Not Chicago Stronger

Untitled28Yes, the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup finals and Game 1 was a historic moment in NHL history. With the Blackhawks making the finals they are plenty of t-shirt vendors looking for a quick payday by coming up with ideas. You can drive up and down any well trafficked area in the city and there will be a vendor selling (legal or illegal) merchandise.

The point is, sure people are looking to make money off of a team that is now 3 wins from another Stanley Cup but some are doing it in the wrong fashion.

With their last Stanley Cup win back in 2010 there was nothing different with the consumers, who were snatching up anything Blackhawks. The problem is one website is trying to take advantage of a horrible tragedy by putting their own spin on things.

The website is called “Cubby Tees” and has plenty of Chicago based shirts for purchase. For the record I refuse to link the website here because they don't deserve an ounce of advertisement from this blog. Some of them are quite creative and connect their respective teams with the design that is offered. However, one shirt that should not be sold or even made is the one to that is shown in this article entitled “Chicago Stronger”.

Back on April 15th a horrible tragedy took place at the Boston Marathon where 3  people died and many were seriously wounded. After this happened a creative idea was brought forward with a t-shirt that was entitled “Boston Strong”. This was about the city of Boston coming together in such sadness and anger to stay with each other through the difficult time which an entire city suffered.  Here is the description of their shirt directly from their website.

“You may be strong, but we’re stronger.

The 2013 Stanley Cup Finals are an epic battle of two great teams, great franchises, great fandoms and possibly the two best sports cities on the planet. Two of the NHL’s Original Six and two of the last four cup-holders will clash when the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins.

Following the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing, the nation rallied around Beantown and its “Boston Strong” motto, which has since been appropriated by its sports teams. We love Boston and support/admire its people, but don’t believe that the homicidal lunacy of two disturbed locals has rendered its teams invincible. This is about hockey, this is about O-6 pride, this is about the Cup.

Chicago is the City of Broad Shoulders – our town burned down, our winters are legendary, our Cubs have floundered for a century, yet we endure. Other cities may be strong, we’re stronger. The Bruins are strong, our Blackhawks are stronger.”

Now going deeper into their website they also have a Facebook Page in where they posted the shirt and this caption.

“The Stanley Cup Finals are set -- an epic battle between great franchises and the two best sports cities on the planet. Mad props to the team, town and people of Boston; we admire your strength…but we shall prove stronger. This is about hockey, this is about O-6 pride, this is about the Cup. GAME ON!”

That t-shirt was never created, developed and sold in relation to a sporting event. This was about the injuries and death those people and their families suffered and still dealing with the pain each and every day. But this company decided to put the dollar signs in the forefront.

Cubby Tees is feeding off the tragedy and looking to fill their pockets with dirty money essentially. I would hope many would not buy a single shirt off this website no matter the team or what shirt would look good. To sell this shirt is a down right stupid.

A few Boston fans addressed the stupidity on their page and a reply from the owner was this.

“Of course the "Boston Strong" concept might have been more original if it hadn't been "stolen" from an army recruiting slogan and might have been more moving if it didn't remind everyone of Lance Armstrong's Livestrong fraud, but hey if you think it's wicked creative, enjoy.”

To make this statement is just down right insulting. Again this company if I can call it that, is making money off a slogan that was intended for the people of Boston. Not some sports game or series that has no bearing on people’s day to day life. The Boston Shirts had proceeds going to a charity that was created for the Boston Marathon Tragedy. Instead, this company is putting money in their pockets and think is a great business move.

I want to apologize from the majority of Chicago people to the people of Boston,  in which; we don’t like the shirt, we won’t buy the shirt and we don’t condone it.

As for Cubby Tees, if you had an ounce of class or soul you would remove the shirt from your website and stop making a profit off something that could and has happened in any part of the world. Remove the shirt  and have an ounce of respect for those people.

I have contacted Cubby Tees and as of this posting I have not gotten any response. I will update this post if I do receive a response on their reasoning behind this insulting shirt.

With this shirt, it isn’t about making a few dollars but it’s insulting not only the City of Boston but people across the world who donated their time, money and efforts to help those in need on that day.

Cubby Tees do the right thing and take the shirt down because there is no reasoning to keep selling it, unless your company bases itself on greed and insults.

So far, it looks like it does.


Update. It looks like the Company has pulled the shirt but have written up a poor excuse on why they sold the shirt in the first place. At least they had enough fortitude to remove the shirt but I for one will not purchase anything from that website.



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  • fb_avatar

    Thank you for writing this article. Thankfully, the backlash received by Cubby Tees prompted them to stop selling the shirts, and have instead provided links to Chicago-area charities and One Fund - Boston. Not sure I completely buy their claiming that the creation of the shirts was one of satire, but at least they stopped selling the danged shirts.

  • In reply to Kristy Gleason:

    No problem at all and they took down the shirt at least.

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    In reply to Ted Gruber:

    Yes, thankfully they did that. It's been two months since the Marathon, but living in the greater Boston area, there are constant reminders of what happened. Two months isn't anywhere near long enough for folks even closer to Boston than I am to "get over it". I'm not sure anyone ever truly gets over something like that. Thanks again, Mr. Gruber. It's nice to know that you have our backs. Take care and have a great weekend!

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    In reply to Ted Gruber:

    Don't say you are speaking for the people of Chicago when that is not the case. Peter is right, Chicago has freedom of expression. If you think the shirt was designed to be hurtful to Boston, well, I feel bad for you for reading too much into it. Chicago deserves the cup as much as the next guy and the slogan is used to show their strength, because, well, the Blackhawks are a strong team. What you are doing Ted is trying to pick a fight out of nothing; grow up.

  • In reply to brad chad:

    Picking a fight? Come on. Grow up? I think I'm close to there but this tshirt company is far from it. Thanks for reading though.

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    The full page article replacing the tee proves the guy has no clue what he is doing or what he is talking about.

  • In reply to Chad Ammidown:

    I agreed Chad. It's a joke.

  • Thank you for writing this article.

    I think that Cubby Tees has further exacerbated the situation with their... I'm not sure what I'd call it, exactly. As a Bostonian, I don't read it, nor do I accept it as a apology for their lack of common sense or understanding. I read this to be more of a scolding for taking offense at the use of this term. It's really more of a slap in the face and adds insult to injury. I took their words downplay the events of April 15th, in all honesty and to chastise the City of Boston for their response to what was a terrorist attack; in spite of the fact that they refer to the bombers as "locals". They display their ignorance in their words even further than their creation of their t-shirt.

    Further, it's beyond ignorant, after seeing the backlash that the Toronto fan experienced after their foolish use of "Toronto Stronger" that they would think that the use of "Chicago Stronger" wouldn't elicit the sort of response that is has.

  • In reply to BostonStronger:

    I still don't agree with their lackluster apology. At least they took the shirt down, but still think they are greedy.

  • In reply to Ted Gruber:

    Ted, you're far more generous than I, as I wouldn't even consider it a "lackluster apology". They are greedy, they knew exactly what they were doing when they produced this t-shirt. It was an intentional act, intended to generate revenue and publicity for them.

    The sad part is they don't have the good sense God gave them to even pretend to be sorry for their actions. Their response was more of a "suck it up" than "we're sorry".

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    In reply to Ted Gruber:

    Chicago stronger

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Brian Czarny:

    In the odor department, I agree. Tool.

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    In reply to BostonStronger:

    Apparently, they didn't think. Or if they did think, they just plain didn't care and only wanted their 15 minutes of fame. Their apology was lacking in substance... and as you said, BostonStronger, more like a scolding for folks having taken offense at their ignorance.

  • I would sell those shirts in a heartbeat. How long are we going to weep for that particular tragedy? Chicago strong forever!!!! Sports is war, especially playoffs. no mercy. No pity.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    But at the end of the series they shake hands right?

  • In reply to Ted Gruber:

    They do, but apparently Peter wouldn't. It's war, doncha' know?

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    In reply to Peter Bella:

    And you would be just as clueless. It's not about sports. The teams in Boston adopted it to unify the city and show support. All proceeds of any merchandise goes to victims of the bombing. It wasn't a "slogan" it was a feeling to rally around.

    To then take that and suggest that Chicago is "stronger" ignores what the meaning is behind it. So assuming you cannot understand that part, then at the very least you can understand not profiting from it... but nope. They also want to gain personally from it.

    You cannot just do anything you want and then claim it's only a parody or satire. There is no actual joke there...No punchline...No comic relief. It's just stupid on so many levels.

    We're not asking you to weep for the tragedy. We're asking you not be ignorant to why "Boston Strong" was created and not profit from tragedy.

    And sports is not war. It's entertainment.

  • In reply to Chad Ammidown:

    This is America, in case you forgot. We do have freedom of expression. You may not like it, but you and the social media lynch mobs have no right to deny anyone their freedom. If sports were entertainment, like wrestling, there would be no injuries. Sports is war. No pity. No mercy. Chicago is strong and stronger.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    You're absolute right, you are free to display your ignorance. Which is on full display right now. Congratulations.

    Sports is war? You a sad individual.

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    Sports war? You are delusional if you are comparing a real war to sports war.

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    In reply to Peter Bella:

    I'm not denying anyone's freedom. I'm telling them that with that freedom they made a bad choice. To try and profit from tragedy is a disgrace. Period.

    I also have no idea why injuries defines the line of entertainment for you. Movies have stunt doubles...are they "war" too?

  • In reply to Peter Bella:

    How long are we going to weep for that particular tragedy?

    The family of Richard Martin, who lost their 8 year old son and whose 7 year old daughter, an Irish step dancer, lost her leg and whose wife suffered brain injuries and lost sight in one of her eyes, they will weep forever.

    The family of Krystle Campbell, 29, who passed away from her injuries.

    The family of Lingzi Lu, 23 who also passed away from her injuries.

    Oh, and there are some others who will weep for eternity:

    Jacqui Webb who suffered a severe leg injury
    Patrick Downes who suffered severe leg injuries
    Jessica Downes who suffered severe leg injuries
    David Yepez who suffered head and arm injuries
    Jarrod Clowery who suffered hearing loss and leg injuries
    Aaron Hern who suffered a leg injury
    Remy Lawler who suffered upper leg injuries
    JP Norden who suffered a severe leg injury
    Paul Norden who suffered a severe leg injury
    Beth Rothe who suffered a sever leg injury
    Marc Fucarile who suffered severe leg injuries and chest injuries
    Celeste Corcoran who suffered a severe leg injury
    Sydney Corcoran, severe leg injury
    Kevin Corcoran suffered minor injuries

    I could go on and on, as the list of injured was more than 100 people. And, please, when you read "severe" leg injury, realize that severe means that they are now an amputee for the rest of their lives, some are double amputees.

    No mercy? No pity?

    More like NO COMPASSION.

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    In reply to Peter Bella:

    Boston Strong (the motto) has NOTHING to do with sports. It has to do with recovery and healing from a horrible tragedy. I sincerely hope nothing like that EVER happens in Chicago. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Perhaps because you're far removed from the location, it lessens your ability to understand the trauma that occurred to a huge number of people. I hope it's that rather than that you're just an insensitive, ignorant jerk who cares nothing for your fellow human beings, Peter. BTW, sports are NOTHING like war. They are GAMES. Played for entertainment of large numbers of people. War is NOT entertainment in any way, shape or form.

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    Full disclosure, I am replying to your comment as someone from the Boston area, and as someone who has been personally affected by the marathon bombing.

    First, in regard to Peter's comment, I want to make the following reply:

    I completely understand your and your city's competitiveness--I think Boston and Chicago are two of the most passionate cities when it comes to sports. I understand your thoughts in regard to not having mercy, and believe me, I share your sentiment. However, your comment stating "how long are we going to weep for a particular tragedy?" is what really got to me. Tomorrow marks two months since the marathon bombing. It's barely been 60 days. Victims still haven't all received prosthetics to be able to walk again. This city still hasn't healed. We're getting there, day by day, but we aren't there yet. It truly is too soon.

    In regard to the original t-shirt idea and this article:

    Yes, we've used "Boston Strong" at sporting events. However, we're also using our sporting events to try and heal. I, and so many other people I've spoken with, have been feeling so grateful that the Bruins have brought our city something to celebrate over the past two months, and whether or not they win this series, they've done so much for our city and they truly are winners either way for doing that. That is why we're using this slogan for our sports teams; it's not just a simple rally cry that we can apply to anything we want.

    Ted, thank you for writing this article. We really do appreciate it.

  • Amanda I echo your comments and appreciate the kind words.

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    As a Bostonian, I appreciate your well-written, sympathetic article. I believe more Chicagoans think like you and agree that the Boston Marathon Bombings were a terrible tragedy and any mocking of a tragedy to make money is morally wrong.

    In response to the “How long are you going to weep” comment: How long do you think the parents of Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, Krystle Campbell and Sean Collier are going to grieve for their children? Do you expect them to just move on and act like they didn’t lose children? Are you really that cruel? The worst thing to happen to a parent is to outlive their child. Martin Richard was only 8 years old, so his parents will never see him grow up. Lingzi Lu was a BU grad student from China who died thousands of miles from home. Krystle Campbell was a young woman who had so much ahead of her. Sean Collier, who was assassinated by the two suspects 4 days after the Marathon, was a young police officer with dreams of joining the Somerville, MA police force. And the 200+ (not 30, as claimed in the “apology”) injured will have to deal with further medical procedures, and everyone who lost one or both legs still need prosthetics. NYC is still reeling from 9/11, even after 12 years and New Jersey is recovering from Hurricane Sandy, 9 months later. Tomorrow marks two months since the bombings, and Boston is still healing.

    In response to the company: It’s obvious these people running the company are ignorant, greedy and lacking in morals by creating these offensive shirts for profit and by their half-hearted excuse for an explanation after pulling the shirts from the site. They could have apologized for not thinking when they created the shirt, instead they said Bostonians were wrong to express their outrage, the bombing shouldn’t be considered as tragic as other recent events because “only” three people died, and basically gave the middle finger to Officer Collier, who was also killed by the suspects, and to the 200+ injured.

    “Boston Strong” is intended to honor the dead and wounded from the Marathon Bombings, not for any of the sports teams in the city. In Boston, clothing with that phrase (not “slogan”) has been sold with proceeds going to the One Fund to help the victims with medical and other bills. A lot of people have contributed to the One Fund. The Boston sports teams did adopt the phrase, not as a sports slogan, but to show support. The Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics have helped comfort and unite their city in grief; much like the Yankees and other NY teams did after 9/11.

  • fb_avatar

    Boston Sports fans have hijacked a phrase that was created to inspire them through a tragic moment in their cities history? They deserve to be mocked for using it as a sports anthem, disrespecting the victims and dead in the same fashion you claim the shirt did. Good thing i got one and will be wearing it before they stopped selling it.

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    In reply to Clybourn Porkins:

    Jon Snow? Is that you? Because you know nothing. Quite frankly, go ahead and wear it. I hope your fellow fans who actually respect other human beings will give you your very fair ration of crap for being such a classless ignoramus.

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    Don't say you are speaking for the people of Chicago when that is not the case. Peter is right, Chicago has freedom of expression. If you think the shirt was designed to be hurtful to Boston, well, I feel bad for you for reading too much into it. Chicago deserves the cup as much as the next guy and the slogan is used to show their strength, because, well, the Blackhawks are a strong team. What you are doing Ted is trying to pick a fight out of nothing; grow up.

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    In reply to brad chad:

    Everyone has the freedom to express themselves. This was a poor choice.

    I cannot deny that some in Boston may not be getting the meaning or reason for the motto and are thus exploiting it. But they are the minority and fools...Just like your opinion as a citizen of Chicago is a minority and a fools opinion.

    It does not exist because of hockey and the Bruins are not using it to win games. The city took on the motto as a means to find comfort in numbers and the sports teams showed their support by also displaying to say "we are with you". They are not exploiting it because they are sending any proceeds to victims of the bombing.

    This tee was not a means to rally, was not using proceeds for victims and even at a joke level was a miss because in their own words, "we wish more had read the description"... as we all know the best humor is the one that has to be explained (sarcasm here).

  • fb_avatar

    I really want that shirt.

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