It’s 1992 and I am 12 years old, eating a box of Little Debbie Fudge Rounds, and watching TV. A commercial comes on that changed my life. It is a Starter commercial featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff and he is rapping about how to break in and wear your Starter cap. That commercial got DJ Jazzy more plays than any song he ever released. I wanted a Starter cap right at that moment. Correction, I HAD to have a starter cap right at that moment. Then I HAD to have a Starter jacket, and jersey, and so on, and so forth.
My first ever purchase with anything pertaining to the Starter brand was a North Carolina Tarheels snapback, and you bet your sweet ass that I christened it while rapping the commercial song. I wore the hat until it fell apart. By the time I was finished with it, it was dirtier than Christina Aguilera was from 2002-2007.
You see, in the 90’s the Starter brand was more fly than 2 Chainz raps about being today. People in larger cities were being murdered over Starter jackets. Gangbangers were being associated by their Starter jackets. Starter was HUGE. Over time, the popularity ran it’s course, and you really didn’t see much of Starter anymore.
My first realization that I hadn’t seen anything with the Starter symbol on it in a while was when I watched the news and noticed that gangbangers had started wearing Nascar jackets. What’s up with that anyway? Nevermind.
It was around the same time when “the day” happened, a very sad day in my life. I saw Starter apparel in Walmart, yes Walmart. To make matters worse, It was just Starter apparel. No team t-shirts, hats, or jackets. Just plain Starter apparel. I almost cried, but I couldn’t while at Walmart. I wanted to cry just like I did the first time I saw A Walk to Remember. I could cry then because I watched it alone and behind a locked door. I wanted to cry because Starter’s home is now a place that has a website devoted to spotting people who shop there wearing sweatpants 2 sizes to small with Ugg boots, a place that every open mic stand up comedian has a joke about, and yes, a place where people can buy Red Bull with food stamps.
This is why Starter makes me sad.
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