I remember it like it was yesterday, even if it was 25 years ago…
I open my eyes and look over at my clock sitting on my dresser. It’s 7:00 in the morning. I hop out of bed and open the curtains to take a peek outside. “Yes”…a fresh layer of snow had fallen over night. As I stood there staring out, mesmerized by how bright the sun was reflecting off the fresh snow, I almost forgot what day it was.
I run in an wake up my older brother and we sprint into the living room. There is the sight that we had been waiting for since last year… The tree lit up with presents flowing out from underneath. Waiting for my parent to make there way in, we tear through the piles. I am looking for that one special gift I have been waiting for all year.
Then I see it hidden in the back… It’s a box, but not any box. It’s the perfect size box that a new pair of basketball shoes would fit in. Now, not just any basketball shoes… the latest pair of Air Jordan’s. This was my favorite gift every year. The gift that I looked forward to every year. It was a gift, not from Santa, but from my parents. It was a tradition that they started and one that I loved. Today, I’m partnering with Dicks to share a tradition that I’ve started with our own children that is a spin-off of the one that I had as a child.
Fast forward 25 years… Becky and I have four children. Each with their own personalities and style. However for Christmas each year, there is the one thing that they all get from Mom and Dad that is special to each of them in their way. They get a new jersey of their favorite player. Last Year, Jack and Beau had one thing on the top of their list above everything else. Jack wanted a Cam Newton Jersey and Beau wanted a Luke Kuechly Jersey.
While my boys may be Carolina Panther fans (as they remind me since they were born in the Carolinas), Becky and I are 4th generation Pittsburgh Steeler fans. Now our local DICK’S Sporting Goods helps us out is this department. With the boost of jersey sales over the past years, DICK’S created the Jersey Report to engage with fans and showcase favorite jerseys across the country – almost a NFL popularity contest. So they don’t just sell the latest NFL jerseys, but they also track the sales numbers from each jersey sold and plug the figures into the Jersey Report.
With the Jersey Report, it will track the points for overall sales, offensive and defense jersey sales. It will also rank the new rookie class each year as each season starts on the NFL draft day. While we may be a house divided for who we cheer for, it is something that brings our family a little closer. Every Sunday we watch the games together. We each wear our jerseys of of favorite players while we are cheering them on.
Throughout the season the Jersey Report makes updates. They not only track individual sales, but they also rank the teams sales each week, 30 days, and season long stats. So if our teams are doing well, we can see how it compares with Jersey Report. So we can see how Cam Newton is doing compared to Antonio Brown.
Becky and I love football as you can see… A garage full of equipment equals a family photo (even Coach or dog has on some shoulder pads).
Becky and I love teaching our kids. We love to teach them about football and sportsmanship. We like to see where our teams stack up with each other, but we have fun with it. We teach them about what it takes to be a good teammate and a leader…the importance of picking each other up and not putting others down for making mistakes.
At the end of the Summer, Jack (10) already made us a list of the top 5 Jerseys he wants for this year. Ethan (6) will want to be just like his big brother and will want the same thing (this makes our jobs just a little bit easier). I know I can’t wait for this Christmas to carry on our tradition. Like the one that my parents did for my brother and I 25 years ago.