by Natalia Marshall
If anyone truly knows how to wear a letterman jacket, it is most students’ parents. Back in the day, everyone knew if you were a football player or if you were in a relationship with one because of the letterman jacket. However, not everyone had the privilege to wear one, which stirred up feuds about the jacket, making it fade away.
There are many reasons that letterman jackets have lost their hitch on high school. As Bill Waldrup, a Southern Arizona regional representative, stated, the weather plays a big factor in the distribution of lettermen jackets because the temperature doesn’t always cooperate with the style of the jacket. The school still distributes the jackets but there is controversy about whether or not they should stay.
The article “Varsity Blues: Is the high school varsity jacket fading away into history?” said, “These days, there are other garments a student can wear to signify that they are on an athletic team, mostly warm-up suits and game jerseys.”
Letterman jackets aren’t just a jacket so they wouldn’t just be handed off to the school. The money situation also pops up in the argument over the Letterman jacket. The average cost for a letterman jacket costs $179 to $200. The average number of players on a high school football team is 40 to 50 players. Schools also have to pay the teachers their salary and the average salary for a teacher is around $44,000. So, for 50 letterman jackets for the team, the school could have paid about two teachers.
Jackets have lost their style and impact because nowadays students just wear their jerseys. As Gary Vaclavicek, a sophomore on the JV football team, said, “ People already know by us wearing our jerseys on game day, and also by players telling people we are on the team”. Some kids choose not to stand out when they are on a team but others want people to know who they are.
“They’re kind of that stereotypical jock outfit in all the movies but I guess they were a fad like shoulder pads or mullets,” said Rita Hueston, a 2015 graduate from MHS, stated. “I guess, if not all sports teams could have them then nobody could but I don’t think the separation between popular and not popular affected it because they still wear jerseys . . . today.”
The letterman jackets have been carved out to be made for one sport: football. If the letterman jackets had a comeback will other sports want them as well? If other sports also wanted the letterman jacket, then the money situation pops back up.
“Everyone in my family had or has one (a letterman jacket) and I would wear it if I was given the choice,” said Mariah Brown, a former MHS volleyball player.
Keep an eye out for the old letterman jacket; the dust may be covering up their true colors, but they could be bouncing back.