Hey everyone, welcome back to MAC Gems, the only column on the internet* that scours the web to bring you some certifiably cool MAC-themed gear available for purchase!
(* that we know of, anyway.)
In case you’re new around here, and honesty, we are too, here’s a review of what we found last week, including a WMU hockey promotional puck, a CMU football gameday program from the 1960’s and an EMU women’s pocket schedule.
This week, we sharpen our focus to one school: Akron! It turns out, there’s a fairly big market of Akron products available online, so of course, we’re bringing a sampling of that selection for you to peruse! There’s a couple of intriguing items that, as of publication time, we haven’t discovered the origins of, so if you have any knowledge about them, be sure to let us know!
Without further ado: the items!
Game-worn jerseys aren’t exactly a unique find, but this particular entry is worth considering, as you get your choice of jersey from four different players. You don’t come across that very often on the internet, so if you see a lot selection like that, it’s certainly worth a gander.
These jerseys are likely from between 2006 and 2009, as they employ the large numbers and aren’t emblazoned with the front “Akron” nameplate, which came into popularity in the 2009-2010 season. They also feature the modern Akron A on the sleeves with the double-stripe on the shoulder, a look that also marked that particular era.
Rudimentary research indicates the jerseys without nameplates possibly belong to:
- #16: PK Andy Hildreth (‘05-08), LB Sean Fobbs (‘07 in the #16, ‘08-11 in #23), QB Jordan Miller (‘08 in jersey, ‘09 in Akron career as #13)
- #38: P John Stec (‘06-09) [former All-American punter]
- #82: TE/DL/LB Viktor Rajek (‘06-09) [participated in the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics for his native Serbia in bobsled]
It turns out the #2 jersey belongs to wide receiver David Harvey, who as a true freshman, burst onto the scene with an All-American freshman campaign, catching 43 receptions for 914 yards and 10 touchdowns, doubling as one of the nation’s best kick returners. Unfortunately, his promising career was cut short due to a possible (and thus far, unverified) academic suspension, though the news could not be easily found through legitimate sources. (This link is to a forum discussion on the matter, which is the only explanation I could find regarding his one-year career.) It’s a truly unique piece of history that can be yours if you get to it first.
The selection price is $79, with a $11.99 shipping charge, which is extremely steep. Perhaps you would be best equipped to try and research similar items and come back with an offer. But considering the potential one-of-a-kind finds in this lot, it might be worth it at-cost.
Speaking of Akron Football, here is a lovely 2005 championship cap!
The 2005 Akron Zips squad went on quite a strange run en route to the MAC title, finishing 7-5 in the regular season, including 5-3 in the conference and an incredible 4-1 in division to clinch the MAC East over Miami and Bowling Green, who also finished as MAC East champions.
Tiebreakers gave the Detroit trip to Akron, who would go on to win their second-straight one-score game against Northern Illinois, who at 7-5 overall and 6-2 in the MAC, leapfrogged co-MAC West champion Toledo to play for the trophy.
In that game, Luke Getsy led the Zips from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to clinch the game on a 36-yard touchdown throw to Dominic Hixon with 17 seconds remaining.
You can commemorate this feat for the low, low price of $12.99 with fast-n-free shipping!
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned soccer scarf? This one is reversible, with one side gold with the Akron athletic logo and Akron A’s on the ends, and the other side is blue, with “Akron Soccer” in non-university font and contrasted, with Akron A’s once again bookcasing the ends.
Akron has a great soccer history and is known for producing lots of unique soccer scarves, which is convenient because soccer is definitely taking over the country, and let’s face it: the sports’ aesthetics are bad-ass.
At a cool $17.99 with a $4.99 shipping cost, this beauty deserves to be put atop a wall, preferably above your television.
Our first mystery item today is this soccer kit, which perplexed and puzzled me in terms of its origins. With no maker’s mark and only a last name and number to go off of, there isn’t really a lot to go off of here.
A search for “Akron soccer Parker”, “Akron zips soccer Parker #10” or other similar searches yields nothing except for reports of former soccer coach Steve Parker passing away in 2018. It certainly can’t be a tribute jersey, as this is clearly not a 2018 kit, which has an adidas marker and a more modern design.
That said, it’s a perfectly lovely item, and as an adult medium, perfectly wearable to a game or function (perhaps with the soccer scarf above!), coming at a really cheap (and recently discounted) price point of $22.39 with fast-n-free shipping.
Our second mystery item is this gold MBB jersey, which I can’t find anywhere else on the internet outside of eBay.
It’s certainly not out of the blue for Akron to wear gold jerseys; former contributor and current Hustle Belt reader Brandon Hickey submitted this picture of Romeo Travis sporting a gold jersey. However, this one seems to be different. For one, the Romeo Travis jersey has an adidas wordmark. The jersey here does not, sporting instead a maker’s mark from LeagueBound Sportswear (which, coincidentally, I could not find anywhere in a search bar either.)
I’ll list it here, because the mystery is intriguing to me, as is the design, but I’d probably want to hunt around for some authenticators before investing, especially at a $36 pricepoint. (If you’re looking for something a little bit more legit, check out this replica jersey of the modern-era Zips jersey.)
Finally, to round out today’s gems, this adorable and awesome beer tap handle! A must-have for a mancave, a tailgate, or perhaps a local business which sells beer, this handle will show off your Akron fandom in a very unique way.
Now, I’m not terribly certain that the helmet is accurate to any era of Akron football, but hey, sometimes the novelty is worth it. It’s $27.95 with a $4.95 shipping charge, which sounds expensive, but it’s hand-made and I’m fairly certain there isn’t a lot of call for beer tap handles adorned with a mini Akron Zips helmet.
Pay for artist’s work!
If you have a lead on either of our mystery items, or if you have your own suggestions for themes or gems to be featured, let us know on Twitter @HustleBelt or using the #MACGems! We also accept showing off MAC gems which are not for sale, too!
We’ll return with more next Monday!