Monday, January 28, 2008

Remembering the Starter Jacket Sweetness

I didn’t know that Nike dabbled in sporting brands that were cool 15-20 years ago, but it would appear that way with their acquisition of Umbro and sale of Starter this past weekend. One of my friends told me that Umbro was still a popular brand, but I haven’t seen anyone wearing a pair of Sambas in at least 12 years, so I’m a obviously a little skeptical.

Anyway, I think we can all agree that the Starter brand has been in the shit hole for a long, long time.I think an anti-Starter Getsapo-type group went out at night, collected all of the Starter jackets, and mercilessly destroyed them right around 1995 or 1996. Literally, jackets just disappeared overnight without one question being asked by a single person. Pretty typical of us lazy Americans who aren't willing to fight for the good things in life. I'm disgusted and a little hurt. It’s just too bad that weird guy from Unsolved Mysteries passed away . He could have shed some light on the Starter Jacket mystery or, at the very least, talked in that really creepy voice that made you sleep with the hallway light on.

The jackets were so cool in elementary and middle school. The team colors, the sleek design, and that little pouch in the front of the jacket that you could keep snacks and/or drugs in really made them memorable. Really, how could you beat it? In my neck of the woods, the most popular jackets were those of the Irish, the Chicago teams, and the Pacers (distant 3rd).

However, sometimes you’d have the kids who’d try to one up everyone else on the playground with a team jacket nobody else had seen before. There were also the kids that wore the Cowboy or 49er jackets only because the teams were popular at the time. Oh, how about the toolish kid who wore the Florida Gators jacket only because he liked the team colors? He was always easiest to mock. Then there was the kid wearing a Blackhawks jacket who provided everyone with just enough proof that hockey did in fact still exist. Lastly, I can’t leave out the one tomboy who’d be wearing her older brother’s jacket and dominating the recess touch football game. She’d always end up injuring me somehow.

Basically, you weren’t cool unless you had a Starter jacket in grade school. They really added some "street cred". One of my worst nightmares was showing up to school after Christmas break with my new Bulls starter jacket only to see a kid a year older than me with the exact same one on. Boy, did I have to hold back the tears that day.

I’m going to be on e-bay all day looking for a new one. I think we can all agree that the red Bull’s jacket, without question, was the coolest one of all time. Don’t agree with me? I’ll meet you out in the parking lot during recess.

Matt Arrowhead


Jeffrey said...

Hey Larrionov, I think you forgot to mention those unfortunate kids whose mother was unsure as to what team their son would like to wear proudly and decided to go with the sexy, sleek, and bi-curious teal and purple Charlotte Hornets starter jacket. I remember that kid.....and no matter how bad I felt for him, I still made an effort to ruin his life with constant ridicule.
-le cheff

Guy said...

Don't forget San Jose Shark kid.

matt arrowhead said...

le cheff,

the teal and purple were definitely bi-curios. I had a pair of Charlotte bball sorts that I was sure to where only in the privacy of my own home.

Oh, and don't forget the Mighty Ducks kid. The Flying V has become so overrated, hasn't it?

educated bet said...

Great Blog , It looks like an ebay add. Are the clothes dry cleaned or do they smell like cat piss?
Peace...Iron MIke

sammich said...

Oh man I hated that san jose sharks kid. I was a dolphins guy myself

covet said...

Starter is making their way back and aiming at street wear. have a look

Anonymous said...

I was the kid with the Charlotte Hornets starter jacket (I thought it was awesome....)

Anonymous said...

I was the San Jose kid. Takes real courage to wear that color when your ten years old.

Anonymous said...

I remember I begged my mom to take me to Dunham's (local Michigan sports retailer) just to buy A Starter jacket...and I emphasize A. I didn't care what team I got. Being a Metro Detroiter I should have got a Red Wings Starter but since this was in the midst of the Mighty Ducks craze I ended up with the Ducks Starter I think. About a year or so later I did end up with a Red Wings Starter but this was probably in the decline of the Starter as she got it from Target.

It's funny that others mentioned the Charlotte Hornets Starter, almost every girl I knew including my next door neighbor had the Hornets Starter....colors perhaps?

Anonymous said...

I'm a girl and I loved my Charlotte Hornets jacket. My best friend had a Bulls jacket and I always thought mine was so much cooler. I was pining for my (long thrown away) jacket the other night and found this blog googling said jackets circa 1995, brought back some funny memories.

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Ebay is the place to look for those jackets.