Starting out as a young sports reporter, you often get stuck on the fashion beat. But the truth is, a great sports fashion story comes around once every couple of years, at best. Other than LeBron’s dick popping out and the occasional sighting of Cam Newton wearing a new dope fedora, there hasn’t been much recently. That is, until Nike announced they’re going to do away with the horrendous sleeved jerseys and I scored an interview with the creator of them. This could be my Watergate, my Serial podcast, my chance to change fashion sports reporting forever.
Warning: this interview is hostile and may be hard to read. Proceed at your own risk.
Mark Bennett, the creator of the NBA’s sleeved jerseys, came in wearing a shirt and a sweatshirt, both with sleeves. His sweatshirt read Sleeves For The Children. He sat down and we jumped right in:
Rick: Why did you do it?
Mark: Too much shoulder, I was watching with my children and I said this game is offensive and it will no doubt turn my boy gay. So obviously I can’t have that.
R: Okay, I see: it was driven by hate. But why would the NBA do such a thing?
M: I asked myself the same question, I looked at my jerseys, then I looked at their jerseys, and honestly I thought it was a longer shot than getting people to buy a Los Heat Jersey, but here we are. It turns out that Adam Silver also thinks we’re turning boys gay. Either that, or he has a strange fear of shoulders.
R: Do you feel good about what you’ve done?
M: GOOD? DO I FEEL GOOD? I FEEL FLIPPIN ECSTATIC. I HAVE SAVED A WHOLE GENERATION FROM HAVING TO SEE MEN’S OBLIQUES, WHICH THEY RECKLESSLY FLAUNT IN FRONT OF US. SO WHAT IF THEY’RE THE FINEST SIDE MUSCLES IN THE LAND? WHY MUST THESE MEN ENTICE US WITH THEIR BODIES?
At this point, Mark is sweating and huffing. I’m onto something: he’s on the ropes. I won’t even need a wiretap to get to the sweet, sweet bottom of this juicy case.
R: What about your son?
M: What son? I don’t have a son.
R: You said your son was turning gay?
M: Oh yeah…..he’s actually dead. It’s those damn sleeveless hooligans who killed him. I cry every day, just not on camera, because I’m not a bitch.
I know I’m in dangerous territory, but I’m unrelenting. I barrel down, like LeBron in the lane: dick out and sleeveless.
R: Can I see a picture of him?
M: No. It hurts too bad.
R: Sir, do you have a son?
M: Not per se.
R: What does that mean?
M: IT’S THE SHOULDERS GODDAMMIT!!
M (cont): I just…I was so straight until I saw the shoulders. Now I’m meeting up with a man named Patrice once a week to play naked Twister and I think we’re headed toward a relationship. I might seem happy and content and able to love myself for the first time in my entire life, but TRUST ME: deep down I’m miserable…
I tried to tell him that it was okay. That we were all happy for him. That love, no matter the shape or form, was something to be celebrated. He sobbed to the point where we couldn’t continue the interview, and I haven’t heard from him since.
I guess that’s the closest we will ever come to finding out why the NBA felt the need to make those dumb jerseys…