• The Worst Jersey


    The NFL's Aaron Hernandez guns for jerseys program got me thinking about the jersey phenomenon. Fans do love to wear their official jerseys to the game, but of course most of us don't the ways and means to replace that $120 shirt every time a player gets cut so we just keep wearing that jersey of the 1st round bust. We covered etiquette here but because my brain tends to lean towards the wildly inappropriate, I started thinking about the worst possible jersey for each team. The one that you have to replace because wearing it will get you beaten up by your fellow fans.

    I decided to do this off of the top of my head, no google, no pfr. Partly because I'll forget someone really obvious or screw up a number so it encourages participation and gives you, the loyal FP viewer, the opportunity to call me an idiot. But mostly it's just because I'm lazy.

    So here are the Worst Jersey candidates for each team

    AFC East
    Patriots - Hernandez 81, Hernandez 85 (he wore 85 as a rookie before Ochocinco)
    Jets - Vernon Gholston (90??), honorable mention: Mark Sanchez 6 (just a matter of time)
    Bills - Rob Johnson (12??), Aaron Maybin (90??)
    Dolphins - Ted Ginn 19

    AFC North
    Ravens - Elvis Grbac 18
    Bengals - Stanley Wilson 32, Ki-Jana Carter 32
    Browns - Tim Couch 2
    Steelers - Gabe Rivera (??), Tim Worley 38

    AFC South
    Colts - Art Schlichter 10, Curtis Painter 7
    Titans - Pacman Jones 32
    Texans - David Carr 8
    Jaguars - Matt Jones 18

    AFC West
    Raiders - JaMarcus Russell 2, Todd Marinovich 12
    Chiefs - Todd Blackledge (14??)
    Broncos - ?????
    Chargers - Ryan Leaf 16, Eli Manning 10

    NFC East
    Cowboys - Quincy Carter 2, Jackie Smith 80
    Redskins - Albert Haynesworth 92
    Eagles - Mike Mamula ??
    Giants - Joe Pisarcik ??, Ron Dayne 33

    NFC North
    Bears - Cade McCown 12, Curtis Enis (32?), David Terrell (17?)
    Packers - Tony Mandrich ??
    Vikings - Troy Williamson 18
    Lions - Charles Rogers 80, Dan Orlovsky (12?)

    NFC South
    Falcons - Andre Bruce (99??)
    Panthers - Rae Carruth (89?), Tim Biakabatuka ??
    Saints - Billy Joe Hobert ??
    Buccaneers - Steve Spurrier (12?), Bo Jackson 34

    NFC West
    Cardinals - Matt Leinart 11
    49ers - Jim Druckenmiller (?? did he ever have a number, or even a jersey?), O.J. Simpson 32
    Seahawks - Rick Mirer (2?), Dan McGwire
    Rams - Lawrence Phillips (32?), Joe Namath 12

    Comments 41 Comments
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      I couldn't think of anyone for the Broncos? They've had bad draft picks (Jarvis Moss comes to mind) but no one I can think of that's worthy of this list.

      Billy Joe Hobert for the Saints is pretty weak. A little google hindsight shows that I probably should have gone with Jonathan Sullivan.

      After guessing 89 for Carruth, I put in the pic of the guy wearing the Carruth 86 jersey. According to PFR Carruth wore 84 and 89 but never 86.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      I'd nominate Palmer for the Bengals. People either don't wear them anymore or have taped "Quitter" on the back instead.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Pretty sure Tshimunga Biakabatuka was #31. I think Hobert was #11.

      I nominate Bobby Humphrey (23?) for the Broncos.

      William Green (31) for the Browns, Courtney Brown (92) for the Browns has a nice touch of funny with it. A crappy Brown with a brown jersey who played for the Browns? Awesome. Tommy Vardell (42?) is good, too.

      Michael Haynes for the Bears (91), Enis was number 39 and 44. David Terrell still thinks he was good: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...t-had-bad-qbs/

      And, this article is up my alley. So much so that I am pissed I didn't think of it after my "There's Always 2013" series. I plan to eventually claim that I wrote it once it leaves the front page.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      What about Heath Shuler for the Saints? And Kerry Collins for them, too. Was Mandarich #79? I think so.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I'd like to nominate Huey Richardson's #90 for the Steelers.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Eugene Robinson might be a contender for the Falcons jersey, despite all his good works. Arguably cost them a Super Bowl.

      Can't top Haynesworth for the Redskins.
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      I'll be pedantic and point out that Rob Johnson wore 11. I remember seeing guys showing up with their Johnson shorts with tape over the name reading "Bledsoe."

      But 11 is also Norwood's number, therefore, 11 is a winner.

      On special occasions I still wear my Browns #80 (Andre Rison) shirt. It's a winner.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Can we extend this to baseball so I can include a Derek Bell Pirates jersey on the list?
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      Funny that Titans fans probably burned their Pacman jerseys, but most Bengals fans would be proud to own one.

      I'm not sure anybody would have one, but Lewis Billups is another infamous name in Bengals history, though his really bad troubles came after he left the team.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      If Dan Reeves were in my fantasy league, we'd force him to wear a Tommy Maddox Broncos jersey to every draft.

      For the Lions, Mike Williams, Tatum Bell, or Rudi Johnson would all work. Better yet, lets just create a #55 Matt Millen Honalulu blue jersey and call it a day.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      I had to limit my Bengals to the top 2. Easily could have Klingler and Akili Smith as well. In the interest of full disclosure, there is a David Klingler jersey somewhere in the back of my closet.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Down here, Dan Reeves is remembered fondly (for his coaching, not his drafting.) I still feel Blank fired him prematurely. He was the only guy who had a handle on Michael Vick. But Vick got hurt and Reeves got fired.
    1. DaBearsFan's Avatar
      For the Bears, pretty much pick a QB and you'll be good; Cade McNown was probably the most heartbreaking and deserving of this list.

      I should probably ask some of my college buddies, but my sense would be that, other than trumpet's commemorative Matt Millen jersey, the worst jersey a Lions fan could have might be Joey Harrington. It's not that he was the worst pick the Lions ever made, but that he was the savior, and it was before everyone realized that Matt Millen is less qualified than most 5 year olds at being an NFL GM.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      This, in conjunction with the jersey etiquette piece, may be the most important article ever written. I've been mulling this over since yesterday, and really, to have a true "worst jersey" candidate, the wound or stench, has to be either relatively fresh, or extremely deep. Otherwise, even if it's a bust, in some ways, it becomes kinda cool. Some other candidates...

      Steelers- Neil O'Donnell (14). One of my favorite stories of all time was when Tom Donahoe, then Director of Football Ops for the Steelers, spoke in an economics class of mine in college, and stated that on the day Neil O'Donnell was making his decision between the Steelers and Jets, he went to church and prayed that O'Donnell would choose the Jets. Not exactly a ringing endorsement...

      Jets- Neil O'Donnell (14)
      Bengals- Neil O'Donnell (12)
      Bucs (6)/Cardinals (11)- Neil O'Donoghue (close enough)

      Browns- Earnest Byner (44)
      49ers- Alex Smith (11) (In honor of Clem)
      Cardinals- May not be fresh, but how could anyone justify a Timm Rosenbach (3) jersey?
      Cardinals- Bryant Johnson (80)
      Vikings- Gary Anderson (1)
      Eagles- Terrell Owens (81)
      Jets- Blair Thomas (32)
      Colts- Steve Emtman (90)
      Seahawks- Brian Bosworth (55)
      Lions (again)- Andre Ware (11?)
      Falcons- Jeff George (1)
      Redskins- Heath Shuler (5); Danny Wuerffel (17)
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Earnest Byner? That's very harsh, I think. One fumble doesn't undo all the great things Byner did in Cleveland (and Washington, for that matter.)

      If one fumble dooms a jersey, then Joe Pisarcik is the man for the Giants.

    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      Jets- Neil O'Donnell (14)
      Bengals- Neil O'Donnell (12)
      Bucs (6)/Cardinals (11)- Neil O'Donoghue (close enough)

      Browns- Earnest Byner (44)
      49ers- Alex Smith (11) (In honor of Clem)
      Cardinals- May not be fresh, but how could anyone justify a Timm Rosenbach (3) jersey?
      Cardinals- Bryant Johnson (80)
      Vikings- Gary Anderson (1)
      Eagles- Terrell Owens (81)
      Jets- Blair Thomas (32)
      Colts- Steve Emtman (90)
      Seahawks- Brian Bosworth (55)
      Lions (again)- Andre Ware (11?)
      Falcons- Jeff George (1)
      Redskins- Heath Shuler (5); Danny Wuerffel (17)
      I agree with wax that Earnest Byner is probably ok, but there are some good ones on here that I missed. Particularly TO, Blair Thomas, Bosworth and Rosenbach. I considered Andre Ware for the Lions but like the Bengals their plate is already pretty full. Heath Shuler is a 3-fer, Redskins, Saints and Congress (I have absolutely no idea what kind of politician he is/was or even what party he's in, just can't resist a good joke).
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Byner is certainly harsh, as is Anderson. But considering how that was the Browns and Vikings best chances at a Super Bowl, and each player represents the signature negative moment of each team's disappointing past 40+ years, I think they should be included.

      It's one thing to support Byner or Anderson (or Norwood for that matter). It's an entirely different thing to tote their jersey. Others may disagree, but I'm standing behind both selections.

      We should have had an all-time bad jersey draft. That would have been epic.

      Still taking a Pirates Derek Bell jersey with my first pick.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      Byner is certainly harsh, as is Anderson. But considering how that was the Browns and Vikings best chances at a Super Bowl, and each player represents the signature negative moment of each team's disappointing past 40+ years, I think they should be included.

      It's one thing to support Byner or Anderson (or Norwood for that matter). It's an entirely different thing to tote their jersey. Others may disagree, but I'm standing behind both selections.

      We should have had an all-time bad jersey draft. That would have been epic.

      Still taking a Pirates Derek Bell jersey with my first pick.
      Clearly, I'm going with one of the following:

      1. A Mets Tsuyoshi Shinjo jersey.
      2. A Mets 1999 Bobby Bonilla jersey.
      3. A Bears #12 Jonathan Quinn jersey.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      I want a Bengals Barry Foster jersey.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      I don't think Earnest Byner should be included. People complain about 'The Fumble,' not about him.

      And say what you will about Tim Couch, the dude was the quarterback of a team that got to the playoffs. He wasn't great, statistically or physically, and he clearly wasn't a #1 pick, but he wasn't the disaster, say, Brady Quinn was. And no one hates him the way they do, say, Braylon Edwards. And then there's Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren, and William Green.

      Lord, have mercy. How did we win nine games in 2002? And we should have won more. That was the season they lost to Kansas City by a point because of the infamous 'helmet toss' by Dwayne Rudd. And they lost a game to Pittsburgh (I believe this was 2002) because the Browns blocked the Steelers' game-winning kick on third down, but it didn't cross the line of scrimmage (so they picked up and converted on fourth). Or the playoff game where they blew the three-score, second-half lead to Tommy !@#$^&% Maddox. Anyway, Tim Couch is more complicated than it looks, that's all I'm saying.