to Kent Sterling
File this under “Duh.” The New England Patriots are offering fans a chance to come to the Patriots Pro Shop at Gillette Stadium and exchange their Hernandez jerseys for the jersey of a player not charged with murder of a comparable value.
The only mistake is that the Patriots aren’t going nearly far enough. Every single Hernandez jersey that remains on the backs of fans, kids, thugs, and punks is a walking reminder that the NFL is not populated with choirboys.
That the Patriots are limiting the exchange to next weekend is testimony to the fact that people don’t think clearly during a crisis. The exchange offer should exist in perpetuity because walking billboards touting the former employment of a man charged with one murder – and looking at two more charges straight in the eye need to be liquidated.
The offer is explained by New England Patriots spokesperson Stacey James, “We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don’t want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore. We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player’s jersey will be well received by parents.”
There are several restrictions, which shows the Patriots are hard at work over thinking this jersey amnesty program. If profiteers want to run around New England buying up jerseys, so they can exchange 100s of them for Tom Brady jerseys, that should be the same thing the Patriots would do if they had both the staff and brains to do it. Here are the rules:
- #81 Hernandez jerseys purchased from the New England Patriots ProShop ONLY are eligible for the jersey exchange.
- Jerseys sold at the Patriots ProShop are officially licensed NFL merchandise and are either Nike or Reebok product.
- Exchange is valid for in-stock jerseys only. No customizations or special requests will be accommodated.
- Exchange is valid for product of comparable value (jersey for jersey).
- Exchange is limited to one (1) jersey per customer.
- A receipt from the Patriots ProShop is not needed for the exchange. However, only NFL officially licensed jerseys sold from the ProShop are eligible for the exchange (both Nike and Reebok are acceptable).
- Jerseys are eligible for exchange at the Patriots ProShop in Foxborough, Mass on Saturday, July 6th and Sunday, July 7th, 2013. Store hours are Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday, 10am-7pm.
- The Patriots ProShop reserves the right to make all determinations regarding program validity. All determinations are final.
Here’s what the rules should look like:
- Bring in a Hernandez jersey and you get a jersey of your choice, and we’ll have players here to sign them. Bring in 400 jerseys, and you get 400 jerseys. We screwed up and drafted a kid we knew was trouble, profited greatly from his image, and now make this minimal investment to remind our fans that accused murderers should not be the first thing you think of when you see the Patriots logo.
A herd of emissaries gathering links between gangland style murders and the Patriots brand is a good thing, and the cost of the jerseys as a reward for the goodwill profiteers would be the best money the Patriots ever spent.
But the Patriots would rather limit their paltry financial exposure by hosting the exchange during a very tight window at a single location.