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New England Patriots roll out ‘Jersey Guarantee’ discount program

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Given the exorbitant sums of money the NFL demands from its fans for league-approved apparel, in particular jerseys — with the NIKE elite version going for upwards of $300 — it’s hard for a fan to justify making such a substantial financial commitment to buying the jersey of their favorite NFL player on their favorite NFL team.

This risky investment is further exacerbated by the fact that in the “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” world of NFL rosters, unless a person is plunking down a fat stack of cash for one of the team’s superstar players — and even that’s not a sure thing — there’s a distinct possibility that the player could be gone long before nacho cheese and chili dip mars what quickly becomes a useless object of clothing.

With that in mind, the New England Patriots have introduced a “Jersey Guarantee” program. The deal is this: If the Pats release or trade a player within one year of a fan purchasing a team jersey of that player, the team will honor a 25% discount on a subsequent jersey purchase.

The Patriots were inspired to roll out the program after team’s highly successful PR move last season when it allowed free exchanges of Aaron Hernandez jerseys for another player’s jersey after the former tight end became embroiled and jailed in a murder investigation.

There are certain conditions related to the “Jersey Guarantee” program, however, albeit arguably fair ones, before a discount is honored. For one, the player must no longer be under contract with the team — fans with jerseys of players on the PUP list need not apply.

Secondly, a person wishing to take advantage of the discount must do so within two months of the player’s release or trade.

Seems like a decent deal. At the very least, the Patriots are doing far more than any other team to make a new jersey purchase more affordable. On one of those aforementioned NIKE Elite jersey, a 25% discount could be up to $75.

Then again, it is still putting money in the pockets of the NFL and the Patriots … income it may not have generated without the discount. Because some folks hold on to and wear jerseys long past their relevancy expiration date.

I’ve seen far too many people wearing jerseys of players who haven’t been on a team for years. And we’re not talking about team legends or anything of that sort. I’m talking about players who had maybe a good year or two than faded into obscurity, either on other rosters or out of the league entirely.

It’s a sickness, really, folks who do stuff like that. A cry for help, in fact. That’s why I don’t wear my Dwyane Rudd, Daunte Culppper, Tarvaris Jackson Vikings jerseys out in public. Or in the privacy of my own home, for that matter.

Actually, the fact that I still have those jerseys in my closet is a kind of sickness as well. Sheesh.

[New York Daily News]

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