Last fall I bought a University of Texas t-shirt at Old Navy. It was a part of the University T’s collection. It ran me about $20. It’s a high quality t-shirt and I wore it over long sleeves during the colder months. The shirt held up very nicely after washing and didn’t shrink like some shirts do. Living here in Texas, I never really heard any feedback from anyone on the shirt. You see people here wearing UT gear all the time, and it’s no big deal.
Things got complicated this spring on a trip to Old Navy for some kids shorts. I saw some similar shirts on the clearance rack for about $5/each. I picked up a Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia, and Denver Broncos shirt for $20. Comfortable t-shirts that will hold up in the wash and I can wear around the house and on airplanes where comfort is very important. I don’t have any affiliation to any of these teams or schools, they are just shirts.
Here’s where the craziness got started. You can’t wear one of these shirts out of the house without being interrogated, high-fived, or sneered at by someone who hates the team. I was at the eye-doctor wearing my Michigan short when my eye doctor asked me if I was a Michigan fan. She told me before I answered that she was an Ohio State Buckeye. Crap, she’s going to blind me if I say yes. Just a shirt, I said. Each time I have worn one of these shirts on a plane, I am asked about going to the school. Just a shirt, I say. Walking my daughter to school one morning I was stopped to talk about the University of Georgia. Go Dawgs, the guy said to me. Just a shirt, I said.
I’ve retired the University collection to only home duty. It’s too much work to keep up with everything going on with all these university’s and too disappointing to people when you tell them that it’s just a shirt.