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FanHouse in the Stands: NFL Game Attire: What Not To Wear

Sep 3, 2008 – 3:00 PM
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Stephanie Stradley

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This season, FanHouse writers will be taking their cameras around the NFL snapping photos of what people are wearing to tailgates and games. We've cleverly titled it "FanHouse in the Stands." Today, as a public service, I will be discussing what the average fan wears to rep their NFL team and writing down some of the unwritten rules of sports attire fandom. My photo essay blacks out their faces as I am a closet fan of Glamour Magazine's "Fashion Do's and Don'ts."

Don't Wear Unrelated Team Jerseys to Sporting Events.

These fans clearly spent some jack to purchase jerseys of two very good NFL quarterbacks. Neither of those quarterbacks were playing in the Tampa Bay-Texans preseason game however. If you wear those jerseys to a game where those quarterbacks are not playing, you are telling the world, "I am a braying donkey, please abuse me."

The only exception to this is the entertaining guy I saw wearing an Eagles jersey to a Texans-Cowboys game in Houston as his way of rooting against Dallas.

Pink Jerseys Are Rarely Acceptable.

Instead of Reebok designing women's jerseys that are fashionable and fit well, they decided to make them pink. Obviously a decision made by guys. Isn't the point of wearing a jersey to show you are representing your team and a particular player? There are no pink NFL teams, and if there were, I bet they'd have a hard time attracting free agents.

Jessica Simpson infamously wore a pink Tony Romo jersey to an NFL game, and I think the only time it is acceptable for a real fan to wear them is if you are clowning the opposing quarterback and his famous girlfriend. Look at that picture -- that's funny, I don't care who you are. The beer gut gets a +1.

Don't Wear Jerseys of Players Who Never Took a Snap For Your Team.

You would think that this rule would go without saying. But there are some cheap bastidges who continue to wear Texans Tony Boselli jerseys even though his name best reflects the jinx that has plagued the Texans left tackle position. I guess it reflects that you have been a fan from the beginning of the franchise, and I suppose it is marginally better than wearing a David Carr jersey.

Still it is not recommended, as choosing between a Boselli and Carr jersey to represent your team is like choosing between wearing a dunce cap or a red clown nose and big floppy shoes. You'd be better off wearing a cheap team t-shirt than wearing those jerseys.

Don't Wear Non-Fan Attire, Especially Clothes That Make You Look Like You Took a Dump In Your Pants.

I saw this guy in the line at the stadium getting a Prince's Hamburger. I have no idea what he is rooting for. The need for better belt technology? Celibacy? The downfall of America? Making people vomit?

There are only eight regular season games. An NFL game is an event so you should dress like it is one. If you are a fan, most people can find at least similar colors to their team in their closets.

Team t-shirts or jerseys are fine attire. Guys who are rooting for a particular team but want to suggest in their attire that they are too cool to even wear their team colors deserve to end up on this website. (not terribly safe for work).

Jersey Recycling Is Good for the Environment.

Okay, let's say you spent some coin on a jersey, and well, the player ends up being one of the worst quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. (Insert obligatory Mittens link here).

Burning the jersey is environmentally unfriendly. You can choose to use your jersey as a bitter way to dry off your car or something, but better yet, you can fix it and still support your team.

Tape is a low tech way of fixing an old jersey, while at the same time saying that you aren't quite comfortable enough with the health of the new quarterback to spend any more money on team attire.

Custom Jerseys? A Fashion Do or Don't?

I know some people think custom jerseys are goofy but I completely understand them. Players get hurt, they get in trouble with the law, they sometimes get jerseys before they have done anything, or they become free agents. You get a custom jersey with your name on it or your favorite beverage, and you aren't going to end up with an expensive jersey you won't wear any more.

From Jamie Mottram at Mr. Irrelevent, here's a link to a guy who got a custom Washington Redskins Barack Obama jersey. That one might come back to haunt him. Even if he is a supporter now, it has been my experience that no matter who gets elected President, they always end up doing something that makes me unhappy with them, at least unhappy enough not to want to wear their name on a jersey.

Are Custom Player Jerseys Really a Jinx?

This guy isn't just a Mario Williams fan. He is enough of a fan to get a custom "Super Mario" jersey.

I very much appreciate the sort of support that this shows for a player, but I wonder if it is a bit of a jinx. This is only Williams' third year in the league. You go out an buy a Super Mario jersey, and then maybe you get him seriously injured. Yeah, he plays a violent game, but you don't want to be the real guy who got him hurt.

Yeah, I know jinxes are absurd, but don't tell me you don't believe in any sports jinxes, even a little bit.

I'm guessing the Eagles fan who made a custom Romo jersey but changing one letter wasn't thinking of jinxes at all.

In 2008, Nobody Should Be Rocking a Mark Chmura Jersey as Their Work Attire Or Any Attire, For That Matter.


Here's a stealth pic that Matt Campbell from DGDB&D took of a random guy in Arkansas wearing a Mark Chmura jersey. (a little naughty language in that link). I understand with the exit of Brett Favre #4 that Packer fans may have some decisions to make about their choice of attire, but I'm pretty certain the Chmura option is a fashion nope.

I don't have strong views of whether people should wear jerseys as a part of their regular attire. You know, not related to going to games or a sports bar or something. I know some guys believe that violates the unwritten man style guide. I'll leave that up to you.

In any event, I am sure I've left a few rules out. Feel free to add your own. We at FanHouse believe that if we point out the good, the bad, and the really unfortunate in NFL fan attire, that maybe we can encourage more responsible fan representation and fewer things that make our eyes bleed. Nah, it's not likely, but we can dream, can't we?
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