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

Since: Oct 25, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2008 5:30 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

I think if your over 30 it should mandatory to wear a jersey and paint your face too. Get into the game baby!!!!!!!!1

Since: Apr 24, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2008 2:45 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

I don't see anything wrong with wearing a football or baseball jersey as long as you only do it on game day.  They aren't meant to be an everyday piece of your wardrobe but it's showing your team support.  Plus, if you're going to a game, that's even more of a reason to be able to wear a jersey.  I agree, basketball jerseys and hockey jerseys are just pointless.  They aren't popular sports and they just don't look right. 

On another note, go Redhawks!  There aren't exactly a huge amount of Redhawk people on here, so to see an official blogger sporting the red and white, I know I'm not crazy.  That's my good ol' alma mater, no matter how bad we are on a regular basis.  We always have hockey at least.  I miss the days of going to see Big Ben destroy all opposition while I was going there.

Since: May 11, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2008 1:39 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

I align myself with organizations, not players

There are some wild perceptions here based on individual expression. How so many tend to derive myriad conclusions in regard to individual choices made contrary to their own tastes, is testament to their desire to belong to societies in lock-step. It also construes claim to tolerance and individual freedom.

I'm reminded of the deceased Steelers fan whose wake was held in a replica of his den on Sundays, his lifeless body draped in a Steelers jersey. Some describe this as extreme, but I honor his last game.

My flag, my wallet and the number 58 (and the man's name who immortalized it), will accompany me into eternity. For those who disapprove, God will be watching when you try steal the contents of my wallet. You can deprive me of my hard-earned income through taxes to support spirit-draining programs, but money doesn't buy you good stead in the hereafter.

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: October 25, 2008 1:01 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

I tooooootally disagree with this entire article.

For one, a baseball jersey is no different than any other sport. Buttons don't make it any different. If it did then we could just throw some buttons on a wife beater and turn white trash into high class.

Wearing a jersey doesn't mean that you snap your carrot to the guy, it means you're representing your team. Sometimes a t-shirt just doesn't have the same attitude as a jersey. And after all, it's not like you've built a shrine to the guy. And if you have, then you have bigger problems than being too old to wear a jersey.

You're never too old to show pride for your team, end of story!!

Since: Apr 23, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2008 9:10 am

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

I am over 40.   I own about 85 pro sports jerseys.  I have Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Cal Ripkin and Ben Rothelisberger jerseys.  I also have Roberto Clemente, Jim Thome, Michael Jordan and Brett Hull.    I almost always wear a jersey to the game.   I enjoy collecting and wearing modern and old style uniforms.   I also like collecting fairly anonomous players that you know nobody else is going to have on at the game you attend.   I have a Bates Battaglia jersey from the first year the Hurricanes played in Carolina.   I have a Chris Chelios jersey when he played for the Black Hawks.   I have 4 Jaromir Jagr jerseys, 2 with Pittsburgh, 1 with the Caps and one Czech.   I have an old Ziggy Pallfy jersey from his first year on Long Island.   I don't know if it's "COOL" to ear a sports jersey at my age and I don't care.  I love sports.  I love watching and playing almost any sport from Hockey to Golf, From Baseball to Rugby, from Nascar to Sunday afternoons watching Football.   When I go to a game and people see the jersey not one person is repulsed like they just stepped in gum when they see me.  I do NOT think there is any age limit to being a FANatic.  You're only as old as you feel.  I will be wearing my Sidney Crosby jersey with the 08 Stanley Cup patch until the last game I ever go to.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: October 25, 2008 8:40 am

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

If I am going to a baseball game I'm going to wear a jersey. If I'm sitting in my living room watching the game and need to go out for a food run I'm gonna wear my jersey. Hell wearing your jersey when your team is fighting for a championship might get you free food, a pass on a ticket, and who knows what other benefits. :)

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2008 6:04 am

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

You people must be high.

And lol at fan/team support = imasculating hero worship.

This article is stupid.

Since: Jun 30, 2008
Posted on: October 25, 2008 3:58 am

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

So..SirCheeks thinks it's okay for women to wear mens jersey regardless of age but Joe adds the long as their hot.....*sigh*
Nope, a simple misunderstanding. I said women should be held to the same standard of jersey wearing as men - aka the "30 rule". I should also mention my viewpoint is most likely skewed. I celebrated my 21st about 6 months ago, so I still have a ways to go before reaching that golden plateau...

There's nothing wrong with wearing anything you like - as long as you're comfortable with it. I personally see jersey-wearing as similar to watching cartoons or playing with trading cards. It's fine if you're into that, but there comes a certain age where it needs to stop.

No disrespect to those who do, but I've always considered wearing jerseys a tad juvenile.

Again, to each his or her own. I don't mean to pass judgment on anyone. Just putting my 2 cents into the conversation.

Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2008 10:16 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

So..SirCheeks thinks it's okay for women to wear mens jersey regardless of age but Joe adds the long as their hot.....*sighLOL... I knew that would get a comment. Don't worry, mom, you've got some time left. All I'm saying is that I don't want to see little, blue-haired grannies rolling around in their wheelchairs, rocking Ocho Cinco Jerseys. It's just weird...

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."

I don't want to hear, "This 3-4 defense is a freaking joke! They need to fire this guy and start throwing money at Bill Cowher." Can you imagine a nation full of football grannies? I won't have it! We have crush this trend now... This country's supply of deserts and pastries depends on it!

You may be able to bake apple crisp while watching the game, mom, but I assure you, the majority of grannies are not nearly as talented!

Now, as for why it's considered "hot" for women to wear men's uniforms... there's a pretty good question.

Glad I am not your Granny. When I reach that age, I will  be a cool one at that. Dude your Granny knows her stuff!

Learn to bake Joe! LOL

And why do men consider it "hot" for a woman to wear a men's jersey...???

Since: Oct 24, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2008 9:03 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

Wearing jerseys is fine, but please stop getting your own name on the back. I doubt anyone is going to go home to see if you really were part of the Lakers last year. I actually like the College Football jerseys the best with no name on the back just a number.

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