joekono

I miss "Authentic jerseys"

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 If my memory is still intact (doubt it), we have had this "lighter jersey material makes you super fast" thing around for about 10 years now. It also progressed to making the athletes more comfortable i.e. cooler on hot days. Now that this is the norm, I miss the days of buying an authentic jersey and it "feeling" authentic. We all could remember our first one I'm sure and when you made the jump to being able to buy authentic, you would continue buying authentic depending on our bank accounts(and wives). I miss picking up a Mets authentic jersey and it that heavy, tough,well made material with solid logos and patches. Now, we get cool base that actually can get runs in it like stockings if you walk into the corner of a kitchen table. Basketball jerseys I never understood the whole thinner jersey thing(don't they play indoors?).I saw the Laker jersey from last week rip completely down a player's back. Football, I miss those heavy mesh jerseys and it didn't matter if the number were sewn on or screened on. They were solid. That's right, the screen printing WAS THICK AND TOUGH. Finally, it brings me to the numbskulls who started this mess. The 2007 Reebok NHL takeover. Holy S%^t. "Hey let's take off the horizontal stripe on the bottom and their sure to skate fast". Probably the heaviest jersey in the league are the Blackhawks(3 cups),Bruins(1 cup), Kings(2 cups but thanks for taking the stripe off at home and hide it at the bottom) Penguins(Hey they even won last year by going back to the old days).Now I will say, they are starting to put the horizontal stripes back on but ya still have the Sharks,Coyotes,Senators and fix the Kings. Sorry I got off on a tangent but I miss those days of a pretty good replica and that really expensive Authentic that you would save up for and you got what you paid for.

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The needs/uses of the athlete and the fan are fundamentally different. I'm not sure the companies selling to us do a good job recognizing that.

 

I do think this is something that Nike did a good job with when they rolled out their NFL fan jerseys. But in football, there's really no choice but to recognize that a fan jersey can't be the same as a player jersey. Literally no one wants to see fans in the real thing. I think with basketball and baseball fan jerseys the ideal would be some medium ground between light enough to feel comfortable, and sturdy enough to take being worn by us doughy, drunk, fools in the stands who don't have an equipment staff who can get us a new jersey when this one gets nicked up a little.

 

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I think we can point to the Nike takeover of the NFL. When they came in they created three levels of "authentic" jerseys. For example, I just bought the $135 Ohio State jersey specifically because it has the "Vapor unstoppable" cut. What it doesn't have however is the mesh pattern that allows air to circulate through like the true game day jerseys do. It does have tackle twill numbers and rubberized Ohio State logo on the neck and the Buckeyes nameplate on the back. 

 

I also still have the World League/NFL Europe jerseys for London, Frankfurt (1995 reboot) and Rhein Fire (FabKnit 1998-?) They still look as good to go as the day they were issued to the player that wore them. The reason I went with the authentics is that the NFL put no effort into even making jerseys for the first two years of the league, and when they made replicas starting in 1995 they were all missing large parts of the design.

 

As far as baseball, I actually enjoy the Cool Base jerseys, but then again I live in Texas so thinner is better. 

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I see your point, but the needs of the athletes and the needs of the fan have diverged significantly. I have a pretty large collection of authentic jerseys, but my newest one is from about 2011. I stopped buying them.

 

Athletes want lighter, quick-drying materials and fits that do not hinder performance.

 

Fans want durable, long-lasting jerseys.

 

When something is marketed as "the same jersey the players wear" (whether that's true or not), you're getting something at least closer to an on-field product, and it just happens to be something that's less in tune with what most fans want. If a player gets a snag or run in his jersey, he only has to play the remainder of the game in it - or in some cases, switch it out. If a fan gets a snag or run in their jersey, they've ruined a $300 purchase. The Venn diagram of player jersey wants/needs vs. fan jersey wants/needs is overlapping less and less by the year.

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7 minutes ago, sc49erfan15 said:

I see your point, but the needs of the athletes and the needs of the fan have diverged significantly. I have a pretty large collection of authentic jerseys, but my newest one is from about 2011. I stopped buying them.

 

Athletes want lighter, quick-drying materials and fits that do not hinder performance.

 

Fans want durable, long-lasting jerseys.

 

When something is marketed as "the same jersey the players wear" (whether that's true or not), you're getting something at least closer to an on-field product, and it just happens to be something that's less in tune with what most fans want. If a player gets a snag or run in his jersey, he only has to play the remainder of the game in it - or in some cases, switch it out. If a fan gets a snag or run in their jersey, they've ruined a $300 purchase. The Venn diagram of player jersey wants/needs vs. fan jersey wants/needs is overlapping less and less by the year.

I think this is why some people have switched to buying "game used" or "game damaged" uniforms. If the shirt has mustard stains from Jeff's Super Bowl party, you're just a slob. If it has grass stains from Soldier Field or the Orange Bowl, it's pretty fricking sweet! That's why I like when colleges put up older uniforms for sale. You have to be sure to go up a couple sizes but that's part of the deal.

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You have to admit that the tech and material needed to keep the jersey high quality comfortable and light is costly.  It's not the same as just making a thinner cheaper jersey.  I think the biggest quality issue with jerseys these days is when there are sewn on/tackle twill numbers. They tend to fray much more quickly than they used to. 

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Still have my Tim Duncan Nike version 1.0 uniform and wear it proud.  The thicker jerseys are always the best looking.  When Adidas kept the thicker Dri-Fit jerseys from Nike up until 2010, they were sweetest and probably the best era of basketball jerseys.  Too bad Adidas dropped the bomb beginning in 2010-11 season with their Rev 30 slimmer version, and now other apparel companies like Nike have decided to follow suit.  I know athletes want it so they look quicker, faster, and absorb less sweat, but that does not make the customers that buy those jerseys any happier.  I doubt I will buy a basketball jersey again unless they go back to the old roots.  Too bad athletes are getting pampered these days.

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I do miss the days of the 1980s/90s when authentic jerseys for retail were made of the same materials of the on-field ones. I'm talking about when Rawlings, Russell Athletic, Champion Athletic supplied uniforms in those days.

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I’m not sure that NFL Authentics were ever authentic.  The ones I saw in stores in Wisconsin in the 90s weren’t the same as those tailored by Ripon. 

 

True Authentics were a special item - in 2001, the Packers wore a 1939 throwback jersey, and the club had Ripon make a bunch of extras so the pro shop could sell them.   But when they wore a 1963 throwback in 2003, they only sold Adidas’s replicas at retail, not Authentics.  

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34 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

I’m not sure that NFL Authentics were ever authentic.  The ones I saw in stores in Wisconsin in the 90s weren’t the same as those tailored by Ripon. 

 

True Authentics were a special item - in 2001, the Packers wore a 1939 throwback jersey, and the club had Ripon make a bunch of extras so the pro shop could sell them.   But when they wore a 1963 throwback in 2003, they only sold Adidas’s replicas at retail, not Authentics.  

 

I have an authentic Raiders jersey with my name on it from the Reebok era. It's definitely not what the Raiders actually wore on the field. A Reebok authentic was just a high quality replica at best.

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On 10/15/2017 at 3:34 PM, Old School Fool said:

 

I have an authentic Raiders jersey with my name on it from the Reebok era. It's definitely not what the Raiders actually wore on the field. A Reebok authentic was just a high quality replica at best.

I have a Chargers one. Everything is stitched, including the stripes and the Chargers wordmark, but it’s definitely not what was worn on the field. It’s still top quality though.

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Hopefully Mitchell & Ness can reproduce some more good products...the Koufax jersey I have is pretty high quality.

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Yeah, M& N were great in the 90's, had a bit of a dry spell but the last 6 jerseys I have bought from them have been high quality. I just bought the Falcons Deion Sanders  and the numbers are SCREENED on like they are suppose to be and they are nice and solid. I'm sure this jersey would have slowed Deion down in his playing days.:lol:

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On 10/15/2017 at 6:02 PM, Gothamite said:

I’m not sure that NFL Authentics were ever authentic.  The ones I saw in stores in Wisconsin in the 90s weren’t the same as those tailored by Ripon. 

 

True Authentics were a special item - in 2001, the Packers wore a 1939 throwback jersey, and the club had Ripon make a bunch of extras so the pro shop could sell them.   But when they wore a 1963 throwback in 2003, they only sold Adidas’s replicas at retail, not Authentics.  

 

They weren't.

 

Hold an NFL gamer from the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s against a retail "authentic" and you will spot the differences easily. I don't have as much experience with NBA, MLB, or NHL gamers vs. authentics, but there are differences there as well. The term "authentic" has always been a marketing tool.

 

Jerseys and materials have, and will continue to, evolve. I'm a big fan of late 1990s-early 2000s authentic jerseys as well, but asking for players to return to those materials just because it's more in-tune with what you* want to wear is like asking for baseball or hockey players to start wearing wool again. It's not happening.

*the royal "you" directed at participants in this thread, not you in particular, Gothamite.

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