Remember the good old days? It’s mid-September, 2009- The Jets are 3-0 with new rookie quarterback Marc Sanchez, and you are just about to head over to the Niketown on 57th street to trade away your navy blue “Shockey Knows Best” bumper sticker and join the old J-E-T-S bandwagon, buying yourself a mustard green vintage jersey of number six himself. What at the time felt like a decade-long investment of always have something to wear to Jason’s DirectTV Sunday football parties is now- seven years; two super bowls and a couple butt fumbles later, looking like a visual representation of Rex Ryan disappointment on a jersey you can only stand to look at when you need something to wear to the gym. Well, it just so turns out that you are not alone. A recent survey conducted by Paterson Middle School’s sixth grade class in Clifton, New Jersey discovered that out of the two thousand and twenty-five middle-aged men surveyed, 60% wear their Mark Sanchez jersey to the gym when they are looking for something to wear- making it the most popular sports jersey to perspire in at the gym. Coming at a close second on the list is once popular Catholic quarterback turned baseball star, Tim Tebow, and throwback Yao Ming Rockets jerseys stood strong, evening out the top of the list at third. The full comprehensive survey results are listed below:
- Lebron James Miami Heat Jersey
We get it, you aren’t going to win five championships, you aren’t going to win six championships- you’re going to win two, wait for Kyrie to show some potential, and then leave all the devoted Miami gringos you’ve called fans to return to Cleveland. A lot of people were on the Lebron train when he was leading South Beach to glory, but now that he’s back to being a part of Cleveland proper, that jersey isn’t much more than a literal heat absorbing tee to wear at your local YMCA pick-up game.
- Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins Jersey
The expensive, draft pick sacrificing, number two pick in the 2012 NFL draft was expected by all NFL fans to become to next face of the Redskins franchise. However, fate (and a couple large defensive tackles) thought differently. The frail, stick-shaped Griffin suffered seven injuries in five seasons and soon moved away from face of the franchise, to the face that shows up to collects his 21 million dollars after holding a clipboard all season. The hype for RGII was so high that his jerseys sold faster than his current limping 40 yard dash time. But no one wants to be seen in a jersey of a player more broken than your living room drywall after your son tried to re-create his favorite scene from Kung Fu Panda 2 — and that’s why he make number 8 on the list of most popular jerseys to wear to the gym.
- Daffy Duck Tune Squad Jersey
The year 1996 was filled with an array of wild events: Marlon Brando made fun of the Jews, Nicholas Cage won an Academy Award, and Michael Jordon showed us that all it takes to beat an alien race with the basketball powers of Charles Barkley is just a little teamwork, and a lot of believing (that you can fly, of course). While the talented Jordan was the star of the show for the film, fans found themselves gravitating to co-star Daffy Duck as their favorite player, and Daffy Duck Tune Squad Jerseys jumped off the shelves in seconds. After wearing the jersey twice at a couple Halloween parties, however, people found it less fun repping their favorite cartoon star around town, and jerseys began to collect dust in closets everywhere.
- Michael Vick Atlanta Falcons Jersey
Every fan of football in the early 2000s has got one. Michael Vick, the most versatile quarterback in the NFL had been tearing up the league- running and passing into the end zone from every direction, and bringing cornrows back in style in the process. That is until Vick was convicted and sentenced to jail for the cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs he was fighting with his childhood friends. Those ballsy enough to do so continue to rock the ruff rider’s throwback jersey. Other less confident types keep it sitting in back of their closet, slowly scheming its way to get back on the cover of Madden 2004.
- Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks Jersey
What at first was a fun shirt to wear ironically into the office Monday mornings for a couple chuckles, quickly became less funny and more culturally ambiguous faster than you can say, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined”. A couple skittle involved pranks, followed by long talks with HR left you stuck leaving the jersey at home, and only taking it back out on your Sunday elliptical days.
- Kevin Durant Oklahoma Thunder Jersey
“Kevin Durant is the best”, “He’s so much more humble than Lebron”, “KD will never leave OKC. He’s going to lead them to so many championships”… Are all probably things that you have once spat out of your mouth to defend purchasing your swingman OKC Kevin Durant jersey back in 2010. Now a few years later, KD has since moved on to the Golden State Warriors, and you are probably a bandwagon Lebron fan at this point anyway. KD’s Thunder teammates may not appreciate the lanky forward’s prowess, but that won’t stop you from wearing it to your local Gold’s Gym for leg day.
- Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers Jersey
It’s 2013, Jason down the street is showing off his brand new 60 inch plasma screen by inviting everyone over to his place for a Super Bowl party, and you need a relevant way to prove to him that you do watch football and know what’s going on- so you buy yourself a jersey of none other than the captain Kaep himself. The game was great and you made friends with Jason (until you ran over his dog a couple years later), but now it’s 2016, the 49er haven’t been good since their Super Bowl run, and you’re stuck with the jersey of America’s most hated football player. So instead of having to always defend your purchase when you wear it out to family get together, just save it for your trip to the gym and sweat it up with your hard work on the triceps extension- it’s the American way.
- Yao Ming Houston Rocket’s Jersey
The seven-foot-six Chinese wonder wall was number 11 on our jerseys, and number one in our hearts. While his NBA career was cut short by multiple leg injuries and having to take maternity leave to tend to Tracy McGrady, Yao fans continue to share their pride through this inability to name anyone who currently plays for the Houston Rockets, and by wearing their sweatshop sewn jerseys of the Ming Dynasty to the track for sprints.
- Tim Tebow Denver Broncos Jersey
The slut shaming, Jesus praying Tebow took the NFL by storm when he took the 2011 Denver Broncos to the AFC Divisional Playoffs only to lose to satin himself, Bill Belichick. An extreme off the field persona and inability to laugh at any of John Elway’s jokes found him without a job, and with only his faith left to keep him going—as if there was ever a time where relying on his faith didn’t keep him going. Jersey owners will keep sporting their Tebow tees to pick up flag football games with the co-workers, as well as Sunday mass congregations until good ol’ number 15 becomes the angel in the outfield Christopher Lloyd has been looking for since the early 90’s.
- Mark Sanchez New York Jets Jersey
Graduate of one of college football’s most historically prominent offensive powerhouses, six-foot-two quarterback frame with a brazen smile and playboy flair and forever embedded in our minds as the dumbass who did the butt fumble—these traits can only describe Mark Sanchez, one of the NFL’s most loved, turned hated, turned extremely indifferently viewed players of all time. While Sanchez’s time in New York is over, his legacy will live on through everlasting Vine style loops of his Thanksgiving flop, his love for racially intolerant cheesesteak restaurants and the countless number of jerseys people bought of him for those two seasons he was, like, sorta decent.