Posted on Sun, Sep. 03, 2006
[size=13pt]Stuck with Koren[/size]
BY CHARLEY WALTERS
SUNDAY SUPER SHOOTER WITH CHARLEY WALTERS
It appears that a 13-year-old Huron, S.D., boy who mowed lawns to save $55 to buy a Koren Robinson Vikings jersey from a Mall of America store, then wanted to exchange it for another player's jersey after the former Vikings wide receiver was arrested last month, is stuck with the jersey.
Jeff Duffy, the father of seventh-grader Jarren Duffy, said the Vikings Locker Room store at Mall of America told him Saturday that because the jersey had been worn (once to a Vikings game) and the sale tag removed, it would not exchange it for that of another player. Duffy has the sale receipt.
A Vikings Locker Room manager refused comment when contacted Saturday by the Pioneer Press. The manager said the store is not owned by the Vikings and is independent of the NFL team.
"I went to buy his (Robinson's) jersey because he used to be my favorite player," Jarren, a wide receiver at Huron Middle School, said Saturday.
Jarren and his father were in Minneapolis to attend two Twins games and the Vikings-Raiders game. Jarren bought the jersey Aug. 12; Robinson was arrested Aug. 15 and charged with drunken driving and fleeing police. That is when Jarren decided to try to exchange his No. 81 Robinson jersey.
"I wanted a player who doesn't get into trouble and stuff like that," he said.
What Jarren would like now, he said, probably is a jersey of fellow South Dakotan Chad Greenway, the Vikings' first-round draft pick who has been lost for his rookie season because of a knee injury.
The Vikings Locker Room's refusal to exchange the Robinson jersey has resulted in a handful of offers nationally and internationally from people wanting to buy Jarren another jersey.
But, his father said Saturday, "I told all the people who offered that I can't justify them spending their hard-earned money on us. Fifty-five dollars doesn't break our budget. We don't want our money back, just a different jersey."
So now Jeff and Jarren are considering covering Robinson's name on the back of the jersey with white adhesive tape and replacing the name with that of whomever wears No. 81 this season.