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Thread: Swag before Swag was Swag

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    Member Pacman Fever's Avatar
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    Swag before Swag was Swag

    Starter Jackets

    Starter recently announced the re-launch of the satin jacket. Hold the freaking phone. My mind instantly wandered back to my childhood days in the mean streets of suburbia Cincinnati to the time when Starter jackets ruled the schoolyard and playgrounds everywhere. Growing up you may have watched different TV shows or had different favorite movies than me and my friends, but one thing that we can all agree on is that the Starter jacket was the one childhood item that was hotter than Beyoncé at the Super bowl and Katy Perry’s dress at the Grammy’s.

    I am here to dissect a few things about the legend of the Starter jacket.

    Status. The popularity of the Starter jacket can be traced to its cost. The most popular model, the pullover cost roughly $100 in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Put in perspective, today $100 could fetch you a trick in Vegas, a pay-per-view MMA fight, 2 upper deck tickets to a sporting event in the last row, or 100 junior bacon cheese burgers at Wendy’s, in other words a lot. Having a Starter was exclusive, it represented being elite and was swag before swag was swag. You begged and begged your parents to buy you one and even cited your friends and the popular kids who were donning the hottest item out. Eventually you broke them down like an Allen Iverson crossover and zipped up that prestigious jacket with the big “S” zipper. Mostly this happened to coincide with Christmas and was just as awesome as the time you got the GT Dyno bike or when you unwrapped the original Nintendo.

    Popularity.
    Aside from college, the one time you were actually excited to come back to school from Christmas break was to show off your new Starter jacket that you got for Christmas. Suddenly you were a brand new player in school and walked with more strut in your step than Jerry Stackhouse. Immediately you jumped up the popularity chain and sat with a new group of friends at the lunch table in the cafeteria, and were picked higher for the recess football and basketball games. Instead of coming home to watch tv, you were at your new friends house playing Tecmo Super Bowl and RBI Baseball, or shooting hoops with the neighborhood gang. Wearing a Starter jacket was like belonging to a country club, it gave you a mystique and opportunities you just did not have before.

    Teams. After owning a Starter jacket, you were then judged on what team you were rocking. Sure you could sport your hometown team, but at that age you may have not yet gained your die-hard allegiance or your hometown team was not that popular. The Reds and Bengals were actually pretty good at this time too, but did not carry the clout that other teams and colors did. I am talking about the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Raiders, Chicago Bulls, and San Francisco 49ers. These teams had the best colors, most popular players (Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Emmitt Smith), and they were winners. The first day I strutted to grade school donning that prestigious teal and purple Charlotte Hornets pullover for the first time was a life changer. I finally made it and belonged. And best believe Susie and Michele, the best looking girls in your grade, noticed not only that you had a Starter, but what team you were sporting.

    Four Styles. There was the satin, pull over, zip up, and windbreaker. All great wears.

    The Satin was the original model with a smooth button up with the team name across the front and a symbol on the sleeve or on the back. This was usually found on an older die-hard fan that cared more representing their favorite team than a popular one. Now it can usually be seen on people in their late twenties and early thirties who pulled it out of their parent’s closet. Like a Toyota Camry, it is a hand me down and lasts forever.

    The Pull Over was the Rolls Royce of Starter jackets. It was the luxurious model that put Starter on the map and was the desire of every kid growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s. These are a rare breed now due to overuse and wearing every day for every situation. When you see one, you have to stop, gasp, and slap whoever you are next to as if Kathy Ireland was walking down the street in a bikini.

    The Zip Up was a conservative coat but still solid garb that got lost in the shuffle of the pull over. This was like a used Honda, a great alternative for the cash strapped parents to save a few bones. Today this is popular in the tailgate scene as a nostalgic piece taking you back to days when you were the best playground quarterback in grade school.

    Finally you had the Windbreaker, the Hyundai of the “S”. It was a new model that tried to shed the normal and originality of the brand. It worked in the warmer weather but never quite caught on like the big dogs. Plus it was really tough to afford two Starters. It was always winter coat first, windbreaker second.

    The Starter jacket of the late 80’s and early 90’s was a true iconic landmark of my childhood and most certainly yours. There is no question everyone who had the privilege to put one over their shoulders can remember exactly what style and team they rocked. If you did not have a Starter jacket growing up you did not have street cred.

    Now I am going to work harder and put in overtime the next few weeks so that I can rush out and get that Charlotte Hornets Starter jacket and go back to the days of WWF on Saturday mornings, Macgyver/Knight Rider/Baywatch trio on USA, and when I was at the height of my popularity because I was rocking that teal and purple coat with a big “S” on the sleeve.

    I’d love to know if you rocked a Starter jacket as a kid. If so, what model and what team? And what memories does it bring back?
    Hitler finds out the Royals signed Jonathan Broxton: http://www.yourepeat.com/watch/?v=hB...=youtube_gdata

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  4. #2
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    Re: Swag before Swag was Swag

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacman Fever View Post
    I’d love to know if you rocked a Starter jacket as a kid. If so, what model and what team? And what memories does it bring back?
    Absolutely NOT (nothing against 'em however).

    I was a die-hard "punk rocker" from the age of around 12 - 17 (in style of dress through those ages, that is...heck, to this day I'm STILL an aging ole punker @ heart and must say, beyond the style of dress, I never "grew out of" the music itself ). I rocked a leather motorcycle jacket, had a half-foot tall mohawk (think Bird-Man of the Miami Heat, except my mo was taller and without all that tattoos) & rocked a wide variety of Ramones/Misfits/Damned/Clash/Exploited/Adicts/Motorhead and so on and so forth tee-shirts. Learned the art of screen printing, saved up my lawn-mowing money one summer and purchased myself a 2 color silkscreen press of my own (after graduating high school, I opened my own print shop and did very well for several years prior to becoming an engineer). I was quite a sight to see in my small little Kentucky town

    But I was a damn good baseball player (in comparison to the majority of a good portion of the other local talent) so I was that rare "oddball" sorta dude that got along well with and fit in with pretty much everyone. My coaches were never too crazy with my "style", but they learned to look over it (hey, a mohawk doesn't stick out so bad with a batting helmet/cap and/or catchers gear on anyways).

    Unfortunately, my extreme interest level in music very quickly far outweighed my interest in playing baseball, so post-high school, I simply quit playing and set out to tour the country playing in a band of my own. Something I wish that I could go back and have a do-over with regard to. Sure, the chance that I would have EVER even SNIFFED making it to MLB was about as good as my chances of hitting the lottery. Looking back, I simply wish that I would have stuck it out and at least accepted a college scholarship to play. But, I didn't & the rest, as they say, is now ancient history.

    Now certainly this post has little to nothing to do with "swag before swag was swag", but the question you posed at the end of your lengthy posting made me laugh a bit thinking back to those days as a young, punk-rockin', baseball playin' catcher...and just the very fact that nearly all of the jocks, "rednecks" and various other like-minded "cliques" all accepted with open-arms that "weirdo punk-rocker" dude

    Ahhh, punk rock & baseball, 2 of my very favorite past-times. (Some times, I kinda like to think that maybe a guy like Mat Latos was possibly a whole lot like I was...just 2+ decades later)...
    Last edited by mikdavrut; 05-29-2013 at 06:58 AM.

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    Re: Swag before Swag was Swag

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacman Fever View Post
    Starter Jackets

    Starter recently announced the re-launch of the satin jacket. Hold the freaking phone. My mind instantly wandered back to my childhood days in the mean streets of suburbia Cincinnati to the time when Starter jackets ruled the schoolyard and playgrounds everywhere. Growing up you may have watched different TV shows or had different favorite movies than me and my friends, but one thing that we can all agree on is that the Starter jacket was the one childhood item that was hotter than Beyoncé at the Super bowl and Katy Perry’s dress at the Grammy’s.

    I am here to dissect a few things about the legend of the Starter jacket.

    Status. The popularity of the Starter jacket can be traced to its cost. The most popular model, the pullover cost roughly $100 in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Put in perspective, today $100 could fetch you a trick in Vegas, a pay-per-view MMA fight, 2 upper deck tickets to a sporting event in the last row, or 100 junior bacon cheese burgers at Wendy’s, in other words a lot. Having a Starter was exclusive, it represented being elite and was swag before swag was swag. You begged and begged your parents to buy you one and even cited your friends and the popular kids who were donning the hottest item out. Eventually you broke them down like an Allen Iverson crossover and zipped up that prestigious jacket with the big “S” zipper. Mostly this happened to coincide with Christmas and was just as awesome as the time you got the GT Dyno bike or when you unwrapped the original Nintendo.

    Popularity.
    Aside from college, the one time you were actually excited to come back to school from Christmas break was to show off your new Starter jacket that you got for Christmas. Suddenly you were a brand new player in school and walked with more strut in your step than Jerry Stackhouse. Immediately you jumped up the popularity chain and sat with a new group of friends at the lunch table in the cafeteria, and were picked higher for the recess football and basketball games. Instead of coming home to watch tv, you were at your new friends house playing Tecmo Super Bowl and RBI Baseball, or shooting hoops with the neighborhood gang. Wearing a Starter jacket was like belonging to a country club, it gave you a mystique and opportunities you just did not have before.

    Teams. After owning a Starter jacket, you were then judged on what team you were rocking. Sure you could sport your hometown team, but at that age you may have not yet gained your die-hard allegiance or your hometown team was not that popular. The Reds and Bengals were actually pretty good at this time too, but did not carry the clout that other teams and colors did. I am talking about the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Raiders, Chicago Bulls, and San Francisco 49ers. These teams had the best colors, most popular players (Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Emmitt Smith), and they were winners. The first day I strutted to grade school donning that prestigious teal and purple Charlotte Hornets pullover for the first time was a life changer. I finally made it and belonged. And best believe Susie and Michele, the best looking girls in your grade, noticed not only that you had a Starter, but what team you were sporting.

    Four Styles. There was the satin, pull over, zip up, and windbreaker. All great wears.

    The Satin was the original model with a smooth button up with the team name across the front and a symbol on the sleeve or on the back. This was usually found on an older die-hard fan that cared more representing their favorite team than a popular one. Now it can usually be seen on people in their late twenties and early thirties who pulled it out of their parent’s closet. Like a Toyota Camry, it is a hand me down and lasts forever.

    The Pull Over was the Rolls Royce of Starter jackets. It was the luxurious model that put Starter on the map and was the desire of every kid growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s. These are a rare breed now due to overuse and wearing every day for every situation. When you see one, you have to stop, gasp, and slap whoever you are next to as if Kathy Ireland was walking down the street in a bikini.

    The Zip Up was a conservative coat but still solid garb that got lost in the shuffle of the pull over. This was like a used Honda, a great alternative for the cash strapped parents to save a few bones. Today this is popular in the tailgate scene as a nostalgic piece taking you back to days when you were the best playground quarterback in grade school.

    Finally you had the Windbreaker, the Hyundai of the “S”. It was a new model that tried to shed the normal and originality of the brand. It worked in the warmer weather but never quite caught on like the big dogs. Plus it was really tough to afford two Starters. It was always winter coat first, windbreaker second.

    The Starter jacket of the late 80’s and early 90’s was a true iconic landmark of my childhood and most certainly yours. There is no question everyone who had the privilege to put one over their shoulders can remember exactly what style and team they rocked. If you did not have a Starter jacket growing up you did not have street cred.

    Now I am going to work harder and put in overtime the next few weeks so that I can rush out and get that Charlotte Hornets Starter jacket and go back to the days of WWF on Saturday mornings, Macgyver/Knight Rider/Baywatch trio on USA, and when I was at the height of my popularity because I was rocking that teal and purple coat with a big “S” on the sleeve.

    I’d love to know if you rocked a Starter jacket as a kid. If so, what model and what team? And what memories does it bring back?
    1. That was fun to read.
    2. I had the classic snap-up Cincinnati Reds style, and man, it was sharp.
    3. No one, and I mean no one, comes into my house and pushes me around at Nintendo RBI Baseball 3. (playing as the 1990 Reds, of course.)
    A flute with no holes is not a flute. A doughnut with no holes is a danish. -- Zen Philosopher Basho

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    Pacman Fever (05-29-2013)

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    Re: Swag before Swag was Swag

    Satin Reds zip-up. Wore it until it fell apart. Man I miss that jacket!

    Great Read!
    There are only two seasons - Winter and Baseball.

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  10. #5
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    Re: Swag before Swag was Swag

    I had a Chicago Bulls starter pullover... Man did I love it!!

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    You're being very UnDude. sonny's Avatar
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    I had a Charlotte Hornets pullover that I was told not to wear at the mall because I would get mugged. Ha.
    Witty signature.

  12. #7

    Re: Swag before Swag was Swag

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacman Fever View Post
    Starter Jackets

    I’d love to know if you rocked a Starter jacket as a kid. If so, what model and what team? And what memories does it bring back?
    I was relegated to the Pro Player Charlotte Hornets wannabe! Still rocked it though.

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  14. #8
    13 Belongs in Cooperstown Captain13's Avatar
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    Re: Swag before Swag was Swag

    Snap up Dallas Cowboys. Wore that thing when they were 1-15, and wore the same one with back-to-back Super Bowls.
    What if this is as good as it gets?

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    Re: Swag before Swag was Swag

    Quote Originally Posted by sonny View Post
    I had a Charlotte Hornets pullover that I was told not to wear at the mall because I would get mugged. Ha.
    My brother still has his. Saw it the other day..... What awful colors lol....but they were an exciting team to watch for a while.

  16. #10
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    Re: Swag before Swag was Swag

    never had one, never really cared for one either, but I just had to say:

    that post belongs in the hall of fame. Awesome read.

    On a side note, I remember REALLY wanting the air jordans, and getting them. Moving forward all these years and with a 4 year old of my own; I'm courious how "mean" of a parent I'm going to be when I tell my son, no you don't need that expensive shoe. Then again, I wonder how long it takes the boy and 1 year old girl to realize that hitting up mom for that type of thing will be infinantly easier than hitting up dad.

  17. #11
    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    Re: Swag before Swag was Swag

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacman Fever View Post
    Starter Jackets


    Teams. After owning a Starter jacket, you were then judged on what team you were rocking. Sure you could sport your hometown team, but at that age you may have not yet gained your die-hard allegiance or your hometown team was not that popular. The Reds and Bengals were actually pretty good at this time too, but did not carry the clout that other teams and colors did. I am talking about the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Raiders, Chicago Bulls, and San Francisco 49ers. These teams had the best colors, most popular players (Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Emmitt Smith), and they were winners. The first day I strutted to grade school donning that prestigious teal and purple Charlotte Hornets pullover for the first time was a life changer. I finally made it and belonged. And best believe Susie and Michele, the best looking girls in your grade, noticed not only that you had a Starter, but what team you were sporting.
    Ok, maybe I'm somewhat different, but I never really got the thing of sporting other teams' gear. Also, maybe it's because I grew up about a decade earlier and if any kid came to school, at least my grade school, wearing another team's stuff, we assumed his family had moved from there. Your teams were a product of where you were from and that was that. You didn't choose where you were born and where you were growing up; that was your hometown and that's who you rooted for.

    I was already out of high school when I started noticing people wearing gear from other teams and I always thought it was odd, unless it was for an NBA or NHL team. If your hometown didn't have a team in a sport, you're free to pick one, but rooting for another city if my city has a team seems almost like picking a different country to root for in the Olympics or the World Cup.

    That's just my two cents. I never had a Starter jacket, but if I had gotten one, it would have been Reds or Bengals only. I didn't grow up somewhere else.
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    Re: Swag before Swag was Swag

    I went to high school with a guy who got job just so he could get satin starter jackets, he must have had 10 of those things. I had a white Reds snap up Starter like jacket, I honestly can't remember if it was starter or not.
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.


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