Column: The great jersey hunt

By Ryne Nelson

Today, I’m on a mission to get Deron Williams and Luther Head’s new NBA uniforms from Reebok. Yeah, yeah, I know they won’t come out for a while, and that’s exactly why I’m doing this.

I will stop at nothing to obtain these jerseys before everyone else. I will strap myself to a bomb if it means wearing those uniforms before the rest of the world.

In my fervor, my alarm rings at 5 a.m.

I quickly pull off the covers. I don’t even worry about making the bed. I might not be home for a while. Before I run out of the room, I pick my backpack off the floor. I brush off all the cobwebs and put it on. It’s going to be the only friend I have.

Time to look for bare essentials.

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Thunk…THUNK…Thunk…THUNK… “Quiet!” I say to myself. “You can’t afford to wake anyone else up.” I tiptoe to the restroom and grab my Mentadent toothbrush and some green, sparkling Colgate toothpaste.

A couple sticks of gum, hair wax, some Gatorade, some pliers and a flashlight (just in case someone needs a good noggin knock) later, I’m ready to roll. My backpack’s full. Reebok headquarters, here I come!

Well, I step out of the front door, and it’s not exactly Halo. Where am I going? I convince myself I’ll be at Reebok watching the fresh threads being sewn soon enough.

I’m finally out the door, but I have no intuition as to where I’m headed. I could always hop into the car and drive somewhere quick. But I don’t have any money for gas, and I can’t risk going back inside. Come to think of it, I forgot the house keys. I’m locked out! Whatever, on to Reebok!

As I said, today I’m on a mission…and nothing can stop me now.

So, I pick a direction to walk down the street. Left. After what seemed like a couple hours down the road, an old man who looks like UIUC’s first chancellor Jack Peltason pulls up in a red Mini Cooper. “Where ya headed?” he yells. The sun is barely peeking over the horizon.

“Um, sir,” I respond, hoping to sound as on-course as possible. “I’m headed to surprise my buddy before he wakes up.”

“That’s odd since there’s not a home within five miles of here,” Peltason said. “Be honest now, what are you really up to, anyway?”

It was a reasonable enough question, and besides, he wouldn’t be the least bit interested in my purpose.

“I’m lookin’ for the Reebok headquarters. I want to be the first with the authentic Deron Williams and Luther Head NBA uniforms.”

“Well, I so happen to be Jack Peltason, the first chancellor at the Urbana-Champaign campus, and I could probably help you on your mission,” he rejoins. “I can give you a lift if you have a stick of gum and a flashlight.”

First off, I think there’s no way I’m getting into that man’s Mini Cooper. But since he directly asked for two things among the hodgepodge in my backpack, it has to be fate and I hop shotgun.

I glance over at Peltason, and the last thing I see is a flashlight coming at my head for a good noggin knock.

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

I cringe as I wake up, my head aching in pain. Wearily, I look around to see where all the beeping is coming from. I glance down at my stomach – the last few seconds are ticking away on a bomb! My heartbeat synchronizes with each little beep.

Frantically, I try to wiggle free from this monstrous, steel contraption. No dice. I’m locked in. I try to relax, willing myself to come to terms with my fate.

All I wanted was to be the first to have their jerseys!

6…5…4…My heart feels like it’s going to pump out of my chest…

3…2…1…I shut my eyes, not wanting to wait for…


Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! What’s this noise? The bomb is still counting down? I have more time to try to get out of here! I open my eyes again.

It’s 5 a.m.

Ryne Nelson is a sophomore in communications. His column appears on Friday. He can be reached at [email protected].