Monday, September 05, 2011

Jersey Monday: Andre Johnson

College football's opening weekend is a true five-day affair, kicking off on Thursday night and culminating in a Labor Day showdown, which in recent years has almost always featured the University of Miami. That's the case again tonight, when the Hurricanes open their 2011 season -- one that will likely be marked from the fallout of the Nevin Shapiro allegations -- against the University of Maryland.

I actually have jerseys of both teams involved in tonight's game, a rare occurrence given the small size of my college football jersey collection, but I'm going with Miami and Andre Johnson for today's Jersey Monday spotlight. I wouldn't really call myself a Miami fan, but I was fascinated by their teams in the late '80s and early '90s when I was growing up, and I had a brief obsession with the mini-dynasty they put together in the early '00s -- the team that won 34 consecutive games and was robbed of a 35th by the latest flag in recorded history (seriously, Terry Porter actually just threw the flag two days ago). Johnson was part of that team, earning MVP honors in the 2002 Rose Bowl that clinched the national title for the 'Canes.

Weirdly, despite coming from such a high profile program and putting up consistently great numbers as a pro, Johnson has tended to fly under the radar during his NFL career. He's not as flamboyant or outspoken as past Miami players, nor is he as attention-grabbing as other NFL wide receivers. He's just really, really good, which is kind of what that 2000-2002 era Miami team was all about. It doesn't seem like that long ago in terms of time, but considering where Miami is now (under investigation and regularly mediocre), it might as well have happened in another century.

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.

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