Gear Up for Game Day: UTEP Replica Football Jerseys at Bookstore
For years, one of my biggest complaints about UTEP athletics was their lack of available merchandise for fans. Those days apparently are over. I stopped by the UTEP bookstore this afternoon and much to my surprise, I discovered a huge selection of Miners football replica jerseys. That included the 1988 throwback jersey that the team unveiled for the first time today at their annual football luncheon.
Another shocker was discovering navy blue player jerseys that included Gavin Hardison, Deion Hankins, and even Rey Flores.
The 1988 throwback and navy blue replica jerseys are made by Pro Sphere, a San Diego-based company. The retro look is priced at $116 for adults and $110 for kids. That's right Miners fans, they even produced kids jerseys in time for the start of the regular season. The navy blue player jerseys are also priced at $110, and supply for those are limited compared to the '88 throwbacks.
Then, I stumbled on something that nearly had my jaw drop: Nike ceramic orange replica football jerseys.
The irony here is that late last year, the school announced that they were switching from Nike to Adidas. Even though these sweet ceramic orange jerseys will never feature the swoosh again on the field at the Sun Bowl, fans will be able to purchase one for $140 each. All of the Nike jerseys feature the number 1, a common trend among all Nike replicas around college football. I guess we can consider that a going away present from the company that has manufacturing all UTEP game jerseys since 2004.
If you are a Texas Western fan or alum, the bookstore is well stocked with TWC hats and Nike dry fit T-shirts. Speaking of hats, last year when I visited the UTEP bookstore the selection of Miners hats for sale was embarrassing. Not this summer. In fact, I was impressed with the variety of caps.
Although Adidas did not offer any replica football jerseys for sale (the color missing at the moment is white), they did have plenty of t-shirts, polos, and other merchandise available at the bookstore.
One new item that attracted my curiosity is the orange star, which UTEP and adidas has marketed on both polos and other apparel. The new look does not include the words UTEP or Miners but focuses solely on the star.
All in all, In left the UTEP bookstore extremely impressed with the selection of merchandise. I know that it can take years for the university to stock some of the items that are commonly requested by fans. When the Miners take the field at the Sun Bowl for the first time on September 2nd against Incarnate Word, the crowd will finally be able to arrive in style and wearing the gear they have always wanted.