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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fan wear...what is over the top? -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


If you're like me and a fan of a particular sports program, you probably have several shirts that profess your fandom.

At last count, I have in my wardrobe eight UofL polo style shirts and too-many-to-count t-shirts with some reference to UofL. I have a hard time "retiring" t-shirts due to age or wear. I still have a Red Rage t-shirt from the Vince Gibson days and a UofL men's basketball t-shirt that extolled the game Samaki Walker had against Kentucky back in 1995. 

The only shirt that has gotten negative comments is a shirt I acquired back in early 2007 that has "Hell In the Hall" on the back of it. It referred to UofL's basketball fury in Freedom Hall. I still drag it out from time-to-time. It fits well and the front-wording is simply "Louisville".  

The shirt question arises on a recent furor of Chicago Cubs fans wearing t-shirts that read "Try not to Suck". The reference goes back to a incident several years ago when a minor leaguer was called up to the "Big Time" and asked a coach for any advice he might have minutes before his first start. The coach replied..."Try not to suck." The player responded well...with a three-run homer in the game. 

The phrase "the damn ball" is another I've seen pop up. 

What is over the top in wording on shirt wear? Are obscene or profane words or phrases going too far? 

Over the years, I've seen some pretty controversial wording. The "F" word before an opponent's name or nickname. A long-time St. Louis baseball Cardinal player named Pujoles (pronounced poo-hole) epitomized in print and photo:

How far would you go on wording on a shirt? What offends you and should be covered up? 

One of my favorite stories involves a high school rivalry a few years back when one of the teams had a player out because of injury. Fans of the other team had shirts printed out:

Coach (name with-held) has No Johnson.

There is a myriad of creativity out there when it comes to wording and phrases that don sports wear. One I saw a few years ago had the inscription:

"Beating you is almost as good as a win over Notre Dame"

And, does the security or administration of a university or organization have the right to either ban or make a fan cover up wording on a shirt? 

Here's my stance...I'm OK with a bit of profanity on shirt-wear but against obscenity. I'd prefer not to see either...but I'm guilty of owning a shirt that has profanity. When I make my next clothes-drawer cleaning for donations, that one may be added to the pile. 

(If any of the words or references in today's article have offended you, as a reader, I extend my apologies...just an article on a day where their isn't a whole lot going on in Louisville women's sports...) Think about how many times a day you see a t-shirt or sweat-shirt with a logo or phrase on it and how many times you are offended by one. Also, think of all that free advertising going on there. We had a limited issue of CARDINAL COUPLE T-shirts a few years ago that we sold or gave away for prizes. To this day, I've seen less than five people actually wearing them in public. 

Maybe it's time to go back to the days of a plain red t-shirt with a pocket on it. I like the pocket t-shirts (in case you're doing any early Christmas shopping for me). It makes it real easy to find an ink pen...



  1. Nice article Paulie. I don't care for profane or obscene references on shirts (or bumper stickers) but I got a kick out of a tee I saw a few years ago down here on the beaches of Naples. College kid wearing a "Let's Go Peay" tee. He was, of course, an undergrad at Austin Peay.

    The Real Joe Hill

    1. Good stuff, Joe. When I played softball years ago, I was given the nickname "P". When I got up to bat, the bench and fans would get the 'Let's Go P' chant rolling...


    2. The f word or any refernce to it has no business on a tee shirt. How did White's visit go? Anybody know?

  2. Anything Paulie on Chatrice White visit?

  3. They took her to Keeneland and she rode four winners...

    Seriously, folks...I got nothing on it. Got a few feelers out on it but no reply yet.


  4. Below is an excerpt about Cheryl Swoops coach at Loyala Chi-town.
    This same thing came to light at Bama when a player two years ago tried successfully for her release to Seton Hall.

    A former player of Loyola Chicago women's basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes said she was the victim of "emotional abuse" by the Hall of Fame player.

    "I was humiliated, belittled," Cate Soane said Wednesday. "I was subject to a lot of inappropriate conduct."

    Swoopes is under investigation by the university following complaints and a mass exodus of players from the program. Ten of the team's 12 returning players have transferred or put in requests to be released from their scholarships. Five players transferred after the 2014-15 season.

    Soane, who left the team after the 2013-14 season, said Swoopes created a hostile environment around the team and routinely threatened to cut players from the roster or have their scholarships scrapped. She said the coach also mocked her and accused her of being disloyal.

    The environment became so hostile, she said, that players turned on each another and mistrust spread throughout the athletic department.

    "It made it hard to play," Soane said. "It wasn't about working hard and having fun anymore. It was about surviving."

    1. This is why you carry 15 players people!

  5. I'm sure Epps is happy with her decision to go to Kentucky. That decision kept her and Hines Allen from playing together.
    With Epps and Hines Allen we would warrant final four talk. Without Epps we didnt have near the talent we needed the last two years to have a real chance. Epps missed out too. What a core Epps and Hines Allen would be for a coach like Walz. Final Fours for sure.

  6. You know what's crazy? Supposedly we got two of the best freshman point guards , Asia and Taja and we still don't have a real point guard anyone is happy with. Taja out and Asia and Jackson don't fit that position according to Walz so far. Walz can't trust Jackson in that role and Asia with limited mobility as a freshman was a shooter.
    That leaves the maligned but improved Arica. Are expectations too great for her.?

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