SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

What's the Justification for a $110 Game Jersey

I was at my local Dick's Sportings Goods store the other day, and my kids pointed out to me that an Eagles' jersey cost $110. That's right, for this princely sum, you too can get an Brian Westbrook or Donovan McNabb jersey -- the same as those guys wear in a game.

I asked the cashier whether these items were popular, as follows: "Do these jerseys really sell?"

"Oh, yes," she replied. "We sell a lot of them."

And my question is "Why?"

Yes, I buy t-shirts that support my favorite teams, but at a far less tag price than $110. I bought my kids them as gifts, and, yes, we did get my son a Ryan Howard jersey as his main birthday present 3 years ago (big then, it still fits, and it cost far less than $110). So, with that as disclosure, I ask the question again, "Why?"

Is this something each and every Eagles' fan thinks he should have? Can't you go to a game wearing a green sweatshirt, a green coat, something that doesn't even cost the poundage that it does when you purchase a garment with a logo on it? And if that fan does think he has to have that shirt, what other expenditures is he foregoing to make that purchase? And, is this his only game jersey, or does he (or she, for that matter), have others?

I just don't get it and feel happy enough that I don't feel compelled to buy that jersey. But I think that many out there not only think it's a good idea, they think it's a necessity, not a luxury.

And perhaps, as a societal matter, therein lies a problem as to consumer spending and how we prioritize what's important from what's nice.

Sorry to be a grump about an excellent team and it's merchandise sales, but that $110 jersey has stuck in my craw for a while.

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