30's.

Guy's out there wear your jerseys any time any age...GO COLTS!!!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or