Laying out some game day gear for NFL fans looking to skip the standard jersey, hat and face paint. Plus custom cigars and college football decor
Style is everywhere in the NFL right now. Turn on ESPN, and there’s Scott Van Pelt commenting on Carson Wentz’s post-game pindots-and-plaid ensemble. A Sunday scroll through social media features just as many hot takes on Cam Newton’s headwear as concussive hits to his helmet. The official league site even dedicates a weekly gallery to document what players are wearing.
But what about the other 80,000 people at an NFL stadium on any given Sunday?
Game Day Gear
The idea for this came after I saw pictures of celebrities on the sideline for the Rams’ opening game in Los Angeles last weekend. There was NBA superstar LeBron James wearing blue shorts, a yellow hat and a sleeveless white Nike tee. There clearly was intent in how James was dressed: the shorts and hat were tastefully in Rams’ colors, while the shirt was a smart call for a day when the temperature was 90 degrees at kickoff. (And it probably satisfied a clause in his Nike endorsement deal too.)
Now, I get that some of you just want to throw on a jersey, a hat, maybe some face paint, and call it a day. And that’s totally fine. But for those who want to add some style in the stands, use the below as a guide. (I’m featuring the Eagles because they host the Steelers in a battle of unbeatens that’s easily the best Week 3 game.)
• Pants: J.Crew 484 Denim ($125). More interesting than regular jeans, while maintaining all the comfort. A nice nod to the Eagles color scheme as well, without being too obvious.
• Shirt: Nike Historic Logo ($34). My support of vintage-inspired tees—especially heather gray ones—is well documented. When it comes to team paraphernalia, adopt the Don Draper theory on drinks: make it simple but significant. (By the way, Nike makes these for nearly every team.)
• Hat: Veterans Shirtium Beanie ($12). Throw some love to the local guys putting out PA gear. Roll this up, put it in your pocket and break it out when the sun goes down.
• Case: Form Function Form iPhone Wallet ($82). Last thing you need on game day is to juggle too many valuables (especially if you’re boozing). Put everything you need in one leather case/wallet and you’re good to go.
• Watch: Hamilton Khaki Field ($256). Not a necessity, clearly, but a reminder to leave your bulky silver work watch at home.
• Shoes: Adidas Originals ZX 700 ($75). Comfortable kicks are essential for a day trolling tailgates, climbing stadium stairs and hopefully standing frequently when your team makes big plays.
• Sunglasses: Knockaround Premiums ($15). That price tag is not a typo. I love Knockarounds because they’re simple, stylish and it won’t ruin your day when you lose or break them.
I’ve played in the same fantasy football league with college buddies for 16 years, and we’re always looking for ways to spice up the league. This year’s wrinkle? Converting to a Slack channel for trash talk and witty banter instead of the increasingly stale message board. Very progressive for a bunch of guys in our mid-30s.
Anyway, here’s another idea for spicing up your own fantasy league: Reward the winner with one of these personalized cigars from Custom Tobacco, which allows you to pick from a variety of different tobacco blends and put anything you’d like on the ring. Lot of potential for creativity there, from using your league logo to personalizing it another way. Here’s a freebie suggestion: “Congrats on Smoking Us in Fantasy,” though I know you can think of better.
The College Corner
With a nod to my colleague Emily Kaplan’s new column on college football, I’ll routinely feature products here that celebrate campus pride. This week, it’s all about Old Try, a Boston-based brand with deep roots in the South. Proprietor Micah Whitson grew up in Alabama and graduated from Ole Miss, so SEC football is in his blood and it spills into his prints. You can see the odes to Tennessee, Georgia and Auburn above; and if you like the style but not the schools, I think The Sportingman’s Virtues print would play well in any home. Even better: Micah passed along a discount code for my readers, so use "MMQBFTW" for 10% off prints and timbers through Sunday.
Published every Friday, The MMQB Football Lifestyle column is a curated list of links to what’s catching Dom’s eye off the field. The MMQB has affiliate deals with some of the brands featured and receives commission on certain purchases. Have an item for consideration? Share it.