It’s almost the holiday gift giving season (be sure to check out the 2012 Holiday Gift Ideas list), and for most anyone shopping this year you will most certainly be shopping for football team paraphernalia for that special person on your list. Thanks to the internet finding any team product that you desire has become very, very easy. The choices can be overwhelming and the costs continue to get higher and higher. In fact, this year Nike took over the NFL jersey licensing rights and as such the basic jersey price rose from $60 last year for a Reebox jersey to $100 this year for a Nike jersey.
Where would one shop for NFL team items prior to the world wide web becoming mainstream in 1994? Well if they were a fan of the home team, you could go to most any local store and find a sweatshirt, jersey or ball cap. But if you were a fan of a team a 1,000 miles away, like myself, there was only one shopping source, the Sears Wishbook.
The Wishbook was my version of the bible. Once delivered to our house in September, I would begin to study its contents for hours at a time. I would meticulously plan for the perfect gifts, which almost always included a Dolphin jersey, trashcan, sweatshirt, wallet, robe, coat, mittens, hats, etc. (Keep in mind these gifts were over the course of a few years, I didn’t just get all of them each Christmas morning.) I also found many a toy items in the back of the 500+ page catalog but I loved the fact that the world existed outside of the Philadelphia Eagles. However, with the popularity of the internet, most companies have either killed or significantly trimmed their catalogs. Bruising boys and girls Xmas lists for many years to come. (Check out the complete 1985 Sears Wishbook)
Sure the internet makes it quick, easy and allows you to find millions of items at the best price. However, it’s a shame that catalogs like the Wishbook have been scaled down, as nothing beats being able to browse, then re-browse and then dog ear the pages that showcase your most desirable treasures.
So let’s take a stroll down Holiday or Memory Lane and glance at the great NFL licensed products that were able to the youth of the ‘70’s & “80’s. I believe that I had almost every one of the products shown, most in Dolphin form but I did have an occasional Seahawks light (now passed down to Nu and still in pristine condition), Rams cork board, Eagles hassock and Jets cologne. Yes, someone gave me Jets cologne as an eight year old. I guess my Mom thought that I didn’t bathe much. (I didn’t, but Jet’s cologne?)
Which gear did you have? What were your favorite teams to get?
Missing: those beautiful mid-‘80’s satin Starter jackets. Note: ‘90’s Starter fluffy jackets not included in this post as they were too mainstream, along with those Zubaz pants (had those to, in aqua and orange of course.)