For years, we were part of Nike's marketing machine, buying Witness T-shirts as our way to trumpet that something special was happening here. In short, we played along, and then we got played. Unfortunately for Nike, "wit" rhymes with "quit."
Cleveland musician Colin Dussault says he created and copyrighted his T-shirt design within days of James' throw-in-the-towel performance during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Tony Madalone of North Ridgeville started selling a Quitness T-shirt on his Fresh Brewed Tees website within hours of James' decision to join the Miami Heat.
A glut of other Quintess T-shirts followed, but these guys are Clevelanders. So if you feel the need to express yourself, make sure you're buying from one of them.
Creator: Colin Dussault
Original Inspiration: "When I witnessed either LeBron James throwing the game or just not trying, it blew my mind," says Dussault, who first put the design that appears on his shirt on his website and band schedules until someone asked to buy a T-shirt. "I called my guy and told him, 'Make me up 10 shirts.' "
The Reaction: Dussault and his band wore the shirts during their July 9 performance on Fox 8 News in the Morning. "Fox 8 had no choice but to put a link to me on their website because they were getting so many phone calls and e-mails."
Why You Should Buy His Shirt: "When you look on eBay, if 10 shirts say 'quitness' and you have one with a drawing and some creativity, it wins out."
Original Inspiration: "The idea came from one of our Facebook friends," Madalone says. "Oftentimes I post on there that I'm looking for ideas. ... A lot of ideas came because of the LeBron incident."
The Reaction: "We had 10,000 hits in 24 hours. By the time I woke up [July 9], it was everywhere. It was unreal. Obviously, so many people were angry."
Why You Should Buy His Shirt: "We're the only ones who carry fashion-fit for women. ... We're also the only ones who do organic [cotton]. And from a design point, I think ours is most similar to the actual Witness font style."