Shopping with the Enemy: New England Patriots Edition


The Packers Pro Shop has its fair share of generic G-stamped merchandise, just like every other team, but there’s also a unique Wisconsin thread running through it, which gives a really homey feel. The collection of Cheesehead merchandise, remote control coolers and overalls just speaks to me.

The Patriots Pro Shop is run by Fanatics, which can lead to a more generic experience, but luckily for us there’s enough genuinely patriotic gear here to ensure we have a good appreciation for the area. Want lobsters? The Patriots have lobsters for you.

Do you want a super aggressive Pat Patriot who looks like he was designed by a 1990s toy company to look like he has too much attitude towards your parents? Aggro Pat is everywhere.

Aggro Pat is too EXTREME for you nerds out there. Only cool kids can take on this extremely testosterone-fueled version of their beloved mascot. All for just $120.

But where the Pats’ Pro Shop really excels is in the hagiography of Tom Brady. It’s no surprise of course, and if I ran this store, I too would have all of Tom Brady, but my favorite subgenre is “Tom Brady signed pictures with adversaries”. It’s very strange. Take this “handshake photo” with Peyton Manning, where the the existence of a real handshake is highly questioned.

And the facial expressions are anyone’s guess. From Tom’s pursed lips, half-closed eyes and black eyes to Peyton’s oddly placed open hand, no black eyes, and the fact that he is carrying a soccer ball, the memory of this moment can be yours forever. for only $3,000.00.

Are you a fan of the ‘tuck rule’, which denied Charles Woodson a trip to the superbowl and smashed a potential Dynasty mini-Raiders as they leave next season and lose to Tampa? Good, Charles Woodson and Tom Brady both signed this for some reason, and it can be yours for $2,500.00. I guess Charles was testing the quality of his bourbon when asked to do so.

My second favorite piece of Tom Brady hagiography is purely based on price. Most expensive item I’ve found in a pro shop other than these really ridiculous crystal soccer balls, was a Steelers coffee table book that included actual tickets and other perks. It was $9500. Tom couldn’t let the Steelers win, and so we have:

One of the funniest things about this is that it’s an Upper Deck card, but there’s a great alternative! I used to collect baseball cards in the early 90’s when there were 5 major brands to choose from. I would rank them, by quality and popularity, as follows:

  1. Upper Deck/Topps. Upper Deck did some cool stuff with holograms and other fancy nonsense. Topps was the king, the original and what everyone aspired to.
  2. Donruss, who made inroads through their “Rated Rookie” card legend Jose Canseco and Ken Griffey Jr., and helped start the forced shortage that would eventually destroy the market.
  3. Fleer, who was high quality and highly respected.
  4. Score, which was colorful, a bit silly, but still good.
  5. And Bowman, who at the height of Griffey-mania pulled out a Ken Jr/Sr card just to try and really scoop up those Griffey bucks, and was, in general, not great.

If you don’t like the 30K Brady top deck, there’s a $11,500 archer discount available. Looking closely at the photo, I’m not sure this one is in perfect condition. Which seems right.

History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.

Perhaps my favorite part of the whole Pro Shop, and the whole Pro Shop for that matter, is weird pants. I think it’s hard to create too much variety with the pants you sell, which can lead to quirks like those pink pantseffortlessly modeled by this 45-year-old dad who just got up and slipped on his Hanes t-shirt before having his coffee.

But my real favorites are those bad boys.

PATRIOTS written on the crotch in large letters? Check.

A Pat graphic by that fun little triangle cutout on the leg? Also check.

Marked $400 to $320? Hell yes. Look ladies, this is the $320 Patriot crotch from a man with too much money and excellent judgment.

Over in the kids section we have really awful halloween costumes with a built-in “helmet” that’s unlikely to offer any protection when bullies pound you and seems specifically calculated to entice you into buying a better, separate helmet.

We have this Gronk Plush which is honestly awesome and I want it. Just watch wittle Gwonk.

And of course a robot.

Which features this amazing description:

Yes, the Patriot Pro Shop ticks all the boxes for the ridiculousness we’ve come to expect from the NFL, with bold New England Patriots Graphics so no one can wonder where your allegiance lies. From basic ugly:

At really weird:

They have what you need.

Packer article of the week

I I didn’t know I needed thisbut now I want to install one not only in my car, but in the cars of my friends who are Bear and Viking fans.


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