Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Matter of Identity

The first jersey I ever purchased was a Randy Moss jersey. Like everyone else, I got swept up in the excitement of the 1998 season andwanted to show my Purple Pride. Despite my relative youth, I still knew that it was one of the most important decisions that a fan could make. I didn't want to buy a dud jersey and be stuck with a backup, or even worse, someone left after the season (You really don't want to be the guy with the outdated jersey). Not only that, as everyone knows, the name and number on your jersey says a lot about you as a fan. Many writers, most much better wordsmiths than I, have expounded on the topic, so I won't go into it here, but even at the tender age of 15, I knew that whether I bought a Randall Cunningham or a Randy Moss jersey would have ramifications for me as a fan. Luckily I managed to clear my hormone addled mind and made the right choice, purchasing a purple #84, which I wore proudly until the "Straight Cash, Homey" incident led to his trade.

So now, after a period of mourning, I'm finally ready to move on and don a new jersey (a white one this time). But I need help. I can't decide who's name and number I want to be sporting when I head into Fed Ex Field for my first Vikings game since the Randy trade. I've narrowed it down to eight candidates, so make sure you vote early and often.


Your Name Here
  1. Steve Hutchinson, #76: Hutchinson plays left guard, just like I did in high school. Of course, he's actually the proper size for the position, but that's not the point. The point is he's a beast, and one of the best guards in the NFL. He's also going to be around for awhile, since he just signed a this offseason. One problem is that I don't have a beer gut, and thus would likely be the skinniest person to be sporting his jersey.
  2. Tarvaris Jackson, #7: Tarvaris has looked like the quarterback of the future so far this preaseason. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that he's only played two preseason games as a backup, was widely considered a massive reach in the second round out of 1-AA Alabama St. and he's only played two preseason games. Then again, being the first on the bandwagon might be worth the risk, and the payoff could be the same as if I'd bought a Daunte jersey during his rookie year.
  3. Antoine Winfield, #26: Last year Antoine was one of the best defenders on the Vikes, and he's continued his solid play so far this preseason. He's a fundamentally sound cover corner, a great tackler and a leader both on and off the field. He should be around for awhile too, since he's relatively young and signed for 5 more years.
  4. Troy Williamson, #82: Randy's replacement hasn't yet lived up to his predecessor, but after Koren Robinson's alcohol problems, he's the best receiver the Vikings have. Sadly, that doesn't mean anything anymore.
  5. Kenechi Udeze, #95: "The Boy" has had some injuries problems in his short career, but when he's on the field, he's been a stud. He's fast as all hell too, and I like my defensive ends fast.
  6. Chris Kluwe, #5: If Mitch Berger taught me anything, it's that punters are P-I-M-P-S. Not surprisingly either, since they have the best job in the world, raking in six digits at a position where there's almost no pressure, and where there's also no contact. And Kluwe has a massive leg too. His offseason injury hasn't seemed to hamper him, so he's likely to return to form as one of the better punters in the NFL.
  7. Fred Smoot, #21: Smoot was signed last offseason to be the secondary's savior. He wasn't, but if he can put his offseason problems, he could return to lockdown corner status. Oh, who am I kidding. He's on the list because he pulled double duty on the boat, which was just damn impressive in my opinion.
  8. Bryant McKinnie, #74: Not only is he one of the best left tackles in the game, and a franchise cornerstone, he's also a giver.

21 comments:

Big Daddy Drew said...

Smoot. And it should be a reversible jersey.

drrew said...

I really think the only way to go these days is with the classic jersey. Roll with Alan Page or Fran Tarkenton, or Cris Carter, or maybe DJ Dozier!

The potential to end up with a jersey of a guy who dicked over your team (a la Hutch in Seattle) is too high a risk to take.

TBird41 said...

The reason I'm not considering a throwback is because the only guy who has one that I actually rooted for is Carter, and I've never really liked him that much. So I'm going with a current player--and all of the ones listed should be on the Vikings for a few years. That's why I'm not considering players like Brad Johnson or Darren Sharper. If they leave and dick over the team, I'll just have to move on. I just hope that it's not for a few years.

Anonymous said...

No choice but good Ol Smoot...toss in the reversability or one of those half and half jerseys and you'll be golden.

flvikesfan said...

What about Matt Birk?

TBird41 said...

I thought about Birk, but there's just something about him that keeps me from considering him as a candidate. Part of it is because I'm not sure how'll long he'll be around, part of it is his spots on Matt Morris' radio shows (just an awful morning show) and part of it is that despite how good he is, he's never really been one of my favorites.

The Last Unitard said...

I think Williamson will turn out to be a good one, but 82 is about the ugliest damned number I can think of. 19 was much better.

It's irritating to me that this is the first Vikings team I can remember with no obvious big-time star.

I'd say Jackson is your best bet. A risk, yes, but indications point to him cultivating some truly measty skills in the near future.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found this blog. I am going through the same dilemma and was going to get a Tavaris Jackson jersey. Figured that would give a me a few years of use.

Anonymous said...

Just get a #21 jersey with Captain on the back for the name. While players come and go, your jersey will always be timeless.

TBird41 said...

I think Williamson will turn out to be a good one, but 82 is about the ugliest damned number I can think of. 19 was much better.
I couldn't agree more about 82. I'm partial to WR's with numbers in the teens, but 82 is just too clunky.

I'd say Jackson is your best bet. A risk, yes, but indications point to him cultivating some truly measty skills in the near future.

I am so glad I found this blog. I am going through the same dilemma and was going to get a Tavaris Jackson jersey. Figured that would give a me a few years of use.


I'm so excited about Jackson's performances I'm worried that I'm making a mistake due to a small sample size. I wish I had the whole preseason to decide, but I need to have a jersey by the opener. That being said, I really think Tavaris is going to be good player

TBird41 said...

I'm not surprised that Smoot is getting so much love, but I have to say that I am surprised that his love boat partner Bryant Mckinnie isn't garnering much support, even though he was willing to put himself in harms way. I guess two really is better than one.

Anonymous said...

#54 and make it Orange and Navy Blue.

Awesome Inc. said...

Actually the Vikings suck balls. You shouldn't purchase any of their merchandise.

Nate said...

Great post, I had the same dillemma before settling on Wiggins, with Smoot coming in second. Just a reference point

TBird41 said...

#54 and make it Orange and Navy Blue.

I'd rather not own something associated with a person that touched Paris Hilton. It's too easy to catch something that way.

Actually the Vikings suck balls. You shouldn't purchase any of their merchandise.

Actually, from what I've learned about the Love Boat incident, the members of the Vikings prefer the female gender.

Anonymous said...

Chris Cooley
#47
Washington Redskins

Can't wait for the season opener when the Skins can kill the Vikings.

bdawg said...

Don't take a chance on a jersey dude like you said it might become outdated. Just buy purple pants instead. That way no matter what you wear on top, you're 100% viking on the bottom.

ATL Viking said...

In the middle of the same dilemma. I'm leaning towards Jackson. But I'm trying to figure out what the name on the back is. (Just "Jackson"? Or "T. Jackson"?)

TBird41 said...

It says "T. Jackson". I just spent about 20 minutes with my Tivo trying to figure it out, but it definately says "T. Jackson".

Anonymous said...

i personaly think you should get everyone and then you and me could have a bondfire and we could burn the worlds suckiest jerseys... TOGETHER it would be so much fun.

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