To jersey or not to jersey?

I have run a few competitions In my time in the media space … with mixed results and emotions … The absolute worst is phoning the winner of a magnificent prize like a TV, braai and filled coolerbox, and he or she cannot even remember entering the comp!

But it’s a magnificent feeling telling someone they have won something that is truly special to them, as happened last week …

Reebok were kind enough to offer to us a signed Sharks jersey to give away on the site, and upon the winner, Greg, receiving the awesome prize, he sent us the following mail and photo:

Greg and fiance Nicci

“This is my fiance and I moments after the final on Saturday. Thanks bud. The jersey really means a lot. I never owned a Sharks, or Springbok, jersey. My old man is very old school and he drummed it home that the guys who wore those jerseys had worked their back sides off to earn it and therefore do so with pride. ie: you want it, you work for it, alternatively, don’t make a mockery of what those jerseys stand for.  Times have changed and with it the school of thinking. Now it’s all commercial and showing one’s support. However, I dreamt of playing for the banana boys and obviously the Boks. Fate had other plans for me. I support my boys through thick and thin but I have bought into my father’s way of thinking and won’t buy the respective jerseys. I stand for the anthem, I get goose bumps when the guys sprint out the tunnels and where the colours of my team with pride. This jersey will be cherished by me.”

How awesome is that? My eyes still well up when I read it!

So, are you a jersey wearer, or do you also feel like Greg does? I must say, as an ex player, I fall more in the Greg camp, but understand that it is a way of showing your support. Perhaps there should be a marked difference between a player and supporter jersey?

What say you?


  1. I am a jersey wearer, but if I had to win a prize like that I would build a bar around it (as soon as I make a real living)… just that my jersey should have white and blue stripes

  2. Hi tank yes in a sense I agree with Greg, but everytime my team has a new jersey on the market I go and buy if its white,blue or even pink there is a differnce between the supporters jersey and the players jersey, what I do not agree with is the oaks buying the knock offs everytime time I buy a licensed jersey I’m not just supporting them by wearing the jersey but also financially, am I wrong in saying that?

  3. I’m with Werner. I go out and buy the new jersey (to date I have about twelve official Sharks jerseys in my cupboard).

    I’ve never seen it as a problem with wearing a jersey over ‘earning’ a jersey. The ones we buy as officially licenced jerseys are supporter jerseys and not the actual thing. The ‘real’ jerseys have those strips which make it hard for opposition teams to just grab the jersey and hold on. These jerseys are available to buy but at the price they’re sold it’s almost impossible to actually afford these jerseys. R1300 for an actual jersey like the ones the Springboks actually play in. I love the Boks but there’s no way I’m spending that amount of a jersey.

    If you look at the Sharks jerseys, I know that the ones that the players had used the Supersport S as the start of the name. I’d be lying if I said it was still like that but I suspect it might be like that.

    The Springbok jerseys also have the test and the date embroidered on them. So for example, SA v England 18 June 2012. Those jerseys I would never wear those you earn. But if I get hold on one I would frame it and put it up in a bar that I would specially build for it.

  4. I am in the old school camp. I move further into that camp when ever I am walking in the local mall and I see someone wearing whatever jersey and 85% of his/her(yes, believe it or not) gut is hanging out the bottom. However, I am aware of the commercial implications that go with modern day sport. Someone has to pay for the players R3mill pa salaries.

  5. Forgot to mention – well done to Greg, very nice piece he wrote.
    I trust his Dad was one of those 20 die hard Natal suporters who used to sit at Kings Park season after season watching their team get blasted away by the likes of Eastern Transvaal and North Orange Free State(the purple eaters) in the perrenial promotion/regulation game. Those were true supporters.

  6. Tank today jersey’s are big business.
    When the huge soccer stars are traded in Europe it is often not for what they bring to the field but what they bring in terms of shirt sales.
    Messi probably sells more shirts in a month than the collective gates of all super rugby teams.
    Manchester United regularly field one or two asians a season just for the revenue they generate in shirt sales in the east
    Rugby is way way behind and have only recently twigged onto the money to be made from shirt sales.We don’t even put player’s names on the shirt.

    1. Yep, I hear you Mike. In fact, a few of the UK clubs entice players to their clubs by offering them a cut on the jerseys they sell with that players name on it!

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