When Mets Police and Deadspin noted that the Jets were pre-selling AFC Champions gear, I chuckled and posted it on Facebook, but I didn’t dwell on it much more than that. It seemed a bit presumptive on the one hand, but I also figured it made some sense for the team to get ahead of the curve — and ahead of Modell’s and Sports Authority and the like — and maybe get a few fans to commit a few days ahead of time.
And then yesterday, a feature about Rex Ryan and two of his assistants in the New York Times noted the gear on sale at the end of the story — and also said that the Colts, Saints and Vikings also had conference champions gear (with the Super Bowl logo) available for pre-order. So then it was no longer a Jets thing — it’s an NFL thing. I don’t know if the league mandated the pre-sale, encouraged it or simply made the gear (or at least the images of them) available for the teams’ respective online shops. And of course there have already been shipments of the apparel to the physical team stores, the Superdome and Lucas Oil Stadium and the local sporting goods stores in the greater metropolitan areas of Minneapolis, Indianapolis, New Jersey/New York and New Orleans — all so that they can begin selling and distributing the souvenirs as soon as the game goes final (not to mention pass out the hats and T-shirts to the players on the field).