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The Last Temptation of 54b

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You remember the scene in "Field of Dreams" when the guy at the bar tells James Earl Jones that all the clothiers in town would stock blue hats in their shop windows because they knew "Moonlight" Graham would buy one?

Well, sometimes I think Nike stocks a new Longhorn Gameday shirt just for me. And even though we know Doc was buying those hats for his wife to get her to keep quiet about the one time he visited a prostitute who was doing her little behind-shake for the men folk during the war, I think this general retail mousetrap principle still applies today.

If you want proof, just visit my closet where you will find not one, not two, but 18 Texas Longhorns shirts and we're not talking about a bunch of old, ratty T-shirts with inane statements like, "Our scoreboard sh*ts bigger than your scoreboard."

Oh no, we're talking quality collar-popping Gameday shirts including home and away versions, short sleeve, long sleeve, button down, mock turtleneck, Dri-Fit with wicking agent, and of course, the Loco Poco Texas Guayabera Mexican-style Wedding shirt which I purposely bought one-size too small to accentuate my Taco-Belly. And this list doesn't even include the rain parka, the pullovers, the windbreakers, or the burnt orange SUV with optional rally fun pack. 
Ut_mex_shirt_medium
I swear, if some enterprising company makes something with a Longhorn logo on it, you can bet I bought it...what can I say, I'm a sucker for burnt orange. In fact, if you ever read my 12 Steps to getting through the football off-season, you'd know that Step 4 requires you to annually take stock of all your Longhorn Paraphernalia and supplement it accordingly. Hell, for me, buying a new gameday shirt each year isn’t just retail therapy...it’s a right of passage and prerequisite for the new season.

That being said, I do have one complaint...can't Nike at least make some attempt to change their selection from year to year?

Over the past 4 or 5 years, Nike has introduced a pretty cool line of Dri-Fit Gameday shirts:

The "Dri-Fit Conference Polo" Conf_polo_medium

The "Quick Count Polo" Quick_count_medium

And just in time for the 2008 season, the "Stiff Arm Polo." Stiffarm_medium

And there have been a whole host of others including one called, the "Coin Toss" and another called the "Walk-Through." I can only imagine that it’s just a matter of time before the "Nike Pre-Game Constitutional Polo" is available for purchase (Toilet paper sold separately of course).

Hey, there's no doubt the "Marketeers" at Nike are geniuses, but you don't have to be Ralph Lauren to notice the only real aesthetic difference in these shirts is the name.

I mean would it have killed them to trick it up a little more? But why should they when they know all too well that Burnt Orange People like coming early, being loud, staying late, and most especially, wearing orange.

Yeah, you thought Mack’s mantra was just a ploy to get the fans excited. It was also one of the greatest marketing ploys in recent memory...there’s a reason UT leads the NCAA in royalties from logo usage.

Now for the big question: Do I fall in line with the herd and purchase the "Stiff Arm Polo," or do I break tradition and resist the temptation? Only 31 days to the Longhorns opener, what do I do? I feel like Jack Bauer with a price-checker aimed at my head.

On the one hand, it's not like I don't already have a plethora of socially acceptable Gameday shirt options for all occasions, weather conditions, and natural disasters.

But can I afford to traverse the congested walkways of Memorial Stadium on Saturdays this fall without Nike's latest security blanket. I mean what if I've got to piss real bad, will the guys in line at the urinals respect my dilemma and move aside if they don't fear a mighty stiff arm to their Solar Plexus? Can I truly announce my presence at the tailgate with authority without the latest Nike Gameday shirt and will the "Mean Girls" write bad things about me in their "Burnt Book" if I’m wearing last year’s fashion? I can just hear them now, "Horizontal burnt orange stripe instead of vertical...oh that’s so 2007 and makes you look fat, loser!" So...much...pain. I’m so cold.

If you’ll excuse for me a second, there’s somebody I need get in touch with and forgive...myself.

(Sniffle) You know what, I don’t need that new Nike shirt. I just need me. In the words of Ari from Entourage, let’s sing it out bitch...

Dear Nike,

First I was afraid, I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without your latest hide
But I spent so many nights
thinking how you did my credit wrong
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on
and so your back
from Oregon
I just clicked on Longhorns Ltd.
And saw your sad shirt upon their dot-com
I should have set my pop-up blocker
I should have turned off my cookies
If I had known for just one second
You'd be back to solicit me

Go on now go clean out your cache
just turn around now
And shove that offer up your ass
weren't you the one who tried to make me pay C.O.D.
you think I'd fumble
you think I'd pay your shipping fees
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as I know how to dress
I know I’ll accessorize
I’ve got tons of shirts to wear
I’ve got lots of skin to bare
and I'll survive
I will survive


Sincerely,
54b

PS. I didn’t mean it, I still love you...panic...for the love of polyester, please don’t take me off the Nike "Nickel Package Performance Fleece" priority list.