Co.Design

Finally, A Line Of Fan Gear For People Who Hate Sports

Sick of sports? There’s a team for that.

For me, it was 7 a.m. on a Sunday. I woke in my dorm room with a horrendous, mind-crushing, stomach-churning hangover, to a bunch of idiots yelling and banging drums outside. What was going on? Was this some sort of prank or protest? No, it was a football day. And whereas I’d grown up in a city filled with professional sports teams, I had no idea people got this excited, even more excited, maybe, about college sports. I’d naively enlisted at a Big 10 school having no real clue what that meant, other than that it was one of 10 big schools.

Right then, I could have used an Anti-Sports League shirt ($25) to cuddle up to, a cotton rallying flag for academics, conscientious objectors, and just people with hangovers who liked to sleep in on Sundays. Designed by Glen Liberman and Mash Creative, it’s a series of team shirts for people who generally refuse to get behind a team, a means to be a fan of not being a fan.

"I started the Anti-Sports League because I wanted to present a slightly different view on mainstream culture, one that may be shared by many, but not often expressed due to fear of what others may think, say, or do," Libermen tells Co.Design. "Whether it involves sports or another medium, the idea here is to offer a perspective that may be different from the majority."

The reason the shirts resonate, though, is that they’re not just crapped out Cafe Press apparel—they weren’t made by some fratastic jock, after all—Libermen actually designed a new parody typeface to promote his three teams in the league: The Downers, The Slackers, and The No-Shows.

"The ASL font was heavily inspired by the likes of Princetown and Motor which are so commonly used on sport shirts," writes Libermen. "The font is mostly monospaced apart from the characters M and W. This allowed me to keep a grid structure when designing the bold and playful typography on every shirt." And the logo follows where the typeface leaves off, turning the universal "no" symbol into a sort of double no, a geometrically regimented rejection of athletics, the perfect complement for a league that’s all about hating leagues.

In the future, Liberman plans to add more teams to the league (or more shirts to the collection), and even add some interactive, possibly competitive components to the site itself. Personally, I’d like to see an award given to the least purchased team shirt to promote the league’s celebration of anti-hero. In turn, league participants would not try even harder, leading to the eventual abolishment of the Anti-Sports League altogether. And while that may be a terrible thing for Liberman’s profitability, as a cultural statement, it’s the sort of idea that I’m sure all my fellow haters can (not) get behind.

Buy them here.

Add New Comment

8 Comments

  • My name is Glen Liberman. The Anti-Sports League is a concept that I came up with a few years ago. Although I'm not currently selling the ASL t-shirts, I'd still like to respond to the comments posted below Mark's piece.

    The ASL, at the heart of the matter, was created as a sort of poke at mainstream culture. And I do realize that the design of the shirts themselves are a bit conflicted, but so is our society as a whole. If you'd like to read a bit further to learn more, here are two great pieces of writing.

    1 - http://www.interestingideas.com/ii/sports.htm

    2 - http://www.care2.com/causes/are-sports-just-a-distraction.html

    If there are any comments, thoughts, or questions, please feel free to get in touch.

    • Glen Liberman aestheticinvention.com
  • Kelly Nye

    Many years ago, one of my students told me he'd started up a new club: The Non-Athletic Drinking Society. Their slogan? "Go-NADS!" ; )

  • Jess

    Even though I don't like sports, unnecessarily and publicly going ANTI something that many others like doesn't appeal to me. 

  • Lela Feldmeier

    Regardless of whether your a sports fan or not, or whether you agree with someone making sports jerseys for people who hate sports and jerseys (Confused? So am I.) you have to admit that the typeface and layout are not too bad. I haven't seen any actual sports jerseys these days looking nearly as good in my opinion. I'm still not sure I want to wear a shirt that says I'm a slacker though.

  • Matt Beemsterboer

    It was probably 7 AM on a Saturday if it was B1G sports. Nobody gets up that early for a basketball game, and the NFL is reserved for Sundays. Just saying.

  • Matt L

    So hes creating a league with jerseys cause he hates leagues...with jerseys? Maybe this will be the official attire of the hipster olympics. Also Mark, this post made me unsure of your personal stance on team sports. Next time, really tell us how you feel.

  • Kevin N. Andersen

    I too am unsure how Mark feels about sports. He should really put more personal opinion into his articles, because I'm dying to know.

  • ChickenFriedSteak

    Exactly! He mimics the typeface and mentality of the thing he hates because it is "subversively" parodying it. What a conceit! "I don't like you so I am going to act like you and you're too stupid to get it". What a tosser ......