JOKE ISSUE: Penn to save, save, save with new clothier
April 10, 2000, 5:00 am·
The Athletic Department has decided to switch to campus hot spot Steve and Barry's. [NOTE: This article appeared in the annual joke issue.] And1 is AndDone. Yesterday, the Penn Athletic Department announced that it was terminating its relationship with athletic apparel supplier And1 due to what Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky termed a "necessity on our part" to make the Athletic Department more cost-efficient. To that end, Penn also announced yesterday that it was hiring campus mainstay Steve and Barry's to outfit its various varsity and junior varsity teams. "We're very happy to be associated with Steve and Barry's," Bilsky said. "Their 'Buy One, Get 28 Free' offers are extremely difficult to turn down. Now, I can go there and buy a marked-down Spring Fling '96 T-shirt and receive enough free clothing to outfit the entire softball team." At a press conference yesterday, Penn men's basketball team center Geoff Owens modeled the new look of the Quakers. Clad in a "Not Penn State" shirt, Owens seemed happy about the switch. "Yes. I enjoy these new shirts very much," Owens said deliberately and slowly as he nervously eyed Bilsky. "'Not Penn State.' I get it. It is very amusing. What a zinger." But one Penn athlete who asked not to be identified was critical of the change. "The world made sense an hour ago!" she said, weeping in her new "I'm a Wharton Mom" T-shirt. Despite several such doubts concerning the Penn Athletic Department's plan, Bilsky defended the new uniform arrangements. "'Not Penn State!' Come on! It works on so many levels," he said. "First of all, it's true! I mean, we're not Penn State, not the last time I looked. Second, it's really, really funny! I mean, whoever thought that up must be, like, a millionaire now." After the press conference ended, Bilsky continued to justify the switch. "Listen, fencing and women's squash aren't helping to pay the bills," he said while relaxing in the Athletic Department's new office hot tub and watching The Little Mermaid on DVD. "The money to fund dozens of varsity sports has to come from somewhere. We save a ton of bones at Steve and Barry's. "Don't go into the cave, Ariel! Your father said not to!" he added. "Every time you watch this, you hope it turns out differently. But it doesn't." He paused for a moment before lifting a cigar up to his mouth. "Ahhhhhhh?" Bilsky said, a plume of smoke rising into the stuffy air of his cushy Weightman Hall office. "You know, it's almost impossible to duplicate the taste and feel of real Cubans. But I told Alanna [Wren, AD administrative assistant] and the rest of the staff to work all night if they had to, and I think they came pretty darn close." Bilsky also said that some of Penn's varsity teams would be clothed by the Athletic Department itself. "Yeah, I got a bunch of these Penn NCAA Tournament T-shirts down in Carolina, but I couldn't get rid of them," he said. "A few alums in the stands wanted them, but after that, it was like I couldn't give them away. I tried everything! I used one to wax my car, I used one as kindling to start a fire in my fireplace at home. I even put dog poo in one, tied it up, lit it on fire, left it outside of Bagnoli's office, rang the doorbell and ran around the corner. That was awesome! Oh, the hijinks that ensued! Yet, I still had more T-shirts than I knew what to do with. "But now, I am proud to say that they are the new uniforms for the Penn tennis teams. Or, do you want some?"