The Un-Jersey Rankings: What Is an Athlete Worth?
First of all, I don't really know who's more valuable to the DFW Metroplex. I know you can debate value including stats, position, team, popularity, and marketing.
I ask you to consider another factor today: How much would you care if a player signed with another team or was traded or released by your favorite team? What would you still pay for that now "un-jersey?"
I'm not talking about hanging on to the jersey of a player that you owned previously because those have memories and significance to you already. And I'm not talking about a player who is now retired: Emmitt Smith is still a Cowboy, so I'm hanging on to the jersey.
My "epiphany" happened when I had about 96 straight hours of "what are the Rangers going to do with Michael Young" coverage over two days. If he gets traded, can I afford to buy my all-time favorite Ranger's un-jersey at half-off?
Would I get it for 60 or even 70 percent off? After I thought about it that night, I decided I don't care if it's 10 percent off, I've got to buy a Michael Young Ranger's jersey before they go out of existence (in the event of a separation).
On the other hand, how much would Terrell Owen's un-jersey have to be discounted to compel me to spend money. You know what, at 100 percent off and free shipping, I would at least have to consider it, but nothing less than that.
I can't speak for other teams because something like this is truly subjective, but I'll at least take a few shots. So, here are my Un-Jersey Rankings.
Least Valuable: Terrell Owens
Top Value: 100 percent off, with free shipping and home delivery
I'm not sure I would even accept the package from UPS if TO's jersey showed up at my house completely free. This has nothing to do with ability, in Bill Parcell's words, "I don't know the player very well."
Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson would be in the running, but I think I'm going to deny their existence like an insurance company not wanting to pay in insurance claim.
Most Valuable: Jason Witten
Top Value: 20 percent off
Witten is tough (the catch and run with no helmet versus Philadelphia in 2007), professional, and a great member of the community. On a team filled with solid citizens, Cowboy fans probably have the most attachment to Witten. Marion Barber III, DeMarcus Ware, and Bradie James would be close in this category also.
Around the NFL
Most Valuable: Ben Rothliesberger, Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning
Least Valuable: Erick Dampier
Top Value: 90 percent off
Not that I dislike Damp that much, I just have so little attachment to him. He cost the Mavericks way too much and has delivered so little. He is the Ana Lucia (from LOST) of the Mavericks.
However, if I considered sweatshirts, this "CUBAN, 2012" shirt would have rivaled TO as the least desirable team clothing in the Metroplex.
Most Valuable: Dirk Nowitzki
Top Value: 20 Percent off
Dirk is easily the best player in franchise history and its most recognizable face. His 3 point play against San Antonio in 2006 is the seminal play in franchise history. I had to devalue Dirk's un-jersey since my current favorite is my green Nowitzki jersey, otherwise he would've moved to at least 15 percent.
Around the NBA
Most Valuable: Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, LeBron James
Least Valuable: Vicente Padilla
Top Value: 80 percent off
Padilla has had two decent years in the Ballpark, but his unwillingness to pitch through minor injuries and fatigue wears me out. Also, he's just another hired gun in the rotation, when I want to see a home-grown star on the mound. Kevin Millwood is saved by his community work, and the Scorpion Tales keep C.J. Wilson out of the cellar here.
Most Valuable: Michael Young
Top Value: 10 percent off
Michael Young is my all-time favorite Ranger. He's great in the community, he plays everyday, and he's been very productive. I played second base in high school, so I have a soft spot for middle infielders as well. If Dampier is Ana Lucia, then Young is Hurley, the ultimate fan favorite.
If he goes, I won't wait to buy his jersey, and then wear it every time his new team comes to town.
Around MLB: Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Chipper Jones
Feel free to add any to the list of Best/Worst Value Un-Jersey Players and thanks for reading.
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