Monday, August 10, 2015

A Closer Look at That Gold Jacket

This weekend, former Packer GM Ron Wolf was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. This photo shows him being bestowed with the signature gold blazer:

Ron Wolf slips on his gold jacket with the help of his Hall of Fame presenter and son Eliot Wolf during the Gold Jacket Ceremony Thursday night in Canton, Ohio. (AP)

A few things jump out at me from this picture. First, Mr. Wolf the Younger is wearing his Super Bowl XLV ring, which looks to be the same as the player ring. He certainly has the right to wear it, as he was Assistant Director of Pro Personnel during the 2010 season, has since risen through the ranks, and earlier this year was promoted to Director of Player Personnel.

The other is the manufacturer's label inside the coat - Haggar Clothing Co.

Haggar has been around since the 1920s, and is today a leading manufacturer of men's pants and suits.

I never thought about the manufacturer before. Strange, after obsessing over jersey manufacturers for years.

To promote this year's festivities, the Hall released this graphic promoting the blazers as artifacts in their own right:

There's a lot of silly ad-speak in there, but also some fun details. including the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo on the buttons and the lining.

Note how they go to great pains to stress how each jacket is tied to the player; custom fitted, only the player is allowed to be photographed in it, etc. That means posthumous inductions require a different tribute. This year, with Junior Seau inducted just more than three years after his death, we see what that is.

Daughter of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Junior Seau, Sydney Seau, accepts a framed remembrance in place of her father's gold jacket during the Gold Jacket Ceremony in Canton, Ohio, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The "framed remembrance" includes a Hall of Fame blazer patch, commemorative coin and pin, along with a photo of Seau in uniform. Nice enough, but seems somehow pedestrian.

I wonder if this relatively new level of promotion means that we'll be seeing "gold blazer" or something like it used as a synonym for the Hall of Fame or the inducted members themselves. The NFL remains as image-conscious as ever, and won't miss an opportunity to write the language.

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