The New England Patriots are letting their fans exchange Aaron Hernandez jerseys at the team store Saturday and Sunday, and since nobody wants to get stuck with a clearance rack Scott Zolak throwback once all the Brady and Gronkowski gear is gone, fans lined up really early.
Patriots fans started lining up at 7:30 am to return Hernandez jerseys today. More than 100 in line before store doors opened at 9:30.
— Kevin Armstrong (@KevinGArmstrong) July 6, 2013
The fans who lined up took photos and posted them on Twitter. Here's a sampling of the big crowd for the first day of the Hernandez jersey exchange:
Fans waited approximately one hour to pass through the line, which had a few, strategically-placed free water stations leading into a canopied area that served as a jersey triage site. Fans presenting Hernandez jerseys — which varied from the standard home/away versions to the red, "Pat Patriot" throwbacks and even some No. 85 jerseys from Hernandez's rookie season — received a ticket that was to be used inside the Patriots ProShop on a new jersey of comparable value. The triage process moved smoothly, which resulted in a separate line forming outside the ProShop.
The second line at least had the benefit of partial shade, which provided slight relief as temperatures in Foxboro, Mass. had reached 90 degrees by 10 a.m. ET. As the crowd in that line grew larger, Patriots staffers quickly moved the water stations to that side.
The most popular jerseys exiting the ProShop belonged to Rob Gronkowski, Vince Wilfork and Tom Brady.