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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Category: MLB

Since: Aug 17, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2008 7:54 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

Why should we care what Jay Z think any way. He is just another person who has a lot and is trying to sale you some thing like maybe his album. What amount of money did he spend in my house None. And being the person that I am I'm not going to fit in the little box the world try to put me in.

So just because you or jay z say it looks wrong or dumb that's you but most fans don't really care.

And it's looks better at a game than-------- a suit an tie.

Go Fans In Jerseys!! 

Since: Aug 17, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2008 7:32 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

Hey I'm a woman who wears my Jersey even on weekdays if I feel like it, My money, My jersey, If I feel like it I will sleep in it.

I'm 45 and I'm going to wear jerseys when I get even older so to answer the question What age to stop wearing jerseys? Never.

Why should I, Folks still ride around with # 3 on their cars, That's like saying I need to take my team plate off my car.

We are proud to show our team logos on every thing.

Go San Francisco 49ers!!

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2008 7:19 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

term limits......age limits!!!!! i'm the 1st 1 to make fun of someone wearing a jersey.....i'm the one that yell out the guys name on the jersey as the person walks by! i also own 2! does this mean i have to throw away my concert/band tees???? i still have my 1978 TED NUGENT "intesities in 10 cities" shirt...noway i can ever get in it again! or my JOE WALSH "i like big t*ts" i go by the old addage.....age is a number! wear what u want!!! if 60 yr old ladies can wear spandex....guys can wear a jersey! ewww i just grossed myself out!!

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2008 5:24 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.

Since: Oct 23, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2008 4:53 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

Hey it's all about when you wear yours.  I am 30 (apparently at the cut off according to this article) however I wear my jersey one place, that's the game.  I have a Jets jersey with my last name on the back because 1 it's my name and 2 I don't want some thugs name on my back.  Also I see people buy players jerseys all the time, only to have that player traded the next year.  <o:p></o:p>

When I am fortunate enough to get to a game (2 - 3 times a year) I think it is appropriate at any age as a fan.  Now the retards that wear that stuff to the store, to a bar or to just hang out (no matter what age) need to get some sense of fashion.  Don't even get me started on the backward jersey thing.<o:p></o:p>

"Over the brooks brother", hey don't knock it.  We all don't get to work from home in our P.J.'s.  I work in NYC and have to wear business attire.  If I get the company Rangers tix's, I am certainly not going to spend 2 hrs going back to NJ to change, then back to the city just so I can wear my rangers shirt over a t-shit as opposed to a button down.<o:p></o:p>

Later -<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>


Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2008 4:34 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.....*sigh*

Oh heck with it, I'm almost 50 (oh god did I say that) and no longer hot but I'm wearing my jersey's anyway.  I have one of Bettis hanging in my closet that will no longer be worn, now I have one with Roethlisberger's name and number and I wear it every Sunday when I watch the game. 

There's a possibility that I'll be asked to be buried in a Steelers jersey, so I can't put an age on when to stop. 

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2008 3:20 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

I am 40 and have 4 Vikings jersey I wear. I dont care about the age, I just hate 2 things about jersey wearers:

1. Never tuck in a jersey, it just looks wrong.

2. I have all my jerseys with players names on them, I hate when people get their own names on them.

I dont see a jersey any differently as a concert tee.

Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2008 2:58 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

Giants fan here.  I've got my Strahan Jersey and Manning Jersey.  I'm 28 and I don't see myself getting rid of them or not wearing them in two years.  I think if you are concerned about showing admiration for another man, then you are thinking about it WAAAAY to hard and not a fan.  Now you don't have to get a jersey to be a fan, but I say wear 'em proud!!

Since: Oct 10, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2008 2:42 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

All you old people ever complain about is wanting to feel young again, and then when you try, you think of ways to outlaw whatever it is you did.  I say let teh old people feel like young whipper-snappers.  Go ahead, put on the ol' Walter Payton jersey or Gordie Howe or whatever reminds you of when you were with it.  But I do agree, if you wear a basketball jersey, PLEASE put on an undershirt, cuz remember there are children present. 

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2008 1:26 pm

Weekend Debate: What age to stop wearing jerseys?

The "30-rule" seems like a good guideline. I think Sircheeks nailed this one just about perfectly, though.

The reason men should not don the jersey's of other men is because it shows a level of admiration which is construed as reflecting insecurity and to a certain extent, weakness. By wearing a jersey, one is essentially saying they want to possess the qualities that make the jersey owner so special. As a grown man, one would hope you would have the confidence necessary to establish yourself in the world - rather then spending your time and money worshiping another that has already achieved that desired success.One way I like to look at it is like this: You should never wear a jersey for a player that is younger than you are. In most instances, that will weed out jerseys by a man's mid-30s. This does, however, leave jersey freaks the option to wear throwbacks. I have no problem with a 50-year-old man wearing a Babe Ruth or Jim Brown jersey. Personally, I think I'll probably be opting for a classy team polo and a ball cap by that point, but to each his own.

I think there are also exceptions if a player has done something truly worth that level of admiration. For instance, I think a Pat Tillman jersey would always be acceptable for any age of fan.

As far as women wearing jerseys go... It's hot as long as you are.

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