An Unsolicited Thank You to Underground Printing & Moe's Comment Count

Seth February 25th, 2016 at 2:57 PM

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The MGoRadio Show at Moe's 100th Birthday party last year.

This is not sponsored editorial, but it's editorial about a sponsor. I didn't tell Rishi I was even going to write this until like 10 minutes ago.

If you're not familiar with the history of collegiate sports apparel, here's a brief version: People used to go to sporting events in whatever their normal clothes were. Then in 1934 a sports apparel salesman walked into Moe's in Ann Arbor, and together they decided to sew big block M's on sweaters and sell them to Michigan fans.

When Moe retired he sold the store to Harold Trick, who had worked in the store for most of a decade, and adopted Moe's view that the campus sports shop should be part of the fabric of the Ann Arbor community. A generation later Trick sold it to Bud VanDeWege, who passed it on to his son, who was at that time the UM Women's Basketball Coach. Bud wanted to sell Moe's in 2010 to pursue other opportunities, but only to the right people who would continue that tradition of investment in the community as a whole.

If you're at all familiar with the history of MGoBlog you'll know it started as something Brian did in his spare time while holding down a "real" job, and that at some point in 2007-'08 that transitioned into his real job. A big part of that transition was Rishi Narayan and Ryan Gregg of Underground Printing coming on as a full-time sponsor of this site. They've been the difference ever since.

They are extremely good dudes who built UGP on the premise of if you help cool small businesses and charities around this town that everyone wants, people will buy shirts and stuff from you. When Bud Jr. was ready to sell the place where sports apparel began, the place that literally invented referee stripes, the place where Jim Harbaugh would spend all the money he'd saved raking leaves as a kid, the obvious guys to sell to were right there on everything from the local robotics competition, to Pear, to high school field hockey, and the local sports team's blogs.

From our t-shirt store, to our annual book, and even the short-lived radio show last year, all of these things were possible because Rishi and Ryan wanted them to succeed. If you spend enough time around Ann Arbor you can't miss them. They're the guy on a fold-out chair at a local gardening event who supplied the t-shirts to the volunteers. They're the guy with the glorious beard whose kid is dancing on the Crisler fan cam. They're our guys, and this site literally couldn't be our livelihoods without them.

So when this came in my email today:

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I thought it as good a day as any to remind you that if you're going to buy Michigan stuff to wear to Michigan things, you should buy it from them.

By the way, our shirts are part of that "everything" that's 30% off this week. Use the same code— FEB30 —through Feb. 30 to stock up on whatever shirt you missed from this season. Like…

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If you've ever got an idea for a shirt (and it doesn't violate copyright or NCAA rules) email me—Seth @ [this site].com—and if we got something I'll pass it on to Rishi. Either way, when you're next in Ann Arbor, stop in the store and tell the owners thank you for MGoBlog.

Comments

Powderd Toast

February 25th, 2016 at 3:25 PM ^

Thanks to the odd combination of MGoBlog, Moe's, and Facebook I won one of their shirts during the McGary days. Probably one of the most comfortable shirts I own. Now to decide if I should ask the wife how much I can spend on MGoShirts or just let her find out when she balances the checkbook.

JeepinBen

February 25th, 2016 at 3:42 PM ^

I know Rishi personally, he's helped me a bunch with charity T-shirts and the like, (hipster alert) I know that UGP was originally A-1 because that came first in the phone book!

They do good stuff and are involved in lots of great things in the Ann Arbor community. When people talk about "shopping local" this is exactly what they mean - shop from your neighbors, who do things like keep Moe's open, re-open GTC, donate time/shirts/etc. to worthy causes, and are good dudes in general.

DreadTheLocks

February 25th, 2016 at 3:50 PM ^

2 shirts that I would love to see and would buy:

1.  The HWO shirt posted the other day when JH visited RAW

2.  Some form of a maize n blue "Whos Got it Better Than Us" on the front with "NOBODY" on the back

Benoit Balls

February 25th, 2016 at 3:54 PM ^

Michigan jersey came from Moe's. We were in Michigan for a family 2 week camping epic, going up one side of the state and down the other with stops in E. Tawas, Mackinac, Charlevoix, Torch Lake, Sleeping Bear, etc. I was 9 and told that if I wasn't a complete P.I.T.A for the trip, i could get the jersey I had been pining for since the previous Christmas. A few times during the trip I was "reminded" that we could easily pass Ann Arbor by on the way from Grand Rapids to Oak Park, and that straightened me right out.

 We first went to the M-Den and they didnt have the exact jersey I wanted.  They were nice enough to call over to Moes, who said they had a bunch of "last seasons" jerseys left over, just not on display. They'd be happy to search what they had for us.

For some reason I still remember the sales lady having to crawl around on the floor opening those huge (at least they seemed to be at the time) wooden drawers they have below the shelves, trying to find me #23 (or, as I called it, "a Jamie Morris jersey").

God bless Moe's.  

Bando Calrissian

February 25th, 2016 at 3:57 PM ^

I started reading this and thought "Oh shit, are they closing?!?!?!?"

Like Harbaugh, I remember those wonderful childhood visits to Moe's, back when they had a t-shirt press underneath a table in the middle of the store. My parents had custom t-shirt Michigan jerseys made for me for my 5th and 6th birthdays with my name on the back. I wore them everywhere--still have one with little cloth roses they stitched on the sleeves for one of the Rose Bowls in the late 80s-early 90s. I always loved walking around in there looking at the walls of crispy, sun-beaten polaroids of Michigan athletes who just dropped in the shop, all signed in ballpoint pen on the bottom. The place felt real in a way that was timeless.

I also remember it was the only place you could buy things like Michigan baseball and hockey jerseys--they had them under the counter. This was before the Nike contract and those kinds of things were everywhere. You could either go to Moe's or the MDen in the concourse of Yost, and that was it. You should have seen the place on January 2, 1998, jammed wall to wall with people trying to buy Rose Bowl stuff. That's where I bought my Woodson Rose Bowl jersey, the Champion version with the wrong numeral font. It was (and still is) awesome.

I still love the store, and I'm so glad for what UGP has done to keep the name and storefront alive, but somehow it doesn't quite have that same magic of the old store. Still, Moe's is amazing.

thenasr

February 25th, 2016 at 4:02 PM ^

Super awesome stuff here! Can we please get the hwo shirt that was floating around the Jim Harbaugh at WWE Raw board post? I'll buy ALL the shirts.

J_Dub

February 26th, 2016 at 1:49 AM ^

Rishi is indeed the man. I have probably had at least 15-20 custom shirts made over the past twelve years or so and it is always smooth sailing. Rishi's staff is awesome and their artists are especially talented. I come in with a horrible MS PowerPoint draft that looks like sonething a five year-old had drawn, or even just words in an email, and 10 days later there are a bunch of killer shirts at my doorstep. Would highly recommend.

I didn't know the history of Rishi/ UGP and MgoBlog, that's fantastic.

M go Bru

February 26th, 2016 at 10:09 AM ^

and have especially appreciated their clearance sales during the art fair.

Some of my prized Michigan possessions that I have purchased at Moes and Underground printing include:

2 New England Patriot Tom Brady jerseys for my son.

A polo with an embroidered michigan helmet on the left breast.

My "The Team The Team The Team" sweatshirt.

2 wolverine helmet-like ball caps

Numerous "Michigan" infant and child-sized sweatshirts and t-shirts for my 2 sons.

Thank You for your service!

 

sportsfreak0819

February 26th, 2016 at 10:37 AM ^

Another person who interacts with Rishi (both through tennis and getting shirts made) and he is an awesome dude who makes awesome shirts.

Cool story on the partnership and loyalty between the two. 

Kingpin74

February 26th, 2016 at 11:34 AM ^

They were the rush chairs of my fraternity when I joined, and they're still the exact same guys as back then when they were starting to build Underground Printing from scratch. Seeing the powerhouse it is today is great and I can't think of a much better local business or better people to support.

Tim Waymen

February 26th, 2016 at 3:12 PM ^

Moe's has a special place in my heart because when I visited UM as a pre-frosh, I bought my very first articles of Michigan apparel there. I also have a reusable shopping bag from them that I use frequently.

maizenbluenc

February 27th, 2016 at 7:50 AM ^

I ordered Champion stuff from Moe's about 5 minutes after the sale email hit my inbox.

I can't explain why, but probably 90% of my maize and blue wardrobe comes from Moe's. Perhaps mDen feels commercial, and has never been able to capture the authenticity of Moe's.

I'm glad the stewardship continues.