Iron Blade COMMENTARIES column November 10, 1994

by Steve Maddy, staff writer

All They Have Is Tampa Bay Junk, Sorry Eric

This Sunday, I watched the Jets and the Bills play. A lot of things popped into my head while I watched the game. Things like, "The Jets sure look tough this year!

Will the Bills make it to the Super Bowl again? Jim Kelly sure 
is losing his hair.

Boomer Esiason needs to shave his scruffy beard." and the conversation I had with Eric Baker in Dr. Gribbins' novel class.

I walked into class Friday, and he realized that I'm the one who does this column. (Imagine that!)    Eric said to me, "You're the 
guy who does the funny articles?"

I replied, "Are they funny?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Well, that's good to know."

He exclaimed,  "So are you going to do anymore football articles like how hard it is to get Jet stuff?    Green Fields doesn't even carry Jets' stuff.   I don't understand;  the Jets 
are a decent team, but yet I can't find any of their stuff.
   People even carry Tampa Bay "junk" (place an emphasis on 
the "I" to get the full effect of the way he said it!)

The Jets are 5-4,  and only two games back of the Dolphins who are in first place in the AFC East.   The Jets are very much in the play-off picture.    I thought to myself as I was watching this game, "Thanks Eric, you just gave me a topic for my column this week, even though I am a Cowboys fan."    (And no, I didn't jump on the band-wagon.   I've been a Cowboys fan ever since I knew what football was.)

I hadn't come up with a topic yet, and I usually don't until Sunday which is the day before our deadline.

After the game, I went out to Tanglewood Mall to see if there  
were any Jets stuff at some of the sports stores there.    The first store I visited was Champs,  slash Legends,  slash Champs again 
(I wish these people would make up their minds on a name for the place.)   I found Rams' stuff,  Bengal stuff,  which by the way are 1-8,  and yes,  I found the Tampa Bay  "junk"  Eric told me about.

I asked one of the salesmen,  who work at this store with many aliases,  why they had no Jets' stuff displayed.    I think this gave 
him the feeling that I knew they had some in the back,   but were just hiding it to piss Eric off.

He bluntly said, "We don't carry Jets paraphernalia."

In Erics' defense,  I wanted to know why.   He stated, "This is Virginia;  nobody down here likes the Jets.  Besides, they're 
not that good,   but we can order some Jets paraphernalia 
for you."     
Some people just wouldn't appreciate this guys' bluntness - like Eric.    I wonder how many sales he makes a day. It's a wonder he can afford to eat.

From Champs, I went down to the Footlocker where you would think only shoes were sold.    But as it turns out, they sell a little bit of everything except Jets' stuff. I   was really beginning to realize where Eric was coming from I tried to put myself into his shoes.  I don't know what I would do if I couldn't find any Cowboys or Notre Dame stuff.   You would almost have to travel to that region to get the paraphernalia.   I just realized something; New York is a lot closer to Virginia than Dallas or South Bend.   Sorry Eric.

From Foot Locker,   I went to CMT Sporting Goods,  and told myself that if they don't have it,  no one in this area will.   I walked into the the store, and instead of looking for myself,  I tracked down a salesperson for the information.   Oddly enough, this store did have a pair of Jets' boxer shorts,  and the salesperson said they had T-shirts,  hats,  a jersey with Boomers' name on the back, and a couple of different style hats at the stadium in Meadowlands.  Just kidding,  he said I could find these items at the parent store on Brandon Avenue.

Well, there you have it,  Eric.   CMT Sporting Goods has your Jets stuff which seems to be a wide variety.   I think you can get some Tampa Bay "junk" there too!

You can thank me later.