This always just baffles me. When a sports team is in the championship, why is the apparel that comes with it the most important part to fans?
Let me put some context behind this…….
Yesterday, I was shopping at my local sporting goods store. I was waiting in line, when a customer walked in the building and approached the nearest cashier to me. They asked the cashier; “Are you carrying any apparel for my team? They are one of the remaining teams left in their tournament!”
(Yes, I am being very vague to avoid legal issues.)
The cashier ended up saying no, which I was expecting, and the customer was furious. They said to the cashier; “How the hell do you not have this stuff?” They both went back and forth for a few seconds, until the customer evidently stormed out the front door.
But this interaction got me thinking; why is this apparel so important? Why do we as a society have to have this apparel in order to validate our fandom?
Then it hit me, a majority of these “fans” are new to the team. They are so dead-set on getting this apparel to make themselves part of the “clique.” They don’t understand that there are actual people out there that have been waiting YEARS for this run to happen.
I’ll relate this to the Chicago Cubs winning it all back in 2016. A buddy of mine was working at our local sporting goods store at the time, and they were selling championship shirts for the Cubs big W! He said when he got there during the seventh inning, there was already a line of at least six people waiting outside of the door.
SIX PEOPLE, waiting outside of a sporting goods store during the seventh inning of a Game Seven. The same Game Seven that went to extra innings, and had a rain delay mixed in.
Now please tell me, what “fan” would be waiting outside of a store during the most PIVOTAL game in a team’s history to buy a damn shirt? It’s outrageous to me!
The same thing goes for the basketball team this customer was talking about. Granted, I am sounding hypocritical because I will be rooting for them for the rest of the tournament. BUT, it’s not like I’m calling myself a “big fan.” Or it’s not like I’m going to throw a fit if a store in the area doesn’t have this championship apparel. I’m just excited for these kids, and happy that this run is helping the city in a BIG way.
Hell, I even mentioned in my social media posts about them that I am JUMPING ON THE BANDWAGON. Hence, I have not followed the damn team until now.
Now I know, this is what big runs in HUGE situations do for teams. They gain fans, gain interest, and help the team as a whole grow. BUT the people like the customer who yelled at the cashier because they didn’t get their way just ruin the fun. They give the WHOLE situation a negative connotation, and also make asses out of themselves.
So, if you do want apparel like this, just be patient. Order it online, let it come to you, and enjoy it then. Don’t be a piece of shit to a kid that’s trying to do his job; you don’t need it right away.
But I want to know, are you one of these people? Do YOU need this stuff right away? Or can you be a sane person and wait for it? Let me know in the comments below, or on one of The Midwestern Barfly Gazette’s social media pages;
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