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 An Interesting Jersey Story (well I think it is anyway...)

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RJ3000
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PostSubject: An Interesting Jersey Story (well I think it is anyway...)   Fri Apr 13 2012, 21:30

Thought some of you may be interested in this, as it's probably one of the best (jersey-related) experiences I have had since I started collecting jerseys:

I picked up a Falcons game issued jersey a couple of months back. The tagging was from 1999, and I was drawn to it because it is the throwback style (which I happen to like a lot - especially compared to the Falcons current unis) and I wanted to check out the build of the Nike team issued jerseys. When it arrived, there were very obvious helmet hit marks on the shoulder, albeit limited other use. I have bought quite a lot of jersey over the last few months, so never did get round to posting pictures of it in the "latest pick-up" section (which is true of many others too...)

The player was #29 - "Cooks", who I had never heard of. I quickly ascertained that there was nobody called "Cooks" who was on the Falcons roster, and there was no #29 either. A quick Google search later, and I established it was probably "Kerry Cooks" who was acknowledged as having been with the Falcons (very briefly) during his time in the NFL.

http://www.nfl.com/player/kerrycooks/2500186/profile

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerry_Cooks

I also noticed he was listed as a DB, which would be consistent with the number and cut of the jersey, so I was fairly confident this was my guy.

You'll also notice from his Wiki page (which we all now is as close to the truth as is humanly possible...) that he has been coaching college football since 2001, and is currently with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (albeit he is now their co-defensive coordinator):

http://www.und.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/cooks_kerry00.html

I was bored one afternoon, so decided to email media relations at UND with a couple of pictures of the jersey, and asked if they could be forwarded to Mr Cooks. To my amazement, I got the following response within about 30 minutes:

Kerry Cooks wrote:
That jersey looks very familiar! I had a six year NFL career the majority of that time spent with the Vikings and the Packers. I was only with the Falcons during the Pre-Season in 1999. I retired in 2001 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. That Jersey was well used for the 6 months I was with the Falcon organization. I played all special teams and in the games at Safety during the preseason.

I responded, thanking him for the insight and explaining how I came about the jersey (basically that I collect jerseys.) I also asked if he had any interest in obtaining the jersey, to which he said:

Kerry Cooks wrote:
I have all of my high school, college, all- star, and NFL jersey's framed and on the wall. I would love to obtain the Falcons jersey and add it to my collection. It has value to me for the simple fact that I did and played at a level many could only wish to do. Let me know what I need to do to make that happen. If your are into college football, you should attend a Notre Dame game and I would love to accommodate you. Thanks again!

I initially responded, thanking him for the kind offer, but explaining how I lived in Canada and was unlikely to make it to the US to take him up on the offer. I said I wouldn't feel right taking any money for it, so asked if he had any Notre Dame gamers he could trade. Failing this - I would just ship him the jersey. However, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of going to a Fighting Irish game (or any college football game for that matter), and being able to hand over his jersey to him personally. Before he could respond, I sent him another email, saying I would need to look into the logistics - which may take some time - but otherwise would love to take him up on the offer. I then got a final response, as follows:

Kerry Cooks wrote:
I would be fine with waiting, and you will have 2 tickets on me, pre-game sideline passes and dinner and a tour of ND! Just let me know!

So there you have it - I started out with a jersey of a relatively obscure ex-NFL player and am now facing the prospect of meeting the guy to give him back his jersey, taking in my first college football game, getting sideline access, and a tour of the facilities. I'm genuinely excited about this as I'm pretty sure I won't get this chance ever again. I'm eyeing up the schedule in September / October, so watch this space...!

JERSEY PICTURES TO FOLLOW...

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obinug
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PostSubject: Re: An Interesting Jersey Story (well I think it is anyway...)   Fri Apr 13 2012, 22:26

Why can i not have luck like this :O If only Jerry Rice were looking for a 97 authentic of his . . .

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PostSubject: Re: An Interesting Jersey Story (well I think it is anyway...)   Fri Apr 13 2012, 23:06

Very good!
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PostSubject: Re: An Interesting Jersey Story (well I think it is anyway...)   Sat Apr 14 2012, 01:58

Wow. That's a pretty amazing story!!! We'll be wanting updates!!!
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PostSubject: Re: An Interesting Jersey Story (well I think it is anyway...)   Sat Apr 14 2012, 04:49

That's pretty cool, congratulations
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PostSubject: Re: An Interesting Jersey Story (well I think it is anyway...)   Sat Apr 14 2012, 10:02

That's great Russell, I love the places this hobby takes us to. That will be an experience that will stay with you forever. I expect a full photo article posted once you have been to ND.

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