By Patrick Hruby
Special to Page 2
That's so last week.
Now that the throwback craze has gone mainstream, one thing is certain: $400 Wes Unseld jerseys won't be cool for very much longer. Not when everyone from PTI's Mike Wilbon to the entire staff of Page 2 has jumped on the retro express (next stop: headbands and Team USA Winter Olympic berets!).
Rod Smart Retro Jersey, 2001
Authentic details: Dubious grammar remains intact.
Fashion statement: Tryouts for MTV's "Tough Enough III?" I'm there!
In homage to: The NFL legend and Hertz pitchman who beat a double-murder rap in the mid-1990s Trial of the Century. Also a nod to Simpson's understated performances in "The Towering Inferno" and the "Naked Gun" trilogy.
Authentic details: Stitching patterned after original Aris Isotoners; genuine blood stains.
Fashion statement: Acquit, shma-cquit -- these gloves fit.
In homage to: The iconoclastic sports announcer, whose bombastic persona was oft-imitated but never duplicated. Sorta like his rug.
Authentic details: Can be pulled off, Muhammad Ali-style, with minimal effort.
Fashion statement: I tell it like it is. Let's talk male pattern baldness.
In homage to: The former New York Mets manager who, after getting ejected from a game, returned to the dugout wearing Groucho Marx glasses and a mustache made of painted-on eyeblack. Valentine was slapped with a two-game suspension for his attempted skullduggery; frankly, the Jedi mind trick would have been more effective.
Authentic details: Disguise costs $5,000, the same amount Valentine was fined by the National League.
Fashion statement: Bobby Valentine? Nope, haven't seen him.
In homage to: The former NFL runner who was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for a 1996 drug conviction, then sentenced to 10 years in Texas state prison for violating the terms of his parole.
Authentic details: Roomy fit around waist and thighs, the better to accommodate contraband and homemade shanks.
Fashion statement: I fought the law, and the law won. In a blowout.
In homage to: The legendary Carl Weathers character who made Rocky a champ, taught us a little something about the Eye of the Tiger, died at the hands of Ivan Drago and almost allowed us to forget "Action Jackson."
Authentic details: Silky shine and decadent softness a poke in the eye to communism, should that outdated ideology ever make a comeback.
Fashion statement: I ... Live ... In ... America! Hit me!
In homage to: The current Philadelphia 76ers coach, whose button-down present belies his fashion, er, forward past as the ABA's "Modfather."
Authentic details: Sweater contains a hidden, Magic Eye-style picture that can only been seen if you stare at it for a few minutes.
Fashion statement: Do I make you horny, baby?
In homage to: The Hulkster, who admitted to steroid use during a mid-1990s federal trial.
Authentic details: Comes with a red-and-orange "Hulkamania" bandanna, the better to disguise your 'roid-ravaged scalp.
Fashion statement: Say your prayers and take your vitamins. Like Anabol and Decagabril.
Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.