Friday, September 28, 2007

Replay Delay -- Men's Fashion

The guy was a few years to either side of 35, and was in the midst of the life-threatening activity of bicycling on Route 62 in Bedford through stalled rush hour traffic while talking on his cell phone. But that's not why I stared.

The cyclist's shirt caught the eye. He was wearing a Patriots' replica jersey, which would've been totally unremarkable if the thing hadn't carried the number 11.

A Drew Bledsoe jersey. In New England, in 2007. Here was someone who may not follow pro football too closely.

Or maybe he does follow the NFL too closely, much too closely. This wasn't just any Drew Bledsoe jersey. It was royal blue with red numbers, the uniform design the Patriots were forced to abandon after death threats from network television directors and announcers who couldn't identify the players from the numbers they couldn't make out on their monitors.

The Pats wore those jersies for just one season, Bledsoe's rookie season. That would be 1993. They went to white numerals on blue after that, with those weird nearly-invisible vertical stripes. So, of course, they stopped selling replica red-numbered jersies.

This raised the possibility the jersey was 15 years old, and was still going strong after the player who wore it had retired. If so, massive props to NFL Properties. Who's got a shirt that's 15 years old? Talk about durability. Brett Favre's a piker compared to streak of consecutive launderings.

There's another possibility, one that frankly terrifies me. That jersey might not have been old. It might've been brand new. Heaven help us all, what if the damn thing was a THROWBACK jersey, an item sold to honor football's past and bought as a display of insufferable hipness?

Time waits for no man, blah, blah, but really, there's got a limit. I am not prepared for the idea the 1990s are now "old school." What's next, another OJ trial?

Oh, yeah....


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