What Your Mariners Jersey Says About You

How much about a fan's identity can we infer from the name on the back of his jersey?

Ichiro: Generally fits one of two categories - (1) Japanese fan who couldn't care less about the Mariners, or (2) guy who jumped the bandwagon in the early Aughts and forgot to get back off. Being the most popular jersey on the team, these people tend to represent Mariner fans more than any other group, and the reputation isn't particularly good. On rare occasions, individuals with this name on the back lucked out getting Ichiro's name on a discounted authentic jersey from the official site while others got stuck with Olerud or Sasaki. These certain individuals couldn't be more pleased with their good fortune, even if the name itself isn't ideal.

Julio Mateo: This guy just moved to Seattle and wanted to be different, so he scanned the roster looking for an unfamiliar name that could help him come off as a more knowledgeable fan. This guy doesn't actually know the Mariners at all.

Felix Hernandez: A smart fan who sticks out now, but who won't stick out in five years when Felix has some hardware under his belt. (late edit: try not to read this as a sex joke)

Own Name: Someone who's too embarrassed to put the name of an actual Mariner on his back.

Ken Griffey Jr.: These fans have trouble letting go. They still go to their childhood pediatrician, they've been issued restraining orders by at least two or three former partners, and they sorely miss Bob Finnigan's annual Griffey column more than everybody else in the world combined. Of the roughly 130,000 tickets available for June's home series against the Reds, they've scooped up 125,000 of them.

Rene Rivera: Is Rene Rivera.

Kenji Johjima: Rene Rivera's mother.

Willie Bloomquist: This guy is almost always either (1) a huge Mariner fanboy, or (2) being ironic. Once engaged in conversation, they'll both tell you the same stuff, the only difference being that one of them is joking.

Matt Thornton: Fairly well-off fan in his mid-20's who knows enough to come up with a hilarious jersey idea and who's rich enough to buy it. While seeing this guy in person may fill you with rage, he's just trying to make some fun of an ugly situation, and isn't to be confused with this next guy.

Bobby Ayala: Hates the Mariners, hates Seattle, and most importantly, hates you. The fact that he has a season ticket package seems to suggest that underneath all the thick rotten layers there lives a loyal albeit totally disillusioned supporter, but the fact of the matter is that, while he used to be a die-hard, those bullpens completely and utterly sapped his love for the game and left him a shattered wreck of a man. His emotional problems led to trouble at work and trouble at home, and now he lives alone and unemployed in a cheap apartment, spending what little money he has on the opportunity to see the Mariners in person as often as he can and keep yelling at them until he feels that he has satisfactorily returned all the abuse he suffered at their hands more than a decade ago. If you tell him to be quiet, he will quickly and rather shockingly compare you to an unwitting sheep being led to the slaughter, but complaining to ushers won't get anything accomplished, since they don't like to go near him anymore. While his pants are tattered and filthy and his hair is disgusting, his jersey is seemingly in mint condition, which nobody understands.

Chris Snelling: Smart guy who knows a lot, but doesn't make it very evident, as he's reluctant to speak in anything other than dejected sentence fragments. Might be concealing a flask.

Raul Ibanez: Generic fan. Easy-going, fairly quiet, easy to talk to, thinks Mike Cameron sucked.

Richie Sexson: Big brick shithouse of a guy, probably wears sunglasses, balding. Drinks a ton, although you don't know where he gets the money to buy so much stadium beer, and lets out a deep formidable grunt every time Sexson swings the bat in an effort to be the first guy in the seats to celebrate a home run. Thinks "singles are for pussies."

Greg Dobbs: Justin Leone trying to hang around and get a few at bats.

Clint Nageotte: Doesn't really stand out, but make sure not to question his motives; he's fiercely confident despite the slimmest of odds. Asking him about his jersey invariably leads to a one-way half-hour "conversation" in which he repeatedly mentions that the slider is good because it moves on two planes, and that it's possible to succeed in the Majors with one pitch, and that Mariano Rivera does it, and that Mariano Rivera is one of the best closers in baseball history, and that Clint Nageotte's day will come just like Mariano's did, and that all you have to do is be patient and in the end you'll see he's been right all along, and that when it happens you'll owe him a beer.

Joel Pineiro: There's only one person dumb enough to wear this jersey, and that's the one person who doesn't realize how awful he was. Hence, Joel Pineiro's old hairdresser, who's attending the game with his friends in Ibanez jerseys because all of a sudden he's not getting much work anymore, and didn't have anything better to do.

Jose Vidro: You can't tell if this guy's trying to be funny or not, but either way, you're not laughing. Conspiracists maintain that Vidro jerseys are planted throughout the stadium by the concession stands in an effort to make the hardcore fans drink a lot more beer.

Julio Cruz: Old.

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