Brothers Andy and Mike Hawkins were both
starting linebackers for the Houston Gamblers. Andy began his pro career with Tampa Bay, playing with the Buccanners from 1980
through 1983. Upon finishing his two-year stint with the Gamblers, he returned to the NFL to play for the San Diego Chargers
(1986-87) and the Kansas City Chiefs (1988). Pictured here is a white "away" Gamblers jersey worn by Andy in 1984
A right/rear view of this beautiful jersey!
While most Gamblers linebacker and lineman jerseys seem to have spandex sides and undersleeves (complete with grommets to
tie the sleeves tight to the upper arm), this one is 100% nylon.
A closer look at the upper back
of the jersey. Gamblers nameplate letters were heat-pressed onto the rectangular fabric, which was then sewn onto the
jersey itself. A local Houston-area Oshman's Sporting Goods store screened the numbers on to the jerseys, and also produced/added
the nameplates. While these jerseys may appear simple when compared to current pro styles, passable Gamblers jersey fakes
are virtually impossible to create -- especially when compared side-by-side with the real thing.
The jersey shows light to moderate use.
I counted three team repairs (also preformed by Oshman's) in this upper left area of the shirt. A fourth "repair"
can be found inside the jersey, where gold thread was used to help secure the lower right corner of the nameplate. I have
a feeling that this minor nameplate surgery was preformed by Albert Veytia or Pat Marcuccillo in the locker room.
An inside view of the jersey front, which clearly
shows how the numbers were screened. On a white jersey the red layer was applied first, then the black layer second.
The black patches on the numerals are where the black coating managed to seep through the mesh holes during application.
Every legitimate jersey issued
by the Gamblers will have a Russell tag similar to this. This jersey also happens to have a small "100% Nylon"
tag sewn below the Russell tag.
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