What Wearing a Jason Sehorn Jersey to Bed for 11 Years Straight Taught me about Myself and Others
It was January 28th, 2001 and the Giants were playing the Ravens in Tampa, Florida for Super Bowl XXXV. The Giants got absolutely smacked that night, and I was not a happy camper. My dad and brother were both Jets fans, but as the little demon child I was, I decided I wanted to be different and root against them, so I became a Giant fan. And I loved the color blue.
I had all the best gear from Michael Strahan to Kerry Collins, to multiple Tiki Barber jerseys, and even a long sleeve white and gold one from him on the Pro Bowl Team. I had Giants helmets, signed balls, and even pajama pants. But on the night of this game, for a reason unbeknownst to many, I decided to wear a plain blue Jason Sehorn jersey.
“Who the fuck is that?” Some if not all of you might be saying. Well, Jason Sehorn was a cornerback for the Giants for 9 years and had essentially nothing special about him. Looking back, it makes sense I’d choose a player like that. My friends and I still to this day root for obscure sports teams and follow mediocre to below average players, so why would I be any different at age 6?
The Super Bowl is a special night, especially for a young sports fanatic. As many of you know, it runs a bit late, but I had the ultimate honor and privilege of staying up
past my bedtime to watch the whole game! Needless to say, once the Giants went down 24-7 in the third quarter, I had temper tantrummed myself into a chicken wing coma. It was my first of many, many nights falling asleep in that jersey. Thus began the beginning of an era. Better yet, a saga.
The streak was easy when I was at home. I’d just get ready for bed, and throw on my jersey and whatever bottoms just like normal pajamas. Once I started having sleepovers though, that’s when things got a little tricky. You’d probably assume the thoughts running through friends’ parents’ heads in the early stages were something like, “Alright, this is a little strange, but I guess it’s kinda cute.” And then as I got a little older it was, “Okay, it’s a phase, he’ll grow out of it.” To my early teens when they were like, “Now this kid is just plain weird.” To finally when my own friends probably started thinking things in our mid to late teens like, “This crazy loser with the Sehorn jersey has gotta get out of my house.”
But it actually was really not like that. It became commonplace, nobody even questioned it. Everybody knew about “the shirt” and I’d be welcomed by friends and parents at sleepovers with questions like, “Is the streak still alive J? Where is Sehorn J?” I’d bring it to every soccer tournament, every family vacation, and never missed a night until I retired it for good at 17 years old! And you’d expect by age 17, I’d have been completely isolated by my peers and the rest of society for wearing a disheveled, torn apart Jason Sehorn jersey to bed every night, but at least to my knowledge, I really wasn’t, and here are the 2 main reasons why:
Commitment From Myself
Having a streak is awesome and I would highly recommend doing something you commit to on a daily basis. There are proven scientific reasons behind the motivations of working toward reaching a streak of something that you do every single day, or having a streak that you never know when it will end, but allow me to just tell you two from my experience.
A streak shows consistency and persistence. Buzzwords, I know, but think about it. These are highly attractive qualities. Friends and family were just as invested as I was because they were also determined to keep the streak alive. I remember a friend’s dad using a phrase like, “Take his dinner, but not his shirt!” in which in those years was probably false because I wouldn’t let anyone take my dinner then, but it was a sign of support that showed he knew how important it was to me.
The second is that it generates excitement. A streak has this heightened emotional aspect to it that strangely reflects both certainty and uncertainty. There is certainty because day in and day out, you know the streakee is going to practice their craft, which gets you excited to follow their journey. But where the real excitement comes in is from the uncertainty surrounding if the streak will remain alive. Would I fall asleep doing homework one night? Would I forget it and have to figure out a way to get it to where I was? The commitment to the streak created these engaging and memorable experiences that myself and others could enjoy.
Dedication From Others
This is the biggie. More important than what I learned about myself through these years is what I learned about others. And I mentioned it already a little bit in regards to my friends being interested and my friends’ parents accepting me, but it goes even deeper. It attributes to the utter relentlessness of those that were closest involved, my parents.
I know the number one question that has been on your minds up to this point. I wanted to let it fester for as long as possible:
“Wait, did you wash it?”
And the answer is yes. Every single day, no matter how busy, no matter what my day looked like, what my brother’s day looked like, my incredible mother made it her mission to wash that shirt. If I stayed in all day and wore it to late in the night, she still would make me take it off, made sure I stayed awake, give it a quick wash, and then I could go back to bed. She would find washing machines and dry cleaners in bumblefuck West Virginia to wash it at soccer tournaments, and believe me, she was no stranger to washing it and sending it over for a sleepover as well. But the real hero there was da.
Da drove through unbearable conditions to get me the shirt whenever he needed. Blizzard of the century in the middle of the night? He’d wake up and get it to me. Impromptu sleepover after a night out? He’d wake up and get it to me. Planned sleepover where I didn’t realize I had forgotten until 2 in the morning? He’d wake up and get it to me. The guy was like the Kool-Aid Man with a Jason Sehorn Jersey. Anytime you thought it was impossible, that the streak would come to its screeching halt, da would break through the wall, shirt in hand and smile on face.
So yes, it was strange, and maybe I was strange, but that is okay. Be a little weird but add a little relentlessness, a little flare, a little passion, and people will be glued to you. People will not only envy your commitment, but they will also share in your devotion. So whether you want to start taking a picture of yourself every single day for a year, or wear the same socks every afternoon, or eat Chipotle for dinner all the time, put some care into a streak and share it with others.
But if you do choose the socks one, make sure you have a mom who loves to do laundry.
Getting COMFY, specifically, is a 5-step morning routine to energize the body and soothe the mind.
Getting COMFY, more broadly, is a movement based on Getting COMFY waking up in the morning, Getting COMFY in your own skin, and Getting COMFY with the rest of your life.
Getting COMFY: Your Morning Guide to Daily Happiness, is a book coming out on January 31st that highlights these ideas.