jersey humiliation

July 7, 2010

I have found the thing I love most about the World Cup.

Okay, I know I just told you how much I don’t care about stuff. I’m not saying I care about this, I’m just saying I love it. It’s not the same thing.

What I love is the jersey exchange at the end of big matches.

I know, it seems gross. Mark thinks it’s gay and disgusting. (Not that he thinks gayness is disgusting. Oh, he doesn’t. And he doesn’t think the players are gay. Or disgusting. Except the Italians, which he finds both gay AND disgusting.)

I think it’s super cool and charming. Mark says it’s okay as long as they don’t put ON the other guy’s sweaty jersey. I say, what higher form of respect (and infatuation?) could there be than to actually wear your opponents bloody, sweaty jersey?

But what really fascinates me about the jersey exchange is the possible politics involved. I mean, it must be like going to a club or a party or something, right?

It reminds me of an episode of the ill-fated Joey sitcom. Joey and his sister are giving his nephew advice on dating. They say you can never successfully date someone who is more than one level above or below you on the 1-10 hotness scale. You know, like, an 8 can only date 7s, 8s, and 9s.

The problem also reminds me of the sorting problem. What if you don’t know what level you are? Let’s say you’re a marginal fullback, or a striker who’s never scored in international play. How do you decide whom on the other team you’re going to exchange jerseys with? And worse, what if you get it wrong?

I’m pretty sure after today’s Spain v Germany game I saw one guy ask another guy to exchange jerseys, only to get shaken off.

How humiliating would that be? (Or, as I IM’d to Mark, “humiliatating.” Hey, I was excited, and it was IM.)

Anyway, I’m going to start doing this after bike rides. Once I figure out where I sort.


23 Responses to “jersey humiliation”

  1. philip Says:

    The best is when you see them take the other players jersey, roll it up and shove it in their shorts so they don’t have to carry it around while talking to everone else!

    Kinda a wipe my butt with your jersey insult.

    Would be easier to hold in your bib shorts after you are done.

    Please don’t exchange shorts with anyone though!

  2. KanyonKris Says:

    Cycling: skin-tight shorts, loud colors, shaved legs …

    and now jersey swaps!

  3. chad Says:

    I saw that too. The gesture seemed to be communicating something akward along the lines of, “oh, so sorry, I cant, I totally already promised that other guy. loser “.

  4. Rachel Says:

    I love the idea of a jersey exchange. But would everyone start wearing their throw-away jerseys if they knew it was going to be one of those events? Like when you try to secretly upgrade water bottles at the neutral zone in a race?

    • mark Says:

      I always take my throw-away bottles to races. And I’m always happy when I come home with better bottles than I left with. But during the actual race it’s not like I’d turn around and go back to the feed zone just to get a better bottle.

      • JZ Says:

        The best bottle swap is LotoJa, just go to the awards thingy on Sunday and they dump out all the picked up bottles, including all the essentially new neutral support bottles. If you can get past the grossness factor, then you can score a bunch of brand new water bottles for the next year of riding. Did I mention I hate buying water bottles?

  5. Steve Says:

    If you do start exchanging shorts you might get more baggy short wearers out there. Who wouldn’t want to wear a pair of classic Dug shorts?!

  6. bikemike Says:

    i’m sorry if you can’t score more than one goal in 90 minutes plus, you suck as a team. exchanging jerseys must be the highlight of the whole game.

  7. Anon Says:

    Hmm. There needs to be a replacement word created for “that is gay”. No gay person wants to be compared to an Italian Soccer player. Duh. AND what makes me laugh is that actual gay guys would never EVER swap jerseys with anyone. Totally un-hygienic. They would never tolerate the staph infection risks. 😉 Nor would they hug after a Stanley Cup goal, or slap each others asses after a touch-down, or hug after a time trial in sweaty spandex. I think all that is a totally breeder thing to do. Pretty gross actually. 😉

    • dug Says:

      funny you should say that, since we are in the middle of a campaign to get our kids to stop using that word for EVERYTHING. it’s not going well so far.

      however. as someone who served as the token straight guy on several gay volleyball teams at national tournaments, i must disagree with your assessment. breeders and non-breeders alike do the hugging/ass-slapping/clothes-swapping thing. i’m an eyewitness.

      • KanyonKris Says:

        Wh-what? dug on gay volleyball team? Future post?

      • tohellandback1st Says:

        he got all-star at least twice; broke several award presenters’ hearts because there was no hug hug kiss kiss…of course, we still get nasty looks from the new york team that had to breathe the air he left after switching sides with us half way through a deciding game in montreal.

        and anon, while it’s true i’ve never seen any a gay guy swap jerseys, i don’t think i’ve ever seen any non-soccer, american athlete swap jerseys, unless he was stealing it. i would totally swipe Dwayne Wade’s jersey if the opportunity presented itself.

        and, hygienic? i’d wear the jersey home.

    • fish Says:

      Nice proper use of the word ‘breeder.’ I use that with my gay friends all the time – like when babies are crying at a movie and it’s annoying them I’ll whisper, “Damn breeders.”

  8. Jenn Says:

    A bit tangential, but I think you will find it funny….check out the comic strip Get Fuzzy at, starting on the 5th and going (at least) through yesterday. Brilliant soccer analysis.

  9. GrizzlyAdam Says:

    Instead of jersey’s we should swap bikes. I get Orange. How much does Orange weigh anyway?

    • dug Says:

      adam, it’s not too heavy and not too light. it’s just right.

      i think we could swap, and i could sell your bike, and then buy two more oranges. seems like it anyway.

  10. Steve The BigRide Says:

    What if you are the one that nobody wants your jersey? I’d think I’d buy a really nice jersey, something with a microbeer logo on it, and watch everyone eyeballing the thing. At the last minute I’d drift to back and pull a hard u-turn and ride away. Dis me, will ya!

  11. Doug (not dug) Says:

    Did you ever see Mario Chipolini’s hair? I always wanted to know how he kept his helmet on that well lubed head. Who greases their hair back before putting on a bike helmet? I will tell you who Italians.

  12. kelly Says:

    The United States had lost to Brazil, 1-0, in the 2003 Confederations Cup, but when the final whistle blew that night in Lyon, France, the American defender Gregg Berhalter walked off the field with a memento from a tough night.

    In his hand, Berhalter carried the jersey he had exchanged with a bucktoothed Brazilian midfielder who would become known worldwide, Ronaldinho.

    When Berhalter recalled that night recently, it was with a heavy helping of wistfulness — and not for losing the ball that led to the game’s only goal. A few days after the game, at a hotel in Paris, where Ronaldinho was then the well-known star for Paris St.-Germain, Berhalter sent his dirty clothes out to be cleaned. Into the bag, he absentmindedly tossed the iconic yellow and green Brazil jersey.

    “Needless to say, it never came back from the laundry,” Berhalter said with a knowing smile. “I wasn’t too smart.”

  13. jruss Says:

    I witnessed a 24 hour team of 4 in Moab who rode the entire race in the same pair of shorts. Not baggies, but cycling shorts. Think chamwow. Rider 1 would come into the tent, rider 2 would hold up a towel of sorts for a semi-discrete changing of the shorts, and then rider one would return the towel hold up favor for rider two.
    No joke. I kid not. I get the heaves just thinking about it.

    • dug Says:

      jon, me too. the team I saw at the inaugural 24 hours of moab was called Hugh Jass. they also rode rigid fixies.

      HTFU indeed.

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