A Football-Design Combo

New brand TownieMade embraces the intersection of football and design with fun line of T-shirts. Plus inexpensive NFL sunglasses, Nike’s Salute to Service jackets and an unexpected collector’s item from Bud Light
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Introducing TownieMade

Sports fans who also enjoy the apparel that goes along with rooting for their favorite team face a consistent problem: Being bored with the repetitive, generic options offered by the official league and team stores. They’d much rather wear something more creative and relatively unique. But where to find such gear?   

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Those shirts are from TownieMade, a new site that combines fan apparel and design experts. It's the brainchild of Drew Carson, a 35-year-old Orange County native who roots hard for the Lakers and Angels. Carson is in the apparel business, and co-founded design collaborative Help Ink, which created a large network of talented professional designers. He noticed many of them also were sports fans, and so he asked some to create designs for their favorite teams. The TownieMade concept was born. 

“It’s a selfish project because it’s something I’d personally like to wear,” Carson says. And even though they aren’t officially licensed by the pro sports leagues, he continued, “they are authentic because the people who are making them are real fans.”

Carson launched TownieMade in August with a handful of baseball shirts. (The Chicago and Cleveland shirts are the top-sellers, fittingly.) He launched the football designs this week, with 11 teams featured, and has plans to roll out basketball, hockey and soccer soon too. All designs are printed on high-quality, 60/40 ringspun cotton/poly blend material; in layman’s terms, super soft. 

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Designer Joseph Alessio, a San Francisco-based Broncos fan, created the Denver shirt. It includes nods to old logos/colors and the team’s three titles, and Alessio said his inspiration was “to reflect the dusty, tough and generally awesome personality of the city and its people.”  

Carson also loves football and with a mom from Buffalo and a dad from Pittsburgh, he found his allegiances split growing up. Now, however, he’s “mostly a Steelers fan because it’s fun to root for someone in the Super Bowl.” Rex Ryan, you’re on notice.

Anyone interested in submitting a design for their team can do so here.

• Want more T-shirt talk? Don’t miss my 32-team roundup or The MMQB-Homage Collaboration

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Shade in the NFL

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I’ve written before about inexpensive sunglasses being essential for game days. Last thing you need is to ruin your go-to shades with all the table-jumping and roundhouse-throwing happening around stadiums these days. A new brand, Ojo Sports, has an NFL license and has released four styles of sunglasses with team logos. I like the Clip style best (pictured above), and there’s also Lateral and Catch for adults, and the Zone for kids. They are available for all 32 teams, and the best part? They are priced between $16 and $28, so you won’t feel bad when you break or lose them.

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America + Football

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The NFL’s annual Salute to Service begins with one game this week (Lions-Texans) and will continue throughout November. The league has produced fan apparel for the occasion, and these Nike Performance Jackets caught my eye. I really like the all-black-everything look, especially with the only color coming from the flag on the upper sleeve. Perfect layer as game-day temps begin to drop.

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Beernerdness

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Everyone already knows about Bud Light’s NFL team cans, but did you know the beer behemoth also released 36-packs that included all 32 teams (plus four NFL logo cans)? Less than 100,000 packs were produced and nearly all are gone, according to a Bud Light rep. The scarcity has turned them into a bit of a collector’s item, in part because the four teams Bud Light didn’t produce team cans for—they didn't have team-specific agreements with the Cowboys, Packers, Bears and Vikings—actually were included in the 36-pack. They are already popping up on eBay and Craigslist with asking prices at $100 and climbing.

Published every Friday, The MMQB Football Lifestyle column is a curated list of links to what’s catching Dom’s eye off the field. The MMQB has affiliate deals with some of the brands featured and receives commission on certain purchases. Have an item for consideration? Share it.