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Make a Statement, Wear Your Favorite Jersey to Work

by Steve Hunt / Dallas Stars

Many workplaces have Casual Friday or maybe even Hawaiian Shirt Day but on Friday, dressing down to end the week takes on a completely different meaning as its Wear A Jersey to Work Day as a way to kick off Hockey Weekend Across America, a three-day celebration of the game in America which is the brainchild of USA Hockey.

So, employers across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex who allow casual attire on Friday can expect to see plenty of Dallas Stars jerseys to end the week and offices across America can also expect to see their fair share of jerseys featuring their local teams and players.

Here in DFW, the best-selling Stars jerseys belong to captain Brenden Morrow, who has been a fan favorite almost since the very moment he arrived in Dallas. Morrow also gained even more fans when he took over the “C” from franchise icon Mike Modano several years ago but he’s not the only Star whose jersey local fans like to wear.

Third-line center Steve Ott is also a popular name, partly because of his tough guy demeanor and also because of his ability to get under the skin of his opponent, a quality that has made him a fan favorite in his own right. Stars offensive cog Brad Richards is also another popular choice as his No. 91 jersey is a big seller along with fellow 2011 all-star Loui Eriksson.

But wearing a jersey featuring their favorite player is so much more than a fashion statement for most fans. Whose digits they choose to don is a decision that tells a great deal about who they are. Local hockey fans are no different.

“My favorite right now is my Mike Ribeiro jersey,” said longtime Stars fan Jim Greene of Lewisville. “I remember buying it when he first got here. I had to get one custom made because it was hard to find one off the rack. I liked the fact he was a playmaking center who could go up and try to get a couple of points. I also liked how he did small things with the puck like playmaking and stick handling.”

Greene also owns jerseys of Morrow and ex-Stars netminder Marty Turco although he admits he doesn’t wear the Turco one much anymore since he is now a Blackhawk.

And when his brother wanted a jersey of an up-and-coming Dallas guy, he didn’t hesitate in his choice of Jamie Benn. But his reasoning was twofold. First of all, Greene’s brother is named Ben and second of all, he is one of the young players who represent the future of the franchise.”

Wanting to latch onto the “next big thing” is another reason many fans choose whose jersey they want to wear.

In fact, it’s that very reason why Frisco resident Joey Peyton chose to purchase a home jersey of none other than star winger James Neal last season.

“I just like the way he plays and the things he can do on the offensive end,” Peyton said. “I also like the fact he has a cool nickname, ‘The Real Deal’. I’ve had a Modano jersey for a long time but wanted to get one featuring someone who I thought would be with this team for the long-term future, so I figured who better than Neal?”

During Chicago’s visit to face the Stars last Friday, there was a good mixture of Dallas and Blackhawks jerseys in the crowd. Of course, the most frequent Chicago players seen were the likes of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, key members of their run to the 2010 Stanley Cup title.

And the reasoning for why people wore the digits of Kane or Toews was pretty similar. They liked the way they both played and also the fact that each played crucial roles in bringing Lord Stanley’s trophy back to the Windy City after a long absence.

But what was also good to see was a smattering of retro Hawks jerseys, featuring the old sweater style and there were also a good number of Bobby Hull jerseys. Retro jerseys have grown in popularity over the last few years and it’s good to see so many fans kicking it old school.

However, the Dallas fans also showed a nice mix in whose jerseys they chose to wear. Even though he’s now in Detroit, Mike Modano jerseys, even those when he was a North Star are still a pretty frequent sight at Stars games. And it’s not all that rare to even see an Eddie Belfour, Derian Hatcher or maybe even a Jamie Langenbrunner from the Stanley Cup championship team of 1999.

And the Stars players also have their favorites. Several current players even remember whose jerseys they wore back when they were kids.

“I wore a Modano North Stars jersey. Back in the mid-1990s, it was [Pavel] Bure. I liked the guys with speed apparently,” Dallas winger Toby Petersen said. “Those were probably the two quickest and fastest guys in the league [at that time], so those are the guys I had jerseys for.”

For defenseman Matt Niskanen, his choice was a bit different.

“It might have been Lemieux. I’m pretty sure it was Lemieux,” he recalled.

But for another current Star, he can’t recall ever owning a single jersey. However, Langenbrunner does think it’s pretty cool to see fans wearing his No. 15 whether its from his first or second stint in Big D.

So, on Friday morning, as you get ready for work, decide to make a statement. It doesn’t matter if your choice of jersey is an Ott, Morrow, Richards, Neal or any other current star. Or maybe you go the retro route with a Gretzky, Howe, Hull or possibly even Orr. But no matter the choice you make, wear it with pride and announce to the world who your favorite player or team is. After all, what could be greater than getting to wear your favorite sweater to the office?

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