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Saturday 17th February, 2018

Bizarre Thought for the Week, w/c 24th July 2006
Tony Dobson

Hi all,
Thought I'd take a bit of a break from the norm this week and take a look through my wardrobe. I know it seems a bit odd but one of my favourite parts of MTV Cribs is seeing what people have in their wardrobes and what clothes have what stories behind them.

Me being me, I'm just sticking some of my t-shirt collection, in order of year purchased.

2004: Atlanta Braves "I Live For This" t-shirt
In 2004 NASN started showing a series of the Major League Baseball adverts with the tag line "I live for this". They were pretty cool adverts, with professional players talking about the game, how they loved playing it as children, how they were living a dream. Especially cool was Pedro Martinez's advert, spoken almost entirely in Spanish.

I had to go online to find the Braves version featuring Chipper Jones, but it was worth the effort. It also meant that when we arrived in Atlanta it didn't take me long to visit the Braves Clubhouse Store at the CNN Center and pick up one of the grey t-shirts with the slogan on it. It's the most comfortable t-shirt I own and gets worn at least one a week, almost without fail. Looking back I really wish I'd bought a second one as a spare.

2000: Atlanta All-Star Game t-shirt
There were countless t-shirts on sale in Atlanta on the week that Lorraine and I visited. Needless to say I liked my pick best, a navy t-shirt with the All-Star Game logo and a view of the city behind it.

Incidentally when I say this thought consists of a look through my wardrobe I should point out that not all the t-shirts listed are in my wardrobe. I've not seen this t-shirt for quite a while now. I've got a nasty feeling it is buried somewhere under a pile of Lorraine's shoes.

1997: Alcatraz Triathlon
March 1997 and I take my long-awaited visit to San Francisco, enjoy four days of fantastic weather and wonderful culture. However the best day was definitely when I went on the combined Bay cruise and Alcatraz tour.

A few years previously I'd seen a t-shirt in a catalogue with the caricature "Alcatraz Triathlon: Dig, Dash, Dive". I liked the concept but wasn't going to pay an import price for it, so I waited a few years and got one in person.

Of course given the popularity of Alcatraz there are a number of different t-shirt designs which can be bought as souvenirs. The ones advertising Alcatraz as a property development with "a bar in every room" and "stunning views of the Bay" were tempting. As it was I stuck with the Alcatraz Triathlon design, set on a grey t-shirt.

Picking the grey was a bad idea. Over the coming years the shirt has faded to a greyish-brown colour, really not nice. Looking back I really should have either a) bought the same design on a red t-shirt, or b) started washing my t-shirts inside out earlier. Still, at least I've got a good excuse to go back and buy another one.

1996: Coca-Cola Euro '96
I actually can't believe I saved up ring-pulls or did whatever I needed to do to get one of these. Looking at it now the design is hideous, bright red with black coke bottle outlines making up a football net. Repulsive, suitable only for slumming around the house when I'm just up. I think I've worn it while decorating as well.

Looking back it does say how big a part of that year Euro '96 was. Being fair as well the t-shirt has now survived for ten years without a nick, loose stitch or tear anywhere. That's pretty impressive.

1995: Beautiful South tour t-shirt
On a November evening in 1995 I was at Wembley Arena, watching the Beautiful South (preceded by the Lightning Seeds). Fact of the matter is I should have been at Selhurst Park, watching Dougie Freedman beginning to make his mark in the Palace history books by scoring a hat-trick in a 3-2 win against Wolves.

However plans for that week had been wrecked by fixture changes, so I was at Wembley Arena, enjoying an event in the solitude that I'd been accustomed to.

The cream t-shirt with the UK map and tour dates on the back was worn with just about everything for the next three years, under shirts on cold days and by itself on hotter days. It got an airing every week until I realised I'd worn a small hole in the material. At least I got to wear it in San Francisco, getting a photo taken with the sun shining down on the Bay behind me. Pity it wasn't a Sunday.

There's another story relating to this t-shirt. Unfortunately I can't tell it here because of the length of it. Nothing short of a book does the story justice, and no-one is ever likely to publish a book written by yours truly. I'm the person who once paid over ?300 for a multi-region dvd player, give me some credit for my lack of intelligence.

(Pity though as the title should clearly be "Book For Whoever".)

1991: Air Jordan
Yes, I still possess (and wear, no less) a t-shirt that is fifteen years old. Only worn first thing in the morning at weekends, it remains the most comfortable t-shirt I own. Simple design, black logo on a blue t-shirt, velvet-like softness (which is incredible given that I just didn't use fabric softener at university) and it fits me better now than it did when my parents bought it in Florida.

In a strange twist I recently saw a new line of Air Jordan t-shirts in Foot Locker in Glasgow. Simple design, slightly updated touches to the collar, same soft-feel material. Not worth the nearly ?20 price tag though, not when you've got a perfectly suitable original still in your wardrobe at home.

Have a good week!

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