There are multiple types of sport fans, especially when it comes to collecting jerseys. You’ve got what I’d call Collectors, Casuals, and Saps.
The Collector does just that and has many motives. It could be a quest to collect a jersey for every stadium they’ve attended or collecting every variation of one team’s jersey. Either way, Collectors drop some serious cash on kits.
The Casual though may only pick up a jersey after attending a couple of matches. This only happens once they’ve made the careful (and excellent) decision to start going to more matches and where to place their loyalty. A Casual has the potential to become a Collector, and possibly even the Sap.
In fact, that brings us to the Sap. That would be me, Mane Landers. I have an emotional attachment to every jersey I own, and I don’t just go out and buy the new one because it’s available. The jerseys I’ve gathered over the years mean something to me. I’ll probably never be able to part with them, just like how I can’t leave a single fork alone in the dishwasher.
My first was the 2015 Orlando City kit. I attended my first match during the 2017 season and had nothing to wear. I don’t think I even wore a purple shirt, it was more of a fuchsia. So when I decided we would attend more games, I let my husband talk me into visiting the World of Soccer store at the Florida Mall. As someone who was just starting to find interest in the sport, I wasn’t about to spend $80 on the current kit. I happened to find an authentic 2015 jersey on the sales rack for $15. It felt like it was meant to be as it was the only one left and my size. I wore that thing to every home match, every away match, and for every “Team Up Against” spirit day at school.
My second soccer jersey was an Orlando City one as well. I’ve literally never won a drawing, sweepstakes, or contest before. I retweeted VfL Wolfsburg for a chance to win a Dom Dwyer 2017 kit and, much to my surprise, I won! That kit runs small and I was never able to wear it, but my older sister got to wear it to her first OCSC game and that means something to me.
The following season, my story of a newfound love for the sport and the team landed me a “Face of City” spot for the 2018 season. We were invited to a special event where we were gifted the “Bring the Noise” replica kit with a free customization voucher. I traded for the authentic because I loved the curved hemline at the bottom and had “J GLASH” put on the back, because I’d get too hurt to have a player’s name on it only for them to leave. It’s my favorite jersey in both comfort and style. It’s loose, long, fitting, and just looks nice paired with anything. It snagged almost instantly and despite washing on cold and hanging to dry, the name and number customization have since peeled completely off. Still I wear this one even when I’m just lounging around the house.
My fourth and most recent jersey was a complete surprise. My husband and I have only recently started to exchange gifts for the holidays. We set a budget, and everything has to be carefully selected with no gift cards or phoning it in. Much to both of our surprise, we gifted each other jerseys. I got him the latest Liverpool kit he wasn’t expecting, mostly because I kept saying, “You don’t even wear any of the jerseys you have, I’m not wasting almost half the budget on another one!”
He got me the United States Women’s National Team “4-Star” kit. It’s the only women’s cut I own, because it doesn’t have a dramatic, plunging neckline. It was so thoughtful, and as he explained trying to figure out what size to order I cried. Why did I cry? Because I’m a Sap!
Which are you? The Collector, the Casual, or the Sap? Do you have a jersey that holds a special place in your heart? Let us know about it in the comments.