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Dragons DT has impressive jersey collection

Anthony Johnson has worn a different jersey to each game this season.

SEATTLE – Anthony Johnson became a Philadelphia Eagles fan when he was 5 years old.

He fell in love with the team during their run to Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005 and it was cemented while watching Trent Cole’s career.

The Dragons’ defensive lineman, nicknamed “The Gut,” became such a big fan his first football jersey was Cole’s.

“Trent Cole was my idol when I was growing up,” Johnson said. “He was that guy I wanted to be like when I first started playing football at 5.”

He still has that jersey at his mother’s house in Georgia. Little did he know at the time it would be the first of many jersey acquisitions over the years.  

“Honestly, they kind of just came to me, man,” Johnson said, sitting in the lobby of the Dragons’ team hotel on Tuesday. “I really didn’t get too big on jerseys until I got into college. My first jersey I bought when I got to college was that Florida Panthers jersey. Then I started going to hockey games, fell in love with hockey after that.”

Over the years, Johnson has put together a collection of 25-30 jerseys. He has been unveiling one on gameday each week so far this season.

“It just kind of turned into a thing for me, I guess,” he said. “None of them are the same. None of them are the same team. They’re all different teams. I’m a huge player guy. I’m just a fan of a lot of players and my jerseys range from baseball jerseys to hockey to football, basketball. I’m still trying to get a good soccer jersey to wear.”

Week 1, he wore his favorite jersey, a Randall Cunningham Philadelphia Eagles throwback. Week 2, he wore the Florida Panthers jersey. And, recently, he has been showing Adam Sandler some love with Bobby Boucher and Paul Crewe jerseys.

“Adam Sandler is definitely my top two favorite actors of all time,” Johnson said. “Denzel (Washington) is my other favorite actor. I really couldn’t put either one of them at one or two, but I definitely love Adam Sandler. ‘Waterboy’ was, hands down, my favorite movie growing up.”

Johnson has jerseys ready for the rest of the season, but he’s not going to spoil the surprise.

“I think everybody is going to be excited for the jerseys I’m going to be pulling out these next couple of weeks,” he said. “A couple of them might go over some people’s heads, a couple of them people are really going to have to do their research to see where they’re coming from.”

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