Sunday, February 10, 2013

Talking to the Turtleneck

I've always been fascinated by the neck. My 4th favorite animal and my 6th favorite dinosaur are known for their necks and have earned my admiration, largely in part to their extensive head/torso connectors.

Not to mention, I'm a huge fan of football equipment and its evolution. One of the greatest pieces of football equipment ever invented is designed to protect the neck. Just ask Tim. (Hint: it's behind those beautiful flowing locks)

I think most people know the importance of the neck.

The neck is where two very important pieces of flair for both men and women are secured.

The neck is where awkward teens mark their territory with disgusting hickeys.

The Neck divides Westeros into North and South.

There are some that would argue that the brain or the heart are the most important parts of the human body, but you know what connects them? The neck.

Do you want to dispatch someone? You may yell, "Off with their head!" to indicate this, but what happens? Their neck is bisected. It has noting to do with the head. Just the neck.

Oxygen is transported to the lungs through a windpipe. Where is a windpipe? Usually you can find it in the neck.

Pretty impressive part of the body, no?

Well, I recently had the opportunity to speak with someone who also understands  the importance of the neck. It's probably someone you are familiar with. It is No. 89 for the Green Bay Packers, James Jones, he of a league-leading 14 receiving touchdowns in 2012, also he of a very recognizable neck protector: the t-shirt turtleneck.

I had a chance to sit down and pick James' brain about the neck. He was gracious enough to let me share some of it with you.

Me: "Thanks for your time, James, and congratulations on your remarkable season."

JJ: "You're welcome, and thank you, Franklin. It's always a pleasure to meet a fellow neckophile, also great shirt."

Me: "Thank you. I love a good turtleneck, as I know you do as well. How and why did you become interested in the neck and realize the value of properly protecting it? Also, why don't your teammates seem to grasp this concept?"

JJ: "I sure do. Check out the one I have on. Might be my favorite. [Pictured above]

"You know, it happened a couple years ago. I was traveling and met some women who were wearing neck rings, and I had an opportunity to discuss why they were doing it, and the benefits they got from it. They said that while it was decorative, it was also a source of strength and a form of protection. They explained the vulnerability humans had in the neck area, and why it was important to guard against injury. It got me thinking, 'You know, I play one of the most violent games in the world, maybe I need to think more about my neck.'

"I actually had the opportunity to work with a man named, Lucius Fox to create my t-shirt turtleneck. It could actually survive re-entry into the earth's atmosphere and withstand a direct blow from 2x4...or a 250 pound linebacker {laughs} At the same time, it is incredibly lightweight, breathable, and pretty dang cool-looking if I do say so myself.

"As far as my teammates, I've gotten a hard time from some of them about my gameday attire, specifically, the t-shirt turtleneck.  But, you know, I can't be bothered by that. I need my neck. My neck is more important than my hands, my feet, and my legs. I have found a way of protecting it that allows the rest of my body to function properly and excel, and did I mention it's pretty dang cool-looking? {laughs}

"Also, vampires. You know about vampires, right?"

Me: "Oh, I sure do, man. I sure do."

JJ: "Well, I had the stitching made from high tensile garlic fibers because you can never be too careful. Am I right?"


Me: "Absolutely."

"James, do you credit your breakout performance to your increased neck awareness and also your t-shirt turtleneck?"

JJ: "Oh, definitely. With my neck being sheathed in such a piece of powerful armor...I like to consider my turtleneck a form of armor like medieval knights used to wear...I am free to concentrate wholly on making plays and getting in the endzone. It's been remarkable, and I have started to hear from guys around the league who are interested in getting their hands one. I'm not sure I want to share, though. {laughs}"

Me: "I'm sure all Packer fans wouldn't mind if you shared it in the lockerroom but nowhere else."

JJ: "Alright, I'll take that under consideration. {laughs}"

For the next hour, James and I talked about the neck, standard-issue turtlenecks vs. mock turtlenecks, Cousin Eddie, Mike McCarthy catching on, and even James' love of alpacas. (He thinks their necks are great. Look them up, he's right.) It was really a great conversation.

Thank you to James for his time. It's always great to find someone who appreciates the neck as much as I do.


  1. A_Lerxst_in_PackerlandFebruary 10, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    I like those old football trousers - pretty good for 1904.

  2. I too was impressed. They seem more technologically advanced than what players wear today.


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