There’s nothing more we disdain than the angle every fucking t-shirt and apparel company in the MMA has chosen to exploit: the lifestyle angle. It isn’t because of the obvious pandering to overweight or juiced up wannabes that dream of living the fast life. It isn’t even the often monstrously over “enzymed” look these pieces of shit proudly put on display. It’s the arrogance, mostly. It’s the idea that by wearing a fucking shirt you suddenly “get it”. As much as people can despise keyboard warriors, there’s a fresh level of hate available to every jackass who feels that wearing the clothing and drinking the beverages gives you a special connection with the sport.
The New York Times is close to understanding this phenomenon, when they had this to say about Tapout:
…the general idea of living on the edge, of a no-holds-barred struggle with an unambiguous result, appeals to many, and is just the sort of thing a brand like Tapout can offer indirect access to: not the life, per se; just the style.
What they fail to fucking realize is that for about 80% of their customers, the Tapout logo is about the lifestyle, rather than some unique and special fashion. For fuck’s sake, most of their t-shirts only has their marginally interesting logo. It’s obviously meant to be a nod, so that only others in the “know” might realize that you’re as hardcore as they are. It’s the MMA equivalent of the gaydar.
The reason Tapout is popular, and continues to do well has everything to do with the desperate need for many fans to believe that they are also part of the exciting and viceral sport of Mixed Martial Arts. It’s not enough for some to just want to appreciate it simply for the beauty of the sport. They must play pretend and convince themselves and their equally lame friends that they are living the life of fast cars, fast women, and glorious combat. It would be funny if it wasn’t so fucking sad. The Times article should have been a bit more depressing. Excuse me while I go blow my brains out now.