I was extremely lucky to be able to attend Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday. It was a surreal experience for me because my favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers are not too far away from being in the biggest game in sports, but seem so far away from getting there again. While I always support the Niners and they are in my heart, I did not wear any of my gear to the stadium. However, many fans chose to go a different way than I would and wore their favorite football dressing to watch the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons square off.
I don’t quite understand these people. I’m not sure why they would wear their favorite jersey when their team is not playing in the game. But I am going to try to put myself in the shoes of these fans and figure out what they were thinking. I found most of the teams in the NFL around NRG Stadium Sunday so let’s break it down.
1. New England Patriots & Atlanta Falcons
These two are okay, both teams are playing in the Super Bowl and obviously two of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time being represented.
2. Miami Dolphins – Ndamukong Suh
I’m going to assume this guy had some thoughts of grandeur for Matt Moore and his Miami Dolphins up-ending the Steelers, Patriots & Texans to get back to Houston. Also, the name “Suh” always looks weird on the back of a jersey, especially with such a wide number like 93. I wouldn’t buy that jersey for that reason alone.
3. Minnesota Vikings – Scott Studwell
There is obviously a motive to this Vikings fan rocking a Scott Studwell jersey to the Super Bowl. He thought people would think it was his nickname. That he was a stud. Because no one knows who the hell Scott Studwell is. I had to look him up to find out he is a Vikings Ring Of Honor member and played 13 years for the Vikings. This guy has owned this jersey for at least 20 years and always wears it to the bar to try to pick up the ladies.
4. San Francisco 49ers – Colin Kaepernick & Joe Montana
One thing I love about NFL Jerseys are the sleeve are about 3 times longer than actual jerseys. Also, both of these guys have at least been to a Super Bowl. One of them won four, one didn’t. #SadFace
5. Baltimore Ravens – C.J. Mosley
C.J. Mosley is likely to be a pretty good linebacker in the NFL. This guy is likely to be a pretty good accountant in his life. He’s not going to like it, but he’ll have that one time he went to the Super Bowl in a C.J. Mosely jersey to remember, or not remember based on his lining up for Bud Lights 4 hours before kickoff.
6. Washington Redskins – Sean Taylor
Dad: “Hey son I’ve got two tickets to the Super Bowl would you like to come?”
Son: “Sure, let me grab my Sean Taylor Jersey you bought me when I was 8.”
7. New York Jets: Chad Pennington & Kevin Mawae
Man, the Jets are probably never getting to a Super Bowl, so I understand Jets fans just looking for the experience. Also they hatred of the Patriots means they probably wanted to show they wouldn’t root for the evil guys in New England. But these two players, why? (Um, that’s Mawae).
8. New York Giants – Eli Manning
He is the only guy to ever beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Guess the jersey in the stadium wasn’t enough.
9. New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees
It’s just a hop-skip and a jump from New Orleans to Houston. Likely this person lives in Houston and is from Louisiana. What I can’t figure out is why he decided to wear the jersey over his button-down collared shirt like he just bought it at the pro-shop. Did he have a meeting in the morning and then keep the jersey in his car for rolling off to the game?
10. Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott & Zeke Elliot
I feel a little bad for Dak and Zeke. They certainly booked their $100 round trip flight and ticket to the game in November. They were confident the Rookie of the Year and should have been Co-Rookie of the year were going to carry them just down the 45 to Houston for their first success in the playoffs since the kid in the blue #21 jersey was a baby. [Editor’s Note: I don’t feel bad for them at all. Go 49ers!]
11. Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz & Brian Dawkins
Eagles fans knew this wasn’t going to be their year in week 7, but here they are wearing the future and the past. Dawkins certainly bought this jersey when he was a teenager and still rocks it to every game.
12. Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers
I will forgive this. As a Packers fan they were one game away from making the Super Bowl. You have to plan for things, and it sucks when your team doesn’t make it, but I’m totally fine with Aaron Rodgers showing up.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers – Hines Ward
Same goes for Steelers fans as Packers fans. Fun story: Mike Meltser and I sat just a few seats away from Hines Ward in the Press Area at the Super Bowl. He was not wearing his own jersey.
San Diego Los Angeles Chargers – Philip Rivers
This might have been the most shocking jersey to see at the Super Bowl. I didn’t think anyone, one, liked the Chargers anymore after their move, and two, ever liked Philip Rivers.
15. Cincinnati Bengals – A.J. Green
Not only is this a random jersey to wear to the Super Bowl, but it’s the Color Rush Jersey from this year, so it’s fairly new and it takes a minute to realize what team it is. The numbers are so huge. Why? I’ve never seen numbers so big on a jersey before.
16. Indianapolis Colts – Pat McAfee
This was the only lady wearing a random team jersey we saw at the Super Bowl. What made it better was that it looked BRAND NEW. Like maybe bought this weekend new. Right after McAfee retired abruptly from the NFL to be a comedy genius for Barstool Sports.* Normally I’d be all for wearing a punters jersey. My very quick ranking of punters jerseys I would own:
- Shane Lechler
- Andy Lee (49ers or Panthers, not Browns)
- Johnny Hekker
* Sarcasm font placed on this sentence, please.
17. Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariotta
I like to imagine this guy as one of those terrible human beings who has lived in Houston his entire life and decided to continue to follow the franchise and root for the Titans after the Oilers moved there and has not wavered even after the Texans showed up. Now he’s being rewarded by having a quarterback that seems to be very talented, as long as he can return healthy next season.
18. Seattle Seahawks – Russel Wilson
He’s much shorter in person.
19. Oakland Raiders – Derek Carr
Good to see a Carr in the Super Bowl in Houston… HEY OH! Sorry. That was bad. I do wonder if this guy bought his Super Bowl tickets in week 15, then week 16 happened and he was screwed. Then Week 17 happened and he was even more screwed!
20. Chicago Bears – Dick Butkus
This is the state of the Bears, Bukus is the best choice of players to wear. At least some team in Chicago is having issues.
21. Buffalo Bills – Thurman Thomas
No, this is not the same Thurman Thomas who broke Seth Payne’s shoulder one time. It’s just a fan of the Bills wearing a jersey to the game.
22. Houston Texans – J.J. Watt
Aside from Tom Brady and Matt Ryan, this was the biggest lock to see at Super Bowl LI. Saw at least a dozen of them.
23. Minnesota Vikings 2.0 – Stefon Diggs & Harrison Smith
The Diggs jersey is a ballsy choice, just because we’re not sure how many games the guy will play. It’s also ballsy to buy either a kid’s or women’s version of it. How do I know that? Well, the sleeves are too short to be a men’s, the cut on the waist and shoulders are too small, and I can’t find a Diggs color rush jersey anywhere on the internets. As for Harrison, I had to Google who #22 on the Vikings was.
24. College Jerseys – Peyton Manning And Tim Tebow
I don’t have any excuse for this. It’s almost as bad as wearing a CFL jersey to the Super Bowl.
25. CFL – Saskatchewan Roughriders & Calgary Stampeders
But WHY!? WHY CANADIENS? I love you so much and then you do this!? You wear your jersey over your dress shirt. YOUR CFL JERSEY!? Also, why do CFL jerseys have no name or number on them? It looks so weird.
26. Some Soccer Team – Charlie
Multiple things here. I’m pretty sure this guy’s name is Charlie. This guy was in his seat 2.5 hours before kickoff. He also chose to wear a soccer jersey (I’m assuming from his adult league) to the Super Bowl.
27. Houston Oilers – Earl Campbell
Saw more than one of these, and honestly, I can’t get mad at anyone wearing an Earl Campbell jersey. But let’s talk about the LaGarrette Blount jersey next to him. Not only does she have the Blount jersey with her face painted she is wearing socks that say “BEER” on them.
Amazingly we saw 24 of the 32 teams (we did see the Lions on the jumbotron during the game, but no picture) featured at the Super Bowl. The Jaguars, Cardinals, Chiefs, Broncos, Bucs, Panthers, and of course the Browns didn’t make the trip. I was really hoping to run into a Johnny Manziel jersey, but alas, not all dreams come true.
It was an interesting sight around NRG Stadium on Sunday. I still don’t know what compels people to wear the jersey of a team/player not participating in the game, but more power to them. They just walked around with their sadness draped over their shoulders sometimes on top of a dress shirt for some unknown reason.