Here’s something NFL analysts probably didn’t see coming: A pair of quarterbacks who average 5-feet-11-and-a-half inches in height are leading the league in jersey sales.
ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell is reporting that rookie Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns had the top-selling jersey on NFLshop.com through the first quarter of the league’s fiscal year. In second was Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
Given the hype behind Manziel, nicknamed “Johnny Football,” coming out of Texas A&M, along with the off-the-field headlines that he’s garnered since Draft Day, the news that online fans flocked to the site to replicate his gear should come as no surprise.
It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that Wilson, despite ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski‘s determination that eight other quarterbacks are better than Seattle’s play-caller, is also popular. The third-year quarterback is riding a deserved wave of international exposure and fan intrigue following his team’s 43-8 throttling of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. (Jaworski, by the way, named Peyton Manning, who was under center for the losing side in the Super Bowl, as his No. 1 quarterback. Go figure.)
In any case, what is surprising by Rovell’s report is the number of other Seattle players with top-selling jerseys. Three Seahawk jerseys cracked NFLshop.com’s Top Ten: Wilson (No. 2), All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman (No. 5) and, as another sign that the Seahawks’ popularity is reaching far beyond the Pacific Northwest, the “12th Fan” (No. 10).
Rovell also reports that overall, Seattle was the top-selling team, followed by its league rival, the San Francisco 49ers.
The numbers point to an undeniable fact that will make Seattle critics cringe: the nation loves this team. It loves the characters and personalities that give the Seahawks’ potluck its special flair. Much more than with Super Bowl champs past, Seattle offers fans an array of personalities with whom to connect:
Like the perennially positive leader? Go with Wilson’s No. 3.
Brash, bold and cocky your flavor? Shop for Sherman’s No. 25.
Ultra competitive leader? Thomas’ No. 29 sounds like a good fit.
You just ’bout that action, boss? Put on Beast Mode’s No. 24.
Before their title, the Seahawks were a mystery to much of the country. My, what a championship and entertaining personalities can do for jersey sales.
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