As a big fan of professional football, I love to look for apparel from my favorite teams and players, and authentic NFL jerseys are always one of my favorites. There is something about having the jersey of your favorite athlete that gives you a sense of pride.
As a Dallas Cowboys fan, I have the jerseys of several Cowboys greats, such as Randy White, Larry Allen, Chuck Howley and Bob Lilly. I prefer a lot of the older players and tough guys, and finding authentic NFL jerseys for some of them can be rather difficult.
I do catch some flack for this, especially from friends of mine that live in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. I also have some friends that live in New York who despise the Cowboys, and it seems that they really hate Dallas more than they do the other NFC East division rivals.
The thing is, they all buy authentic NFL jerseys of their favorite players as well, and subscribe to the same philosophy that I do – while authentic jerseys may cost a bit more, they are well worth it in the end, because they last practically forever.
I had a friend of mine tell me one time that I should just go ahead and buy replica jerseys, because they look the same and most people cannot tell the difference between a replica and an authentic jersey. My answer is always the same: I can tell the difference, especially after a few years.
It seems to me that authentic NFL jerseys hold up better through washings and the general wear-and-tear of everyday life than replica jerseys. I have one authentic Tony Dorsett jersey that is nearly 20 years old and is still in good condition. This is a jersey I have even worn while playing games of tackle football with my friends.
Another thing for me is that there is just something special about knowing that you are wearing the exact same kind of jersey that your favorite football players are wearing. That is something you get with authentic NFL jerseys that you know for a fact you are not getting with replica jerseys.
I guess for the casual football fan who is probably not going to wear a jersey that often anyway, a replica jersey is acceptable. It is going to be cheaper and, yes, it does look pretty much the same. For me and other hardcore fans, however, and for those fans that can afford it, authentic NFL jerseys are definitely the way to go if you want to keep them in good condition for years to come.