The Jersey Blog Week 20
Honestly I just got really busy so this blog is coming off of the presses a day late. I’m 20 weeks in and people are wondering if I’m going to call it quits on this blog series like Lebron in the fourth quarter. If you want in on the blog, be sure to DM pictures of your favourite jersey to one of the Bench Life Social accounts every Wednesday night.
Jersey of the Week Submissions
Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots
Gronk is probably the best tight end of all-time. Some might make the case for Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzalez–and who knows maybe they’re right–but I don’t feel like doing the deep-dive to see if there’s a case so I’ll just default to Gronk. The guy was an incredible receiving threat. Massive enough to tower over defensive backs, athletic enough to get separation on most linebackers and soft-hands to make plays in tight windows. Throw in the fact that he was an elite blocker and you start to understand why he was the ultimate cheat code for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.
This jersey gets the five spot because I think that the navy Patriots jerseys with grey and red trim are kind of ugly. The white jerseys from the same era are much cleaner. Since Gronk is a first all-team party guy I thought about giving him a bit of a bump… but ultimately held off. Anyways here’s a video of him skating with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
I couldn’t in good faith put this jersey higher than fourth after my brother’s Seattle Durant got fourth in a much tougher Week 1 blog. The Golden State version of the Slim Reaper is one of the weirdest stretches of storyline that a basketball player has had. In OKC the homegrown duo of KD and Russ seemed like such a dynamic, up-and-coming force of basketball that seemed more of a question of “how many rings?” would they end up with and not “will they win a ring?” Cue a 3-1 Western Conference Finals lead blown to the 73-win Warriors in 2016, an exhaustion with the ball-dominant style of his sidekick Westbrook and an appetite to play in a bigger market than Oklahoma. All factors led to the shocking free agent signing of Durant to the already-loaded Golden State Warriors.
Prior to the signing Durant was every Lebron-hater’s/contrarian’s answer to “who is the best player in the NBA?” The guy was seven-foot tall with a killer jumper and the handles and footwork of an elite shooting guard. There has never been anyone like him and, prior to the Warriors, he was a universally beloved player. The minute he made that front-running (and cowardly (as some might say)) decision to team up with Steph, Klay, Draymond and Iggy, he became basketballs biggest villain.
The guy went out and somehow got even more efficient, leading the Warriors to two rings and winning two Finals MVPs. Yet his image has never really bounced back. Instead of anybody marvelling at the incredible accomplishments he made on the court, Durant was met with the overwhelming consensus of, “well duh, he was supposed to do that.” Durant is a weird cat but I think that there is still a decent appreciation for the jersey of one of the most unguardable basketball players of all-time. I’m not the biggest fans of the Warriors jerseys but they’re solid and inoffensive.
Bronze Medal Jersey
Honestly, three through five of this week’s rankings were nice, but nothing too special.They were all kind of interchangeable. This Lowry jersey is kind of run-of-the-mill, especially in southern Ontario. But this era of Raptors jerseys–the first few years the NBA switched to NIKE but not the absurd throw-it-in-a-blender ever season that we get now–was one of the Raptors cleanest regular jerseys they’ve had.
Back in Week 12 of the blog I’ve already waxed poetic about Kyle: the man, the fighter, the virtuoso . There’s not much to say that hasn’t been said. So here’s a few videos:
Khalil Mack Oakland Raiders
While simple, the Oakland (Vegas now I guess) Raiders jerseys are one of the coolest looks in all of football. The black and white with the silver trim are just menacing. The fact that Raiders have consistently kept the Al Davis era look is a testament to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra that I wish other teams would take in the jersey department. While the Raiders have been mediocre for a while, their jersey exude a brand of smash mouth football that Jon Gruden has been trying desperately to bring back.
Speaking of smash mouth football, Kahlil Mack is an absolute tank. Mack has been one of the hardest hitting defensive ends (or outside linebacker? The guy is kind of positionless seeing as in 2015 he was the first player in NFL history to be selected first-team All-Pro at two different positions (DE and OLB) in the same season) in the NFL for close to a decade. He seemed like the perfect Raider… until a contract hold-out resulted in a trade to the Bears.
Jersey of the Week
Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers
And what isn’t there to be said about Jackie Robinson that hasn’t already been said. The guy was a pioneer, contributor to the civil rights movement of the mid-1900s and just a flat-out amazing baseball player. Also, whether in Brooklyn or Los Angeles, the Dodgers have one of the best sets of uniforms in the MLB. This jersey was just a major lay-up for Jersey of the Week this round.
Jersey of the Week Standings
No movement at all in the standings. As commissioner of the Jersey Blog League, I might need to do a better job to promote parity on a week-to-week basis.