Well here's something we haven't poked our heads around in for quite some time. Great Moments in Unlicensed Pittsburgh Sports Merch, my love note to the crappy knockoff sports memorabilia we've all known and been gifted, sort of dried up as a regular feature as 2011 turned to 2012. We had only 1 or 2 posts on the subject in all of the last calendar year. Not for lack of submissions, mind you. You guys really love emailing me random generic local sports gear.
My time away from the feature sort of reminds of another lengthy break, one in which a revered local favorite went away for an extended period only to return truimphantly. No, I'm not still talking about this exact moment but in another dimension. I'm talking about the Pens. They kicked the door down to open this shortened post-lockout season with a 2-0-0 start, so I'm going through all my unused submissions for anything Pens-related. Some of these have been sitting around for (at times) years, because even when this was a regular feature, your submissions outweighed my ability to write.
So let's get into this after the jump:
AJ sent this over January 16th, 2011. The catchphrase is lifted from the 2009 dual-Championship year for the Pens and Steelers. We've seen the originals, it was actually the 1st-ever generic merch item featured. I don't like to think about this version because of David Steckel's shoulder. There's a link of other Winter Classic unlicensed merch here, which conveniently includes another version of the next:
Christopher sent this shirtly after AJ. And then in April of 2011, Mike Darnay sent this:
The classic PITTSBURGH script to cover for the fact you don't have the proper licensing for the team or player name. Looks like we already used Christopher's here along with a similar Troy Polamalu version. And then the other one in the Winter Classic link above. Mike's is new.
Also in April of 2011, Mike P wanted his thoughts on Alex Ovechkin known. Ah 2011, when Ovechkin was still hated on for trying to be in the "best player" conversation. How cute. We had a different version of this shirt several years ago.
April '11 was a good month for submissions I guess, cos here's Dan T finding a cousin of Tall Cathy's Penguin amoeba hat.
Mike Darnay comes through again in May 2011 with perhaps the worst shirt ever. A lame Charlie Sheen phrase? Just awful. These knockoff White Out shirts are better (1, 2).
Hammar sent over what he calls his absolute favorite piece of unlicensed Pittsburgh sports merchandise.Geno has 0G 4 A so far this season, no one's complaining.
walterflanagan found some fantastic Sid and Geno knockoff earmuffs, I mean "ear warmers." This was last winter, so we're finally getting back to relevancy.
And when I say relevancy, I'm back to Geno, and his coming off an MVP season. This guy, via Scott, gets it.
Lizzie caught this towel on Liberty Ave. back in March. Who only needs Badger Bob's "Hockey Night in Pittsburgh" when you can have 24/7 "Hockey Time in Pittsburgh"?
And Lizzie also found a shirt that looks like it's from the late 90s. So Sid played for the Pens between listening to Nü-Metal and being 12? The accompanying Penguins as animals as hockey players shirt is pretty great though.
My buddy Dan sends over these 2, the first ginf some silly female Pens shirt. The other takes on the Grateful Dead-Penguins/Penshead phenomenon we've seen before.
Dan also got this TOTEM OF GENERIC PENGUINS AWESOMENESS. I spy Hammar''s favorite Geno shirt from above. And a Malkin in the Middle that we've featured. What a magical pillar!
Another from my inbox from Dan. Jagr has to rue the day he learned that Jagoff is kinda spelled like his last name.
And that's all for now. I probably forgot or missed about a ton. And I still have unlimited Steelers and Pirates submissions in my inboxes, this bit of purging only helped slightly. Anyway, look for more Great Moments in Unlicensed Pittsburgh Sports Merch soon!
If you have any unlicensed Pittsburgh sports gear, or awesome generic sports gear from any team, send them to me and I'll post them.
(thanks to Cotter for the banner pic)
AJ with 1 more.