Gaze around Miller Park during any given game and you're bound to see at least a few strange (primarily German) last names and unfamiliar digits not belonging to any current Brewer each shoddily attached to replica jerseys. This abomination of thread and fabric somehow manages to be simultaneously tacky and overpriced. It does the work of both highlighting a team's super fans as well as immediately revoking the credibility of said team's entire fan base by association. In short, they must be stopped.
The only acceptable reason for someone to wear a personalized jersey is if that person is a professional baseball player and the personalized jersey they're wearing was team issued and has his name on it. That's it. Period. I can't conjure anything more pathetic for a fan to do than to purchase and wear a piece of clothing custom made to suggest they are part of their favorite team. And this is coming with a guy who's willingly posting fashion-related Brewers content on a blog for no pay.
Every time I have the misfortune of seeing a personalized jersey, I am left stunned, disappointed in all of humanity, and pondering how this sad specter came to materialize in my line of sight.
I wonder things like, "Why would a woman with the last name 'Waussermann' wish to advertise her shitty, consecutive consonant-laden last name for 40,000 strangers to see?" (It's even worse if it's a first name only or both first and last). "What's the significance of number 72? Was that the year she graduated from high school? Was it the price of the jersey? Maybe there was a deal on sevens and twos, but she didn't want people to think it was a Brady Clark jersey by going with 27."
Next thing you know, three innings have passed, my pregame buzz has subsided and any shred of ambition to finally pork someone in a 400 level single occupancy bathroom has evaporated--all because of the distracting and stupid personalized jersey.
Yes, I realize that not all personalized jersey owners join this exclusive guild of terrible humans by choice. It's very possible you were given this gaudy piece of... let's get wild and call it "clothing" as a gift from a friend, co-worker or a loved one. Make that former friend, penisface you used to work with at that place you burned to the ground, and ex-loved one/current enemy. While, sure, you had no role in the purchase of the jersey, what unfolds thereafter because it was purchased is all up to you.
Some things to consider doing if given a personalized jersey include:
• Avert your gaze, refuse to touch it or acknowledge it is being given to you. If you can't see it, touch it, or recognize the figure trying to give it to you, it didn't happen.
• Immediately sever all ties with the person who bought you it. If they deserved your love, they would know how fucking stupid personalized jerseys are. Think of it as helping them not screw up their next marriage.
• Fake your own death on the way to attend a game in which you'd be pressured to wear it.
• Follow through with own death on the way to attend a game in which you'd be pressured to wear it.
• Strike the person who gave it to you. Unless it's a woman... unless you're Chris Brown because apparently that's acceptable and your career will still thrive in spite of it. Anyway, as I was saying about personalized jerseys... Chris Brown is the worst.
• Begin an aggressive weight gain or weigh loss effort so you won't fit into the jersey anymore. You might die in the process, but that's good too. There are no personalized jerseys in heaven, hell nor the infinite nothingness of what likely awaits you when your heart stops.
• Hide the jersey away. Meanwhile, train a relative with your same last name to become a professional caliber ballplayer. Become his agent. Encourage him to only accept a deal with the Brewers and to wear the same random ass number on the jersey your wife bought you. If it all works out right, you can wear the now-current and de-personailzed jersey. Plus you get, like, a 10 percent cut of his contract. Nice!
• Undo all the stitching and reorganize the letters and numbers to become something lighthearted. A few pricks of the needle and VOILA! -- a number 18 "SMITH" jersey is a kind of funny (but more importantly not personal) underlined infinity symbol "M SHIT" jersey. Stupid and nonsensical? Yep. But 18 SMITH wasn't too great either.
Some things not to consider doing if given a personalized jersey include:
• Wear it.
It doesn't matter who you are, how you got it or the reasoning behind the name and numeral selected, nobody should ever wear a jersey that has been tailored to his or her specifications. Nobody should ever wear a personalized jersey.