Friday, February 20, 2009

Be True to Your School (Part 2)

Here's another great "camouflage as spiritwear" story playing out down at the University of South Carolina, also featuring a coach. This time, he's using camouflage to build up the energy of his team, rather than his team using it in tribute.

Seems the Gamecocks have a new men's basketball coach named Darrin Horn (see picture) who is determined to get the students at this football-crazy SEC school to come out and support his team. So he and the marketing folks at USC came up with the idea of calling the student section the "Garnet Army". Garnet is a deep red that is the school's primary color and army is a tribute to the fact that Columbia, SC, where USC is located is home to the army base Fort Jackson .

In order to really solidify the connection and to get real excitement from the students, the university gave the first 750 students who came to the game last month against rival Florida a "Garnet Army" red camouflage t-shirt. Where did they get such a great looking shirt with such deep "Garnet" red? Why, Rothco dealer Eat More Tees, that's where. Our friend, Rusty, called up Rothco, printed 'em up and our red camouflage tees has taken Gamecock nation by storm! In fact, Rusty and Eat More Tees have produced over 1600 of the Garnet Army tees you see pictured.

The folks at USC were so excited, they have had a Garnet Army boot camp and invited scores of students down to learn more about the game of basketball (see photos). Other local Rothco dealers have also been selling the tees plus red camo caps, pants and bandanas. The program has generated some real excitement AND the basketball team is doing great with a 19-6 record and wins over Florida, Kentucky and a road win over Alabama!!

Just like the story below, there is great opportunity for schools and the dealers that serve them to use Rothco's colored camouflage clothing to help build school spirit for athletics or any other programs. If you have any pictures of Rothco camo in action, we'd love to see them.

Go Gamecocks!

John Ottaviano

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Be True to Your School (Part 1)

Life is always good when our passions come together. Working for Rothco, I have great interest in all things pertaining to military and camouflage clothing and gear. Having three children who are all athletes, I also love youth and school sports and one of my greatest passions is coaching youth basketball and soccer.

When this amazing and heartwarming story hit my inbox this morning, I was extremely interested. When I discovered that the student-athletes were wearing Rothco tees, I was overjoyed! Here's the story:

It seems that Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, WA has an excellent school wrestling program and they just hired a new coach named Doug Baer. After pre-season training but before the wrestlers had their first competition, Coach Baer, aka Captain Baer, got a call-up from the Army National Guard and was being sent to Iraq.

After an emotional goodbye, Doug Baer went with his unit, the 81st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, to Iraq and the Kamiak High School wrestlers got onto the business of competing in the WesCo South conference. Frequent e-mail communication from the coach to his wrestlers and videotapes of the wrestlers sent to the coach have kept the connection between the wrestlers and their coach strong. This all culminated in a very special match on January 16th. From a report in the Seattle Times:

"The Knights wrestlers warmed up to AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" in camouflage T-shirts with a hint of Kamiak purple. Baer's 13-year-old son, Conor, was named an honorary team captain. Baer's wife, Jane, watches with their two 9-year-old twin daughters.

In a surprise to a packed crowd, Doug Baer addressed the crowd through a voice message that included words of encouragement and inspiration.

The Knights won the meet in honor of their coach 48-27, but as Baer said in his message, it wasn't about the final score."

The camouflage T-shirts worn by the Kamiak wrestlers were Rothco's Ultra Violet Camouflage Tees, supplied through a local dealer by Rothco distributor Ares Sportswear . They are a great way for the kids to show their school spirit and their allegiance to the military and their soldier coach at the same time.

Rothco's colored camoflauge tees in blue, orange, yellow, red, pink and violet have been very successful as spiritwear for schools and Rothco's dealers have done well by supplying these. Dealers should look for opportunities with their local high schools and colleges. Next week, I have another story about the Garnet Army at the University of South Carolina.

As a coach of youth sports, I know the rewards of helping to mold young athletes and the emotional attachment that comes with working with kids over the years. I think both Coach Baer and his wrestlers have a special relationship that transcends the many thousands of miles separating them. Personally I'm grateful for Doug Baer's service both as a soldier and a coach. Good luck and God bless him!!

I'll leave you with these words of wisdom from Coach Baer:

"If in your heart you know you've done everything possible to prepare for a match and you step on to the mat and give it everything you have, regardless of the final outcome you have succeeded."

Spoken like a true coach.

John Ottaviano

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Rothco's Kevlar Gloves Keep this Piano Player in Tune!

Today we have a guest writer, Steve Barre from Barre Army Navy Store. He passed along a wonderful e-mail from one of his customers who bought Rothco's Police Lined Kevlar Gloves and how they did their job!!

Here's Steves Letter:

"We received a great email regarding product #3452 Rothco's Kevlar Gloves and thought we would share it with everyone.

To: Barre ArmyNavy Store

Subject: a note of thanks!

Hello, I am a certified piano technician and professional pianist from Hoboken,NJ, and I'm writing to tell you how one of your products saved my career.

Yesterday, as I opened the front gate of the home of a first-time customer I heard the barking of many dogs. I was not too concerned as I have many customers with dogs and I love animals.
The customer greeted me at the door and said "Come in, the piano is in the living-room." As I entered the house, I was immediately surrounded by EIGHT dogs, of all different breeds and sizes..(from poodles to spaniels to german shepards).

Then she said "Oh, are you afraid of dogs?". I said, "No, I like dogs."

At that moment, the 2 German Shepherds who were sniffing at me, (as the others were barking and growling), circled around me like sharks, and the one just clamped his teeth ferociously into my right hand and didn't let go. It felt like my hand was just slammed in a car door and immediately broken....the strength and pressure (and Pain!) were amazing. I knew I was injured.

I dropped my tool box and bag and removed my leather glove expecting to see lots of blood. To my amazement, there was no blood and no puncture. It was all because my wonderful wife gave me a pair of leather gloves lined with KEVLAR purchased from your online site at Christmas. I said to her "Why in the world would I ever need these?" She said "It's to protect your hands from sharp objects - they're your most valuable asset". I truly believe that had I not been wearing these gloves, with the verocity and pressure of that dog's bite, those big teeth would have went clean through the palm of my hand, and my piano tuning and playing days could possibly have been over.

Although my hand muscles were crushed (and the hospital advised me to follow up this week with an orthopedic surgeon), and there's lots of swelling (and still painful), there is no puncture or visible wound, and most importantly, no cut tendons or nerves. The glove absolutely saved me from a more serious injury!

I truly feel that these gloves are a valuable safety tool for all piano technicians, and I shared this story today with the national Piano Technician's Guild of which I am a member. If it had not been for these great gloves, I would have ended up in surgery yesterday. They are worth their weight in gold.

I'm not sure of the manufacturer of the Kevlar leather gloves , but perhaps you would forward my email to them. I think they should know about their most excellent product, true safety gear.
Just wanted to say Thanks very much for selling a quality product that really saved my hand.
Best regards,

We thank Aart for his letter and Rothco for yet another Great product!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve Barbour, Barre Army Navy Store


And there you go, another satisfied customer! To read a great another great review on Rothco's Tactical Gloves, check out the Outdoor Equipment Guide.

John Ottaviano

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