“You know, ever since baseball season ended, I seem to have more cash in my pocket–and more time on my hands.”
So today’s story starts with this tweet:
But before we talk about that, it might be interesting to share the story of how I came to own the jersey in the above photographs:
The year was 2014. The Phantoms had just arrived in downtown Allentown and it was time for me to acquire a jersey to wear to the games. At one of the preseason games–I want to say it was October 4th–I dutifully went into the team shop to purchase the black ‘away’ jersey. Of course, they don’t sell the authentic version–we’ve had this discussion before–so I purchased the replica. “Premier” they call it–but it’s replica. Oh, and I didn’t get a season ticket holder discount because showing my preseason ticket wasn’t good enough. Anyway, after wearing the jersey to a game or two, I began to resent the poor quality.
So I went online in search of some authentic merchandise. I also began to learn about sizing. Of course, the smallest authentic AHL or NHL game-worn hockey jersey you’ll ever find is 52 (under ordinary conditions) and that’s plenty big enough for me. In fact, anything much bigger and it gets a little ridiculous. I found a couple options. Again, I’m not the biggest fan of the color orange, so I gravitated towards choices that were black or white as a base color. With the size restriction my choices narrowed. Could I possibly find a player I liked–or even recognized? Well, I did recognize the Cousins name, but I didn’t really know if he was any good. What I did know, is that he once wore the number of a player I really, really liked at the time (still do): Phantoms #14 Shayne Gostisbehere. I figured, I could take the jersey and have the name plate switched out…
But then the rest is mostly history. I started wearing it to the games, and started to appreciate the hard-nosed play of Nick Cousins and the Ghost got hurt. I also had two quick encounters with Nick out on the street in front of the arena. Once, he gave the the old “what’s up” nod, another time he was with a teammate who pointed and laughed. Good times.
Back to Twitter.
So I had a pretty good idea that Cousins didn’t wear 15. But the truth is, I wasn’t sure whether this jersey was from the one game Cousins played with the Adirondack Phantoms in March 2012–a 3-0 loss to the Connecticut Whale–or from the 7 games he played with the team at the tail end of the 2012-2013 season.
Bob then shared the game sheet with me (HERE) where Cousins is listed as #15. Curious. They could have made a mistake, but I started to do some investigating. Was this the proof that the jersey was from April 2013? Or, did I really have the jersey from the one and only game he played with the Phantoms in 2o12–and a number he’d never wear again? Or, could this jersey be something else entirely?
First, I noted the advertiser logo on the front of the sweater–Glens Falls Hospital–and also noted that the Phantoms wore that patch in their first three seasons from 2009-2012 while going without a sponsor patch in the 2012-2013 season, and then featuring Team Ferior patch during the 2013-2014 season. So I had a pretty good idea it was from 2012, but you never know when there are multiple jersey sets and changing sponsors and so on. Still, looking at rosters, I noted Sean Courturier wore #14 during the 2012-13 season. But, not all the way through. It was certainly possible Cuz got the 14 later in the season.
Then, tonight, I was able to find the game logs on the AHL Media site and confirm that Nick Cousins did indeed wear #14 on that fateful night in Connecticut on the final day of March, 2012. And I have the jersey he wore.
Or, do I?
It’s certainly an authentic jersey, but I don’t remember that it came with an authenticity certificate–or not one I thought of as significant, anyway, there might have been a paper from Adirondack. It’s not signed. Cousins never wore a size 52 any time after as far as I can tell–always 54 for the 5’11” center. And, finally, the jersey does not have the patch inside from PX-Philly Express, the company the Flyers and Phantoms use to customize the jerseys. So the mystery remains, at least somewhat. It could be some kind of fake or extra–not necessarily the one he wore in the game or that he wore at all. It doesn’t show any “hockey wear”–although I’m not sure how many minutes he had in that game.
Hope you enjoyed my little story. Jerseys were on my mind today. It looks like I’ll be going to the Flyers home opener next Thursday and I’m already thinking about what I should wear. I know, I know–but it’s how I am. Anyway, I don’t own any Flyers gear because I’m not really a fan of them. And I’m not going to purchase a jersey. So these are my choices; help me decide if you like:
See you at the arena,