40 days of jerseys #13: Clerks

ClerksJersey #13 of 40: Clerks promotional jersey

Style: Replica
Size: L
Manufacturer: DDK Athletics
Obtained: Begged home office, repeatedly, 1994

You have no idea what I had to pull in order to get my bosses at the home office of the video store chain I worked for to give me this jersey. Begging was not beneath me in order to get this once in a lifetime opportunity to have two of the biggest things in one package; the sport I love and the movie that best defined what it was like to work in the environment for which I was employed.

Back in the day, when video stores ruled the world, we were oftentimes given lots of swag for purchasing x-number of video tapes to put out for rent. Believe it or not, if a video was deemed not to be that much of a big hit for purchasing by the general public, (such as Jurassic Park or Independence Day) but rather had a lesser potential for sales, the price of the VHS videos would range from $50-100 per copy! THAT is why we called your sorry ass when you didn’t return them on time!!! However, in order to entice the mom & pop stores as well as the bigger chains to buy more copies, promotional items were thrown in as collectibles. Such was the case with this jersey.

Then, after so many months, after the distributors and movie studios made some money on the tapes, they would allow the price to come down to retail value ($9.99-$24.99 usually).

So it was with Clerks, the Kevin Smith movie that introduced the world to Jay and Silent Bob, Dante, Randy, and a string of angry, weird, or underaged customers…when it came out on home video, it took off. I can recall fielding so many calls for this movie when word-of-mouth started to spread about how good this movie was.

This was one of the few movies in the 90s that I felt really related to me. Here I was in a video store, disgruntled somewhat, not feeling any direction in my life, dealing with angry shitheads who seemed to want to make my life a living hell because they didn’t return their last movie in on time…at times it was all I could do to muster the gumption to get out of bed and drag my ass into work to do it all over again day in and day out.

Hockey was my outlet (as was ham radio) and this movie had that and more.

It’s too small for me to wear, however. Jes can wear it no problem. It doesn’t have a size to it but I’ll place it at an Adult Large. I’d love to wear it, but that’s not happening anytime soon, I’m afraid.

It’s modeled after the San Jose Sharks’ jersey style of the 90s when they were setting records for merchandise sales, redefining how to market a team.

Despite having been miserable for some of my time working at the video store, I am grateful for the opportunity to work there and for a chance to get something that’s rare to come by. Which is why this jersey is not for sale or trade.

Tomorrow: From Russia with love


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