DENVER - AUGUST 21: Bronco fans dangle jerseys of Champ Bailey and Tim Tebow into the tunnel entrance to the field hoping for an autograph prior to the game as the Denver Broncos host the Detroit Lions during preseason NFL action at INVESCO Field at Mile High on August 21 2010 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Monday Night Football? Ladies and gentlemen, the 2011 football season has finally come to Denver! As fans we owe it to the Broncos and the state of Colorado to look our best. I'm not talking tuxedos or fancy dresses. No, I'm talking about your jersey selection and how your jersey is worn. We've all seen jersey faux pas in our day to day lives and I'm here to give you a few tips so that you don't end up the laughing stock of your stadium section or living room.
Follow me after the jump for tried and true guidelines guaranteed to make you look your best.
1. Do your best to honor the uniform choice of the team on each particular game day. For example, today is Orange Monday - You should probably choose your orange jersey over the white or blue. When the Broncos are in their visitor whites, go for the whites. Home blues? Go with that. Keep it simple. However, when in doubt as to what uniform the Broncos are going to wear, you can always error on the side of orange. Nobody will fault you for it and you're guaranteed to look pretty freakin' sweet in it.
2. Players retire and move on leaving you with a relic of their tenure in Denver. What do you do with old jerseys? It really depends on the player. If you have the jersey of a former Bronco great; Sharpe, Elway, McCaffrey, Smith, Atwater, Gradishar, Little, etc. are all acceptable to wear at any time regardless of the color scheme of the team (unless it's Orange Monday). Jerseys of players that recently left the team are forbidden. There is nothing sadder than seeing someone walking around in a Broncos Hillis jersey. I'm not saying that you have to throw it away. I'm saying you have to put it in a drawer for a few years. There's always a chance that player could come back (Shannon Sharpe did!) or the wearing of the jersey could be ironically awesome (Jerry Rice #19). However, if a player leaves under terrible circumstances that embarrasses the city of Denver or the Broncos, under no circumstances are you to wear that jersey ever again. Seriously, you don't want to remind your fellow Broncos fans of the drama around Jay Cutler or Eddie Kennison. (It should be noted that Travis Henry and Maurice Clarett jerseys are kind of on the embarrassing/awesomely ironic fence. I'll defer to the individual fan to make the call on those.)
3. Under no circumstances are you to deface a Broncos jersey. Putting duct tape on it in the shape of the male anatomy because you were angry about how Cutler left Denver is insulting to the colors. Also forbidden is the cutting of jerseys in half to sew together with another team's jersey (Laura Quinn - I'm looking at you). It's not so hard to make a singular choice on game day. Just pick one. You don't need to destroy two jerseys to show that you're noncommittal to either team. Jerseys that have been altered to fit the female form are allowed if done in good taste.
4. Jerseys with your own name or "#1PRATERFAN" on it are frowned upon (unless you're under eight years-old). Gimmicky broncos jerseys are also not encouraged. Camouflage, pink, black - whatever the gimmick is probably not a good idea. If the team has ever worn it on the field, it's okay.
5. Do not cross contaminate your jersey. Please do not wear your Broncos jersey with a hat from another sport/team. It's confusing to see someone in a vintage Elway jersey also rocking a Tampa Bay Rays hat. The jersey demands respect while the silly hat choice makes one wonder... Acceptable alternate hat choices include 9/11 memorial hats and other such hats that honor important things.
6. Do not tuck your jersey into your shorts. We all know this guy. He's the one who also rocks the cell phone holster on his belt and wears black socks with sandals. He must be stopped at all costs.
7. Do not buy one of those elongated "basketball length" jerseys if it's not exactly what you want. There's something awful about a dude that wears a jersey that hangs on him like a nightgown.
8. Dry clean your jerseys. Home washing machines will absolutely destroy your jersey. They cost more than some some dressy clothes and needed to be afforded that same respect. Also, they can get more than a little gross after a season's worth of wing sauce and beer stains (also recently the tear stains have been a bit overwhelming).
9. Personally, I don't wear jerseys on non-game days and never during the off season. I see them as a game day treat. There's just something wrong about seeing that rogue Steeler fan at the DMV in May rocking the full regalia. I also don't wear a jersey on draft day because now matter what happens, the player I'm wearing won't be drafted again or even mentioned. I'll leave this up to you.
10. Most importantly, especially for fans outside of Colorado, acknowledge your fellow Broncos fans who rock jerseys on game day. Be prideful that you root for the best team in football and revel in that with your fellow fans. We are the greatest fans in football and, after following these rules, Bronco fans should look better than the rest. Look good, feel good. Feel good,
What do you think? Do you have rules for wearing your jersey? What jersey you rocking today?