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Alejandro Villanueva’s NFL jersey sales take off, and there’s nothing wrong with it

Sunday was certainly a dramatic day on the ground around the NFL. We saw a game end on a 61-yard field goal. Another game, between the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons, ended in a questionable call.

But most of the drama around the league was reserved for what we saw (or did not see) on the sidelines during the national anthem.

After President Trump’s controversial and R-rated comments against national anthem protesters at a rally in Alabama on Friday, north of 200 NFL players knelt or locked hands with their teammates .

It was a sign of solidarity as much as the continuation of the Colin Kaepernick-led protests that we saw start last season.

But for one player, the anthem protest took on a whole different meaning. Pittsburgh Steelers starting left tackle Alejandro Villanueva completed three periods of service in Afghanistan as a captain in the United States Army.

From a micro point of view, the experience of Villanueva is very different from that of the more than 200 players that we have seen taking part in the protests.

While the rest of his Steelers teammates completely avoided the anthem by staying in the locker room before their game against Chicago, Villanueva stepped onto the pitch from the tunnel and took part in the tradition of paying homage to the reds, whites and blues. . It was an emotional moment at Soldier Field.

As ESPN noted, many of their teammates were taken aback by the decision to make an appearance during the anthem. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin noted ahead of the game that the team decided to avoid the anthem because the players did not want to make a political statement.

The right to take a stand against perceived injustice and inequality is enshrined in the laws of this land. The right to uphold the traditions of this nation is also enshrined in our laws and our core values. Villanueva felt obligated to pay tribute to him. And for that, this scribe congratulates him.

The move also apparently made Villanueva quite a popular figure. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the lineman owns the best-selling NFL jersey in the past 24 hours.

While some may wear Colin Kaepernick jerseys to show their support for what he does, surely others have the right to pay tribute to a man from Villanueva who returned from Afghanistan with a bronze star. That’s what makes this nation so great. The ability to be yourself. Take a stand for what you believe in.

With pretty much the entire NFL on Sunday, Villanueva did just that.

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Steelers’ top pick TJ Watt hints at his NFL jersey number

There are some things in the NFL that are pretty cool to see. Some might downplay it, but when a new player chooses their number professionally, it’s almost like a rite of passage.

Once a player is drafted, he usually has a few days to see what his options are before picking a number with his new football team. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, many fans have been waiting to see which number TJ Watt will wear in black and gold.

Outside linebackers, who still wore numbers in the 50s or 90s, are now allowed to wear numbers in the 40s, hence Bud Dupree’s number 48. Watt wore number 42 for the University of Wisconsin, but hinted at a more traditional style. number with the black and gold of his Twitter account verified Tuesday.

While Watt might have chosen number 90, you might want to wait before you go out and buy that new Nike jersey. Why? Because these players can always change their number before the end of the regular season. If a player who is currently on the roster is released, Watt could change their number if the released number is more appealing.

Nonetheless, Watt would look pretty good with the 9-0 on his jersey at Heinz Field. One thing is for sure, Watt will be able to create his own legacy in this jersey number as he certainly lacks any memorable players to wear No.90 for the Steelers.

Here are a few … and the rest are not really remarkable.

Steve mclendon
Travis Kirschke
Huey richardson

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Patriots QB Tom Brady Rank # 1 in NFL Jersey Sales in Last Quarter

If the whole Deflategate debacle is hurting Tom Brady’s position with fans, it certainly doesn’t show at the cash register. The New England Patriots quarterback tops the NFLPA’s Top 50 list for fiscal 16 Q1 which counted total sales of all officially licensed merchandise from March 1 through May 31, 2015. Behind Brady , San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick came in second with Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks coming in third.

In fact, quarterbacks dominate the list. Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos round out the top five spots.

Once you get past those five quarters, the defense starts to take hold. At No.6 is Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt followed by Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman at No.7. At No.8 is New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. , who likely had a serious boost in the standings due to his spectacular capture last season.

A sign that fans in the coming season are already betting money on the future, the No.9 and No.10 sales spots are awarded to players who have yet to take a single shot in the NFL. Former QB of the Oregon Ducks and now with the Tennessee Titans, quarterback Marcus Mariota comes in 9th while former FSU QB and now Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lands in 10th. Mariota, Winston and Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White were the only rookies among FY16’s first-quarter top 50 rookies. Mariota has also led the collegial co-brand hard lines which includes licensees Oyo Sports, Fanatics, Forever Collectibles, Team Beans and Team Spirit Store; a pair of surprises on the collegiate co-brand roster included Washington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy and Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow in 10th and 11th place, respectively. Tebow returns to the Top 50 for the first time since 2012.

The list, released quarterly by NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm of the NFLPA, is based on aggregate sales of all licensed products from online and traditional outlets, as reported by over 80 licensees. NFLPAs such as Nike, VF Imagewear, Fanatics, Outerstuff, Fathead, McFarlane Toys, Oyo Sports, Bleacher Creatures, FBF Originals, Forever Collectibles, FanPrint, and Photo File. Licensed product categories include jerseys and t-shirts for men, women and youth, player murals, action figures, matted and framed photos, action figures, glasses, socks, jewelry, accessories for electronic devices, among others.

Additional Highlights:

  • Brady has sold more than any player in Oyo Sports mini figures, Forever Collectibles figures (followed by teammate Gronkowski), Fatheads and Lids custom headgear.
  • Kaepernick and Brady placed first and second respectively in Nike jerseys.
  • Wilson was the most popular among hard-line kids and apparel – followed by Rodgers, Watt, Manning, and Kaepernick – which includes licensees Bleacher Creatures, Outerstuff, and Oyo Sports.
  • In women’s clothing, Kaepernick reigned supreme with Brady, Wilson, Rodgers and Watt completing the top five.

NFLPA Top 50 Sales Rankings – FY16 Q1 (March 1 – May 31, 2015):

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

2. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

5. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

6. JJ Watt, Houston Texans

7. Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks

8. Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants

9. Marcus Mariota, Titans of Tennessee

10. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11. DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles

12. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks

13. Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns

14. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

15. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

16. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

17. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers

18. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

19. Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers

20. Navorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers

21. Darrelle Revis, New York Jets

22. Ndamukong Suh, the Miami dolphins

23. Brandon Marshall, New York Jets

24. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

25. Drew Brees, Saints of New Orleans

26. Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders

27. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns

28. Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks

29. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

30. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

31. Tim Tebow, Philadelphia Eagles

32. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

33. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

34. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills

35. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots

36. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

37. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

38. Alshon Jeffery, The Chicago Bears

39. Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers *

40. Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers

41. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings

42. Kam Chancellor, Seattle Seahawks

43. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

44. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

45. Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns

46. ​​Kevin White, Chicago Bears

47. Eric Reid, San Francisco 49ers

48. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

49. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers

50. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos

* Retired March 10, 2015

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Nike shuts down small NFL jersey trade stores, owners say

Co-owner Alison Hender is concerned that she doesn’t have NFL merchandise so she can sell to her customers at the Stadium Shop at Gateway Mall in Newark. The store was opened 14 years ago by his father, co-owner Norman Leventhal.

It should be a time of pure joy for stores selling Giants merchandise, but some smaller players in the sportswear industry say they are being shut out of the replica jerseys market by Nike, which will take over the jerseys contract from the NFL for the upcoming season. .

“I’ve been in business for 38 years, I’ve always worn NFL jerseys, and they won’t sell them to me,” said Buddy Kurzweil, owner of Buddy’s Sports Corner in Paramus Park Mall. “They don’t even want to be bothered with me, they never even answered me. It’s their prerogative, they can deal with whoever they want, it’s free enterprise, but it hurts the little guy a bit. . “

Nike spokesman Brian Strong declined to comment for the story, saying the company will be talking about its partnership with the NFL closer to April, when it will officially launch the jersey line. Reebok also did not comment.

But if Nike refused to sell to small suppliers who worked with Reebok, it wouldn’t violate any licensing rules, according to the NFL.

“Licensees determine which outlets they sell to,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

Nike replaces Reebok for the exclusive right to manufacture replica jerseys after the end of a decade-long contract after the 2011 season. Nike has already made waves with drastic changes in college football jersey designs for the. Oregon and other teams


but won’t necessarily do so in the NFL as teams must approve changes.

If Nike excluded small merchants from selling exclusively to big box sports stores like Dick’s and Modell’s, that would be a huge change, say small store owners.

Without Nike, stores could still sell football apparel like t-shirts and sweatshirts, but owners say selling jerseys is important to their customers, even if it’s not the biggest generator of football. ‘money.

“We are a sports store. How not to wear the jersey of the local football team? Kurzweil asked.

It couldn’t come at a worse time for stores hoping to sell to the Giants fan base: Super Bowl winners traditionally lead the league in merchandise sales immediately after their championship, which was true in 2008 for the Giants. Giants and last year for the Packers.

That’s a problem for Norman Leventhal, owner of the Stadium Shop in the Gateway complex in Newark, which sells Giants, Devils and other sporting goods.

He said his store account was supposed to automatically transfer from Reebok to Nike, just as his hat contract was when New Era took over the NFL hat license for the new season.

“Reebok came back and said I wasn’t accepted by Nike,” said Leventhal, 70. “I said, ‘Am I the only one? (Reebok) replied … it’s all small stores. “

It’s not just a New Jersey issue – the same story was picked up by Elliot Cohen, who helps lead the New York Grand Slam to Times Square, where he said NFL clothing was second best. seller after Yankees goods.

“(Nike) sent me a letter saying we can’t sell you,” Cohen said.

The exact wording, according to Cohen:

“Thank you for your recent interest in opening a Nike account.… We have determined that your business is not aligned with Nike’s overall development plans.”

Cohen said this happened despite an existing relationship with which he sold material for Converse, which is a subsidiary of Nike.

“I’m a pretty big dealer, so if they don’t sell me, I imagine they will only sell to big box stores,” Cohen said. “All the little guys are probably going to be kicked out of it.”

This view is also shared by Brian LeBoeuf, owner of Sports Minded Unlimited in Warren.

“I think they’re going to protect the stores that carry the line of shoes,” LeBoeuf said. “It’s just another way the mom and pop stores get crushed.… We sponsor Little League, but the mall stores get the sales. There aren’t many of us anymore.”

Eliot Caroom: (973) 392-7919, [email protected], @eliotter on Twitter

A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that the company had designed new uniforms for Oregon and Maryland. In fact, the new Maryland jerseys were designed by Baltimore-based Under Armor.

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