Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Garbage Bag

There was once a true, honest-to-sports-loving-goodness outlet store in New Haven, CT. It was a Starter store (oh yeah, we are so talking the 90s) that had tons of off-price irregulars and out of date items.

In the world of sports, that means players that have retired or moved to another team.

I was in there with my sister and her kids when I came across a rack of Steelers jerseys. I mean, essentially, the real deal. Not a knock-off or "replica." This was right near the time that Reebok and Nike would begin to rule the NFL uniform contract. Starter wasn't quite the same after that.

There, on that rack, were a small selection of players, including Rod Woodson, the Hall of Fame defensive back who had just left the Steelers and would finish his career with the 49ers, Ravens, and Raiders.

The jersey, a white one, cost $20, a bargain even in the late 90s. I swooped in.

Back then, as now, I was pretty diligent at switching out clothes between the warm and cold weather. We would bag things up and put them into the attic (for the record, I use either a large suitcase or plastic tubs now).

I tended to not keep the football jerseys out in the warm weather, unless they were the mesh kind (which I'll wear to mow the law, thus justifying my creamsicle Tampa Bay Bucs Josh Freeman number five. Something has to justify it.).

So come spring, the gloves, winter hats, scarves, and heavier clothing would go into a bag. Sometimes those bags would sit at a small cutout near the front door of the apartment.

Sometimes, garbage bags would sit there -- a sign that I, the lazy husband, needed to take said garbage down to the dumpster.

One time, I grabbed a garbage bag and took the walk down to toss out the trash.

A few hours later (could be more, I don't remember now), Sean's mother (though this was pre-Sean) asked me about the garbage bag in question.

"I threw it out," I said, as a feeling of pride of a job well done combined with a quizzical pang ran through me.

She gasped and looked somewhat sick.

You know where this is going, right? I ran to the dumpster, knowing that it was gone. Indeed it was.

Yup. Goodbye hats. Gloves. Goodbye Vermont Flannel Company comfy pants that I bought at The Big E. Goodbye other items that I would wear during the cold months.

Goodbye number 26 Rod Woodson jersey, minus the 1994 "75th anniversary" patch that he is wearing in the picture below, above the "six."
Many of the other items got replaced. Not the jersey.


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