Baseball season is soon approaching, and sports clothing companies are unveiling new gear. New Era Cap Company — based out of Buffalo, New York — released a line of hats for Major League Baseball and NBA teams in select cities called “Team Describe” that feature designs meant to spark civic pride. The Chicago hats, for the Cubs, White Sox, and Bulls, feature the city’s flag and a deep-dish pizza and are a disaster.
The New York Knicks and Yankees hats feature the Statue of Liberty on the front and an apple on the back. The Golden State Warriors and San Francisco Giants caps feature a trolley car on the front and sushi rolls on the back. The Houston Rockets and Astros caps feature a space shuttle on the front and a steak on the back.
That’s nothing too offensive, though some might be mad that the LA hats feature a hardshell taco on the back. But then New Era moves its magic toward Chicago by adding a cartoonish deep-dish pizza making it all go awry.
Chicagoans aren’t happy.
Nobody actually eats deep dish— FIREBOYLEN (@coby_szn) January 29, 2020
1. It should’ve been a Chicago dog.— Ortiz! (@z_is4zombi) January 29, 2020
2. God awful.
3. I’ll purchase when I find them for $10 at TJ Maxx
Those are trash.— Craig Newman (@craignewman) January 29, 2020
One person tweeted that a Chicago-style hot dog would be better. Maybe they steered clear of hot dogs because of the minor league Chicago Dogs? Another suggested Italian beef (which could look similar to the Philadelphia cheesesteaks used for the 76ers and Phillies hats).
The truth is, in a city where thin-crust, tavern-style pizza is consumed more than any other style, New Era’s offering fails to capture Chicago. That happens to Chicago a lot when out-of-towners fumble to figure out what makes the city shine. Even using the Chicago flag is lazy, as no other city flag was used for the caps.
Chicagoans do enjoy delicious deep dish. But its popularity surged thanks to clever marketing schemes; it’s more of a celebratory dish. But even the pizza on the caps doesn’t look like the pies served at premier deep-dish pizzerias in Chicago like Pequod’s, Lou Malnati’s, or Pizano’s. It looks like a cake drowning in a pool of ketchup. And Chicago really doesn’t care for ketchup, at least on hot dogs.
North and South side baseball is polarizing enough in Chicago. But New Era, with its new caps, managed to unite both factions. True Chicago fans won’t be caught dead wearing one of those — unless it’s for irony.