You know what I'm talking about. Those shirts emblazoned with the big, bold font that reads something obnoxious like, "YOU'VE BEEN SERVED" or "I GOT GAME" or heaven help me, "BEASTMODE." It's not that I hate the shirts -- well, I kinda hate the shirts -- it's that without fail, the guy wearing the shirt is never any good. In fact, the more boastful the shirt, the less "GAME" he got. Trust me, if you're ever picking a basketball team at your local gym, don't pick the dude in the "BEASTMODE" shirt. You'll be down by ten points wondering if his three bricks, seven turnovers, and five Gatorade breaks are part of "BEASTMODE" or if he's waiting for just the right time to start playing some gosh dang defense.
Aside from my dislike of the slogan shirts within the context of a pick-up basketball game, I just don't like the idea of self-aggrandizement. It's a no-win situation. If you can't back up your own crowing, you look bad, and even if you are as good as you say, you still come off looking like a jerk. That's why I propose Nike should produce a new line of slogan shirts; tees with meek, self-effacing slogans such as:
SET SHOT HERO
NO, I'M NOT LEFT-HANDED
I KEEP BENCHES WARM
I GOT GAME... OF THRONES ON DVD
Leastmode. Now that's a shirt I could wear. If I stink up the gym, well, at least I warned you. If I score a few buckets, hey, everyone's impressed. Either way, I don't look bad. I doubt Nike would get behind an idea like this. Cockiness sells, humility doesn't. In the end, I guess there are worse things in the world than a few guys at the gym wearing unsubstantiated t-shirts. Still, I think the sports world could use a little less Nike -- and a little more Just Do It.