The Sports Business Journal recently revelaed the top selling NFL jerseys sold from April 1-June 30 at NFLShop.com. Who is the league's most popular player these days? Gerrit Ritt breaks down the Top 10.
Mark Sanchez, No. 6, New York Jets
The Hollywood lifestyle's still garnering him a lot of clout around the NFL landscape. Coming straight from Los Angeles to New York was perfect for him, as he's comfortable with the big city, and he's got the personality to match. And now he’s dating a Soprano! That’s big league, my friend. If he continues to win games, he could be a legend. Time will tell. Oh yes, time will certainly tell.
Sam Bradford, No. 8, St. Louis Rams
The No. 1 pick of the draft typically ranks high in jersey sales, and Bradford's no different. He doesn’t have the superstar appeal Tim Tebow does, but this is obviously no surprise. He’ll likely step right in and start for the offensively challenged Rams, which is exactly what he’ll need for his No. 8 jersey to climb this list even higher next season.
Ndamukong Suh, No. 90, Detroit Lions
No, he doesn’t wear No. 1, but the Lions hope that’s where he’ll rank in the Rookie of the Year voting when the season’s over. He’s been a god in Nebraska and the rest of the Big 12 region for years, and now he has a chance to be one in the Motor City as well. He’s the best defensive tackle to enter the NFL in years, and the people of Michigan are eating it up.
Troy Polamalu, No. 43, Pittsburgh Steelers
The first defensive player to make the list is arguably the best safety in the game today. Polamalu also has what's easily the best hair in the game, which I have to believe is about 99 percent of the reason we’re seeing him here. Of course, he actually ranked No. 3 on this list last season, so the fans have been diggin’ the ‘do for a while now!
Brett Favre, No. 4, Minnesota Vikings
Last year’s top-ranked jersey falls back a bit this season, which shouldn’t come as any shock to anyone. Favre’s not even a lock to be coming back this season, so ranking sixth isn’t all that bad to tell you the truth. Of course, this is Brett Favre we’re talking about here, so he’ll never go away … and neither will his jersey. They'll continue to be bought in bulk, no matter what.
Tony Romo, No. 9, Dallas Cowboys
The man dated both Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood. That’s about as All-American as you can get these days. The ladies love him, and he’s the quarterback of the freakin' Dallas Cowboys, which is the reason why he makes it again ... and the reason he'll make it for as long as he dons the star on that helmet of his.
Peyton Manning, No. 18, Indianapolis Colts
With all apologies to Tom Brady, Manning’s the face of the NFL. This can be proven by his mug being on every DirecTV and NFL.com commercial you’ve seen in the past 4-5 years. He may be more well known than any other player in football, so seeing him here was inevitable. If he keeps showing off that jersey in more Super Bowls, and he'll jersey will be a top fiver until the day he retires.
Drew Brees, No. 9, New Orleans Saints
Last year’s Super Bowl MVP is an obvious choice. I’m actually surprised Brees didn’t take down either the No. 1 or 2 spot, honestly. He’s the most prolific piece of the most prolific offense in football. This is a no brainer.
Donovan McNabb, No. 5, Washington Redskins
He didn’t even make the top 20 in jersey sales last year. I guess all it took was getting out of Philadelphia, a city he’s had a volatile relationship with since the day he was drafted. Now, he infuses some excitement into a hated division rival and into the one position Skins’ fans believe was the team's biggest weakness. It’s no wonder he ranks on this year’s list, but it is a bit surprising he ranks this high.
Tim Tebow, No. 15, Denver Broncos
He’s been the toast of the town ever since capturing a national title his freshman season at Florida, then winning the Heisman Trophy the very next year and breaking every record the SEC's ever known. He was a surprise first-round selection by Denver in the draft, and it’s no coincidence his number ranks No. 1 on this list. It’s all about hype, folks. We can all only wait and see if he can live up to it on the NFL level. If he doesn't start right away, though, the sales of his No. 15 jersey will nosedive immediately. -- Gerrit Ritt