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The #1 Thing the World Needs More Of

 

Looking back on recent blog posts, I’ve noticed I’ve been in an oddly nostalgic mood. So I figured to keep within that theme, I would do an entry on something from my childhood that I’d like to see a lot more of.

The innocence of youth? An invigorating sense of discovery thanks to the new innovation of the internet? Less overt economic strife in our country?

What? No. I miss And 1 trash-talking shirts:

To anyone who doesn’t have knowledge of these monuments of young male fashion circa 1999, first of all: I’m sorry you never got to experience them. Second of all: it’s never too late.

See, the And 1 shirt followed a specific archetype: insult your opponent or potential opponent until he was so emotionally devastated that you could just run all over his sorry, weeping self like Vince Carter in the 2000 dunk contest:

Notice: yes, Vince Carter was wearing And 1 Tai Chi sneakers in that dunk contest.

Some of the shirts were straightforward braggadocio and trash talk:

Some were more overtly degrading:

Some were insults that bordered on the surreal:

Uh… okay?

And some made veiled references to human trafficking-via-basketball (?):

In case they decide to make a new Taken movie starring Latrell Sprewell, here’s a premise.

But the true joy and hilarity of these shirts wasn’t the witticisms and insults that the shirts themselves offer, but the irony: no one who was good at basketball wore these shirts. The And 1 t-shirt was like a neon sign that said “DON’T PICK ME FOR YOUR 3 ON 3 TEAM.” It was a warning sign of weak ankles and bad excuses.

I miss you, And 1 shirts. Needlessly aggressive insult-based clothing has never been the same.

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