Johnny Manziel, Michael Sam Lead in NFL Rookie Jersey Sales

CBS Sports:

By Friday at 5 p.m., some 20 hours after the Browns traded up to No. 22 to take quarterback Johnny Manziel, the team’s ticket office sold more than 2,300 season tickets. So it’s no surprise that he also has the league’s top-selling rookie jersey, according to the NFL (viaOutsports.com).

Second behind Johnny Football: Michael Sam (7th round, 249 overall), the NFL’s first openly gay player. He’s followed by defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (first round, first overall), and quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater (first round, 32nd overall) and Blake Bortles (first round, third overall).

“This is unprecedented for a Day 3 pick, let alone a seventh round pick, to crack the top five rookies sold following Draft weekend,” NFL spokesperson Joanna Hunter said.

More amazing: Sam’s jersey didn’t go on sale until Saturday night while jerseys for Manziel, Clowney, Bridgewater and Bortles were all available Thursday when they were drafted six rounds earlier.

“We think this is a sign of what we’ve been saying all along, that Michael’s inclusion in the NFL is bringing fans into the game who weren’t previously consumers of the NFL game,” his agent Cameron Weiss, told ESPN.

I understand what Sam’s agent is trying to do, but a 7th-round pick making it onto the 53-man roster would be an impressive feat, no matter who the rookie is dating. And I don’t think Weiss has any evidence that Sam’s selection by the Rams has done anything to bring “fans into the game who weren’t previously consumers of the NFL.” If Sam makes the team, then we might see if his selection has done anything to expand the NFL’s reach. Until then, this is all hype.

 

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Science & Tech

Set NASA Free

The Trump administration has proposed shifting the International Space Station from a NASA-exclusive research facility to a semi-public, semi-private one. Its plan would nix all government funding for the ISS by 2025 and award at least $150 million per year to NASA to help with the transition. This would be a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More