Shirt tales

Clare Farnsworth

New head coach. New coordinators. New site for training camp. Several new players. Renewed outlook for the new season. New job for yours truly.

But some things never change – like the T-shirt I wore Thursday night to final practice at Seahawks training camp. This was my 31st training camp, and for the past 12 summers the Blonde’s Pizza tie-die T has been the unofficial symbol to celebrate the final practice.

This shirt tale started in 1998, when training camp was held in Cheney at Eastern Washington University. I decided the final practice deserved a special shirt, so Blondie’s it was. I had bought the T-shirt on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley during the 1997 season, when the Seahawks went to Oakland to play the Raiders. The tie-dye pattern not only resembles a pizza, it has a pizza on the front that is “sliced” with a peace sign. The message: Make Pizza, Not War.

Spotting the shirt from the field that first summer – actually, the joke was that the shirt could be seen from downtown Spokane – then-special teams coach Pete Rodriguez came over and offered, “I’ve seen some ugly shirts in my day, but that is the ugliest #*@%ing shirt I have ever seen.”

That iced the deal, and a tradition was born. On the last practice of training camp, it’s Blondie’s time.

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