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Genuine T-shirts

This article is more than 11 years old.

If the excitement of the playoffs has encouraged you to think about buying team merchandise, according to Bill Littlefield, the NBA urges you to look for their label.

Beware the bogus jersey…the ersatz cap…the rogue wristband. This week multiple e-mails warned me about these and other phony-baloney souvenirs with which ruthless marketers are attempting to defraud fans of the two teams competing for the NBA Championship. Is it because the fraudulent jerseys have been colored with poisonous dyes that will turn the gullible fools who buy them purple or green? Will the illicit caps, once donned, shrink and plunge those who wear them into spasms of pain and wanging headaches? Are these the dreaded cruel hats? No. 
 
The warnings come from the National Basketball Association, which doesn’t want me or you to buy a product the league hasn’t licensed, because it does not profit from such sales. The league belongs to an organization called the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports Logos, which is known as CAPS, even though it should be known as CAPSL, because it’s not the coalition to advance the protection of sports. For the record, it is also not the coalition to fight sweatshops and child labor. Anyway, the league and the coalition warn against knock-off merchandise, which is sometimes characterized by typos. So if you want to make sure the NBA remains solvent, don’t buy a t-shirt that reads “Boston Celdons” or “Los Alamos Lakeheads.” The coalition’s e-mails also warn against buying merchandise with tags that are ripped. This is good advice. You don’t want to buy stuff that’s ripped. Unless you’re my older daughter a couple of years ago. Anyway, according to CAPSL, what you do is, you walk right by the street vendors with cheap goods and you only buy expensive stuff that has the NBA hologram sticker on it, as well as a label that says “genuine” or “official.” Because you don’t want a t-shirt that isn’t genuine and official if you want to sell it on e-bay when the playoffs are over.
On the other hand, if what you’re going to do is spill beer on the t-shirt and rip it off and wave it over your head during the game and throw the cap into the air after your team wins, dire warnings of shrinkage, financial ruin and worse notwithstanding, the unofficial shirt and the counterfeit cap will work just fine.

This program aired on June 12, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.

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