Thanks to longtime reader and sender-in of much generic merchandise Steve for this. He got it in the parking lot of Heinz Field after Browns/Steelers this past weekend. Even though I have like 35+ submissions in the Great Moments queue (no lie), I've bumped this one past the rest due to its relevance to the most recent Steelers game. And because the piece itself and story behind it are kinda cool. Steve says:
"Here's some new Lawrence Timmons unlicensed merch that I got my hands on yesterday. As is the norm, there's no team identification. And not even a typical "Pittsburgh Football" type reference. But the black and gold color scheme of the text comes through to let us know/pretty solidly assume that it's a 'Burgh thing. Some generic clipart of a hulking football player in Steelers' colors standing on the arms of the nondescript lifeless (dead?) opponent seals the deal. It seems like they were going to go for the screen print little league jersey t-shirt effect on the back, but for whatever reason, the 94 from the front was apparently deemed unnecessary to repeat on the back. Only a name was needed. When you're the leading tackler for the best defense in the league, I guess you can do as you please.
So on the surface, this is just another unlicensed piece that fits the mold of many others that have been featured on PSAMP. But here's the unique part--it came directly from Timmons! I was doing my normal thing of hanging out by the players' parking lot postgame yesterday. When Timmons got off the shuttle bus that brings the players from the lockerroom to the lot, he stayed in the middle of the lot with the other players and their guests that had access inside the fenced off area. Not a big deal, as many of the players just give a wave rather than approach the fans that line the fence. But a few minutes later, a pair of women (I think LT's sister and his girlfriend) approached the crowd with a handful of these shirts to pass out from Lawrence. They were all randomly sized, some with an autograph, some without. Completely luck of the draw on what you got. A fan that was just a few shirts ahead of me got an XL sized signed edition. I obviously did not fare quite as well, landing an unsigned version, in a youth medium no less. So I won't be wearing it anytime soon. But still a very cool gesture. And a very rare instance of a player endorsed unlicensed merchandise item."
YES! Timmons knows what's up. Here's the back of the shirt, too:
I peeked over at Timmons' website to see if this shirt is a part of his online store, but alas, it is not. So I have no clue if it's an item that will be sold there in the future, if it's just a shirt he had made up in bulk to hand out or if he saw a stack of these at some vendor's stand in the Strip District or something and bought 'em all up to pass out.
Either way, what a shirt, and what a move by Timmons to keep in touch with the fans on such a personal level. And as a lover and biographer of all things generic Pittsburgh sports merchandise, I can only applaud this fantastic piece. Timmons can do no wrong from here on out. PRO BOWL OR BUST, BABY!
(thanks to Cotter for the banner pic)