When It Comes To Purchasing NFL Jerseys, Buyer Beware

Aaron LiebmanAnalyst IDecember 6, 2008

While attending a New York Giants game, I couldn't help but notice all of the jerseys being worn of players that not only aren't on the team anymore, but for the most part wouldn't be able to show their faces at Giants Stadium anymore. There were numerous Jeremy Shockey jerseys, along with Tiki Barbers. 

For Giants fans, I do not need to explain the reasons behind that. Although they once might have been toasts of the town, and in Tiki's case the face of the franchise and believed by some as the best running back in team history, their future actions rendered any shirt with their name on it obsolete.

In fact during that game, a clip of one of Tiki Barber's games was shown on the jumbotron and the fans booed so loud I thought a picture of a Cowboy or Eagle player was on display.

With Plaxico Burress' recent suspension, it seems that his jersey will also become useless (maybe Jeff Feagles could get his old number back). There have been many other players whose jerseys seemed to be everywhere, but after a messy split, were downgraded to car washing rags.

I remember all of the No. 19 Keyshawn Johnson jerseys worn by Jets fans from 1996-1999. Johnson was then traded to Tampa Bay, and ridiculed his former team.  There were Johnson Tampa Bay jerseys circulated until he ridiculed the team when he was still on it and released.

There was a whirlwind surrounding the arrival of Terrell Owens in Philadelphia. It seemed those jerseys were everywhere. But just over a year later, anyone wearing it would be considered a traitor.

The hottest selling jersey this summer was Brett Favre's Jets jersey. But let's face it: How many seasons does he really have left in him?  Joe Montana left the 49ers for the Chiefs, but only played two season.

Unless Favre is able to bring a Vince Lombardi trophy back to the Garden State, wearing it becomes pointless. Furthermore, those who have Favre Packers jerseys, and although they could be used as wardrobe for over a decade, are now just as worthless as a lunch date with O.J. Simpson.

So, if you want to buy an NFL jersey, make sure you check the player's contract.  I myself have just stuck with personalized jerseys and those of retired players whose legacy is preserved. The only thing that would affect those jerseys is off the field activity, such as committing double murder in California.

But that's another story.