Monday, November 23, 2015

Under the Hood(ie)

The chatter started sometime in the second quarter.

I was watching the Packers in a bar in Brooklyn, following the online conversation during interminable TV timeouts. And the conversation was hopping. Fans weren't talking about the Packers' defense finding its steel. Although it was. Packers' offense getting into a groove. Although it was. Or even about Mason Crosby finding the uprights. Although he did.

They were talking about James Jones, who was wearing a team-issued hoodie under his jersey.

Everybody wanted to talk about it.

By the end of the game, it was Twitter's top trend.

And it wasn't just Twitter.

I couldn't grab screenshots of the game from my barstool, but my pal Jeff Ash generously sent me his:

Great stuff.

It reminded me of an old-timey baseball pitcher wearing a windbreaker under his jersey.

The conversation kept going throughout the game, and I suspect that had the Packers not been doing increasingly well on the field we wouldn't have been enjoying the distraction quite so much. The game even had a competing meme as a squirrel ran out on the field, but nothing could distract the fans from the Hoodie of Destiny.

During the game itself, former NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira on the Fox Sports broadcast.

Yes, the hoodie is legal. No, it does not mark him down when it hits the ground, any more than a towel scraping the turf would mark him down. And most interestingly, a defensive player could grab the hood and drag him to the ground without running afoul of the "horse collar tackle" rule.

This morning, the chatter continues.

If you start to put his name into the Google machine, "James Jones hoodie" comes up in the auto-complete.

Before the game had ended, some wag had started a Twitter account devoted to the hoodie. It was joined by a second shortly thereafter. Perhaps not surprisingly, it has also made his Wikipedia page.

After the game, Jones explained why he had worn it.

Lots of talk about a piece of sideline gear. I was frankly surprised that the Packers Pro Shop didn't send out an email blast this morning spotlighting the hoodie for sale.

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