While searching for scoring updates on Sunday's Vanderbilt/Duke NCAA Tournament game (a heartbreaking loss? How new and original for Vanderbilt!), I accidentally got sucked in to NCAA.com's online store for Vanderbilt apparel. While the initial draw of a home gold Jermaine Beal jersey (only $59.99!) got me browsing, the original intrigue soon devolved into confusion as I scrolled through pages of what I can only assume is some of the worst selling gear the NCAA offers.
You can't fault the NCAA for their wide range of selections, but some of their ideas come from the vault of failed Christmas nightmares. Even the good stuff is overpriced, but it's the awful things that are truly a waste of money. Below are the Vanderbilt items that no fan should ever order. You'll be able to find them at T.J. Maxx in a few months anyway...
Vanderbilt Commodores #17 Black Game Day Football Jersey
Vanderbilt Commodores Mascot Plush Slippers
Vanderbilt Commodores Ash Always In Season T-shirt
Vanderbilt Commodores Infant Black Start 'Em Young T-shirt
That's right, get your children on track for a lifetime of sports-related disappointments at a young age! If they know nothing but failure, they'll appreciate a 4-8 football season! This child's t-shirt comes with flash cards labeled "APR," "Graduation Rates," and "Recruiting Standards."
Nike Vanderbilt Commodores #10 Black Replica Football Jersey
Vanderbilt Commodores Ladies Black Script and Logo T-shirt
Vanderbilt Commodores Round Heart Tiffany Style Toggle Bracelet
There's a solid collection of Vandy jewelry, and while none of it seems awful, it's description as "Tiffany style" is going the extra mile in trying to convince me that dangly earrings with a giant "V" on them would be a great gift for my girlfriend's birthday after I've forgotten it...again. I am certain that that is not true. Vanderbilt jewelry is probably the warning signal you need to realize that you no longer care about the relationship you are in, regardless of whether you're buying it or wearing it. Face it, you've pretty much given up.
Vanderbilt Commodores Ladies Black-Gold Striped Knee-High Socks
Vanderbilt Commodores 69'' x 48'' Plaid Jacquard Woven Blanket Throw
This one, actually, is pretty sweet as a throw blanket. However, the fact that it doesn't come in a sweater-vest with matching bow-tie to be ironically worn to a tailgate just shows that the NCAA is calling the shots in this store, and not the Vanderbilt populace.
Black 24-Piece Team Color Deluxe Plastic Cutlery Set
Am I...am I missing something here? These are just black forks, right? Does this suggest that all black forks have an inherent Vanderbilt quality? Does that mean that all dark cutlery enjoys drinking Bud Select, driving SUVs, wearing collared shirts, using words like "bro" and being vaguely racist?
So there's a quick look at the terrible offers you can find at Vanderbilt's NCAA shop. If you buy anything there, you'll earn my utter disdain for at least a season - unless you're turning that throw blanket into a sweater vest, at which point I'll at least give you a chuckle and halfhearted point. I'll be the guy wearing one of those sweet D.J. Moore jerseys, bro.