Not since Rob Lowe was seen at the Super Bowl wearing an NFL shield hat have we seen such a bewildering sartorial display of sports fandom. Ahead of the season opener tonight, which will feature an Ed Sheeran performance before kickoff, the NFL has released a range of merchandise to commemorate the occasion.
Our issue isn’t with how boring the gear is (and it is) but with trying to figure out who the hell would wear Ed Sheeran NFL merch. At least one person has snitched on themselves, as Pro Football Focus analyst Mike Renner revealed he spent three hundred and sixty-one American dollars to purchase the entire collection. Mike, no one made you do that!
Nothing says “football is back” like refusing to commit to a team while repping England’s most pervasive redheaded crooner. NFL gear is already hopelessly bad, but the Ed Sheeran merch may just be the very worst thing you can wear to show your supposed football fandom.
Let’s break ‘em down — The NFL’s newest and least redeemable capsule consists of a satin bomber, T-shirt, and a hat only Rob Lowe could love. Each is adorned, or compromised, by simply the name “Sheeran” sitting above the league’s shield, while the jacket adds the text “2021 Kickoff” so you’ll never forget the pop star’s contribution to the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers home opener.
While the gear should be relegated to an outside-the-stadium giveaway that then languishes in a dark corner before eventually winding up in a thrift store, the NFL has the gall to charge people for it. The hat will set you back $30, the T-shirt $50(!), and the satin jacket a whopping $250.
Those are high prices to pay, but your dignity will be the greatest cost should you decide to be a Mike and part with your money.