The OhVarsity! Bearcat Apparel Hall of Fame

Before the days of high-profile, high-dollar apparel licensing deals, we had the Wild West of athletic apparel. This lead to tons of wonderful, adventurous designs that are seen as classics now. It also led to some horrible decisions that I’m frankly more fascinated by. This page is designed to commemorate the terrible. Read the Bearcat Apparel Hall of Fame origin story.

Feel free to submit items for consideration, but be aware that I have final say over what is inducted into the Bearcat Apparel Hall of Fame. There’s a very specific criteria that I’m not sure I can explain. It’s mostly a gut feeling I get when looking at a piece. The gaudiness or ugliness should smack you in the face.

Note: I am not selling any of the products seen here, nor do I have any affiliation with the sellers whose products are listed here. None of these photos belong to me.


I love this. Your classic striped, hooded t-shirt.


This is clearly homemade. I can’t tell if this is cheating or the essence of the Bearcat Apparel Hall of Fame. Here’s my educated guess about what’s going on here: Some Bearcat fan was on a co-ed softball team and wanted to call their team the Bearcats. Rather than simply bootlegging the logo like a normal person, they opened Microsoft Paint, typed a capital “C” in a serif font, underlined it, and drew crude claws. Tremendous look.


The sticker on the left side is the type of thing that surely means this has never been worn. I think someone’s grandma bought this at JCPenney 25 years ago. I need a current student to track this down and wear it to a football game.


An abomination. I love it. Not even worth the trouble of finding a lint roller.


I had to add the second image for proof this is an officially licensed piece of apparel. What on earth is going on here? I can’t imagine there was much of a market for high-quality, embroidered Bearcat baseball jerseys in the ‘90s. I would also assume that the market shrinks when the baseball jersey doesn’t even bear something remotely resembling the university’s official word mark on the chest. Incredibly bizarre and perfect.


I’m stunned by how many blatantly counterfeit Under Armour jerseys are allowed to remain on eBay.


This is a weird one. It was listed as a Cincinnati Bearcat hat… but that is absolutely not a UC logo. At the same time, are there any other red-and-black “Cats” football teams in America? I don’t know what else this could be.


This is art.


Three words: Embroidered. Comic. Sans.