Late Wednesday afternoon, pictures began to circulate of a shirt that was allegedly being sold at one or more bookstores on Penn State’s campus. This shirt exhibited the standard woe-is-me, we-are-the-true-victims attitude that you often see from the really delusional segments of the Nittany Lion fanbase.
After some initial confusion, it was eventually reported that this shirt wasn’t being sold at the official Penn State bookstore. Rather, it was being peddled at some unlicensed shop on or around campus. Brian Floyd of SB Nation broke it down quite well in his article:
…the shirt isn't in the Penn State bookstore. It's in one of those offshoot stores that isn't licensed by the university. It's not affiliated with the school, so put the pitchforks away for a moment.
Second, the shirt itself wasn't made by Penn State fans. It was created by Smack Apparel. If you take a quick look at the company's website, you'll notice a pattern. The shirts they make are more of the "shock" variety, and the one above certainly qualifies. It's a way to get a reaction.
With all that in mind, it’s sort of hard to get mad about this. If the shirt was essentially made with the sole intention of trolling reasonable people, then actually getting angry about it just feeds into that. It’s pointless. Sure, some of the truly sad will buy this mess and think they’re making a political statement of some sort – but normal folks will know that they aren’t.
Expecting everyone to be sane and realistic about the punishments that were heaped on Penn State is unreasonable. Crazies exist. Expecting them not to is dumb.
This shirt was designed for those crazies, not the rest of us.
It is what it is.