Friday, April 29, 2011

Get Your Overpriced Ephemeral Merchandise Here!

Some of you probably noticed that there was a huge television extravaganza on recently with some royalty involved. Yes, the first round of the NFL Draft was last night, and boy howdy was it a party. I know, I know, you probably thought I was talking about some other royal TV... thing, but come on, we fought pretty damn hard to free ourselves from the yoke of these imperial oppressors, no matter how fabulous their sense of humor might be.

The brilliant, and not at all crazy, Jack Edwards knows exactly what I'm talking about.

So no, the royal wedding in the wee hours of this morning was not the exciting TV event I was talking about, although I really did enjoy when NBC's camera lingered over Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera clearly had no idea who she was. Come on, people? Even Dust and Sand knows who she is. Frankly, I think it's awfully nice of her to even bother making the trip to the wedding considering all of Australia was probably emotionally spent from Geelong's stunning win over Hawthorn earlier this week. Of course, the Cats have done that before.

But I digress. The draft. The Giants had the 19th pick in the NFL's annual selection gala, and chose to use it on Prince Amukamara, so named because he was the first son of a Nigerian chief, and if you don't think this qualifies him as royalty, you should check out the names of his sisters. Interestingly, he's not the first Giant draftee to be a sort of African royalty, although he grew up in Arizona, but what struck me most about the evening, aside from the fact that many Giants fans weren't sure we needed another defensive back (Ed: You can never have enough defensive backs), was that within moments I got an e-mail from the Giants offering me the exclusive opportunity to purchase what might just be the most useless piece of merchandise I've ever seen from a sports team.

You see, at least draft hats and the like can still be worn easily. The Giants are probably never changing their logo. But this was advertised to me as a "Prince Amukamara draft jersey". I understand this is a business and that sports teams need to make money where they can, but this just seems over the top. To buy this jersey would be a painfully silly purchase. And there are more than a few reasons why.

For one, and perhaps most importantly, we know nothing about how Prince Amukamara will be as an NFL cornerback. He may be the next Champ Bailey, but he may also be the next Rashard Anderson. We don't know. Personally, I don't really understand shelling out $85 for a player who may wallow in obscurity.

For two, Prince Amukamara may not even make the team. Sure that's unlikely, but it's certainly possible, and if that's the case, well, personally, I don't really understand shelling out $85 for a player who may never actually be a Giant.

For three, the number on the jersey is "No. 1". If Amukamara makes the team he will almost certainly not wear No. 1. Some of you may thing this is a place holder and that those who purchase this jersey will get a jersey with his actual number, but no. The description actually says, "made to look like the exact jersey given to Amukamara on draft day", which means it will be No. 1. And, uh, personally I don't really understand shelling out $85 for a player who may not actually wear the number on the jersey I'm purchasing.

For four, it's a replica. It's not even nice! It's just a thin piece of mesh with the No. 1 and Amukamara silk-screened on it. Personally, I don't really understand shelling out $85 for a player whose jersey may have the numbers rubbed off after five times through the wash.

So yeah, basically what I'm telling you all is that the NFL is asking me to pay $85 for a piece of merchandise that has the shelf life of, oh, two weeks. Who, exactly, is buying this jersey? Well, not me, but as we know, in service to the almighty dollar, the NFL has had a tendency to do what it can to get as many premature dollars as possible.

Far be it from me to stand in the way.

Of course, once the Giants picked I mostly tuned out from the draft, which is fine since some Giants were preoccupied anyway, and for most of the first two hours I was flipping between it and the Mets, who, tragically, saw their Major League-high six-game winning streak come to an end in Washington. It is worth noting after that winning streak that the Mets are still under .500. Once I tuned out I moved on to the NHL playoffs, which, duh, you should all be watching. All sorts of fun stuff could happen, and many prognosticators are putting their opinion in.

As are the brilliant scribes reporting on it. And that doesn't even include the awards nominations which, surely, you've all paid attention to.

If you haven't, there's a chance for you to jump on the bandwagon tonight when the Capitals and Lightning open up a doubleheader that will later feature the Red Wings and Sharks. And if you don't tonight, I won't blame you.

You're probably too angry at yourself for spending $85 on that short-lived Amukamara draft jersey.

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