Since I got nothing but positive emails and tons of submissions for Great Moments in Unlicensed Pittsburgh Sports Merch while I was away on vacation, it looks like the feature will stay. For now, at least.
This one was sent in by my buddy Carlin. Championships seem to bring out the best (worst?) in unlicensed sports apparel. Local vendors try to capitalize on the popularity bump, and will end up getting your sports merchandise money through a variety of terrible designs. The twin 2009 Steelers and Penguins championships brought this creature to life. Super Bowl XL birthed this ugly thing. And the Penguins' first Cup, along with the arrival of a young Jaromir Jagr, made this totally sweet shirt happen.
The one pictured here came about after the most recent Super Bowl XLIII win. Like the 5-Time Champs one, this shirt references the date of the championship, without ever using the phrase "Super Bowl." And like the Steelers/Penguins one, this shirt recognizes "The Pittsburgh Nation." I've heard of Steelers Nation, but never Pittsburgh Nation. I guess that's as close as you can get without mentioning the actual team involved.
But the catchphrase is what bothers me. One For The Thumb and One For The Other Thumb are acceptable taglines for the Steelers. The first was used ever since Super Bowl XIV in 1979, when the city wanted to ice out the rest of the first hand. And once we got that 5th ring, the other hand needed filled. Again...both acceptable.
But "Another For The Other?" What the hell is that all about? This was the first ring on the "other" hand...why is it phrased like this was the second ring on the second hand? If nothing else, just say "One On The Other." Or something. And then there's the "Steel City 6 Pack" tagline at the bottom, another questionable phrase that I never really accepted. Just because "One For The Thumb" and "One For The Other Thumb" became locally-known references to the number of Steelers Super Bowl wins, that doesn't mean that we need new, stupid taglines every year. Unlicensed vendors...sit down for a little bit.