Ah, Super Bowl football jerseys; where would fans be without them? If you are a true fan of any one player or team, chances are you have a replica of their jersey sitting in your closet – if not enough body paint to paint yourself with. You know how useful they can be to show pride during the game whether you are watching it at a bar, your house, or in the stadium. You also know it is a piece of casual wear that works pretty well for other occasions too, like days when it is just sitting on your bedroom floor from the night before and the rest of your clothes need to be laundered. But do you know the make-up of a jersey that is actually worn by the player? News flash, “official” football jerseys sold to fans at retail stores are not the same thing. Do you know how numbers are picked? How about why, on occasion, you might see a retired number in play on the field? All of these interesting tidbits are part of sports trivia and history. So, pull on that jersey and read on.

Today’s modern jerseys are made of nylon with small perforated holes that allows the fabric to breathe, since you can get pretty sweaty playing football. Side panels–made of spandex–on the sides of the jersey keep it tight to the players’ bodies. That is important because you do not want there to be extra fabric an opposing teammate can reach out and grab to bring you down. In that consideration some other design elements are added to players’ jerseys.

For example, they have an extension at the bottom that wraps from the front to the back that keeps the jersey tucked in. They also have a wide strip of Velcro at the back whose mate is attached to the inside of the back waistband of their pants. In addition, some players also add double-sided carpet tape to the top of their shoulder pads to keep the jersey in place.

What is in a number? Quite a bit actually in terms of football jerseys. Back in the day football numbers changed often and had a random numbering system. That all changed in the ’80s when certain positions were given a range of acceptable numbers. This not only made it easier for teams to number their players, it also made it easier for refs to make calls. Overall, football jersey numbers go from 1 – 99. You can guess this is because some team rosters list up to 100 players.

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The number displayed on a jersey is unique to football too. There is a big number on the front and on the back, there are also numbers on the shoulders called “TV Numbers”. In recent history some football teams opted out of the shoulder numbers, but there are those that still have them. Patches are also worn on some jerseys’ shoulders that denote American pride, the football team’s logo or other information that is significant to the player, his team, or the sport in general.

When one of the truly great players retires, his number is retired by that football team and theoretically is not supposed to be worn again—ever—by another one of that team’s players. But there is an exception to that rule. If a retired player gives his permission for another player to wear the number, it is considered acceptable. There have been several occasions in player history.

Now, with a bit of football jersey history and wisdom on your shoulders, it is time to buy that perfect football jersey for yourself, your kids, family, friends, and/or girl/boy-friend at our recommended online stores.