The Jersey Blog Week 22

Sorry for being a day late on the blog! Sometimes life gets in the way of the keyboard life. Week 22 of the Khris Middleton of blogs. If you want in, 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

Fifth Place
Elton Brand Thrift Store LA Clippers

This was a weak submission. Simply put. A closer examination shows pilled fabric, loose thread and cigarette burns that you’ll typically find from a thrift shop fake jersey. But hey, these jerseys are perfect for getting rowdy without any care or worry of spillage or damage.

The early 2000’s Clippers were TOUGH to watch. Elton Brand, Corey Maggette and Chris Kaman are a few of the only solid players to suit up for LA’s second team. Bad basketball, forgettable branding and one of the worst owners in sports. Truly a depressing time for Clippers basketball. People forget that Brand walked so Lob City and the Kawhi-era could run.

The Squad Before Lob City: 2001-2002 Los Angeles Clippers – Los Angeles  Sports Nation

Fourth Place
Drew Bledsoe Buffalo Bills

The Wally Pipp of the NFL. Bledsoe was QB 1 for a solid Patriots squad and two games into a 10 year $103 million contract before getting injured against the Jets.

The rest is history.

For as much as he get’s residual embarrassment for being “the guy before Brady”, Bledsoe was legitimately a solid quarterback in his own right. He was a four-time Pro Bowler, 1994 passing leader and is credited for helping to turn around a helpless Patriots organization to lay the foundation for the six-time Super Bowl winning dynasty.

Bledsoe made a 2002 Pro Bowl team with the Bills, and these early 2000’s black Reebok Bills jerseys are so bad that, over time, they’ve come back around and have almost become a bit of a nostalgia trip.

The Podium

Bronze Medal Jersey (Tie)
Two Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers Home Jerseys

The fact that I got two of these jerseys in the same week dings it a bit because there’s evidently a lack of creativity.

That being said, I’ve always liked the look of the Green Bay Packers jerseys. No other sports franchise really uses the forest green/yellow/white combo (save for the CFL’s Edmonton Elk) and its just a simple, timeless look that still plays. When you think of classic NFL jerseys, the Packers are right up there with the Cowboys, Vikings, Giants, 49ers, Raiders and Steelers for awesome looks that can transport you across eras. When it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it.

As for the name on the back of the jersey, I do have to say that I’m kind of an Aaron Rodgers guy. Look, I get that at a moments notice he can go from a surly hot-head, to a painted on gameshow host smile, followed by a “life is a beach” Lebowski-esque carefree vagabond that he’s currently portraying on his Instagram. But at the end of the day, he is the most talented quarterback that I’ve ever watched (at least before Mahomes burst on the scene). The fact that he only has one ring speaks more to being anchored to Mike McCarthy–essentially a janitor role-playing as an NFL play-caller–for 13 seasons than it does as an indictment of Rodgers as a “winning” quarterback.

The current situation in Green Bay looks bleak. If Rodgers is successful in forcing the Packers to trade him, it must be kind of depressing to be a Green Bay fan. Imagine if I told you in 1991 that Green Bay would trade for Brett Favre–arguably a top ten QB of all-time who would go on to play for almost twenty season–then replace him with another all-time top 10 QB. The follow up question would be, “30 years with a dominant QB? How many Super Bowls did we win?” The fact that the answer is, “only two” is borderline criminal.

Silver Medal Jersey
Troy Tulowitzki Colorado Rockies

I almost gave this jersey the first-place nod. I’m a big pinstripes guy and Tulo was one of my favourite non-Blue Jays in the 2000’s and early 2010’s (at least before Toronto traded for him and he stopped hitting like an MVP candidate). Here’s a quick power ranking of my favourite current pinstripes jerseys in baseball:

  1. Padres (both of their pinstripe jerseys slap)
  2. Cubs
  3. Phillies
  4. Mets
  5. Yankees (Cry Yankees fans)
  6. Brewers
  7. White Sox
  8. Rockies
  9. Twins

(Honourable mention to the defunct 2000’s Reds, Marlins and Diamondbacks pinstripes)

As for Tulo, the guy has a case for best shortstop in baseball for close to a decade of baseball. From 2007-2014 he had a .300/.375/.524 slash line with 175 home runs, three top 10 MVP finishes and two Gold Glove awards. He was a fun guy to watch and I wish that he wasn’t so banged up and kind of washed when the Jays traded for him. He was still an upgrade over Jose Reyes and luckily Jeff Hoffman and Miguel Castro didn’t really pan out after we traded them.

Jersey of the Week
Shaquille O’Neal Orlando Magic

I flip-flopped on this jersey. On one hand Shaq is one of the most dominant big men of all-time and in the conversation for most recognize-able celebrities on the planet. On the other hand, when it comes to the Orlando Magic’s jerseys, if there isn’t pinstripes then I’m usually not interested. But this was kind of a weak week for jerseys so you just can’t go wrong with the big Aristotle.

Lakers Shaq was an unstoppable tank, that posterized his way to three straight rings. Late-career Shaq was fat and goofy and could turn-back the clock for short bursts. But Orlando Magic era Shaq was something that the league was not ready for. The guy was 7’1″, completely shredded and ran the court and jumped in a way that a man hovering around 300 pounds just shouldn’t be able to do. While Jordan may be the GOAT, there should be a separate argument for superstars who changed how the game was played. Steph had people debating on moving the three point line backwards. Shaq had people debating on whether they should raise the height of the rim.

Jersey of the Week Standings

Jersey News Round-Up

These are kind of nice! Too bad the Diamondbacks are awful.

Again, I’m not a soccer guy. But these look cool to me. I like when teams try out different looks (as long as it’s not my team (and as long as it’s not a LA Rams situation where they scrap good jerseys for no good reason)).

Former Devil Rays catcher Toby Hall after he threw a baseball to my dad during BP at the Skydome.

This guy’s a hero.

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