James Winston, the quarterback for the Heisman Trophy winning Florida State football team, was cited for shoplifting $32.72 worth of crab legs back in April. Though he’s moved on and accepted his “adult civil citation,” a program requiring a minimum of 20 hours of community service as recompense for the non-violent, minor offense, fans of the rival Florida Gators certainly won’t let the team forget too soon.
The Gator Mania apparel store located in a Gainesville, Florida mall has been selling gag shirts poking fun at the incident.
The t-shirts, which are in the Gator colors of blue and orange, look like souvenir apparel from a faux “Jameis’ Famous Crab Shack Emporium.”On the front is the slogan: “Eat ‘Em Like You Stole ‘Em,” while the back reads “Our crabs are always at a five-finger discount.”
“A gag t-shirt in my opinion is good if the recipient is willing to wear
it,” says Elise from Tee Compressed. “Our advice at Tee Compressed is to always consider the audience when you are choosing a shirt style, color, and the imprint that you print on them, otherwise there is no real marketing value if it’s not going to be seen/worn.”
From a business standpoint, the shirt does seem like a good idea. The store had the shirts up for sale just two days after Winston’s embarrassing, criminal incident.
“The shirt does bring in people because they see it and they’re ‘Oh, that’s so funny,” said Taylor Macdonald, a Gator Mania sales associate. “I mean, I think it’s hilarious. I actually have the shirt.”
Macdonald also says people will come in to the store just because they see the shirt. Apparently, even Florida State fans will come in to the store and laugh at the shirt.
“It’s the first one where people that are FSU fans have come and been like ‘I disagree with that, but that’s funny,’” says Justin Burger, who works at another Gator Mania location. “In the past we’ve gotten stuff for FSU, gotten stuff for Georgia, gotten stuff for Miami … but even FSU fans see that one and they’re like ‘OK, that’s funny.’”