Major thanks to Frank for this.
One theme we’ve seen in our look at the good and bad (mostly bad) of unlicensed Pittsburgh merchandise is the love for Troy Polamalu. He has a quiet demeanor, yet plays like a monster on the field, so he’s the perfect person to base a shirt idea around. He has his family and keeps himself out of the police blotter, all the more reason to use his likeness.
Without actually using his or his team’s likeness, which would be illegal without a license or authorization from Troy himself.
There was this cruddy “Beware The Hair” shirt. And one of the original GMIUPSM features was this “Troymanian Devil” shirt. I’m guessing the latter was a bigger theme than I ever remember, since the one Frank just sent over is remarkably similar. Here’s the back of this one, though.
First off…what the hell is a Devilmalu? At least the first attempt at this Troy/Tazmanian Devil connection didn’t try to mix his last name in with the Looney Tunes character. I’m not even going to get into the “Troyzmanian” part.
The front has a cartoon football player with long hair and a number 43. No mention of who it actually is, or the team he plays for, but you’d be stupid not to figure it out. And as with the last Troy/Tazmanian Devil shirt, Troyzmanian has a cyclone in place of the lower half of his body. Real Troy Polamalu doesn’t actually have that, so the vendor can argue that it isn’t his likeness at all.
And for what it’s worth, I’m no fan of the back. I’ve seen plenty of shirts like just the back of this one at Heinz Field and in and around Pittsburgh, so I have to call out the fans who wear it. I’ve already agreed that there’s times when you have to wear an unlicensed shirt. Maybe it has a clever phrase on it, or your budget is strapped and you have to hit up World of Values or the Strip District. But don’t wear the ones with fake Polamalu hair over his name. For one, it’s a cheap way to not actually get Polamalu’s permission for using his name and number. Plus, that doesn’t even look like hair. It looks like ink spilled on your shirt, so you look like a dirty, grubby jerk.
All in all, this is a weak effort.
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.