Sunday, May 07, 2006

Maple Leaf Rag

This is a cautionary tale about the consequences of wearing sports apparel for teams that you do not follow or support. My good friend Greg Wu gave me a nice Toronto Maple Leafs "throwback" t-shirt a few years ago. When I wear the shirt out in public, I often get comments from people who see the shirt and assume that I am a Maple Leafs fan. It happened to me twice today at the grocery store. The first encounter was with an employee who told me about a co-worker who loves the Maple Leafs so much that he flew to Toronto a couple times this past season to watch them play. The second encounter was with the aforementioned employee himself. I finally had to fess up and tell him that I wasn't actually a Maple Leafs fan after he started asking me my opinion of some of the personel moves that the Leafs made this season, about which I knew absolutely nothing.

These kinds of interactions make sense. There probably aren't too many die hard Leafs fans anywhere in the States, so when people see someone who they think shares their allegiance, they want to acknowledge it. Two interactions that I still don't quite understand are a cabbie who once asked me if I played for the Maple Leafs when I wore the shirt and some fans at a Kansas City Royals game who called MDS (who was wearing a Detroit Red Wings shirt at the time) and me out for wearing hockey t-shirts to a baseball game.

4 comments:

MDS said...

I generally find it annoying when people assume that the words on the clothing I wear actually represent my opinions or allegiances. I have some old clothes I bought from Goodwill that I wear to the gym. When wearing gym clothes I want something comfortable and something I don't mind getting sweat stains, but people will sometimes approach me and ask me about the message on my shirt, which I often don't even realize is on it.

dhodge said...

Does this explain why I saw you wearing a Free Mumia Abul-Jamal t-shirt a couple weeks ago?

gregorykwu said...

I like to wear clothing with visible logos or messages at all times so people are aware that I identify with success. For example, when I wear my Dale Earnhardt, Jr. t-shirt, people assume I'm a tough competitor who like to drink Bud, not Budweiser, just like little E. And I bought the Maple Leafs shirt because that is a team that folds under pressure, can't win the big one, and cannot properly spell the word leaves. Just like Hodge in real life.

svec said...

I've had similar experiences wearing a "Carleton College" t-shirt that I got from a friend who, surprisingly enough, actually went to Carleton (a small liberal arts school in Northfield, MN). A few times a year someone will see the shirt and say, "I went to Carleton too! When did you graduate?" and I awkwardly explain that no, I didn't go there, my friend gave me the shirt, but I did attend his graduation and my isn't Northfield a nice town. They disappointedly say "Oh," as if I had taken the donut which they had been looking forward to eating.