October 14, 2011
Everybody knows that most of the postseason apparel licensed by Major League Baseball is ugly and overpriced. Especially those T-shirts and caps they make the players wear upon clinching the playoff spot/wild card/division title/pennant/World Series. Perhaps their unpleasant design and nonsensical color scheme are part of their charm (thoughts for another post), but they usually lack in every way.
That doesn't mean Joe and Jolene Consumer have to settle for what expensively passes for MLB style. At least not if you're a Milwaukee Brewers fan who shops at Walgreens at Moorland Rd. and Greenfield Ave. in West-suburban Brookfield, Wis. There, I happened upon the best playoff gear seen by these eyes in years (pictured above). And all it cost was $12.99.
It doesn't feature any team or league logos, it doesn't even say "Brewers," "NLCS" or "postseason" because those are licensed terms. I'm not even sure about the color, though it seems close enough. Dark blue, right?
"Congratulations! Your city has reason to celebrate and our line of City Celebration Apparel allows you to support your city's passion. City Celebration Apparel is not endorsed or licensed by any team, league organization or institution."
A terrific idea, probably conceived to get around the red tape and excessive investment required to hawk official playoff gear. I like how this Walgreens is sticking it to The Man using capitalism and libertarianism, along with undercurrents of socialist revolution. Pretty ingenious. As of today, it's not selling anything official as it relates to the Brewers playoffs. But why buy official stuff when it's so hard on the eyes at a premium price? (Hey, was it the 2011 Brewers who made the playoffs or the 1997 Milwaukee Bucks?)
Plus, there's no way MLB can copyright words such as:
• "Milwaukee" — which, by the way, is the only American city to elect three Socialist mayors.
• "2011" — Dear Suits: We all have to share the year.
• "Playoffs" — hey, you were the guys who decided to go with the pretentious "postseason."
• "We Believe" — possibly borrowed from Mets fans in 1973, who coined "Ya Gotta Believe." But who did they steal it from?
• "A Tradition Continues" — whatever, sure.
If the Brewers make it to the World Series (or, the "Final Round" as the T-shirt might say), perhaps the local buyer will cave because of Brewers Fever and get something you might find in the official catalog. Hopefully, he or she goes with what got them this far. Generic playoff stuff. Retro. Simple. Color-coordinated. Legal disclaimers as art. Cheaper. Profitable.