I was in a pizza parlor with my husband on Saturday when I spotted them: A married couple in their mid-50s wearing matching nylon Patriot’s football jerseys.
Being well into middle age and a long suffering wife myself, I smiled broadly at the woman, trying to catch her eye so I could joke with her about her choice in costume.
Alas, she was having none of it. This woman was thrilled to be wearing a matching football jersey with her husband, reminiscent of tourists on Cape Cod who wear T-shirts that read “Master” on one and “Slave” on the other.
I have a code: no man or woman over the age of 12 years should ever wear clothing that is a knock-off of a professional sports outfit; this includes professional football, baseball, basketball and hockey team clothing. Only children can carry this look off with relative ease. An exception to this rule might be fathers with their sons and daughters visiting Cooperstown in the high season.
If I did not have this code, I would be dressing like my one of my favorite journalists Norman Mailer, who wore blue safari shirts and khaki pants every day for 30 years. I also admire Julia Child, but I don’t wear a chef’s hat and an apron when I am out on the town. I am in awe of medical doctors, to the point that I never question them, a friend calls it “white coat worship,” yet I don’t run around the Stop and Shop wearing a lab coat.
And, my obsession with long distance swimmer Diana Nyad in my college years thankfully did not give way to me sporting a racing swim suit in restaurants or at the mall; I just swam two miles a day in the open water.
So why is it that grown men wear professional sports gear? We have a fairly good idea why women wear team clothing. …