Sunday, September 9, 2007

Q: If you had to wear a sports jersey...

...which player's jersey would you choose?

A week ago, I set out to perform a scientific study: I noted every sports jersey I saw, as well as the race of the person wearing the jersey.

Hypothesis: The majority of sports fans who deign to wear a sports jersey select, subconsciously or not, a jersey of a player of their own race.

Here is the data:

9/2 Payton Manning worn by African-American male
9/3 Jeremy Shockey worn by African-American male
9/3 Donovan Jamal McNabb worn by Asian-American male
9/5 Kurt Warner worn by African-American male
9/7 Dominique Wilkins worn by African-American male
9/8 Michael Owen worn by Caucasian male
9/9 LeBron James worn by Caucasian male
9/9 Stephan Marbury worn by African-American male
9/9 Kobe Bryant worn by African-American female
9/9 Jose Reyes worn by Caucasian male
9/10 Alex Rodriguez worn by Caucasian male
9/10 Alex Rodriguez worn by Caucasian male
9/10 Alex Rodriguez worn by Caucasian male
9/10 "Rothman" Yankee jersey worn by Caucasian male

Result: Nine of thirteen jersey wearers, or 69%, chose to wear jerseys of players not of their own race. As the scientists like to say, it seems there is no correlation between athlete race and jersey wearer race. If I better understood the definition of correlated, I could tell you if athlete race being different than jersey wearer race is correlated.

Note: This is merely a preliminary report. I will continue to collect data throughout the football season.

Note: For the purpose of this study, Derek Jeter will be considered African-American, even though statistically speaking he is, at most, 50% African-American.

A: And to answer the question I pose in the title, I think I would wear a Jose Reyes jersey. Or maybe an old Rickey Henderson Yankee jersey. I can also see myself wearing an Igawa jersey. For football, I'd wear a Brandon Jacobs jersey (I hope his knee is okay) or an Eli jersey (I hope his shoulder is okay). For the record, I also like the 5'6" Darren Sproles, but I would not buy his jersey yet. (Is there a such thing as a Tiger Woods jersey? I feel myself strangely compelled to love him. I watched two hours of golf today just to see him win...I can't think of another athlete that I would give that amount of time to). Musa would wear a Barry Sanders jersey. And Anson would wear a Vince Young jersey.


Anson Mountain said...

At the airport in Kansas City, I noticed three different Caucasian males wearing A-Rod jerseys. Just to add to the report. There was also a Caucasian male wearing a Yankees jersey with the name Rothman, which I think might be a personalized jersey.
And, yes, I would wear a Vince Young jersey.

Clem said...

As a side note, Cincinnati gangs have taken to wearing Misfits t-shirts, meaning Glenn Danzig's punk outfit ("I killed your baby today, and it doesn't matter much to me as long as it's dead"). I don't know why--it has something to do with the big white and green death's head on the front of the shirt, I think. Does this count? That C. Palmer and C. Henry jerseys have been replaced by G. Danzig?

Hank Hulkum said...


You raise an interesting suggestion. After wikipedia-ing Misfits (did you know their fans are called Fiends?), I would argue that these jerseys should count: