FALSE START #3 by David E. Ortman

[August 1999 National Masters News Reprinted by Permission]

WALKING BILLBOARDS


Welcome back from WAVA Gateshead. If the past is any indication, the Track & Field meet was great but the Track & Field T-shirt was lousy.

Why is this? A Track & Field T-shirt should be a walking billboard for Track & Field! It should SCREAM Track & Field. It should instantly convey Track & Field at a distance of at least a good triple jump. It should be a Track & Field beacon, not just a souvenir to throw into the closet. I dug out my collection of T&F T-shirts and, sad to say, most of them will stay in the closet.

For example, the words "Track & Field " on the 1992 (Spokane) National Masters Championship T-shirt are a quarter inch high! A quarter inch! Maybe you need letters that small on a sports bra, but not on a T-shirt! In fact, on only one of my T-shirts are the words "Track & Field" more than an inch high. Only if you were trying to hide the sport would you do this.

Maybe this is WAVAís problem. WAVAís 1996 North and Central American and Caribbean World Regional Master Championship T-shirt didnít have the words Track and Field on it at all. I never bothered to buy a WAVA T-shirt from the 1995 World Championships in Buffalo because they mostly had a picture of, guess what, a buffalo on the front. Same with the 1998 (Orono, ME) National T-shirts, which carried a big picture of a moose. Couldnít the moose or buffalo have at least been throwing the Javelin or something?

Frankly, the standard USA Track & Field T-shirt is not much better. The NBA markets itself with - a Basketball. The NFL markets itself with - a Football. Major League baseball markets itself with - a Baseball. USA Track & Field markets itself with - a Triangle: It looks like a red, white and blue Yield sign with "Track & Field" in itsy-bitsy print..
For Peteís sake, what event is a Triangle?

So listen up folks. Here are some basic T&F T-shirts 101ís:

Another T-shirt design problem is when you have a neat Track & Field T-shirt to wear and scare off the competition, there is no place to pin your number without covering up some awesome design. So how about incorporating a box to pin your number into. When youíre not competing the box could contain some useful advice in the following order:

  1. FINISH
  2. PR
  3. WIN

If you think youíve got a smashing Track & Field T-shirt that just SCREAMS Track & Field, take a good closeup picture, scan it into a .jpg or .gif file and e-mail it to me as an attachment deortman@msn.com. Or if you can spare the picture, mail it and Iíll scan it (%7043 22nd Ave N.W., Seattle, WA 98117). The best examples are posted at Screaming T&F T-SHIRTS .


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