When Can We Expect to Stop Finding Aaron Hernandez In Our Calendars?
For the second time since Aaron Hernandez’s arrest, owners of wall calendars turned the pages yesterday to find a photo of an accused murderer playing football as if nothing has happened. This time, it was the University of Florida Gators’ 2014 calendar, where Hernandez appears as Mr. July.
— Jimi Kunkel (@JimiKunkel) June 30, 2014
It was over a year ago, in June 2013, that Hernandez was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd. Shortly thereafter, in an awkward but somewhat more understandable coincidence, he appeared as Mr. August in a Patriots wall calendar. This was uncomfortable for the Patriots mostly because the team had already begun removing all traces that he had ever played for them from its merchandising. Given the photo came within the same calendar year, it was an understandable situation .
Now we are 13 months removed from Hernandez’s arrest, and owners of sports-themed wall calendars probably thought themselves safe from unwanted glimpses of Hernandez’s mug. Not so! This wasn’t a case of some graphic designer at UF who lives under a rock that doesn’t get ESPN. Why, just this week, Hernandez’s lawyers were in court to argue that the case has generated “virtually unprecedented” media coverage. No, the school says that this, like the Patriots calendar before it, is a case of too long a lead time in the manufacture of wall calendars. On their Twitter feed, they said that the approval process came way back in the spring of 2013.
— GatorZone Football (@GatorZoneFB) June 30, 2013
A spokesman also told the Associated Press:
“There are thousands of Gator products in the pipeline for approval at any given time and it’s not common practice to re-review them once they have already been approved. We have since notified the licensee that it is no longer approved,” he said.
So that’s all well and good, but can we all agree that January 2015 is our cut-off date? We’ll turn our wall calendar pages carefully until then. But after that, no excuses. You’ve been put on notice, makers of wall calendars and other sports paraphernalia. The year 2015 is too late to have Aaron Hernandez in any calendar that is not somehow crime or prison themed (a calendar that we hope doesn’t exist.)