The World Cup Jersey Swap

I don’t know much about the sport, but this seems a silly thing to do (image by MPF cc by sa 3.0)

For the next month, teams representing thirty-two nations will battle for futbol supremacy in the FIFA World Cup. Whenever the World Cup comes around, people like me become soccer fans for the first time since our kids played in the league down at the rec center.

There is one big difference between kid league soccer and World Cup games. When the kid games end, all the players get a juice box and orange slices.  After a World Cup game, the players take off their jerseys and swap them with players from the other team. This is a really nice gesture of respect and a great way to get a cool jersey as a memento.

The Idea.

I’ve seen the jersey swap enough to understand that it is one of the sport’s long-standing traditions. I’d like to extend the tradition beyond the confines of the football pitch.

Did you notice that? I live in the U.S., but I called a soccer field a football pitch. I am so open-minded.  I’m open-minded and my son once had a British soccer coach who called the field a “pitch” and soccer shoes “boots”. Don’t let my open-minded ways distract you from the premise – the jersey exchange is an idea whose time has come.

For Example…


As you can see, I was in real trouble.

A few years back, I found out that my neck was a mess. My vertebrae weren’t all they were meant to be and they were damaging my spinal cord. I was in trouble until a surgeon went to work on me. I walked out of the hospital a new man, or at least a much happier old man.

If the jersey swap idea was in effect back then, I’d have tugged off my shirt as I left the hospital and handed it to my doctor. I’d have let him know how much I appreciated his professionalism. Maybe he’d have told me how he admired the way I held up despite my discomfort. I’d have left with a surgical scrub shirt, he’d have a University Of Maryland sweatshirt and we’d have both felt respected.

Imagine that you’re enjoying a great meal in a restaurant. You ask to see the chef, exchange compliments and shirts and you walk out with one of those cool chef jackets. You’re with me now, aren’t you? Of course you are, we all want one of those chef jackets.

We Can Work It Out

I wonder if anyone has ever swapped jerseys with the referee. (image by jacktd cc by sa 3.0)

I know there are kinks that require working out as we get this jersey swapping idea going.

We all know that there are men who would take advantage of the shirt swap for unscrupulous reasons. These clowns could ruin a good thing for us all. I’m recommending a “you are skeeving me out” clause that would allow women to refuse swap offers that are less than honorable.

All of us have shirts with sentimental value. There would have to be a way to protect those treasures. No one is getting my 1966 Brooks Robinson baseball jersey because I did something nice for them; that would be a punishment for me.

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

It is time to bring this gesture of mutual respect off the futball 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.


13 Comments on “The World Cup Jersey Swap”

  1. xacrest says:

    Great idea Oma! Nonetheless, I vote that the sweat differential between both parties should be kept to a minimum and that crop tops shouldn’t qualify for exchange 😛

    • omawarisan says:

      Oh, for sure. After a soccer game it’s understood that the jersey will be sweaty, but they’re going to the locker rooms anyhow. You should be able to invoke a perspiration exemption.

      Crop tops and tube tops are right out.

      • Blogdramedy says:

        Don’t forget those sleeveless white tops guys were out in public that are really sleeveless underwear tops. The ones so thin you can see their chest hair. And man boobs.

        Because you can’t unsee that. Ever.

        • omawarisan says:

          Yes, definitely not swap worthy. If you save a dozen baby seals wearing one of those, the best you can hope for is a respectful nod.

          Well, not you so much as a hypothetical dude.

  2. shoutabyss says:

    If I took off my shirt those around me would go blind. Hmm. Wait a minute. Fiendishly clever. Wouldn’t it just be simpler to slap the doctor on the ass or maybe dump a cooler of Gatorade on him?

  3. Blogdramedy says:

    No one’s getting my “Obama: Yes We Can” tee shirt until that slogan changes to “Yes We Did.”

    So. One less thing to worry about.

    Nice post, Oma.

  4. The good news is I could finally get rid of some of these shirts. The bad news that I’d be inheriting someone else’s, and it probably won’t fit.

  5. […] game, even as I laugh at us for our quadrennial interest in it. I’ve advocated that we adapt soccer’s tradition of exchanging jerseys with an opponent after a match so we can use it in every day life . What better way to let someone know you […]

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s a fantastic idea, in theory, cause the sweat thing is kind of a deal breaker…. Ahh, here I go, simply adding to that negative, it can’t be done attitude. Bad me!

  7. No chance of me ever giving up my Team Ireland Lacrosse Jersey. I love that thing!

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