Jerry Wipes, inspired by a viral video of Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones getting his glasses cleaned, will be sold in the Dallas Cowboys online store. Jerry Wipes aren't the first instance of the polarizing NFL owner poking fun at himself – or making money.
Jones, the highly visible and polarizing Cowboys owner, stole the thunder from his team’s road victory over the Super Bowl champion Giants when video footage taken of Jones watching the game showed him casually handing off his glasses to be cleaned by an unidentified man sitting behind him in the owner’s box.
The video went viral, and the questions (and jokes) flew. Who was the man cleaning Jerry’s glasses? Some sort of manservant from a bygone era of kings? Is the billionaire Jones really so rich that he can’t be bothered wipe a smudge off his own glasses? Is this definitive proof that the American wealth gap has gotten wildly out of hand?
Not quite. The glasses-cleaner turned out to be Jones’s son in law, Shy Anderson, who offered an explanation of the spectacle (sorry) to Alan Peppard of the Dallas Morning News:
"Jerry never talks to anybody during the game. He is so focused. But he started asking, 'Where's [Cowboys tight end Jason] Witten?' I was looking over his shoulder and I could see his glasses were completely smudged. I said, 'Seriously, Jerry? Let me see your glasses.' I actually had an eyeglass cloth in my pocket."
So it was just family members watching out for each other, more than an extravagance of the uber-rich. But that isn’t stopping Anderson and Jones, the owner that NFL fans love to hate, from cashing in on their brief Internet fame.
Anderson has designed a line of eyeglass wipes printed with the words “Jerry Wipes” on them, to be sold in the Dallas Cowboys’ online store. No word yet on the price, or for how long the wipes will be sold. “It started out as a joke, but let’s see how far we can take it.” Anderson said.
It’s all par for the course for Jones, who is no stranger to hamming it up, laughing at himself, or making money. During his 24-year tenure as owner and general manager, he has turned the Dallas Cowboys, which he bought for $140 million in 1989, into the most valuable pro sports franchise in the NFL and the United States, worth $2 billion. He’s also starred in a series of ads for pizza chain Papa Johns, in which he both break dances and raps. So Jerry Wipes aren’t the first or last time Jerry Jones will cash in on his acerbically goofy self image.