There was a sports store in a Fort Collins mall we just didn’t have in Greeley.
I don’t remember the name. But it felt like heaven to an early teen. Not because the cashier there looked like Summer Sanders (sigh). It was the college shirts. Miles and miles of shirts. Well, if a small corner mall plot could go on for miles, it would, in this case.
This post is part of the fanatics.com Family Fanatics campaign. They actually do seem to have miles and miles of college T-shirts.
And I still love a good college shirt. So do my girls.
Here’s 6 things that are cool about wearing college T-shirts.
1. Colors. Unless you’re wearing Wyoming brown, the colors are vibrant, and take on new meaning with the secondary color. You represent, when you see garnet and gold. Maize and blue, or cherry red and Columbia blue (Delaware State, if you’re wondering).
2. Mascots. When I see someone in a Charlotte 49ers shirt, i greet with “Go Niners!” and get a brotherly/sisterly response. Other schools might have cool mascots – Ducks, Commodores and Gophers – which look cool and fierce on a good T-shirt.
But there’s only one Niner Nation. Unless you count Long Beach State.
And I don’t.
3. Conversations – good. Wear Ohio Bobcats green, Indiana crimson or Colorado black and gold and you might end up in conversations. They could involve love, or hate. It’s the chance you take when you wear the colors of a school.
I’ve gotten thumbs up for a cap I wore that meant something to someone. I just smiled, waved back, then, turned a corner to take off my hat because I couldn’t remember which cap I had on.
4. Conversations – bad. Elise lived a couple of years in Tallahassee, and acquired some Florida State gear. Most notable: A denim jumper with a small Seminoles logo on the chest. A man in a store gave her hell for the ‘Noles while she was in North Carolina.
Mind you, she was 3. She twirled her hair and smiled. This dude was more annoying than the Noo Noo on Teletubbies. That must have been what she thought.
5. Conversations – nostalgic. My girls wound up with Iowa State Hawkeyes T-shirts last year. They were badass, a simple black shirt with that menacing bird on it. A family from the team is from Iowa, and the familiar colors and logo were a taste of home.
Good thing I didn’t get Iowa State Cyclones shirts. Two words – ‘state’ and ‘Cyclones’ – make such a difference.
6. Dreams. When I was young I could put on a Maryland Terrapins cap. Or maybe a Pennsylvania Quakers T-shirt or Kansas Jayhawks sweatshirt. And I could dream. Dream of playing quarterback in College Park, baseball in Philadelphia or basketball in Lawrence. It’s the power of the colors.
Dreams change, though. Your alma mater rises to No. 1 status. Their rivals – Cincinnati, East Carolina, Davidson – plummet to the bottom, like they should. You won’t catch me dead in those colors.
The dreams are for the girls now. Elise, in University of Hawaii green? Marie, in Arizona State maroon? Grace, in Oklahoma crimson?
Today, anything’s possible.
And it all starts with the shirt.
What’s your family sports story? What impact has sports had on your family?
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Fanatics.com did not compensate for this post. All opinions are my own.