September 21, 2010
We're unsure of its origins save for the fact that it was created by American Hockey Company, which also designed sweaters early last decade for teams like the Topeka Scare Crows of the CHL. (Not sure if their body of work includes this incredible alt-jersey. If so, all is forgiven.)
As you can see, it's an American flag hockey jersey with 14 stars representing ... well, we're not sure, so we'll go ahead and guess it's the number of Olympiads in which Chris Chelios(notes) was eligible to participate before NHL participation in the Games.
On the bottom, "We The People of the United States" is written. Coincidentally, Nike's design for the 2010 U.S. Winter Olympic hockey jerseys incorporated a design called "We The People" that featured, among other things, the Statue of Liberty's torch and "decorative elements from our nation's currency," which was almost too appropriate for a Nike creation.
What makes this non-exactly-Olympic jersey completely strange is this seller's note: "Goalies, signed by the star himself!"
The goalies on the U.S. team in Salt Lake City were Tom Barrasso, Mike Richter and Mike Dunham(notes); does this look like any of those names? Leahy thought it looked like "Patrick Roy," and the No. 33 would fit that theory. But it's a U.S. jersey for an Olympic tournament for which Roy declined the invitation to play. So ... yeah.
The seller, who is based in Utah, claims the appraised value is $2,675 but the starting bid $999; or, it could be yours for the tidy sum of $1,200. Obviously, it's the perfect gift for the Tea Party supporter in your life; especially if Glenn Beck ever starts his own beer league. Or perhaps Washington Capitals fans can scrape together cash to buy it for John Carlson.
UPDATE: Puck Buddy Monica McAlister of The Hockey Writers is the first to solve this one -- it's a 2002 U.S. Paralympic jersey and that would be No. 33 Pat Sapp's autograph. Which doesn't make it any less hideous, but naturally makes us look like a bunch of jerks for goofing on a sled hockey team. Especially when we all know they could kick our asses.