This is not the first time that Troy Polamalu is the subject of an unlicensed piece of merch. Remember the Troymanian Devil?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll eventually use Great Moments in Unlicensed Pittsburgh Sports Merch as a vehicle to applaud some of the good designs out there in the generic sports pieces. In whatever universe you live in, though, this one is not acceptable.
First, as is the case with most all unlicensed stuff, there is no mention of the team or player that is being highlighted. Sure, the shirt is in Black and Gold, and there is a certain player on a certain team that wears #43 in those colors with easily-recognizable hair, but the vendor is expecting you to already understand this. If you were a new fan with no prior knowledge of the team, this shirt means little more to you than Three Wolf Moon or something.
But without mentioning Troy’s name, this shirt could be about the hair of any prior #43 for the Steelers. George Jones? Some guy named Steve Avery? Another named Shawn Vincent? All these other guys? If any of them had unique hair, then this unlicensed shirt just gets worse and worse.
So go ahead and wear this shirt if you want. You can even remind people that it’s of Troy Polamalu, if you feel the need. Just don’t expect much respect from me…even though that’s the only real justification you need in your life anyway.