On Sunday night, the Pensblog published a post titled ORPIK WEARING 412 T-SHIRT IN WASHINGTON. I didn’t know what 412 was, so I hit up the googles.
Fouronetwo, named for the Pittsburgh area code, is an activewear brand from Pittsburgh. It’s all about Pittsburgh sports pride.
For a player making his first impression to Washington sports fans, Brooks Orpik wearing a shirt specifically touting Pittsburgh sports was a curious choice.
Fouronetwo shirts have been worn by the Steelers’ Ike Taylor. The brand’s tags feature a quote from the founding owner of the Steelers, Art Rooney: “This is my town, it does my heart good just to be here.”
Orpik has spent more than a third of his life in the town of Pittsburgh, so it makes sense that he’d be proud. He’d perhaps have preferred to stay there for the rest of his career, assuming the Penguins would have wanted an aging, not-particularly fast defenseman who is not so good at the hockey anymore.
That doesn’t matter. Here’s our guy now, and I really want to like him. But this makes it tough:
Brooks Orpik and his cool shirt. pic.twitter.com/3mQ7qfsxgF
— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) September 19, 2014
Orpik doesn’t have to pretend like the last 13 years never happened. If he likes the Steelers, he should keep on liking the Steelers. That’s cool. We’d never ask Ovechkin to stop wearing atrocious shirts scribbled in Cyrillic. Roots are important.
But you gotta admit there’s some dissonance when you say “I’m excited to be here” in Washington while wearing this:
It’s not like we’d ask Orpik to rock a RMNB Deadguins shirt (though that’d be really really cool). But if people in Pittsburgh are saying it’s a dog whistle to all the fans he left behind, that’s not a good start.
If he wants to fit in, maybe Brooks should get a half smoke from Ben’s, take in a show at the Black Cat, and then complain about the Metro on Twitter. Just a thought.
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