Jersey Monday: Mario Lemeiux

Mario Lemieux was the subject for the first NHL Jersey Monday that I did, back in March, and here he is again. Yes, despite the fact that I only own seven NHL jerseys, two of them are of Mario Lemieux.

I'm spotlighting this one today because I got this as a holiday gift from my parents in 2000 and wore it for the first time 10 years ago today, when I attended Lemieux's first game back from retirement against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

That year, my mother had taken a job in Pittsburgh and was living there, while I was in college in Baltimore. We as a family agreed to spend the holidays in Pittsburgh. In early autumn, we bought tickets to two Penguins games in the last week of December, long before Lemieux had decided to come back. When he finally did announce his comeback, I immediately rushed to see which games my mom had gotten the tickets for, and as it turned out, they were for his first two games back.

That December, Pittsburgh-area stores were incredibly quick to add Lemieux jerseys to their inventory, and we managed to snag one just a few days before the game. I went to the Toronto game (the first game back) with a friend -- though technically my "pair" of tickets were for two seats practically across the arena from each other -- and my dad and I attended the next game against Ottawa, sitting just a few rows behind then-Steelers coach Bill Cowher.

Jersey Monday will continue every Monday until I run out of jerseys to spotlight. And since I’ve got more than 150 of them, that could be awhile.