The World Cup Jersey Swap: Why not?

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=world+cup+jersey&iid=9182656″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”137″ /]Today I ate lunch in a restaurant where a World Cup Soccer Match was on the television. For those of you who are keeping track, Uruguay 1 Mexico 0. In soccer, zero is pronounced nil. Anyhow, at the end of the game the players exchanged jerseys. I think this is a really nice gesture of respect and a great way to get a cool memento.

The Idea.

I’ve seen the jersey swap enough to know that it is a tradition of the sport. Today it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to extend the tradition beyond the confines of the football pitch.

Did you notice that? I live in the U.S., but I didn’t call it a soccer field. I am so open minded. Don’t let that distract you from the premise. The shirt exchange is an idea whose time as come.

For Example…

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=doctors+scrubs&iid=8772563″ src=”″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]Several months ago I wrote about an adventure I had while being treated for a kidney stone. That stone hurt a lot. The emergency room physician diagnosed me quickly and got me relief from the pain.

If the shirt swap had been in effect back then I’d have handed the doctor my shirt on my way out and told him how much I appreciated his professionalism. He’d probably have told me how much he admired the way I held up despite my discomfort. I’d have left with a cool scrub shirt, he’d have a University of Maryland sweatshirt and we’d both have felt respected.

Imagine yourself in a restaurant enjoying a great meal. You ask to see the chef, exchange compliments and you walk out with one of those cool chef jackets. You’re with me now, aren’t you?

We Can Work It Out

I know there are kinks to be worked out.

We all know that there are unscrupulous men who would take advantage of the shirt swap for perverted reasons. I would encourage the implementation of a “you are skeeving me out” clause that would allow women to refuse swap offers that are less than honorable.

All of us have favorite shirts. There would have to be a favorite clause to protect those treasures. No one is getting my Roberto Clemente jersey because they saw me help an elderly woman with her groceries.

There probably should be some sort of equal value exception as well. We’ll put our heads together to work that, and any other issues you might bring up, out.

It is time to bring this gesture of mutual respect off the football pitch and into day to day life.  Help me make this dream a reality. Offer to swap shirts with someone who has done great work today.

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85 Comments on “The World Cup Jersey Swap: Why not?”

  1. Abe's Blog says:

    I think this could work…I want to swap for a police uniform!

  2. planetross says:

    I want to swap for a t-shirt from my favourite ramen restaurant … because they don’t sell them for fear that I might just wander into their kitchen one day … or because they can’t believe anyone would want one … or something like that.

    Swapping shirts at a “shirts and skins competition” would be unfair too!

    Swapping at the Nudist World Cup of Football would be interesting. hee hee!

  3. shoutabyss says:

    Maybe after a presidential debate?

    • omawarisan says:

      That would lend an unexpected level of decency, wouldn’t it?

    • J says:

      Come to think of it, swapping ties would be a decent professional substitute for shirts in diplomatic or business situations. Too bad most guys no longer wear ties to work and women by-in-large don’t wear ties or scarves professionally either.

  4. newzeum's material culture says:

    Love the idea, but as a lady of traditional proportions, I would not be able to wear the itty-bitty shirt, and my shirt might look like a tent to my intended victim. Hmmm What else could be swapped?

    Incidently, while back-packing about Europe in the 1970’s, we carried Canadian coins, postage stamps and embroidered logo’s to swap and quickly ran out.

    In the True North.

    • omawarisan says:


      Adding a cool shirt to your wardrobe is a side bonus if it fits. This could be about the respect at the time, and the trophy you could have on your wall.

      So you could have, as in the example, a celebrity chefs jacket from a charity event and a great story of how you got it!

  5. jpcabit says:

    Ooh cool idea! I’d probably end up with military fatigues… -j.p.

  6. pattypunker says:

    i’d love to score a tutu!

  7. HippieCahier says:

    Do hoodies count? Because I have one with the powers of invisibility.

    Also, is there such a thing as a male/female swap that is honorable?

    • omawarisan says:

      Hoodies count, but if you value your invisibility you should immediately place that particular one on your favorites list.

      And on the honorability…sure! If the swap was such that a woman wanted to make it but did not feel properly garmented beneath she could rain check it and hand it over later.

      What I’m looking to provide an out for is for guys who might abuse this thusly: “Hey, I like the way you put your drink back on the bar without spilling it”…and then start taking their shirt off to initate a swap. Not cool, their lax definition of a swap worthy act and level of respect defiles my concept.

      Swap worthy act. Bam, right off the top of my head.

  8. ashleythinks says:

    I noticed this at the end of the Spain game the other day, definitely cool idea.

    • omawarisan says:

      I agree. Hope you’ll look for an opportunity to put it into practice. I can’t change society alone.

      Well, maybe I can, but it would be nice if you ptiched in.

  9. “Today I ate lunch in a restaurant where a World Cup Soccer Match was on the television. For those of you who are keeping track, Uruguay 1 Mexico 0. In soccer, zero is pronounced nil.”
    You said soccer. Just saying.

  10. ribbie says:

    Well, it’s an interesting idea and one that I am not altogether opposed to, however, the player jersey swap has me puzzled. First, what do they do with the jerseys? Surely they don’t immediately wear the sweat drenched jersey. And how are the swaps determined? Is it by position, common number? Who launders them? And then what? Do the players actually wear them later, say out to eat or at practice? They must have hundreds of jerseys, where do they store them?

    I could see this exchange working well for minor fender benders – exchange insurance information along with shirts. And maybe in the court, if the judge rules in your favor – but I’d want the robe, not the shirt.

    Why don’t baseball players do this, at least during the world series or something? American football players could exchange helmets, golfers their hats, or sun glasses, race car drivers could exchange cars. Hockey players of course could just exchange blows.

    • omawarisan says:

      I’m with you, there’s not a lot of folks I am thrilled enough with wear their clammy shirt.

    • J says:

      A friend of a sister of a friend of mine was an Olympic skier for the U.S. in Vancouver and Torino. He exchanged all kinds of stuff with other skier and can now be seen skiing around in a China jacket.

      Gear swaps aren’t limited to soccer jerseys.

  11. Because People Are Idiots says:

    First off… GOOOOOOAAAALLLLL! USA! USA! USA!(it helps if you read this in your best bro-voice) Just had to get that out of my system. Anyway, I love the line “Did you notice that? I live in the U.S., but I didn’t call it a soccer field. I am so open minded.” I actually LOL’ed a bit.

  12. Nice idea.. even metaphorically! I liked the way you have thought of the various practical clauses 🙂

  13. tsanda says:

    featured on the main page again oma my dear old friend.
    you are certainly big time. here is my shirt.

  14. wjessdias says:

    I’m SO with you on this! I’ll start doing this myself! The ultimate swap would be after you are knighted by the Queen of England. How sweet would it be to have a royal cloak?

  15. blackwatertown says:

    Great idea. But sometimes shirt swapping is just too painful.
    A great radio presenter called Danny Baker on BBC Radio 5 Live introduced a feature called The Shirt of Hurt, whereby fans of teams that are deadly rivals are sponsored to swap shirts. The money raised goes to the Sport Relief charity. I think the most painful Shirt of Hurt swap was a Celtic & Rangers pairing (the two arch – and sometimes literally deadly – rivals of Glasgow football).

  16. What a great idea! Awesome blog =)

  17. oldmansenechal says:

    As a soccer fan, I often wondered what became of those testosterone soaked jerseys after the swap had been completed, then I discovered this interview with Robin Van Persie (Arsenal and Netherlands), which featured pictures of him and his “Wall of Fame”:

  18. Would lawyers on opposing sides swap shirts, jackets, ties or everything?

  19. […] via The World Cup Jersey Swap: Why not? « Blurt. […]

  20. rashidamust says:

    They switch their jerseys so the players can remember who they played, and its kinda just like a souvenir. They like to remember the game and the players. I like the idea

  21. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, great idea. Reminds me of the advert where some NBA players were playing foosball with some american women soccer players who were known to remove their shirts after scoring a goal. When they scored in the foosball game, the guys stopped, looked at the women, and said, “well…?” Ha ha, hilarious.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Not a bad idea… May give it a go sometime.

  23. Zach Machado says:

    I love this post! Great idea!
    Sorry about your stone – I have one right now as well (like my 9th stone…good times).

  24. linlah says:

    I don’t wear clothes so there wouldn’t be anything to swap.

  25. Songbird says:

    Lmao! Love it!! Even though just yesterday when watching the world cup and the “mandatory” shirt swapping goin on- I wondered… what do they actually do with those shirts?? Why would you want some other dude’s sweaty jersey?…lol!

    • omawarisan says:

      Someone posted earlier a picture of one player who had a wall of jerseys, which was a cool thing. Imagine all the cool stuff you’d have on your wall if you got this going in your life. You’re in, right?

  26. Evie Garone says:

    Cute! I love your idea, I just haven’t thought how I want to put it into practice in my real life yet, but I’m sure I will! I’ll be glad to help you get it going! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Good Blog!!

  27. Kate says:

    Oma, I have to tell you, the title of this post when it popped into my inbox was “The Jersey Swap: Why Not?” and I immediately thought you had written a post about New Jersey. (Perhaps I have been watching too much Real Housewives, Jersey Couture and Jersey Shore.) Imagine my surprise when I dropped by here to see you wrote about soccer. Shocked, I was. 😉

  28. sgottahurt says:

    Freshly Pressed! Congrats!

    You must get a WordPress tee for this!

  29. playercj54 says:

    Apparently a few of those football shirts get left behind because of their sweaty stench! I think not oly an equality of worth, but also an equality of hygiene..
    love the idea though!

  30. […] Check out this cool post about the jersey swap at Blurt. […]

  31. Sonu says:

    lol, that’s interesting! i tried doing that once when i went for an international youth summit, and tried to swap with a chinese guy! tho he wudn’t let go off this expensive silk chinese dress! 😦 😦

  32. […] Today I ate lunch in a restaurant where a World Cup Soccer Match was on the television. For those of you who are keeping track, Uruguay 1 Mexico 0. In soccer, zero is pronounced nil. Anyhow, at the en … Read More […]

  33. Excellent idea. I love the idea of the doctor saved your life, so you shirt-swap with him idea. I’m also thinking I should swap shirts with my local bag boy, my therapist, any man who buys me a cocktail at the bar, my gardener, and of course my personal waxer.

    Congrats on the post Well done.

  34. j8de says:

    To be honest, i’ve always wondered why they exchange shirts. Now knowing that it’s purely out of respect I find that heart warming and I think other sports should adapt that tradition.

    I think it would be a great idea to cntinue that tradition withen daily lives but I think it would have many flaws. For example, that only men could do so, that some people would find it odd and disrespectful in a sense just because you’re ripping your shirt off in public ect. But all in all it is a great idea and you must be a very respectable person to think of trying to adapt this tradition in our societty .

    • omawarisan says:

      Hi J8de.

      I agree, there are some wrinkles to be ironed out, modesty is one of them. We also need something to ensure it is only done for significant matters. it wont work if people are exchanging simply because they got adequate service in a restaurant.

  35. pink magic says:

    In college rowing, the winning team gets the racing shirts of the losers. It’s always a nice tradition because you end up with a collection of shirts as a memento. however, it’s technically gambling, so it’s not an NCAA sport. I’m glad they didn’t give up the tradition for a technicality.

  36. fl0w0n says:

    Soccer is (if not THE) most popular sport in the world. Swapping shirts is not only a tradition it is a sign of respect between teams.

    While soccer is not as physical as say, hockey or American football it does have its rough moments. With shirt swapping, especially on an international level, with teams representing their home countries-thousands and millions of people- shirt swapping could even be seen as a diplomatic action. Sportsmanship at its finest.

    • omawarisan says:

      I agree. The sport is not something i was exposed to a great deal. I think it is gradually coming on with successive generations in the states.

      My take on the shirt thing is silly, but I like your point on the diplomatic aspect. In the end, most international disputes arent between people but between “leaders”. Symbolic things can be big gestures

  37. Jersey-Swap says:

    This is sooo cool reading all your enthusiastic posts about jersey swapping. I stumbled across the blog when doing a bit of research for our new website
    It is a website that allows users to swap teamwear. Now of course that does exclude the option of getting your doctor to swap his neatly pressed work shirt for a smelly old gym tee! But the spirit of the swap is there!

    Good on you all, the world would be a more friendly place with a bit more shirt swapping!

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