In the least-shocking story of the year, WPXI is reporting that no one is buying Ben Roethlisberger jerseys, which are being discounted up to 50%. And that, my friends, is the one story no one has been talking about so far in this whirlwind week of Steeler news.
In the cases of Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes, sellers of Steeler merchandise are basically stuck with completely dead inventory at this point, which is probably considerable given the fact that they are/were both such popular and marketable players up until recently. This is not like when the Steelers rid themselves of Cedrick Wilson; retailers have made significant investments in jerseys, t-shirts, memorabilia and related merchandise of this duo - and trust me, given my background, I can vouch for the fact that it is going nowhere fast.
I don't expect a pity party for any retailers of Steeler gear, because all in all, I'd say it's been a pretty good decade for most of them. But I would not want to be the one at a place like Dick's Sporting Goods staring at a warehouse full of #7 and #10 jerseys right now. I realize that it's a business and there's ample risk involved, but yes, I do feel sorry for companies in situations like this. It's not like they knew when the 2009 season ended that this would be the circumstances that would hit in the offseason.
You want evidence that fans have soured considerably on the Steelers? Talk to one of these retailers. People talk with their wallets, and those wallets have gone noticeably silent of late.
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