Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

An NFL Rookie Jersey Sales Slump Is A Definite "Pick" For Me

NFL Jerseys

I don’t need to be a savant to figure out that it’s not going to be a record breaking year for NFL rookie jersey sales. With so many lineman and defensive players being picked in the NFL draft, (the first round yielded two QBs, five RBs and no wideouts), I'm sure the folks at Reebok aren’t expecting jerseys to fly off the shelves.

Just look at the fact that the top two picks don’t even have their numbers yet.

The Miami Dolphins signed their first pick Jake Long more than a week ago. You can pre-order his jersey on the , but there isn’t a number attached. If the team thought he was at all marketable, that wouldn’t be the case. The Rams don’t have a number for the number two overall pick Chris Long either.

And the two first round quarterbacks have baffled me with their weird number selections. Matt Ryan is wearing No. 2, which is definitely the most uncommon QB number in the allowed range from 1-19. Recent wearers include Aaron Brooks and Tim Couch. It’s so uncommon that it actually looks like something is missing. The Ravens’ Joe Flacco took No. 5, which only looks OK because of Donovan McNabb.

Here are the jersey numbers we’ve been able to confirm for some of the other draft picks:

#20 Darren McFadden, Raiders
#72 Glenn Dorsey, Chiefs
#90 Sedrick Ellis, Saints
#91 Derrick Harvey, Jaguars
#11 Brian Brohm, Packers
#7 Chad Henne, Dolphins

It's time to take care of some mail from my readers, so here we go.

Some of you took objection to my comment that fans didn't lose much during rainout. Here's the best of the best from an anonymous reader:
"Rainouts are very costly to fans. The expense of getting to stadium and waiting is part of the experience. Last year, we had tickets to see St. Louis. The game was called off before it began, after a long rain delay. The tickets can ONLY be exchanged at Shea, not by phone or internet, so another trip to the stadium is REQUIRED. There is NO such thing as SIMILAR or SAME seating. I made the trip the first day tickets went on sale this year in the freezing cold and wind only to be told 'the best available' was 'sky high'."

Good point on the going back to the stadium. I did not include that. But there's something to be said at the end of the day for just the luck of the draw. The rain isn't the Mets fault. And if you want to be picky and try to get a Cardinals game again on a particular day of your choice, understand it could be tough.

In my post-draft day article,I said that Brian Brohm could have lost more than $10 million as a result of coming back his senior season. One reader said he wasn't the biggest financial loser:
"I would submit the case of troubled TCU defensive end Tommy Blake. A googling will turn up a plethora of lamenting but suffice to say this kid was a first round pick in September and didn't even get drafted this weekend due to social anxiety disorder among other mental issues. By comparison Brian Brohm made off like a robber baron."
Matt Rollins

Matt--you make a valid point, but there are a couple things I have to address here. First, I question whether Blake's top five status was really legit. He did have a great junior season and you could see how he definitely was a bonafide first rounder, but if you look at mock drafts, he wasn't unanimously heralded like Brohm was.

For argument's sake, I'd put him at around the 21st pick of the first round in the 2007 draft. That means he would have made around $7 million guaranteed. Now Blake didn't get drafted and didn't sign a free agent contract yet and might never get signed. So who lost more money? I think Brohm still did.

Questions?  Comments?