Cam Newton's NFL replica jersey can be difficult to find in stores these days.
A word to the wise if you are planning to give somebody a Cam Newton jersey for Christmas.... don't wait any longer to find it.
I had heard a number of stories from Panther fans about No.1 Newton jerseys being out of stock completely at local stores, or only available in certain sizes or colors (I'm talking about the basic jersey, in either blue, black or white, which usually retails for $85).
So I made a few calls, visits and checks to websites Wednesday and confirmed it. Some stores are out of Newton jerseys entirely and don't know when they will get more.
"We get them in," one local sales clerk told me, "and they basically sell out instantly."
The Panthers' store inside Bank of America Stadium has some jerseys for their star rookie quarterback, but only in certain sizes and colors (704-358-7158 if you want to check with them). The Panthers.com website lists only a few adult-sized jerseys for $85, and they are mostly in 4X and 5X. They do list a number of youth Newton jerseys ($60) as available.
NFLShop.com -- the league's official supplier of jerseys -- has a very limited supply of Cam jerseys and is completely out of many popular sizes. Several other national websites I checked out told a similar story.
But the Dick's Sporting Goods store in Northlake Mall -- at least as of Wednesday night -- had a surprisingly good selection when I stopped by.
I'm sure other stores around the Carolinas have some in stock -- especially the youth sizes, they seem to be a bit easier to find -- but it's very hit or miss.
Your best bet seems to be the old-fashioned way -- calling your local sporting-goods store directly before you drive out there. While websites often list the Newton jerseys as "sold out," some stores do have a few left in stock.
As I mentioned in this blog in October, Newton's jersey had already risen to No.16 in overall sales among all NFL players. After this Christmas season, I can't imagine it won't be in the Top 10 or Top 5 the next time those rankings are released.
And no, I wasn't looking for a Newton jersey for myself. The last NFL replica jersey I owned was when I was 10 years old and wore my Roger Staubach jersey every Sunday, and I'm going to keep it that way.
If you've got a story to tell about searching for a Newton jersey this Christmas -- or any other Panther-related item -- add a comment below. And please keep it clean.