So as I wrote about this last weekend, I was out riding as a domestique for Team Schneider Electric for the 2012 MS150 in Rhode Island.
Great weekend for cycling and aside from a minor calf strain and damage to my "secondary hull", all came away unscathed and in good spirits.
One thing that kept happening over the ride was that people kept calling me by the name on my jersey, "Schneider Electric", and asking me questions about the company.
I'm not complaining, as that is why I was there wearing the jersey, which was to be a brand ambassador, and let people know our company was involved in community outreach as well as "business as usual."
What you wear says a lot about you ... at times when you least expect it.
In my example, I obviously knew what I was doing and also made sure I acted appropriately. Now if I saw someonezipping by on a bike wearing the jersey at left, I would know it was Fabian Cancellara, the Swiss National Champion ... again.
If I saw someone wearing a US Soccer referee program shirt, I would imagine they were a US Soccer referee.
If I saw that same person entering an establishment of questionable moral fiber (as defined by the individual observer), I would take note if they were wearing a US Soccer polo of some type.
So what's the message?
If you want to go out after a day on the fields, don't wear anything (anything!) with a soccer logo of any type (not just your FIFA warmup), and stay out of trouble. There is nothing wrong with legal relaxation, so long as it does not get out of hand.
As some have heard, part of this suggestion was followed by (3) Toronto FC players, unfortunately (for them) they were arrested on public intoxication charges, and sent home.
The quote from the TFC coach (Paul Mariner, the former England International) is excellent and spot on. From the article:
"I think it doesn't matter whether it's basketball, ice hockey or whatever sport," said Mariner, a former England international. "I've been a professional athlete myself and you're held to a higher level of order because you're in the spotlight and you're living in a privileged position of being a so-called elite athlete."
Let me add to that as well. This is true for athletes for certain ... it is even more heightened for those who judge these elite athletes. Trust me folks, a referee can lose a badge over something like this ... so just don't do it.