MAC apparel and collectibles are a funny thing. Recent history has taught us even a local tattoo artist can have a treasure trove of Ohio State memorabilia with the simple exchange of goods and services.
More widely followed schools slap their logo on absolutely everything. I kid you not, as I sit here I am looking at a cutting board emblazoned with the LSU logo. The MAC stuff is out there, but we have to dig deeper, look harder.
Yes, you should buy that t-shirt with the vintage logo on it, and provided you are not living in a MAC city, nobody will know what it is. If you've reached the level of obnoxiousness I have though, you'll pull people aside, bring conversations to a grinding halt, and explain the uniform history of the Ball State Cardinals. If you're lucky, I may even regale you with the story of the Ball Brothers and their impact on central Indiana. In any event, we've scoured the internet for you, finding the MAC gems you didn't even know you wanted.
Bowl paraphernalia is as old as the bowls themselves. Hats, shirts, jerseys that are exactly the same as the jersey that you already own, except this one has the gaudiest of patches advertising for a product you'll never buy, etc.
Of course, programs, ticket stubs, pins and buttons of all varieties are sought after by collectors as well, but to what extent does putting a bowl logo on an item reach? I present to you Exhibit A: The 1981 California Bowl money clip/knife/nail file. One has to wonder how many of these were made, and who exactly is the person who insists on reminding everyone that the California Bowl was a thing while at the cash register or when that pesky thumbnail is a bother? It's you? Then be a real baller and pick up the vintage t-shirt to complete the ensemble. Toledo was a winner over San Jose State 27-25.
I'll admit to you I have no idea what wrestling shoes go for. The seller describes them as "rare Kent State Rulons." Now as you can clearly see, there is a name on the side of the shoes, "Lashaway." Therefore I am going to suggest that these are exceedingly rare, and will put the over/under of total pairs in existence at 2. For the Kent State wrestling aficionado the $225 price tag might be reasonable. Drew Lashaway amassed 91 victories in four seasons and was a two-time NCAA Tournament qualifier.
The seller writes: "EMU gained tons of hate from the uniform community during this era for their unorthodox usage of the large scale font on the shoulders of their football uniforms." Say what you want about these jerseys, I like them. Why? Because they are completely different than the jerseys the Eagles wear now and EMU should do as many things 100 percent differently than they did last year as much as possible. When Eastern Michigan donned these unis, they were the Hurons, and every so often they'd display flashes of competence on the football field, including an 8-2 effort in 1968.
There was a time when Keith was not the eloquent prognosticator hopelessly guiding you into the abyss of degenerate sports gambling that you know today. No, in fact there was a time when I was just a young punk at Ball State University mindlessly caught up in the throwback jersey era of the early 2000's. eBay allowed my friends and I the opportunity to try and outdo one another by purchasing the most obscure throwbacks worn by the heroes of our youth.
My prized possession was an orange Robin Ventura Oklahoma State throwback that still occupies space in the back of my closet today. That era has come and gone, with reproductions of virtually anyone who has picked up a ball, bat, or stick on a professional level available. Still, I couldn't help but take a second look at this one. Before an illustrious career with the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche, and San Jose Sharks, the Stanley Cup winner and gold medalist honed his craft for three seasons with the Falcons. Blake holds the distinction of being the first player ever to receive the CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman award. The $125 price tag a little too steep, but still want to represent the Bowling Green legends of yesteryear? Try this Nate Thurmond throwback jersey for less than half the price.
Can I confess something to you? I wasn't aware we were giving out championship rings for division championships. FOR DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS? Doesn't that seem like a bit much? "Hey nevermind that we technically tied with Northern Illinois for the MAC West, and nevermind that we lost in the championship game to Marshall, and nevermind that we were housed in the Motor City Bowl 51-25 against Boston College, we're the 2002 MAC West Champions!!"
Mock my mocking if you like, but clearly the owner of this ring didn't have enough of a sentimental attachment to the piece to not have it wind up in a pawn shop. If you've really got $1200 bucks to burn, here's a tip. Save yourself twenty-five chicken sandwiches and pick up the 2004 championship ring. Yes they were also dumptrucked in the Motor City Bowl, this time against Connecticut 39-10, but the '04 team can at least call themselves MAC champions.
This is the end of the article. Where's my trophy?