National Jersey Day occurs every first Friday in November, on November 3 this year, to the delight of sports fans around the country who get to wear the jerseys of their favorite sports personalities. People of all ages can cheer for their favorite teams together and organize special sporting activities where heated arguments about past games and events will ensue. This Friday will unearth rivalries yet bring unity. And it goes beyond soccer. Every other team sport that requires jersey uniforms is included in the fun. Any lover of sports can join in the common camaraderie to observe National Jersey Friday and proudly wear their jerseys.
History of National Jersey Day
The term ‘jersey’ comes from the island of Jersey in the English Channel where natives have a long tradition of knitting, and the earliest sports clothing was made. The first gymnasts were from Germany. They wore grey linen uniforms at first, but by the 1890s, cotton shirts became more common. When team sports emerged with the need to tell players apart, their shirts were dyed in many different colors, and symbols and numbers were sewn on. At the 1896 Olympics, athletes from the same nation wore different clothes to compete. By the 1908 London Games, uniform clothing regulations were put in place for all competitors, and the word ‘jersey’ was mentioned for the first time in a sportswear context. The first sports jerseys were made with cotton or wool fabrics before synthetic versions like nylon and lycra came about in the ’30s. The first synthetic jerseys were quite uncomfortable, yet by the ’70s, they were the most popular and seen as perfect for sports.
Not until 1970 did sports teams begin to create a strong identity for themselves and take the idea of commercializing their shirts seriously, starting from when English football team Leeds United became the first to design shirts that could be sold to fans as replicas in 1975. Moved by the success, other clubs followed suit, adding manufacturers’ logos and a higher trim level to their shirt designs. Jerseys became even more mainstream when German team Eintracht Braunschweig became the first to sign a deal to display a sponsor’s logo on the front of their shirts. By the ’80s and ’90s, almost all major clubs had signed such deals, increasing the value of sponsorships, especially for larger teams. In the U.S., the North American Soccer League was the first to experiment with printing the players’ names on their shirts and assigning each player a squad number.
The day was started by the National Football League Players Association, to bring fans together, and build a sense of community through the uniforms of their sports teams. Wear the jersey of your favorite sports player to observe National Jersey Friday today. Wear it to work, school, restaurants, and or even around your home.
National Jersey Day timeline
All participants of the London Games are given regulations that mandate them to wear “a sleeved jersey and loose drawers to the knees” or be exempted.
The Cleveland Indians are the first MLB team to have numbered jerseys.
The first numbered jerseys are worn for a soccer match between Arsenal and Sheffield.
Henry Austin wears shorts to Wimbledon, the first player ever to do this, to the amusement of the spectators.
National Jersey Friday is first celebrated when the National Football League Players Association initiates it to bring all sports fans together.
National Jersey Day FAQs
What is a jersey called in England?
Jersey. Jersey is one of the most common words for a shirt in England, especially when it’s used around the context of football or soccer.
What is a shirt jersey?
A shirt made with jersey knitted fabric. The word ‘jersey’ represents the knit and not its constituents.
Why are sports jerseys so expensive?
With a reputation as a premium commodity among fans, the quality and intricacy of the finishing, and the limited supply from one source controlling a monopoly for each sport, sports jerseys are in very high demand, further increasing their value.
Do players repeat jerseys?
Players only wear their jerseys once these days. Charities frequently request that sporting clubs donate these worn jerseys, others are swapped with opponents, and so on.
National Jersey Day Activities
Wear your team’s jersey
How else can you put your fandom on display this National Jersey Friday? Celebrate by proudly wearing your favorite player’s jersey throughout the day! If you ever get bored of wearing one, pick another one and wear that too.
Share an image of yourself in your team’s jersey online for the world to see. Take hundreds of selfies and select the best of them to share.
Social media is where bants happen when it comes to sports. Go in and be brutal. Post about your team and profess your undying love for them. Use #JerseyFriday while you’re at it to track conversations around National Jersey Friday.
5 Fun Facts About Jerseys
The true jerseys are cows
Yes, the use of the word ‘jersey’ to refer to sports uniforms came from the island that invented the knitting style, but the island itself is named after a British breed of small dairy cattle called the Jersey, which has been pure-bred since the 1500s.
The jersey numbers are associated with positions
The soccer player’s jersey numbers usually correlate with his/her position on the field.
The first player numbers were hand-sewn
In the early 1900s, player numbers were sewn on by hand.
The Olympics played a part
Even though competitive sports have always existed, the return of the Olympics in 1896 created an interest in functional sportswear that led to the discovery of jerseys.
Dak Prescott has the best-selling jersey
According to popular sporting goods retailer, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dallas Cowboys’ star quarterback Dak Prescott has the best-selling jersey, edging out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Why We Love National Jersey Day
It celebrates our love for our team
National Jersey Friday celebrates our love for our favorite sports team. On this day, we bask in the glory of sports and unite for it. We wear our favorite team jerseys, gift them to friends, and more.
We get to banter with rivals
We ignite good old banter of rivalries for old tradition’s sake. National Jersey Friday is no doubt a day we love because of the bants.
A chance to hang out with fellow sports fans
National Jersey Friday wouldn’t be so fun without the presence of fellow fans of the sports and players we love. We get to make new friends with a connection as powerful as sports.
National Jersey Day dates