Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jersey? Sure!

I apologize for dropping a third sports-related post in a row, but realize that it’s not really about sports.  It’s about the lengths I go to in order to feel like I’m participating in events that occur hundreds of miles from me.

Last year, I did a post summarizing my hockey jersey won/lost stats, in hope of formulating the best possible Stanley Cup Playoff mojo.  So this year, I again kept record of what jersey I wore and what the outcome was for the game.

It’s easy to do this for football… there are only 16 games in a season.  With hockey, there are 82, so it requires some dedication.  To keep it simple, I didn’t even use a spreadsheet, like I do with football.  For the Steelers, I track so many things, (like game jersey, apparel from the preceding Friday, where I watch the game, whether it’s home or away, etc.) a spreadsheet is required.  But for 82 hockey games, I just print the schedule and record my jersey selection and note whether we won, lost, or it went to overtime.

Here’s how the 2011-2012 season turned out, from best jersey record to worst:

Record: 10-2  Winning percentage: .833 

1) Pre-lockout era Lemieux jersey, that introduced Vegas Gold as the secondary color.  This was my go-to jersey when we needed a win.  As no jersey seemed to be a lock when I wore it consecutively, I ended up rotating this one with 2 others when the Pens played at home.  (I really like this design, probably better than the one they have now.)  I’m not sure about the jersey “pedigree.”  High-quality, textured numbers are sewn on but there is no “fight strap.”

4-1  .800

2) 2008 Winter Classic Crosby jersey.  I used this when the Pens were away and wearing white, and my white jerseys were slumping.  “Premier” jersey, meaning the numbers were sewn on, but only one layer.  Most jersey’s have multiple layers of numbers and each is sewn on.  On these, there are stitches “drawn” on to the inner layer.

9-3  .750 

3) This was the Winter Classic jersey from last year, which the Penguins used as their 3rd Jersey this season.  I didn’t use any judgment here at all.  Whenever they wore it, I wore it.  No more and no less.  It's a Marc-Andre Fleury "Premier" jersey.

3-0  1.00. 

4) This is the Evgeni Malkin current home jersey.  I would have ranked this one higher, except I only got it last month so I didn’t feel it had enough games played to surpass the Lemieux jersey in the top spot.  It’s a sweetie though… appears to be an “authentic” jersey but is probably a very high quality knockoff.

8-6  .571

5) White Jordan Staal current jersey, also a knockoff, but of lesser quality.  Note how the trim on the numbers is a greenish hue, rather than the Vegas Gold.  For away games, I alternated this with my only other white jersey (until I got another, late in the season).

4-3  .571

6) Blue hoodie, that I used mostly over the dead of winter, when the Pens were away and my white jerseys were slumping.  I guess they weren’t a very good visiting team this year.

4-3    .571

7) Mario jersey from early-90s Cup teams.  This was one of my 3-way home jersey rotation.  Decent quality knockoff of an authentic jersey.

2-1-1 .500 (2 wins, 1 loss in regulation, 1 loss in OT.)

8) Premier Crosby current home jersey.  I didn’t wear it when Sid wasn’t playing, which was most of the year.  I really want to get a better quality Sid jersey.  Hello E-Bay…

9) Nothing.  3-1-2  .500
Sometimes, I just didn’t have time to dress for the game.

3-4-1  .375

10) Mario mid to late 90s era “Corporate Pigeon” jersey.   This was the one I alternated with the Staal jersey for away games.  Sewn-on numbers over a fairly standard shell.  One of my oldest jerseys… was originally a Jaromir Jagr jersey.

1-2    .333

11) White James Neal current road jersey… the other one I just got at the end of the season.  The first two games I wore it for, we lost, so it almost never saw another one.  But it’s too sharp to keep hidden… another high-quality knockoff of an authentic.

0-1    .000

12) The “Snoop Dogg” Mario Lemieux black jersey.  I meant to wear it more often but once the 3-jersey rotation kicked in, I never got it back in the game.  It’s another of my oldest jerseys.

0-1    .000

13) Another one that I tried when the road jerseys weren’t working.  This was sold a couple years ago by thepensblog.com.  I bought it because I couldn’t get my hands on the regular blue Winter Classic jersey and I really wanted a blue one.  But I don’t think I've ever seen the Pens win while I wore it, including when I actually attended one at Mellon Arena.

So that’s it.  You know, it wasn’t until I wrote all these down that I realized that, holy shit, I have a fuck-ton of hockey jerseys.  (And these don’t even count the “practice” jerseys and other couple jerseys I have for non-Penguins teams.  Can you say, “overkill?”)

To start the playoffs last night, I broke out the new black Malkin jersey, and they lost in OT.  They play next on Friday, so I’m bringing out my big gun, the Vegas 66 Lemieux.  I’ll also be wearing it to work in Friday for “jersey day,” so I can double up on the mojo.

We better win this series… I have too much dough invested in these jerseys to just put them all away until next October.

Unrelated note: I finally had a chance to scan through the DVR recording of the Orioles game I went to on Sunday.  As I suspected, I was able to find a decent screen cap with me in it.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t from when a ball got hit into the corner.  In those cases, the camera was outside the foul pole, putting the pole between it and me on TV.  I was totally “Wilsoned.”  Nevertheless, there I was, perched right there over the 333 mark.

I’m like a much more obvious “Waldo.”

8 comments:

  1. Uh, yeah, ya do have a lot of jerseys. I still have only my Recchi one, which I bought just after the Pens won their first Cup. I love the Winter Classic one from last year, but was always afraid the decal would melt in the drier, so I never bought one.

    That is so awesome and hilarious that you keep track of your jersey-wearing-win-losses stats. Last year, for the first time in years, I was not superstitious about my playoff attire, and you can see where that got the Pens.

    On Wednesday, I was tired so I put my PJs on, which worked fine until about the third period. I was so nervous in OT that I put my Recchi jersey on, and then one minute later, bam! I think I can still wear the jersey as long as I have it on from the get-go. Today, I am just wearing my 2008 Winter Classic Malkin t-shirt.

    So are your coworkers wearing Caps jerseys?!

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    1. What a relief! I thought it was MY fault because I got up and poured myself a drink at about the 13-minute mark of the 3rd period. Everything fell apart right after that.

      No, I have not seen any Caps jerseys at work today. Baltimore is not even close to being a hockey town. There are a few Caps fans rambling around, but nothing you’d notice. I did see another guy today wearing the pre-lockout Vegas Gold Malkin jersey, like the Lemieux I had on.

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  2. You must be playing a major role in propping up the Chinese economy. Think of all those little hands sewing on all those numbers. I have one jersey. Will have to break it out tonight for the first time this year. If they win, you will probably order me to not take it off until June.

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    1. If they win, you can certainly take it off, but you’ll obviously be required to wear it for every following game, until they lose.

      But you’ll have to admit… mojo is a lot easier to determine if you only have one jersey. Of course, you can manipulate other factors, like where you’re sitting, what you’re drinking, and whether you cross your legs when you watch.

      (Yes, I work those angles too, but not “officially.” Meaning I don’t track them.)

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  3. Hey, you're on TV! haha..that's cool.

    My wife and I have about 25 hockey jerseys between us, but no more than four or five for any one team. I'm slowly trying to sell a few on eBay but the fees and shipping costs just aren't worth it.

    You've got some great jerseys there. Might want to go with the Malkin or Mario for Game 2...I can't believe the Flyers actually came back and won that stinkin' game!

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    1. I’m going with the Mario in Vegas Gold. Wore it to work today, too. I probably should have started with it because it was 9-3, but the newness of the Malkin jersey and its 3-0 record led me astray.

      The rest of my jersey collection includes an un-numbered Blackhawks red jersey, a white Albany River Rats jersey, and a couple of Penguins practice jerseys. I used to have an un-named Penguins #5 Snoop Dogg black, but I gave it away. It used to be an Ulf Samuelsson jersey but I didn’t have the cash to have the name put on… plus I was afraid he would leave the team soon, (which he did.)

      Don’t even get me started on football jerseys now… lol…

      It’s really a weird hobby, collecting these things, since I almost never wear them anywhere but to my living room to watch the game. I certainly don’t go to enough games to make them worth while; although a handful of times a year my company has a “jersey day.”

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  4. I really don't pronounce it "shore", I want you to know.

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    1. I believe you. But it's hard coming up with snappy titles. I already used "Jersey Boy" last year. Maybe I just should have called it, "Another One Where I Tally Up My Hockey Jersey Mojo."

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