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Hat crimes and misdemeanors

July 14, 2012
By Wes Burns , Times-Republican

I don't like cowboy hats.

I have nothing against the people that wear, manufacture or otherwise support cowboy hats in general; if you like them then grab a ten-gallon hat and mosey on about your business.

You might not be able to tell from my picture but I have an exceptionally large head. Huge. I was 29 years old when I was finally able to buy a baseball cap, and that was only after finding

When you have a big head wearing a big hat, like a cowboy hat, is a bad idea. Unless you have some kind of giant, David Byrne-esque suit to wear; but alas I do not.

Cowboy hats do not belong at the movies, the gym or on the basketball court.

They are, however, perfectly acceptable in Westerns, "The Dukes of Hazard" and while attending a race/horse show/poker tournament.

And of course the Olympics.

How many times have you stumbled upon the opening ceremonies of the olympics, waited patiently through the laboriously inoffensive "alphabetical order" introductions only to watch Team America strut into the arena decked out in red, white and blue track suits and giant cowboy hats?

What's more American than looking like you clothes were designed by Run DMC and Toby Keith?

Apparently it wasn't American enough, since this year our beloved Olympic Committee (Mitt Romney used to work here!) handed over the design duties to Ralph "The Polo" Lauren.

So, with a multimillion dollar fashion industry behind him, Mr. Lauren looked across this great country of ours, delved deep into his understanding of the unique American psyhce, and came up with: berets.

Complete with a blazer featuring a none too conspicuous giant Polo logo Mr. Lauren has decided that Team America is going to look less like we walked into the stadium from the vast wilderness of our country, but rather that we just docked the yacht at the hamptons and hopped on the Concorde to London.

While I normally could not summon the strength to care what Ralph Lauren was up to I have to say that this is irksome.

Let's forget that we're going to enter the Olympic arena looking like Team France, let's also forget that when the rest of the world thinks "America" the last thing on their mind is "preppy," and lets even forget that the pictures of the uniforms have an unsettling country club/fascism vibe to them. Even putting all of that aside the uniforms have a much bigger problem.

They were all made in China.

This revelation has upset politicians, Olympic athletes and, of course, Polycephalic Pundit Monster.

I think we should be looking for a secret ploy by the Chinese, our greatest Olympic rivals.

Think about it; 50 years ago would we have let the Soviets MAKE our uniforms? No! They would have been filled with microphones and secret cameras and beets.

No we're just going to let the Chinese rig the uniforms with ... well, what else do we have that they don't already make? Don't they already know everything we know? And don't we owe them a lot of money anyway?

You win this round, China. But we'll see you on the pole vault!


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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