In 2009, the top-selling jersey was Favre – despite not joining the Vikings until August. The furor over getting Favre jerseys became an obsession for many Vikings fans – spiking Favre's numbers to the top of the charts.
There is an interesting cyclical process to selling jerseys. If somebody bought a Peyton Manning jersey five or six years ago and it's still in good shape, why buy another one? Such is the fate of being a franchise player who stays with the same team. Unless the jersey changes, sales peak and decline.
A year ago at this time, the leading jersey seller was Mark Sanchez, not top pick Matthew Stafford. He was in New York, he was a pretty boy, and many of the same Jets fans that threw their Favre jerseys into the pile with their jerseys of Boomer Esiason, Chad Pennington, Vinny Testaverde and Neil O'Donnell were buying the Sanchize hype. His jersey sales in the week following the 2009 draft established a new record for a rookie. That record lasted just one year.
So who is it this year? Not Sam Bradford (he's third among rookies). Not even the Redskins' version of a Donovan McNabb jersey. It's Denver's Tim Tebow. Will Broncos/Tebow fans be wearing them in three years? Stay tuned, but, for the short-term anyway, Tebow is being a positive for the Broncos organization – and their mechandising coffers.
"There is elevated intensity since – who knows? – it may be their one and only swing for some guys," Childress said. "We just ask them to put themselves in the best possible position in terms of how they came to us, conditioning-wise and then trying to flash something for us. What we don't want is we don't want someone to get run into and get hurt, but it's football. There are going to be some collisions which we are not wild about. I would say you see that heightened since of urgency."
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.