TAMPA, Fla., April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- College football season is nearly six months away, yet continuing news of Jim Tressel's alleged cover-up involving five current Buckeye players exchanging memorabilia for tattoos and cash has rival fans of Ohio State and The University of Michigan heating up the Internet message boards. Michigan fans are claiming Tressel is nothing more than a cheat and a fraud whose true colors have finally been exposed. A Quinnipaic University poll shows the vast majority of Ohio's registered voters stand behind Tressel and Internet message boards indicate widespread support from Ohio State football fans. Michigan fans, on the other hand, cry hogwash, suggesting Tressel is the main culprit in "Tattoo Gate" and should be fired.
Much to the delight of UM fans, Smack Apparel, a small but nationally known manufacturer of unique sports-themed shirts, has created Tressel's Tattoo and Pawn, a shirt design that is starting to create quite a stir. True to the company's tagline, Talkin' the Talk, the shirt featuring a humorous image looking like Tressel in his trademark vest but sporting tattoos and a very large gold chain. Above the image is a previous quote from Tressel, "That's what a top-five football team looks like" - Jim Tressel. Under the image it reads: "WHAT HAPPENS IN COLUMBUS, STAYS IN COLUMBUS" and then the killer line, "(ERR...UNLESS THE NCAA FINDS OUT ABOUT IT!)."
Jen Johnson, the buyer for Campus Den, a Michigan-based 13-store chain, said, "We saw the design and said, 'oh my gosh, Michigan fans are going to eat this up.' We are expecting to receive our first shipment Wednesday, and by the reaction of a few Michigan fans we showed it to, it should be a very hot seller."
Wayne Curtiss, the owner of Smack Apparel says, "Ohio State is one of those very large, very successful schools that has a loyal and often loud fan base. They are one of those schools you either love or love to hate." For Michigan fans, Curtiss says, it's a whole other level of hate. "Michigan fans are just fed up of hearing Ohio State fans squawk, referring to Tressel as 'The Senator'; We are THE Ohio State University and of course, Buckeye fans gloating about their domination of Michigan over the last 10 football seasons. They just hate Ohio State."
Curtiss says, while the NFL, MLB and the Collegiate Licensing Company do not care much for Smack Apparel, and over Smack's 13 years, have tried to persuade some retailers not to carry Smack's products because they hold no licenses, Curtiss cites this new design (which has no school logos) as a prime example why Smack has never chosen to go the licensed route. "I often say," Curtiss states, "It's not that we are averse to being licensed, we are just averse to the significant creative restrictions that would come with being licensed. When a certain situation or event is happening, our retailers, as well as the fans, want a t-shirt that is creative, fun and topical, and the licensed industry just doesn't do that very well. If you really want to see what we do, go to our Hall of Fame on our website and you will see why I am so proud of the shirts we produce; they are just fun."
The new Tressel's Tattoo and Pawn t-shirt falls into that fun category, unless, err...you're an Ohio State Fan!
Tressel's Tattoo and Pawn T-Shirt Image:
SOURCE Smack Apparel