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The Big Ol' Counterfeit Jersey Thread


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So, I have a whole lotta jerseys. But, I wanted to show three here. One is authentic; one is fake; the other I'm not really sure given the price paid for it. I'm curious, just from these pictures, who can tell the difference...

th_2005NewEngland.jpg th_2002Cleveland.jpg th_2010Minnesota.jpg

From a distance, I think it's rather hard to tell. Get up close (or enlarge the photo) and the fake is obvious. Two of these jerseys cost $40, the other $85 (on sale). But, can you tell me which is which...?

Yeah the Pats is the biggest fake of them all. Someone mentioned about the tail on the Twins script, but the shirt looks folded over on that part, so might wanna re-examine that.

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This argument is ridiculous. It is like saying "if I don't have enough money, it is ok to counterfit money or rob a bank." It's not ok. Illegal is illegal and no one should be arguing the metits of the illegal things they are doing/producing/buying.

Playing devil's advocate, what law is being broken by customers who buy fake jerseys?

The act of producing and selling counterfeits is the illegal act here.

So customers are not breaking the law?

If you knowingly buy stolen goods, you are braking the law, as you are giving the thieves more incentive to keep stealing. I would believe that the same applies to stolen designs and trademarks.

DG is right, that there's not much that the league can do about it, so they should adjust their price structure to make it a harder decision for someone to buy a knock off (well, it's only $50 more for the real thing instead of $200 more, so...) however, it's pretty sad that members of a board flooded with pro graphic designers, some of which have sold designs to teams / leagues, would fail to see the problem with buying this crap. If you want to buy it, fine - you suck, but fine. Just don't come to a board and talk about how many illegally reproduced TMs you've purchased, when there's a chance that the designer of the logo / uniform is reading it. It's just not cool, IMO.

I respect your opinion and even agree with it to a point. What I find distressing, and this may or may not be you, but there are those who are self-righteous about this but think nothing of 'beating the system' in some other way that's to their benefit. That's why I posted earlier that we're all hypocrites to some degree. It just depends what it is.

For example, in another thread someone asked about what's called hidden-city airline ticketing, where a flight goes from City A through City B to City C, but the fare from A to C is lower than the fare from A to B. Why can't they just buy a ticket for the lower amount (from A to C) and get off at B? The airlines' view is that it's cheating, customer's think that's crazy and do it anyway. That's just not cool, IMO. :D

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So, I have a whole lotta jerseys. But, I wanted to show three here. One is authentic; one is fake; the other I'm not really sure given the price paid for it. I'm curious, just from these pictures, who can tell the difference...

th_2005NewEngland.jpg th_2002Cleveland.jpg th_2010Minnesota.jpg

From a distance, I think it's rather hard to tell. Get up close (or enlarge the photo) and the fake is obvious. Two of these jerseys cost $40, the other $85 (on sale). But, can you tell me which is which...?

Yeah the Pats is the biggest fake of them all. Someone mentioned about the tail on the Twins script, but the shirt looks folded over on that part, so might wanna re-examine that.

Huh.. well shows you what I know. The Twins one is fake. And, apparently the Patriots one is too, but I was never sure; the fact that it had actual patches that were sewn on and not a graphic that was actually "embroidered" onto the jersey made me optimistic (see what happens when you go shopping at yard sales). The Indians is authentic.

Thanks for playing...

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If you knowingly buy stolen goods, you are braking the law, as you are giving the thieves more incentive to keep stealing. I would believe that the same applies to stolen designs and trademarks.

DG is right, that there's not much that the league can do about it, so they should adjust their price structure to make it a harder decision for someone to buy a knock off (well, it's only $50 more for the real thing instead of $200 more, so...) however, it's pretty sad that members of a board flooded with pro graphic designers, some of which have sold designs to teams / leagues, would fail to see the problem with buying this crap. If you want to buy it, fine - you suck, but fine. Just don't come to a board and talk about how many illegally reproduced TMs you've purchased, when there's a chance that the designer of the logo / uniform is reading it. It's just not cool, IMO.

I respect your opinion and even agree with it to a point. What I find distressing, and this may or may not be you, but there are those who are self-righteous about this but think nothing of 'beating the system' in some other way that's to their benefit. That's why I posted earlier that we're all hypocrites to some degree. It just depends what it is.

For example, in another thread someone asked about what's called hidden-city airline ticketing, where a flight goes from City A through City B to City C, but the fare from A to C is lower than the fare from A to B. Why can't they just buy a ticket for the lower amount (from A to C) and get off at B? The airlines' view is that it's cheating, customer's think that's crazy and do it anyway. That's just not cool, IMO. :D

The argument that everyone is trying to beat the system is as valid as the argument that the products cost too much not to buy from copyright infringers. This particular analogy doesn't hold because the customer in this scenario is still giving money to the people legitimately providing the service.

My problem with people buying counterfeit merchandise is that it perpetuates the growing problem of affordability in sports. I think this problem is best highlighted by MLB radio. When I first moved from Seattle to Virginia, I was able to listen to games for free, because no one thought to charge someone for listening to out of area radio broadcasts. Then the MLB realized that there were plenty of douchebags willing to pay a monthly subscription fee for something that was readily available and free. Rather than complain, those of us that could simply found less convenient ways to get the same thing for free (or for much cheaper). Rather than lower subscription rates, the MLB raised them, and then squashed the internet feeds.

I see the same thing happening with the jerseys. A lot of us can't afford them. So we feel justified in buying cheap knockoffs. Then Reebok or whoever introduces space-age materials like the RBK Edge system or Cool Base or what-have-you, and people start producing and purchasing knockoffs. The leagues aren't doing anything about it. Yet. So it must be okay. But pretty soon, once the market is big enough to show a dependence, the leagues will crack down, and the people who are willing to buy counterfeit merch will be forced to buy from the leagues again, only this time at even higher prices than when they first rebelled.

The bottom line is - it's illegal (but you probably won't be prosecuted for buying it) it's unethical (but not any more-so than downloading mp3s or having your layover in your actual destination provided you find a way to get your luggage to arrive at the same destination), but moreover, it worsens the situation that created the market for the fakes in the first place. People who try to live and behave as ethically and morally as possible (we are actually the silent majority, despite public opinion) get further screwed in the process.

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If you knowingly buy stolen goods, you are braking the law, as you are giving the thieves more incentive to keep stealing. I would believe that the same applies to stolen designs and trademarks.

DG is right, that there's not much that the league can do about it, so they should adjust their price structure to make it a harder decision for someone to buy a knock off (well, it's only $50 more for the real thing instead of $200 more, so...) however, it's pretty sad that members of a board flooded with pro graphic designers, some of which have sold designs to teams / leagues, would fail to see the problem with buying this crap. If you want to buy it, fine - you suck, but fine. Just don't come to a board and talk about how many illegally reproduced TMs you've purchased, when there's a chance that the designer of the logo / uniform is reading it. It's just not cool, IMO.

I respect your opinion and even agree with it to a point. What I find distressing, and this may or may not be you, but there are those who are self-righteous about this but think nothing of 'beating the system' in some other way that's to their benefit. That's why I posted earlier that we're all hypocrites to some degree. It just depends what it is.

For example, in another thread someone asked about what's called hidden-city airline ticketing, where a flight goes from City A through City B to City C, but the fare from A to C is lower than the fare from A to B. Why can't they just buy a ticket for the lower amount (from A to C) and get off at B? The airlines' view is that it's cheating, customer's think that's crazy and do it anyway. That's just not cool, IMO. :D

The argument that everyone is trying to beat the system is as valid as the argument that the products cost too much not to buy from copyright infringers. 1) This particular analogy doesn't hold because the customer in this scenario is still giving money to the people legitimately providing the service.

2) My problem with people buying counterfeit merchandise is that it perpetuates the growing problem of affordability in sports. I think this problem is best highlighted by MLB radio. When I first moved from Seattle to Virginia, I was able to listen to games for free, because no one thought to charge someone for listening to out of area radio broadcasts. Then the MLB realized that there were plenty of douchebags willing to pay a monthly subscription fee for something that was readily available and free. Rather than complain, those of us that could simply found less convenient ways to get the same thing for free (or for much cheaper). Rather than lower subscription rates, the MLB raised them, and then squashed the internet feeds.

I see the same thing happening with the jerseys. A lot of us can't afford them. So we feel justified in buying cheap knockoffs. Then Reebok or whoever introduces space-age materials like the RBK Edge system or Cool Base or what-have-you, and people start producing and purchasing knockoffs. The leagues aren't doing anything about it. Yet. So it must be okay. But pretty soon, once the market is big enough to show a dependence, the leagues will crack down, and the people who are willing to buy counterfeit merch will be forced to buy from the leagues again, only this time at even higher prices than when they first rebelled.

The bottom line is - 3) it's illegal (but you probably won't be prosecuted for buying it) 4) it's unethical (but not any more-so than downloading mp3s or having your layover in your actual destination provided you find a way to get your luggage to arrive at the same destination), but moreover, it worsens the situation that created the market for the fakes in the first place. 5) People who try to live and behave as ethically and morally as possible (we are actually the silent majority, despite public opinion) get further screwed in the process.

1) I disagree. Who the money is paid to is irrelevant. If you went in Starbucks, would it be valid for you to order a $5 beverage, place $3 on the counter, and leave? Same thing with the airline situation. The fare from A to B is $100. If you only pay $75, it's wrong in the airline's point of view because you are not paying the price they have set for that 'product'.

2) Frankly, that whole thing doesn't make much sense to me but bottom line, no one will be "forced" to buy from the leagues. Even with no fakes available, people will always have the choice not to buy a jersey.

That fact contributes to my wishy-washy position on this. For many if not most who buy counterfeits, the alternative isn't an authentic, it's no jersey at all. So one way or another, the amount in Reebok's pocket is zero. That's a major difference between this and illegal music downloading IMO. Since a lawsuit has no merit if the plaintiff cannot prove damages, it's tough to imagine how an individual customer could be held liable.

3) People keep saying that but no one can seem to come up with the specific law being broken. If it's "illegal" it means some authority could show up and arrest a customer who has bought a counterfeit jersey. What authority is that, and under what law?

4) Unethical? There, we agree on something. But I'm conflicted on the whole thing because I see both sides. Is Reebok's markup "ethical" if what another poster is true and their cost is $9 to make replicas that retail for $80?

5) Tell us honestly, there's not one way you try and beat the system? Not one single way? Nothing? Sorry, not buying it. The fact everyone is a hypocrite in one way or another doesn't justify anything anyone does. My point is that we have a lot of the pot calling the kettle black going on here. You just said MLB squashed the internet feeds, does that mean you were going around their subscriptions?

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So, I have a whole lotta jerseys. But, I wanted to show three here. One is authentic; one is fake; the other I'm not really sure given the price paid for it. I'm curious, just from these pictures, who can tell the difference...

th_2005NewEngland.jpg th_2002Cleveland.jpg th_2010Minnesota.jpg

From a distance, I think it's rather hard to tell. Get up close (or enlarge the photo) and the fake is obvious. Two of these jerseys cost $40, the other $85 (on sale). But, can you tell me which is which...?

Yeah the Pats is the biggest fake of them all. Someone mentioned about the tail on the Twins script, but the shirt looks folded over on that part, so might wanna re-examine that.

Huh.. well shows you what I know. The Twins one is fake. And, apparently the Patriots one is too, but I was never sure; the fact that it had actual patches that were sewn on and not a graphic that was actually "embroidered" onto the jersey made me optimistic (see what happens when you go shopping at yard sales). The Indians is authentic.

Thanks for playing...

It was the faded and bubbled up 12 that gave it away on the Brady jersey.

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So, I have a whole lotta jerseys. But, I wanted to show three here. One is authentic; one is fake; the other I'm not really sure given the price paid for it. I'm curious, just from these pictures, who can tell the difference...

th_2005NewEngland.jpg th_2002Cleveland.jpg th_2010Minnesota.jpg

From a distance, I think it's rather hard to tell. Get up close (or enlarge the photo) and the fake is obvious. Two of these jerseys cost $40, the other $85 (on sale). But, can you tell me which is which...?

Yeah the Pats is the biggest fake of them all. Someone mentioned about the tail on the Twins script, but the shirt looks folded over on that part, so might wanna re-examine that.

Huh.. well shows you what I know. The Twins one is fake. And, apparently the Patriots one is too, but I was never sure; the fact that it had actual patches that were sewn on and not a graphic that was actually "embroidered" onto the jersey made me optimistic (see what happens when you go shopping at yard sales). The Indians is authentic.

Thanks for playing...

It was the faded and bubbled up 12 that gave it away on the Brady jersey.

Plus the thick stitching on it, and Ive seen that bad sleeve logo many a times.

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3) People keep saying that but no one can seem to come up with the specific law being broken. If it's "illegal" it means some authority could show up and arrest a customer who has bought a counterfeit jersey. What authority is that, and under what law?

If I may clarify something for both sides, the purchase of the jersey in and of itself is not illegal. But by doing so, you are contributing to an illegal industry. Counterfeiters require customers to continue what they are doing.

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3) People keep saying that but no one can seem to come up with the specific law being broken. If it's "illegal" it means some authority could show up and arrest a customer who has bought a counterfeit jersey. What authority is that, and under what law?

If I may clarify something for both sides, the purchase of the jersey in and of itself is not illegal. But by doing so, you are contributing to an illegal industry. Counterfeiters require customers to continue what they are doing.

What you say seems logical, but how does the word "knowingly" apply? For example, if I buy a stolen TV unknowingly, that may or may not be technically illegal, but I doubt I'd be prosecuted. However, if I say "where'd you get this" and the seller said "I burglarized some guy's house", then if I purchase it, it's definately illegal.

So if I knowingly purchase a counterfeit, is it illegal? I don't doubt that most people who purchase these things have no idea that they are counterfeit. All of these horrible looking Twins jerseys I see, well, most people don't really notice what's wrong with them. We on this board sort of have the "burden" of "getting it" when it comes to the details of jerseys.

I suppose the "good" is not "stolen", so if I knowingly purchase a knock-off I may not be guilty of a crime. But either way, I'd be at least an indirect contributor to an illegal industry. If it's not a crime, I guess it's up to the individual purchaser's moral code.

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The point made by Whaleslax and BringBacktheVet are the most important. I don't care how much money you make, how much disposable income you have, whether the jersey looks good or not, whether someone (uniform nerds or not) can pick it apart, NOTHING changes the fact that you are supporting something ILLEGAL.

It's not anyone's God-given right to own an authentic jersey or a jersey that looks close enough to the real thing. I'll admit, I'm a big kid at heart and I'm an avid jersey collector. It's just my thing. I would never buy a knock off jersey and I look down upon everyone and anyone that does. The companies who manufactors these fakes are ripping off someone else's IP. I don't care if you buy an Albert Pujols jersey chain-stitched by a direct descendent of Jack Buck, if it's not licensed, it's not right.

Enough strides have been made in replica jerseys that if you don't have the budget to buy an authentic, you can still wear a licensed product that looks very close to the real thing. And if you can't afford that either, then maybe you should spend your money on something else other than a sports jersey. Like Whaleslax said, you wouldn't counterfeit money just because, "hey, looks good enough! Plus why bother making any on my own!" So why do it to someone else's hard work?

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1) I disagree. Who the money is paid to is irrelevant. If you went in Starbucks, would it be valid for you to order a $5 beverage, place $3 on the counter, and leave? Same thing with the airline situation. The fare from A to B is $100. If you only pay $75, it's wrong in the airline's point of view because you are not paying the price they have set for that 'product'.

2) Frankly, that whole thing doesn't make much sense to me but bottom line, no one will be "forced" to buy from the leagues. Even with no fakes available, people will always have the choice not to buy a jersey.

That fact contributes to my wishy-washy position on this. For many if not most who buy counterfeits, the alternative isn't an authentic, it's no jersey at all. So one way or another, the amount in Reebok's pocket is zero. That's a major difference between this and illegal music downloading IMO. Since a lawsuit has no merit if the plaintiff cannot prove damages, it's tough to imagine how an individual customer could be held liable.

3) People keep saying that but no one can seem to come up with the specific law being broken. If it's "illegal" it means some authority could show up and arrest a customer who has bought a counterfeit jersey. What authority is that, and under what law?

4) Unethical? There, we agree on something. But I'm conflicted on the whole thing because I see both sides. Is Reebok's markup "ethical" if what another poster is true and their cost is $9 to make replicas that retail for $80?

5) Tell us honestly, there's not one way you try and beat the system? Not one single way? Nothing? Sorry, not buying it. The fact everyone is a hypocrite in one way or another doesn't justify anything anyone does. My point is that we have a lot of the pot calling the kettle black going on here. You just said MLB squashed the internet feeds, does that mean you were going around their subscriptions?

1) I wasn't saying the airline situation wasn't also unethical. It is. However, it seems to me to be fundamentally different from the situation of the counterfeit jerseys because it involves a third party infringing on the intellectual property of the first party. My point in making the distinction is that (to use your starbucks analogy) someone else has just put down a dollar for a five dollar drink and sold it to the guy behind him in line for three dollars. The person making the purchase didn't rip off starbucks, but he did give the guy ahead of him more incentive to continue ripping off starbucks.

2) Yes, people will always have the choice not to buy a jersey at all. My argument is that the league will likely wait until there are enough people buying counterfeits to show that there is a captive market before they do anything about it, thus ensuring doing so will be profitable. They don't want to make the same mistakes the RIAA did.

3) There have been a few arrests made, most of them dealing with counterfeit fashion merchandise, I believe, where actual consumers have been charged.

4) Of course Reebok is unethical in what they charge for their jerseys. The whole RBK Edge system (and cool base, and under armour, and whatever other "space-age" materials are being used) is just an excuse to charge a lot more for jerseys. Furthermore, Reebok has (in my opinion) used the whole counterfeit mess to justify lowering the quality of the replica jerseys. But I have no control over whether or not Reebok is behaving ethically. I only have the power to control my own ethics.

5) I try to beat the system every chance I get. I have my own lines, and choose not to cross them. I went through a period where I downloaded music in my twenties, using a lot of the same justifications I've read in this thread. I can't believe that was ten years ago. After a while, I started to see through my own justifications, and realized that I'd crossed one of my own lines. So I stopped. As for the internet feeds for the MLB games, I was just going to Kiro 710's website, then that went down. There were other mirror sites, but they went down the next day. I'm sure if I would have pushed the issue, I could have found a way around it, but it wasn't worth crossing my personal line.

As time goes on, there are fewer and fewer instances where I am even tempted to cross the lines that I set up for myself. And most of my friends live by similar moral codes. So I assume most people are ethical. I wasn't this way in my twenties, and neither were most of my friends. My closest friend, for example, is out of work, and his wife had twins a year ago. He is an eletrician, and he could get work "under the table," but he chooses not to (even though we all tell him he's insane not to) because it's unethical, and if the laws were ever enforced, he could jeopardize his license and his union standing. So yes, there are people who refuse to resort to what they view to be unethical to beat the system. I wish I had always been that person, but really it's been in the last ten years. To clarify, I don't feel I have any moral authority to judge people who behave differently than I choose to. That is why I was trying to make a pragmatic argument, rather than a strictly moral or ethical one, that is, what are the long term consequences of this action, what are the likely responses the leagues are going to make, etc.

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So, I have a whole lotta jerseys. But, I wanted to show three here. One is authentic; one is fake; the other I'm not really sure given the price paid for it. I'm curious, just from these pictures, who can tell the difference...

th_2005NewEngland.jpg th_2002Cleveland.jpg th_2010Minnesota.jpg

From a distance, I think it's rather hard to tell. Get up close (or enlarge the photo) and the fake is obvious. Two of these jerseys cost $40, the other $85 (on sale). But, can you tell me which is which...?

Yeah the Pats is the biggest fake of them all. Someone mentioned about the tail on the Twins script, but the shirt looks folded over on that part, so might wanna re-examine that.

Huh.. well shows you what I know. The Twins one is fake. And, apparently the Patriots one is too, but I was never sure; the fact that it had actual patches that were sewn on and not a graphic that was actually "embroidered" onto the jersey made me optimistic (see what happens when you go shopping at yard sales). The Indians is authentic.

Thanks for playing...

It was the faded and bubbled up 12 that gave it away on the Brady jersey.

Plus the thick stitching on it, and Ive seen that bad sleeve logo many a times.

I figured it out from the silver/navy mix up on the collar. And the fact that the Indians jersey was from the Russell days helped identify it as legit.

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I have a Penguins jersey from the Mellon Arena official team store whose crest is bubbling. Idk if that's from so much use and washing, or if there's something wrong with it. But, bubbling should not be your only indicator.

I'm really surprised that nobody's played devil's advocate here and said something to the effect of "the American founding fathers were committing illegal acts when they declared independence." Could there be a positive aspect, one of protest perhaps, to the illegality angle?

again, this is coming from an avid jersey collector who spots fakes all the time, and to my knowledge, has no fakes. I'm just trying to see all sides, and so far, nobody has challenged those who have been touting the illegality argument

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I have a Penguins jersey from the Mellon Arena official team store whose crest is bubbling. Idk if that's from so much use and washing, or if there's something wrong with it. But, bubbling should not be your only indicator.

I'm really surprised that nobody's played devil's advocate here and said something to the effect of "the American founding fathers were committing illegal acts when they declared independence." Could there be a positive aspect, one of protest perhaps, to the illegality angle?

again, this is coming from an avid jersey collector who spots fakes all the time, and to my knowledge, has no fakes. I'm just trying to see all sides, and so far, nobody has challenged those who have been touting the illegality argument

No taxation without representation and the quest for liberty does not equate to I want a cheaper jersey.

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I have a Penguins jersey from the Mellon Arena official team store whose crest is bubbling. Idk if that's from so much use and washing, or if there's something wrong with it. But, bubbling should not be your only indicator.

I'm really surprised that nobody's played devil's advocate here and said something to the effect of "the American founding fathers were committing illegal acts when they declared independence." Could there be a positive aspect, one of protest perhaps, to the illegality angle?

again, this is coming from an avid jersey collector who spots fakes all the time, and to my knowledge, has no fakes. I'm just trying to see all sides, and so far, nobody has challenged those who have been touting the illegality argument

I'm not sure I equate the loft Enlightenment-inspired ideals of America's Founding Fathers with the Chinese counterfeiter's desire to make a quick buck on other peoples' trademarks and fan ignorance.

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I have a Penguins jersey from the Mellon Arena official team store whose crest is bubbling. Idk if that's from so much use and washing, or if there's something wrong with it. But, bubbling should not be your only indicator.

I'm really surprised that nobody's played devil's advocate here and said something to the effect of "the American founding fathers were committing illegal acts when they declared independence." Could there be a positive aspect, one of protest perhaps, to the illegality angle?

again, this is coming from an avid jersey collector who spots fakes all the time, and to my knowledge, has no fakes. I'm just trying to see all sides, and so far, nobody has challenged those who have been touting the illegality argument

I'm not sure I equate the loft Enlightenment-inspired ideals of America's Founding Fathers with the Chinese counterfeiter's desire to make a quick buck on other peoples' trademarks and fan ignorance.

I wouldn't equate those two, but I would say they are pretty similar situations.

I mean when it comes down to it, they are generating profit and success for themselves by exploiting masses of people, and doing so illegally.

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Anyone notice this beauty?

DSC06795.JPG

I must admit, though, that I have bought a couple soccer jerseys from less than reputable sources. All my baseball jerseys are (to my knowledge) authentic, but I have much more experience with them, so I know how to spot a fake one. Soccer jerseys I know a lot less about, plus they are harder to find in the US for decent prices, so that is why I went that route.

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