Choo Choo Jersey Update

Several weeks ago, I posted an item about one of Charlie Choo Choo Justice's football jerseys being up on EBay. I made the post after receiving an email from a lady in Hawaii who asked if I accepted ads or would I be willing to inform Ramfanatic.com viewers about the availability of the jersey. She said she was trying to assist her father who had placed the jersey on EBay.

I wrote the lady back and told her that I thought the matter held sufficient interest for Ramfanatic.com viewers to warrant a short article, so posted a brief item which gave the details.

I tried to follow the EBay activity, but I don't normally spend much time there and I really don't understand exactly how it works. I don't believe but two people made bids on the jersey and the pattern of bidding was such that I could not understand what was going on. The listing indicated that a minimum bid applied and as long as I watched the bidding, I never saw that it had been met. The initial bid was $500 and it finally reached $3150. Then , for some unexplained reason, the jersey was withdrawn from EBay. The last bid that showed was $3150, but I could not determine the outcome since the posting period was not allowed to expire.

I emailed the lady who had originally contacted me and asked if she could and would provide me with some information for a follow-up and she said she would ask her father to do so. When I didn't hear anything for several days, I checked with her and she said her father had sent me an e-mail the night before. Several days passed and I did not receive a communication from the father, so I contacted the lady in Hawaii again. She indicated her father was coming to Hawaii to visit at that very time and she would have him sit own and respond to my request. Over two weeks have elapsed since then and I still haven't heard anything so I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to provide viewers with answers to questions like a) where the jersey has been for over 50 years be) in what game did Choo Choo wear the jersey c) information about who got the jersey ( no name) and d) what did the jersey finally go for?

In the EBay posting, it stated that Joe Swicegood, a former teammate of Justice at UNC, had examined the jersey and had vouched for its authenticity. I tried to reach Mr. Swicegood in Asheville at both a business number and a residence number with no success. In both instances, I was informed that the numbers were no longer in service.

I posted the information on a message board regarding the jersey and one poster said he didn't ordinarily visit EBay, but if he had known about the jersey, it would have gone for more than $3150.

So that's about all I know and it looks like its all I am going to know about the jersey. I don't know why I haven't heard from the principals, but I have to assume they are not interested in discussing the transaction and that is their right. The lady never did indicate that to me, but the situation could have changed when she talked with her father. The seller of the jersey was listed as residing in Madison, NC.

One little side note. The EBay posting indicated that the jersey had two straps that went around the groin area so as to pull the jersey tight and make it more difficult for tacklers to grab the jersey. I have talked with several former football players and none of them are familiar with this type of jersey. How many of you remember the "tear away" jersey which was ultimately prohibited? Use of the tear always really slowed the game down because play would be stopped while the player donned a new jersey.

While I am reflecting on the past, how many remember when it was illegal to coach from the sidelines. I remember distinctly one year in a Rose Bowl game, a team was penalized 15 yards for coaching from the sidelines. I don't remember if the penalty was worded as such, it may have been "unsportsmanlike conduct." It could have come under a catch all type rule, but you sure don't see it anymore. If they outlawed it today, we might not be able to have a game, it is so prevalent. Frankly, I enjoyed the game more when it wasn't so sophisticated like offensive/defensive teams, play calling, etc. Heck, I wouldn't mind seeing drop kicks return. College administrators keep saying they are trying to cut expenses when they do little to modify the game which would result in lower costs. Remember when Jeff Hayes was the first player recruited at Carolina solely for his kicking ability. Now its commonplace to recruit a kicker at every major school.

Enough for now.


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" Hospitality prevailed in the University village of Chapel Hill, and it would be hard to find such a place in the world of such elevated social life."

---Josephus Daniels, Piublisher of the News and Observer, on the University of North Carolina in the 1880s.