Each year I buy one Hornets' jersey, normally because I've either lost my old one, the team's colors have changed so much that I'm hardly recognizable as a Hornets fan anymore, or the previous jersey just won't stop smelling like beer, liquor, and vomit.
In this case, I headed over to the Hornets' team shop to essentially replace my two-year-old beer soaked Chris Paul jersey. Figuring enough people wear a Paul jersey, I was looking for something new.
It was my intention to purchase a Darren Collison or Marcus Thornton jersey since they need some support and nobody else I know has one. The group that sits around me all wear different stuff, so to come back with the same thing as someone else would show a serious lack of originality.
Upon searching the relatively small store for a few minutes, it became clear that the rookies had no jerseys on display. I asked the manager and she told me they have never had any. Odd, I thought as I continued my search for something original.
Finally I made a new decision. Emeka Okafor's creole blue home jersey. I've been a fan of his since he signed a hat for my girlfriend to give to me a while back. Solidifying my decision was the lack of Okafor jerseys anywhere near my seat.
Unfortunately the manager alerted me that they also didn't have any home jerseys for Okafor.
A few minutes later I ask about Darius Songaila in either color. Again I was told they have nothing.
At this point I am growing concerned. I own a Paul, David West, and Julian Wright jersey already, so those are all out. I refuse to buy a James Posey or Peja Stojaković uniform.
Drunk, confused, and becoming irate, I manage to ask the manager "Why can't I find a single jersey I want, at the arena of my favorite team?"
Her answer is one of uncertainty. She can't seem to fathom that anyone would want anything besides a CP3, West, or Peja jersey.
I curse under my breath and continue my search.
Aisles of Chris Paul Jerseys in every available color (even Saints colors), and not a single rookie. The Mardi Gras jerseys are awesome, but Chris Paul has enough fans as it is. Someone else would appreciate my support more, given the sheer number of fans CP3 has.
Twenty minutes after my arrival, I settle on a white Okafor Jersey. It's not what I wanted, but I came to the game accidentally wearing red, planning on buying a jersey. I was at the point of no return, and decided anything was better than being mistaken for a lowly Rockets fan.
What I am curious about is why the Hornets' team store has so few options available? Is it like this everywhere or was the manager at New Orleans Arena drunk when she decided what to order? If that's the case, I totally understand.
If not, I want an explanation for why the team can't order a few jerseys for each player in both home and away. It's not that much to ask considering all they do is sell Hornets apparel.