Research Before Purchase – A Sports Fan’s Tale

The Miami Dolphins released wide receiver Marty Booker today. Chicago sports fans will remember Mr. Booker as a Pro-Bowl player for the Bears from 1999 to 2003. I’m sure he’ll find a slot elsewhere in the NFL. But I would like to relate my one personal Marty Booker-related experience.

In August of 2004 a friend of mine scored two tickets to a pre-season game against the 49ers, and he was cool enough to bring me along. We had pretty decent seats, the weather was great, the food was EXTRAORDINARILY expensive, and we drank many, many beers. I’m pretty sure the Bears won, but it was pre-season, so who cares?

Anyway, before the game we made our way to the gift shop, with the intention of scoring some jerseys. Of course the big seller was Brian Urlacher’s number 54, but we thought to eschew the obvious route and find some less heralded but equally awesome players to celebrate. My friend selected a handsome Mike Brown, and I went for Number 8, Sexy Rexy. And of course I had to bring one home to the wife, she being as big a fan as myself. I turned a corner, and a choir of angels sang out as I encountered a massive wall covered floor to ceiling in Marty Booker jerseys. Reading this as a sign, I grabbed one and got in line.

After about twenty minutes I was almost to the checkout counter when some dude behind me said, “I hope that Booker jersey’s marked down.” No, I said. But there’s a whole wall of them over there. “Yeah,” the guy said. “They gotta get rid of ’em all. He just got traded this morning. To Miami.” I turned toward the cashier for confirmation, and she just nodded with a wry smile.

Damn it. Kickoff was in just a few minutes. I didn’t want to get out of line. I set the Booker jersey aside and grabbed the best one I could reach without losing my place: Number 54, Urlacher.

Oh well. Probably the better investment in the end. My buddy’s Mike Brown hasn’t seen much action in the last few years, and I’m still waiting for my Grossman to pay off. I still think it’ll happen.

What? Why are you laughing?

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