Wednesday May 24 2017
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Wearing The Gear

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I guess have to admit – and this is really going to date me – that I simply don’t know anything about these newfangled “Dress-Down Days.”

Then again, I never knew anything about “Casual Fridays” in the workplace, nor engaged in any such Communist activities, so maybe I’m the oddball. Seriously, it was only when the boys started school that I heard about the acceptance of dropping the dress code stuff and allowing casual gear to school instead.

Of course, I’m talking Steelers’ jerseys.

Sure, days pop up every spring when the kids can go to school decked out like Sidney Crosby, but, let’s be honest, that happens in the spring a few times, when the Stanley Cup is at hand.

It seems to me the kids fight over who is going to where Troy’s jersey on a weekly basis, starting right around Labor Day.

It seems that way because it is that way.

Maybe I shouldn’t be all that shocked. First, take a walk around most businesses when the Steelers’ season and business hours coincide and you routinely see adults looking like they’re headed to the closest tailgate party. Only the face paint is missing.

I’m old school with this workplace stuff, so to me it’s about a pressed shirt and tie. And coat. Every day, no exceptions. Most of you scoff as you read that, but the next time you walk through a hospital take a look at how many people working there are chatting it up about the 3-4 defenses and such matters while all geared-up and tell me just how comfortable it makes you.

Second, this is all part of a mass cultural change that’s not limited to schools or the workplace, a point recently raised to me by my brother.

He asked me what percentage of fans attending Steelers games are wrapped in team-related merchandise. I told him it seemed like 90 percent or so. We quibbled about the number, but, regardless, it wasn’t too long ago that the vast majority of those fans just wore things like, you know, your basic winter jacket.

So, with these changes all about us, with all the ‘dressing down,’ I guess we shouldn’t be surprised it’s trickled down to the kids.

Even if I’m still wearing my shirt and tie.

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