The New "Stop Lance" Shirt

Mar 15 2010

Stop Lance T-ShirtSo this (also available in white/red and black/yellow) is probably going to take some explanation.

The best place to start would be with a history lesson: in 1972, Steve Prefontaine had energized American audiences with his sensational distance running, leading to a proliferation of fan shirts that simply read “Go Pre”.

A few contrarians decided it would be clever to create a rival shirt, one that said “Stop Pre!” in a red stop sign for the 5000m Olympic Trials, and even persuaded one of Prefontaine’s rivals, Gerry Lindgren, to don the tee during warmups.

Pre was unmoved, and after winning the race, changed the face of sports forever by calmly slipping on a fan’s “Stop Pre” shirt and jogging his victory lap in it. The message, later relayed in a famous Jordan/Nike ad was clear—your critique will only amplify my legend.

So after years of torment from sunburnt tourists flailing little circular “Lance Fan” signs, I’ve created a shirt that lets the cycling-literate observer separate themselves the masses.

The message works for pretty much any audience, from someone who genuinely likes Armstrong but could do without the cult, to the most vehement Lance hater—but as I mentioned earlier, it’s impossible to lay criticism without tacitly highlighting your target’s talent and ability.

One final note: I don’t think I’m the first person to come up with this idea. I seem to remember reading an old Mountain Bike Action in which opponents of the Texan’s attempt to qualify for both on- and off-road events at the 2000 Olympics created a similar garment. If anyone could point me in the right direction for more info on that, I’d be grateful.

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12 Responses to “The New "Stop Lance" Shirt”

  1. Martin 15 March 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    10x for sharing and curating this story for us!

  2. A 15 March 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    I want a Jens shirt.

  3. Kelly 15 March 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Zap Espinoza who I think writes for Road Bike Action was the editor for Mountain Bike Magazine and he had an article/story entitled Dump Lance as Zap was concerned that Lance was only going to join the mountain bike ranks if he could not cut it as a roadie to ride in the Olympics in the mountain bike race.

    Later on Zap goes to work in marketing for Trek.

  4. Sebastian 15 March 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    Last year, when the Tour of California passed through my hometown, I was sorely tempted to appear by the roadside with a sign reading, “Lance Go Back to Kazakhstan.” Unfortunately it’s hard to get a week off school in mid-February, and this year (when I will be able to make the trip) Armstrong is riding in the colors of a different shady organization.

  5. Scott 16 March 2010 at 1:56 am #

    For real….make a Jens shirt and I’ll buy two.

  6. Oliver 16 March 2010 at 9:32 am #

    V. good idea! Getting seriously tired of all the knee-jerk pro-Lance commentary everywhere — especially since I am aware that he has largely made cycling what it is today here in the U.S. Yes, it is dialectical, but I’ll buy one anyhow!

  7. rainbow 16 March 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    the sign needs a pole

  8. Dolomite 16 March 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    Hey, Cosmo,
    Watch yourself. Here in Austin a guy at a local bike shop had fun emblazoning black t-shirts with the gold-colored slogan “Dopestrong” and similar other slogans about Lance.

    Lance dispatched his lawyers.

    Unfortunately, we live in a different time.

    I think Jens shirt would be great: “Hello. It’s me. It’s Jens.”

  9. tommy romunsky 17 March 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    I’d buy it if it said “Stop Lants”

  10. Johan 19 April 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    yep i dont want lancypants to win another paris roubaix–shirty should be in pink

  11. Osteo 15 July 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Ha! re Dolomite- Dopestrong. Those shirts might get printed yet>>>

  12. richad 6 September 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    i still like it ,even if they say “stop lance”

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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    [...] Lance Armstrong. [...]

  2. Runner’s Digest: 3.19.2010 | RW Daily - 19 March 2010

    [...] America’s next great prize fighter?… Pre Lives! Well, at least his legend does in an ironic Lance Armstrong T-shirt inspired by Pre’s 1972 Olympic Trials win (thanks to RW writer Matt Allyn for this [...]

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