The Strict Hat Laws.

Padre the Padre.

When I was a young fella I wore whatever hat I wanted to wear.  It was usually based on color.  I gladly donned a Sharks hat simply for the opportunity to wear teal.  I think the Sharks won about 15 games and I lived 3,000 miles away from San Jose, but teal was teal.  Also, did you see the logo?  A shark biting a hockey stick in half?  Sharks are hardcore.  I’d also support random players I liked from non-hometown teams.  I had a Suns hat in tribute to Charles Barkley.  In fact, I had all manner of Suns gear including some really hideous 90s graphic tees.  Wore them to the point of exhaustion.  I never got any sh*t for the hats I wore back in the day.  And, kids are mean.  Someone might have said the Sharks were terrible, but there was no arguing the logo.

Of course, now that I am an adult my hat options have dwindled significantly.  I can’t choose by color or logo anymore. A few years back I was meandering around a Lids and came across a hat similar to the one pictured above.  It was all brown and had the fat, swinging Padre on it.  I find the Padre amusing.  He’s got a decent right-handed hack going.  The Padres are in no way a bandwagon team, so I wouldn’t have to worry about that, but if I had decided to purchase that hat and threw it on top of my oddly large dome, I would have been peppered with questions.  You from San Diego? What you like the Padres?  You a Padres fan now?  What, are you trying to be trendy?  Is that pre-faded (expletive)?  I obviously cannot handle all those questions, and so the hat remained on the rack.

I now only wear hats that I can defend.  Are you a Phillies fan?  Yes.  Are you from Philly?  Yes.  It limits your options.  I love the Flyers, but I don’t have many occasions to walk around in an orange hat.  I guess I should feel lucky that the Phillies have red and blue pretty well covered.  Navy goes with everything, right?  I used to not really care about that either.  In college I wore the same hat every single day of my existence.  It was a Rockies minor league hat. It had a BR on the front instead of a CR, it was from the team in Bend, Oregon.  It was originally black and purple, but it became indistinguishable shades of gray.  I’m not sure it actually matched anything.  I wore that hat because it fit (again I have a big head–the low profile era was my nightmare), and because it may or may not have been a good luck charm in Beirut.

Now, I don’t know if I could get away with the Beirut excuse.  But, can you wear a Phillies hat every single time and for every occasion?  Not really, and so perhaps the most important hat you can have in your arsenal is the neutral piece.  A hat that isn’t affiliated with a team. A brand works well.  I once had a generic Nike hat–perfect for all occasions.  It could be Nike, or Titleist, or Under Armour if you need moisture wicked away from your hair.  Another hat that works well in most settings is a good golf hat. A golf course logo is far less inflammatory than a team logo.  Well, maybe that isn’t necessarily true, but as soon as you leave the grounds of the golf course you should be pretty safe.  I had a Masters hat for a few years that was pretty much my staple at all non-Philadelphia sporting events I went to.  I’m going to need a good hat for my member-guest I’m playing up in Boston this year.  I don’t want to tempt fate, or inflame the locals by brandishing a Phillies “P.”  (Actually, screw ’em, I’ll wear the Phillies hat).

Of course, I know this all sounds a bit ridiculous.  As a kid I wore whatever I wanted and now when I should be more independent I am wearing a much smaller collection, but at the same time I do identify with the teams I put on top of my head and so I want them to mean something.  It’s almost like I am making a deeper decision.  No, I’m not wearing something because I like the color, or the logo, I am wearing it because this is the team I root for–and that is serious business.  When I was a kid, I didn’t know my corn hole from my elbow, but now I know that a hat isn’t just a hat.  You’re making a choice, so you gotta obey the strict hat laws.  No excuses.

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7 thoughts on “The Strict Hat Laws.

  1. Is there even venom up in Boston for the Phillies? I can send some yankee/giants gear your way to get under their skin. Or maybe just a generic super bowl golf ball from their 18-1 season?

    • i had sent a photo of some phillies hatted skeleton hanging in effigy at some boston trendy place, “the otherside,” after the last world series (or mabe NLCS 2009??). so boston was bitter then.

      Melo, I also wore a Yankees hat sunday for a work canoe race…wish i had this post to read as warning first…logic was that if a hat of mine got lost in the river, Yanks would be one i’d not cry over.

      but some guy threatened to tip my canoe cause of my hat!

      mon dieu. Q

  2. I’ve gone with the generic hat. It is a gray hat with some graphic of a mountain and a tree or something like that and it says, “Vermont State Employee Wellness Program.” Dorky? You bet. But also completely uncontroversial.

    Living away from the hometown limits the sports-hat options. I can still wear the Philly hats, of course, but it stands out and it generates commentary or questions which I would just as soon avoid. You like the Eagles? Yes, that is why I have the hat. You from Philly? Sort of. Oh I visited there last year, my aunt lives in Jersey. And so on.

    And I don’t perceive much venom for the Phillies up in northern New England. Most people here are not really aware very much of this whole “national league” hoopla. What, so the pitchers hit, is that right? Isn’t that quaint.

    • I had on an Eagles hat while I was in Florida and some guy goes, what logo is that?

      He clearly knew, but he wanted me to say, “Eagles.”

      I took the bait and he goes, “Sorry to hear.”

      He was wasted, old, and couldn’t focus on the conversation/insults I was tossing at him as a response so I gave up.

  3. Hey, the NL is the senior circuit.

    I think Phillies venom is gathering some momentum. It wouldn’t be like wearing NY stuff, but I bet I’d get some comments.

    Appreciate the offer BK, but I could never wear the NY stuff even to incite a reaction.

  4. Best hats I owned

    1. Polo (had some leather belt thingy on the back) and was navy. Faded and smelled funny, out of rotation.

    2. Lacoste (velcro back), white. It has yellow sweat stains and still in the rotation.

    3. Flyers stretch fit, mesh. Loved it, dog chewed on the brim. It sits there in a pile with other hats. I can’t wear it, but I can’t throw it out.

    4. Eagles stretch fit. Old school Kelly green. It doesn’t match with the clothes too often, but who cares.

    5. Eagles stretch fit, mesh. Old school logo, black and white, goes with anything.

    I used to love wearing minor league hats. My favorite was the Portland Seadogs and Carolina Mudcats.

    I wish I could rock the old school padres hat like shown above or the old brewers hat. I love the old logos. But in the end, you do need to defend the hat and what it stands for.

    I’m in search for the orange flyers hat danny briere has been wearing at press conferences.

  5. That’s a solid list. Although Lacoste…that’s a little suspect.

    because of my inability to find a hat that fit my head, I would wear hats for years at a time with little regard for how they smelled/looked, etc.

    there was a Malvern hat from a team my dad coached. there was the Bend Rockies hat, I wore an Astros hat for a while when they changed to the blue with the star logo, I had a green Nike hat and that was really it for about 10 years. no joke.

    i think i had that polo hat too.

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