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Shirtless Driving Season won't last much Longer!


Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth


On an extremely hot, humid and sunny mid June day, I was sitting in the visiting clubhouse at Wrigley Field. The Oakland Athletics were the Cubs' opponent that day, and after speaking with A's Manager Bob Geren, I was patiently waiting to talk with any Athletics with time to kill before the 7:05 first pitch.

And then it happened.

The highlight of the summer.

Former Milwaukee Brewers ace and current A's hurler Ben Sheets strolled out of the clubhouse and yelled "Sun's out! GUNS OUT" as he rolled up his shirt-sleeves. I was told by other reporters that behavior such as this is commonplace for Sheets. And "Sun's out, Guns out," is nothing more than a gateway drug to shirtless driving season.

Yes, "Shirtless Driving Season" THE #1 activity of white trash. The most favorite season of all for disgusting redneck crackers everywhere. It's currently in full swing.


I first learned of the term from Dan Bernstein, 670 The Score midday co-host and the individual who is arguably my sports media career role model. Bernsie obviously sees the activity the same way I do- as something that is BEYOND HILARIOUS.

In fact, I can name 5-6 people in my social circle that start laughing hysterically the second I text or Tweet them a less than 140 character message about nothing else but shirtless driving.

And then there's the Chicago Tribune Red Eye. The tabloid mag and I now have the same corporate parents, since I stared the Big Ten blog at Chicago Now. About a month after my Ben Sheets encounter, they gave us this: a cover story on the "5 rules for going shirtless." The print version even had the infamous "Sun's out, Guns out" in the introductory paragraph. This article doesn't focus on shirtless driving, but on protocol for general public shirtlessness.

And these rules are needed now more than ever! I can't get over how many people have tattoos these days, bad ones.

Ugly ones.

On really pale white people in body places you'd never expect.

And it's got to stop.


The Red Eye really should have touched on the most annoying shirtless guy of all- the idiot in winter. I had one on my dorm floor in Champaign freshman year. And he was disgusting white trash. Both scrawny and flabby at the same time, he would walk around the floor shirtless at Christmas time. Seriously, if it's below 75 degrees, there is NEVER A REASON for you to be shirtless in public. Even inside. EVER.

When you Google the term "shirtless driving season," a message board from something called Camaro is the first entry. If that domain name isn't indicative enough, check out the first entry, dated 6-5-08:

Take off those t-tops and light those Marlboros(Reds of course), shirtless driving season has officially started. I'm all set with the shirtless driving trifecta: out of shape, hairy, and tatooed. As a bonus I have Civil War era level facial hair. Lets hear how you guys are preparing yourselves.

Another entry, this one from a local site says it all:

3 straight days of 80 degree weather = start of shirtless driving season in #Chicago . Nothing says moron like a shirtless driver. Beware.

So this summer I've done some shirtless driving here and there. On an ironic level. And I've Tweeted about it. And some people have misinterpretted the meaning behind it; on both Twitter and Facebook. But I have no regrets. It was all in fun. And I'd do it again.

I guess there really was  no point to this essay. Other than to illustrate how much I can't wait for football season to start, because I'm obviously running out of stuff to talk about.

Or not.

Next week I'll have another essay entitled "Let's Care about Swimming again like we did for a month in '08"  followed by "My Hometown was quite possibly founded by Gay Worlocks." (And history actually implies that last sentence is true, not hyperbole.)

Until then, as the immortal social observer Ben Sheets would say, S.O.G.O.


Paul M. Banks is President and CEO of The Sports , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune's blog network, Walter, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and @bigtenguru



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