The Charlotte Observer
HORNETS GEAR SELLS FAST
During the regular football season - or what there was of it for the Charlotte Hornets - punter Robby Reynolds was issued two game jerseys. Thursday Reynolds paid $40 for the same two jerseys at a sale of Hornets equipment at the Charlottetown Mall and made a small dent in the defunct team's $222,714.37 debt.
"I guess I'll frame them if I can figure out a way to do it," said the 23-year-old former South Carolina player, as he he held up his two nearly new jerseys.
Reynolds was among hundreds of people who stood in line - some of them three or four hours - to buy Hornets helmets ($25), game jerseys ($20), practice jerseys ($5 to $10, depending on their condition), cleated shoes (again $5 to $1, depending on condition), and even genuine Hornets undershirts ($1).
"I'm going to make lamps out of these," said 22-year-old Jane Felz, a Hornets cheerleader, with a white helmet in each hand. Her lack of cheer was evident as she recalled the team's (and WFL's Oct. 22 collapse).
"It's a shame," she said. "I'll miss that team," she said as she plunked down $90 for the helmets and two game jerseys.
The helmets were the hottest selling items - 62 went in the first hour of the sale, which began at noon. Close behind were the jerseys, which were gone by 1:15 p.m.
Shoes moved slowly (which some say was a chronic Hornets problem). Apparently few Charlotteans needed big dirty shoes, with bristling plastic cleats.
But George Austin, who is 6-7 and works for Campbell's Soup Co., bought a pair of size 14's. When will he wear them? "When I shovel snow," said the grinning Charlottean as he scooped up armloads of jerseys for his family.
Hornets business manager Jon Anderson chain smoking unlighted cigarettes tried to promote the slow selling items.
"We've got lots of socks left" he yells to nobody in particular.
"These make great shorts, just cut them off", he said, trying to sell a pair of pants to a customer who really wanted one of the sold-out helmets.
The knicker-style, skin-clinging gold-with-black-side-strips game pants, at $20 were the real clunkers of the sale.
"I guess we might be able to sell them to a some high school or college team," said Anderson.
Anderson said he wouldn't know until today how much was raised by the sale, but he guessed it might be in the $4,000 range.
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