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The strangest national championship shirt of all time


I’ve been meaning to post this for a while. My mom recently sent me a few t-shirts commemorating the national championship victory. There was the gray one that the team wore immediately after the victory and a couple other nice ones generally celebrating the greatest sports related day of my life. Then there was the one you see above. Now I don’t blame my mother for not recognizing why this might not be the most ideal shirt for a UK fan to wear around because she’s a good person. She’s not the type to say, get into a petty Twitter fight with U of L fans because of a regular season baseball game or something like that. She’s the type of person who would see this shirt as just another way to commemorate the fantastic efforts of our players and coaches in what was a truly magical season.

My issue isn’t with anyone who would purchase or wear this shirt. I have worn it often, albeit within the confines of my own home, but often nonetheless. My issue is with the person at Nike who said this design is an acceptable one to present and sell. I don’t even know if there was any malicious intent in the design. If there was, then shame on Nike for running with it. If there wasn’t, then shame on Nike for hiring stupid designers. It’s not even like there wasn’t enough space on the front to clarify the asterisk there. C’mon guys. Let’s get our heads on straight here.

The above is an actual t-shirt for sale sporting a tongue-in-cheek commemoration of Barry Bonds’ home run record. Barry Bonds is a man who has ADMITTED TO USING STEROIDS. What is the difference between this shirt, available from Tshirtbum and the UK one available from the Nike? I’d really love to hear the story behind the asterisk t-shirt. I can’t believe anyone could look at that and say to themselves, “Yeah this is what UK fans want, an asterisk next to their team’s number of NCAA championships. Put THAT on a t-shirt and sell it”.

It’s generally easy to get UK fans to buy a t-shirt with just about anything on it. Hell, I think Fan Outfitters would sell shirts for exhibition games if they could and I think people would buy them. However, this should be one shirt that most UK fans stay away from.

Article written by Matthew Hays

84 responses to “The strangest national championship shirt of all time”

  1. Ridge Runner

    I see what ya mean Matthew….yup

    A little too much fodder for the opposing fans to grab.

  2. Jason

    You’re seeing it the wrong way. The asterisk is like a footnote.

  3. Adam

    I bought this shirt specifically for the asterisk just to rub in rival’s faces. To me it says “Yeah? You think we cheat? Keep digging, low-life. We have 8.”

  4. Ridge Runner

    I always thought a “midnight madness UK-theme” would be a nice idea for a shirt. Did we ever have 1 and I missed it?

  5. Bill

    That’s the point of the t-shirt, like #3 said. It’s a screw you to the very people you think it’s encouraging.

  6. Aaron C Bunch

    Who cares, we have 8.

  7. Bluemist8*

    I bought this shirt also and was thinking about marking the out the top left of the white dots in the 8 to make it look like an 8 and the future 9, it would look sweet

  8. Atlas

    You do realize you all do business with Fan Outfitters and they are likely one of your sponsors, right? Shirt is bullshit, but I don’t know if I’d call out a sponsor as an unpaid blogger for the website.

  9. Jake_GOCATS

    You’re looking at it the wrong way, Matthew. It’s like number 2 said, it’s more of a footnote and less of a “soon to be vacated” swipe.

  10. Cats fan from Cincy

    Thank you for this article! I’ve hated that shirt since the first time I saw it

  11. John Wall

    The Dicks in Lexington sent them back, see y’all for derby

  12. Ridge Runner

    7…creative, I like it.

  13. ksrshopper

    You know you sell this in the KSR shop right?

  14. Iagree

    I saw this shirt at Dick’s and loved the big 8 but couldn’t by it because of the *. Haters love to talk about how Cal’s wins have to have an * so I agree with Matthew. Even though the asterisk is defined on the back, it’s exactly ammo haters would use to make fun. and 8 I don’t think Fan Outfitters is selling this exact shirt (or at least I haven’t seen it at one yet). He’s just making a joke about how they make shirts for anything, didn’t sound too offensive to them.

  15. Iagree

    oh so they do sell it at the KSR shop? yeah I guess not cool to make fun of it then. It’s still not a good shirt though.

  16. jay

    just a bad idea….

  17. Rixter

    I don’t get it. Why does an asterisk offend you? Is somebody claiming that UK hasn’t won 8 titles?

  18. Topless In Columbus

    I ordered 2 t-shirts from theksrshop.com right after the game and still don’t have my shirts. I am pretty pissed about it. That was $50 I could have used elsewhere and already had my shirts!!

  19. SMH

    SMH, slow day? This story has been beaten down man. It’s there to put emphasis on the 8. Get over it.

  20. Paducah UK fan

    Matthew, if this is the best you can do, maybe you should keep your day job. We are all capable of making our own decisions about t-shirts. Write something productive and quit writing to stir the crap pot.

  21. Ass-terisk

    The asterisk is offensive because Cal has had two Final Four appearances vacated and haters will say that this one will be, too.

  22. Dude

    Thanks Matthew for reminding me how we the most pussified fanbase in America. Whine and cry about everything, think everyone’s out to get us, etc.

  23. rand2010

    I have the same shirt and don’t think about it being an asterik but instead think of it as meaning eight times like it is supposed to be. Like the symbol on a phone for multiplying when using the calc.

  24. Ridge Runner

    After reading some of these comments –I actually picked up self esteem with my hillbilly intelligence.

    continue on…

  25. Dane Brammage

    Dude, @22; shotgun, you’re on the wrong site – pussi-fied.

    You need to be on Coach Kay’s dook puke site – where the spoiled pussified whine collectively and cry about et al, ad infinitum.

  26. Walking thru Nerlens

    Hate to disagree but that is my favorite championship shirt. Asterisk means check the back.

  27. scott

    It’s a footnote retards.

  28. Sean

    Yeah Matt, you’re reading waaaaayyy too much into this. Must be a slow blog night or something. It’s a foot note. The asterisk informs the reader there is more to read (kind of like a …) on the back. Nothing sinister going on here. I actually like the simplicity of the shirt. Clean and crisp.

  29. Jason

    I agree with 22 and 26.
    Good Lord get over it.

  30. BlueMist

    Damn guys, you are proving Matthews point!

    He simply mentioned how the shirt can be perceived strangely with the asterisk.

    Now look how many of you have responded. Your defending it, justifying it, trying to explain it, etc… Who would want to go around doing that??????

    whewwww.

  31. matt

    asterisk doesnt mean something bad…it means there is a meaning behind a symbol (or to look on back etc.) if people cant realize that they are idiots

  32. Ridge Runner

    30…we have a winner!

  33. ksr shop

    oh the irony in this post. hahahahahahahaha. hays you are a true genius.

  34. Ridge Runner

    33…Bravo!

  35. barry bonds

    pretty sure i never admitted to doing steroids. i told the feds i didn’t & they took me to court to prove i committed perjury in telling them that.

  36. john

    I agree with Matthew. As soon as I saw the shirt it bugged me. I know it wasn’t intentional to give the impression for the possibility of a vacated championship. I’m pretty sure the people that disagree with Matthew have already purchased this shirt and that’s why there is a little hostility about this post.

  37. ShitNoOneSays

    The writers outside of Drew, Matt, and Beisner are great! I really love reading their posts!!! #Sh*tNoOneSays

  38. jt

    THIS was the shirt I wanted to buy, but didn’t because of that damn asterisk. Seriously, it’s exactly what I wanted minus the asterisk.

    It isn’t like Kentucky fans don’t know what the freaking 8 means.

    Stupid!

  39. James K

    I know for a fact that he’s not reading into it, because I thought the exact same thing when I saw it, and I’ve seen this shirt marked down in some places. Also, literally every person I’ve talked to that has seen the shirt has agreed. No one is over analyzing the shirt; it was definitely a poorly conceived concept.

  40. James K

    And the people that are saying “it’s a footnote” are so dumb that they can’t see the extra layer of irony. How dense are you? OF COURSE we know that it is a freaking footnote. The footnote is the problem! Anti-UK and Calipari sentiment would suggest that a footnote next to any listing of success would mean that it is undermined in some way. If you followed sports at all you would know that a statistic with an asterisk is a BAD THING.

  41. Catlanta

    I actually thought this was the coolest of the championship shirts. It’s kinda like a big F you to the haters. I like it.

  42. Alex

    24, 30, 39, agreed. shirt sux and people not getting it is unbeleivable.

  43. Alex

    41, remind many of us not to ask you for a review of any movie, book, game, well enjoy the shirt.

  44. Todd

    The asterisk is a footnote to the number 8 on the front. If someone sees it from the front, they have to look at the back to understand what the number 8 is referring to. It does require some brain power to figure it out.

  45. Mark M

    Agree with Matt here. I had the same exact thought when I first saw the shirt and hated it the asterik because of the context that it carries in sports stats… that and it looks a little like a soccer jersey which is just weird.

  46. rainman

    That 8 shirt is my favorite one, I’ve been wanting to get it in blue!!
    I don’t care what other idiots say about it!!

  47. TrueBlue

    This is my favorite of the championship shirts. I guess I’m just not negative enough to see it your way, Matthew.

  48. DowntownShown

    Retards….it is meant for people to look at the back…and see the message. If you wear this shirt in other parts of the country (which I have), they take note to look at the back of the T-shirt and see that KY is 8-time NCAA Champs…like they didn’t already know. They see the Blue and White with #8 checkerboard and already know what it means. Cool down, critics, it’s just another T-shirt representing our success. Don’t OVER-ANALize

  49. Mike

    44, 46 & 47 so you would rather wear a shirt that you know will cause so many to laugh at you, make fun of you, question why you are even wearing it as a so called fan, — versus a shirt that shows the undisputed champion we are? alrighty then??? stupid

  50. Mike

    48, we get it. You have one and so you want to defend it. See comment 30 above.

  51. DowntownShown

    Lil’ Brother type of post. It doesn’t say “8*” on the front, then on the back of T-shirt “* Maybe…if they don’t get caught and have to vacate this one”. TARDS

  52. Caleb

    I see where you’re coming from but honestly your over thinking this. Yeah haters will dissect this in the same fashion and try to poke fun at our team and athletics but those few are FAR outweighed by the majority who look at it for what it is: A Nike shirt commemorating Kentucky’s eight national title.

  53. Mike

    52, we are the largest fan base in america truth be told. however, we are the most dispised because of our success and the jealousy that is out there. That means, we are out numbered by all other schools who are waiting to feast on us. We don’t need another target by way of a t-shirt magnet to draw those people in. What we do is, clearly state we are a dynasty and a national champion, CLEARLY!

  54. rainman

    And I WILL have one too, let them laugh in my face,
    then we’ll find out what they’re made of!!

  55. Better if they didnt

    Really? Is this a story? Agree, they shouldn’t let anyone other than beisner jones and drew post. We need more beisner back. This is awful.

  56. Kerry

    55) This awful post has 56 and counting comments. You fail

  57. Sarcasm

    It really does help to name call when you make a point. Seriously, calling someone a retard/idiot/moron really shows how articulate you are and really helps people think you have made an excellent argument. Bravo, name callers!

  58. DowntownShown

    mike, I saw comment 30 above. I am a true KY fan and could care less about a “perceived” strange asterisk. I know we won the Championship, with no “recruiting” violations, etc. You should call up Pete Thamel, or is he ur brother. If you think we are innocent in pursuing recruits, then don’t post, because ur just adding to the stirring pot….Go to bed

  59. Mike

    58) So you would rather open yourself up and go around getting insulted, having to defend, justify and have even those other fans wonder if your making fun of your own school?

    When I have to do that, it’s not because something prompted others to challenge me like a damn shirt with an asterisk.

    whatever man.

  60. cbuck

    53 im not concerned with other schools. obviously you’re correct that we’re outnumbered against ALL division I schools. However, it would be tough to find a school that equals our fanbase’s level of passion for the game year in year out (obviously Duke, UNC, Kansas, etc. are in the same tier as us). With that being said I doubt that of the 344 division I schools that they all are waiting to feast on us. In fact you can say that most are indifferent on the matter. This did not warrant a post however even it is filed under Blue Blooded Opinions. Very irrelevant.

  61. EgginDallas

    Really? I called into the KSR show a few days after we won #8 and complained about this shirt. Matt questioned my “fanhood” and said real fans wouldn’t or shouldn’t be worried over t-shirts. Lo and behold, KSR has a story about that same shirt.

  62. CAUKFAN

    Could be a sign of age but I was pretty disappointed with most of the t-shirts. The ones I ordered are made of thin material and don’t seem to be the greatest quality. Looking forward to my next visit back to the homeland so I can get some good shirts.

  63. DowntownShown

    MIKE, look at #52 response, he gets it. U must live in a hole. There are so few who would dissect this issue (it’s a freakin T-shirt), there are soooo many UK fans across the country, THE MAJORITY, who celebrated just as we did on that special night….maybe u were already in bed. There has been no inclination of cheating, violations, scholastics….whatever. Good kids and Championship. Ur full of Shizzatt to even think a t-shirt could impact this program and give haters a soapbox. We won it dude, #8, free and clear, get over it and BE PROUD, who cares what IU, NC, DUKE, KU, UCLA, fans say.

  64. Kernel

    I’m an older man but to each his own I reckon. I don’t think I would wear it. Too many more other shirts out there that doesn’t have the controversy and just simply says national champions. I like the grey one the boys wore after they won.

  65. Aaron

    63, if your aggravated at Mike and others perhaps in here, you better get used to it because this is the calm before the storm. You around big blue nation who is trying to warn you right now. When you wear it around other fans, ouch. just sayin

  66. Downtownshown

    #65, you are right. I will not wear anymore UK NCAA #8 shirts, in fear that i will get stabbed by fellow UK fans or U of L fans. I aplogize, I am just a big fan of our kids and will refuse to stand in line for autographs, promotions, etc. This is the fault of NIKE…Proganda, trying to make a buck. Let’s go CATS and hope we dont have a 9* T-Shirt next year…FEAR THE FLAT-TOP

  67. Greg

    i knew this shirt was bad news when i first saw it.

  68. Bonds

    Bonds never admitted to using steroids. Do some fact checking. KSR continues to circle the drain.

  69. KSR Sponsors (-1)

    Way to call out your biggest sponsor. Do you not realize the “KSR Shop” is fanoutfitters.com? Good luck with your next paycheck, I’m sure your bosses are thrilled to have you aboard right now

  70. Kyle

    The difference between the 8 shirt and the 756 shirt is that the asterisk on the 8 shirt is detailed on the back. The other isn’t.

    I bought the shirt … I wear the shirt … I like the shirt.

  71. Darren

    Hibbett Sports sells a version of this without the asterisk. I bought one of those and love it!

  72. barn

    the shirt sucks. it’s obvious to any knowledgeable UK fan, which most are, as to why the asterisk is on there

  73. Don

    UK is a Nike school. Do you really think they would insult UK. Anyone who sees this as anything other than a footnote is an idiot. Yes you Matthew are an idiot.

  74. shimsky

    Quit over-analyzing. Ridiculous. Pointless. Brazenly arbitrary. Get a hobby dude. #8.

  75. Vinny

    Not a big deal *is meant to seperate 8x’s from the number 8…
    8* = 8×1 champoins (8 titles)… Pretty simple stuff…

  76. Mikey4583

    Gotta love all the people on here saying “It’s a footnote!” or “It means: look at the back”. Well no sh*t it’s a footnote! Matt’s just saying it’s way too easy of a target for people to poke fun at it! Just another example of people thinking other people are missing the point and they’re actually the ones who are missing it. lol

  77. Hibber

    Oh No! Someone might make fun of me. Grow Up. Be a man. If you like the shirt wear it with pride, if you don’t get something else, and move on!

  78. Dumb da dumb dumb

    Big blue nation is SO smart! I didn’t know a footnote stood for all these things!!! Big Blue Morons. Matt isn’t saying he doesn’t know what it stands for, just that it could be used in the wrong way. I agree.
    So please all of you teenagers……..get a life. Matt knows more about a footnote than you ever will. He’s a real writer, unlike some of you who put comments on here and think you are Nicholas sparks and all the girls will want to read your junk. You don’t think that Louisville fans will make fun of this shirt? Then buy one and find out. Please.

  79. Anthony Davis Has A Posse

    Barry Bonds never admitted to using steroids. Said he used creams and stuff given to him that could have been steroids but that he thought at the time were legit. I mean, he WAS juiced to the gills, with that big old auger head and adding 60 lbs of muscle in a year and a half, but he never fully came clean.

    Shirt is dumb and anyone who wears it is clueless.

  80. Dumb da dumb dumb

    Hibber – You miss the point tough kid. It isn’t that anyone’s afraid of being made fun of, I’m sure I could pound them. The point is NIKE should have never made a shirt that COULD be made fun of.

  81. Biglaw Dawgin'

    I agree with the author. I thought the same thing when I saw the shirt. Why is there an asterisk by our number of championships? Maybe a footnote or something, but in sports an asterisk is never a good thing. Without the asterisk, the shirt would still invoke curiosity.

  82. Patrick Butler

    thats the reason i havent purchased this design, though its the only one i truly like. I get the gist of the “asterisk”, but its a touchy subject w our fan base. booooo, Nike!

  83. Zack W.

    The last time I checked UCLA has 11 and a UK like recruiting class this season. Keep reaching “fans”

  84. Caud

    It is meant as a play on the cheating thing. People will look at it like an anti-uk shirt, then get it smacked in their face when they see the back. The confusion was on purpose to play on emotions of cal haters