So the last post started a firestorm over what is acceptable behavior, music, and dress on gameday. Most of it is really up to your preference, but one thing that stuck out to me is this whole jersey debate. In my opinion, unless you are a child or a direct relative of the player on the field, wearing a jersey is a definite no-go.
Please do not misunderstand me, I appreciate everything the boys have done on the Flats and in the AMC. I will be with them through bad times and good. This issue is not about supporting the team - wearing a jersey brings up two huge issues for me. First, jerseys are sportswear, not even casual clothing. From here it is just a very short hop before we start to show up for games like our neighbor to the northeast and you know what that means: sweatpants, body paint, and velcro sneakers.
Secondly, and probably more importantly, wearing a jersey makes a statement about your own feelings of self-worth. It is essentially saying that you would prefer the athlete's life over your own. Just for the record, no matter how much you like to see them play, you are not and never will be Eric Henderson, Calvin Johnson, or P.J. Daniels. If you are going to pull a "Talented Mr. Ripley" with our gridiron heros, why not go all the way? Why shortchange the collapse of your self esteem when you can very easily make a fake ID and start picking up chicks a bars as Chris Reis? Why not go all the way and apply for a few credit cards as Damarius Bilbo? It would at least make your double life as George Godsey more real. I know that whenever I see Reggie Ball in the airport looking closer to 42 than 22, weighing in at about 300 pounds, and scarfing chili dogs like the apocalypse is upon us, I am always confused. He looks much more in shape on the field. Those compression shorts work wonders.
Fans, no matter how much these guys appreciate our support, most of them will never even know who we are. Do you think Tashard Choice would ever show up during your shift at Spencer's Gifts wearing your namebadge just because he likes the store? Even if deep down he wanted you to be employee of the month, the answer is probably no. And that is okay. You have a great job, and a nice life. More than likely, there is someone out there who would trade places with you in a heartbeat. Does that mean they should give up their identity for yours rather than making it work on their own? There are people who do this, and the majority of them are in jail. Why should this behavior be acceptable for athletes? It takes a degree of self esteem to root for Tech, and you should be proud enough of who you are and what you've accomplished not to have to pretend to be someone you are not. So the next time an athlete gives you his autograph, show your self pride and go ahead and hand him yours.
Thanks to Dr. Z for getting me so fired up about this issue and for helping with the post. -yb