META - MGoBlog rights a wrong, teams up with Hope for Pahokee Charity!

Submitted by Butterfield on August 27th, 2012 at 7:27 PM

EDIT:  See Brian's comments at end of OP.  As is the usual around here, the finest blog in the blogiverse, great good will come of what, just yesterday, seemed an unfortunate situation.  Great job, MGoBlog. 


A week ago, Six Zero unveiled the 2012 MGoShirts.  Included amongst them was this one: 

Well, as many of you know, Hope for Pahokee, a charity started by Martavious Odoms (amongst others) to help impoverished Pahokee, Florida, has been selling #Eatin t-shirts for some time now, with 100 percent of the proceeds being directed to fighting hunger in Pahokee.

#EATING shirt

A great deal of posters came forward in the comments section of the unveiling post to show their disdain for what is basically stealing.  ( Unless MGoBlog has some sort of agreement with Hope for Pahokee to give 100 percent of the proceeds of the MGoBlog "Eatin'" shirt to the charity, selling this "rip-off" is absolutely shameful and all involved should be embarassed regarding their decision making.  Unfortunately, no representatives of MGoBlog have come forward to publicly address this issue, to remove the shirt from the store, to say there is a partnership with HfP, or in any way aleviate the concerns of the many posters regarding this product in the last 6 days since it was listed for sale.  As of 4:23 PST, the shirt is still for sale with no indication that proceeds benefit Hope for Pahokee.  

Come on, MGoBlog - you're better than this.

[ED: Hi. It's Brian. We're donating all proceeds from the shirt to Hope For Pahokee. I personally had missed the original Odoms shirt, and I'm sure Six did as well. You may resume panicking about the defensive line.]







August 27th, 2012 at 8:08 PM ^

I'm not sure how this is really ripping off Odom's charity.  The "Eatin" motion and talk was a pretty big theme for the team last year, and as you can tell by the multitude of shirts in the store pretty much every theme from last year has a shirt.  Would be cool for the Mgostore to give the proceeds to Odoms' charity but I don't see it as any ethical obligation.

And Butterfield, you don't have to be such a dick about it.


August 27th, 2012 at 8:15 PM ^

Come on, Herm.  It was a theme for last year's team because guys like Denard were doing it to raise awareness of the charity.  It wasn't something they did and then decided to form a charity around the concept.  So yes, every shirt sold with this theme that doesn't benefit Hope for Pahokee is, essentially, reducing the donations to Hope for Pahokee by that same amount. 


August 27th, 2012 at 8:23 PM ^

Really?  Because from what I can tell, the first dated post at HopeforPahokee is from February 2012, months after the team was doing the #eating thing.  Maybe Odoms started it much earlier, but I know I didn't hear about it or see any reference to it on this blog until after the season ended.


August 27th, 2012 at 8:47 PM ^

Negging posts?  I haven't moderated a post except the first day I discovered I had those powers. 

I only know what I've heard as to the origin of the charity, but Hope for Pahokee was created in 2011 from what I have previously read.  Shirts may not have been sold until 2012, but the #Eating concept raising awareness of HfP preceded the shirts by months (again, heresay, but no more so than anything you said). 


August 27th, 2012 at 9:08 PM ^

fact that someone is negging posts. The domain was registered in February of 2012, feel free to look it up, I wouldn't want you to accept heresay.

I support Odoms efforts. My problem lies with your personal smear campaign, twisting events to fit your warped filter.


August 27th, 2012 at 8:11 PM ^

I actually didn't know about the Martavious Odoms Presents shirt until the other day when the thread Butterfield describes took place.  When I learned about Odoms' shirt and that the proceeds would be donated to Pahokee, I ordered one.  Just FWIW.

Brown Bear

August 27th, 2012 at 8:30 PM ^

I have to agree that it's wrong and secondly I don't even think its that cool of a shirt. The #EATING one by Hope for Pahokee is a better shirt in my opinion. So that's two things against it, rip off and a bad one at that.


August 27th, 2012 at 8:36 PM ^

It would be magnanimous of Mgoblog to curtail sales of the shirt, but by no means are they "ripping off" Odoms' foundation. That foundation didn't come up with the concept; they only chose it as a way of using the idea for a good cause. Let's not get carried away here.


August 27th, 2012 at 8:42 PM ^

Wow. Who is going around negging all the comments that point out that this is NOT a rip off. Using the same word, but having a very different looking shirt is not the same at all. Personally, while I'm not in the market for either shirt, I would never want to wear the charity one, but I like the MGoBlog one a lot.


August 27th, 2012 at 8:54 PM ^

Slight style change? It's a completely different design. As in, it has a design.

But, honestly, that wouldn't really bother me, anyway. There's nothing really unique about the shirt, so if someone wanted to make a Jalen Rose #5 shirt and sell it, I would have no problem with it. (I don't know if there are any issues with getting permission from Rose to use his name, but there likely are, but that's a separate issue.)

Brown Bear

August 27th, 2012 at 9:05 PM ^

My point is that if another site was selling a shirt that was in the same context as one that the MGoBlogStore was selling but not helping the former Michigan players charity we would take issue with it. The "Eatin'" one isn't that clever of a design and I would've liked it if we sold the charity one instead like we do with Jalen's shirt. Could've been a big oversight that wasn't realized but I honestly don't know how Six Zero didn't see the comments in the first thread questioning it when he was posting in that thread.

Edit: He didn't post in that thread but I find it highly unlikely he didn't read the first few comments.


August 27th, 2012 at 8:43 PM ^

If people want to support the charity then they can buy the Pahokee shirt (or donate directly).  If they are just interested in the design of the MGoStore shirt then they can buy that one.  Personally, I don't like the design of the Pahokee shirt, so I wouldn't consider buying it.  However, I like the MGoStore design and might buy it.  I'm an adult and can make my own decision.  Hopefully others can too, so unless that saying is trademarked by Hope for Pahokee, then I don't know why this is such a big deal.



August 27th, 2012 at 9:36 PM ^

The only reason anyone would want that shirt in Michigan colors is because of the Michigan players who made the Eatin' gesture.  I don't want it because some NFL player did it, I am aware of 'Eating' because Odoms, Denard, etc did it.  I don't see some pro player on some team do a dance and then go "Oh I want that shirt referencing that in Michigan colors".  Our current players brought it into this ecosystem and they're trying to send some money Pahokee's way since that gesture did take off.  

Let them have it.  This blog's entire revenue stream is based off their efforts, let them have their effort and stick some other shirt in the store.  There are all kinds of other Michigan themes that could take its place.  

I personally have also never seen anyone else do it, primarily I assume because I only casually follow the NFL.  

turd ferguson

August 27th, 2012 at 9:47 PM ^

If it's handled well by MGoBlog - and I bet it will be, eventually - this could be really nice exposure for Odoms and the rest of the kids he worked with.

I suspect that Brian has been busy with start-of-season stuff and will take care of this (and that doing so might be tricky with Underground Printing being involved, ads needing to be redesigned, etc.).

I feel much less charitable toward Six Zero.


August 27th, 2012 at 10:03 PM ^

Yes, I definitely wish the OP had been calmer in his post and toned it down.  Save the hate mail for when we're in week two of the season and this shirt is stil for sale/the issue unhandled.  

Edit: Just like that the issue is handled by Brian as I type this.  

Hardware Sushi

August 27th, 2012 at 9:00 PM ^

I don't know man. It seems like there are quite a few better ways to handle this and it doesn't seem like, based on your post, those have been tried yet.

(Also, rip-off is a very strong word for a shirt idea that literally everyone thought of when the players started doing it last year. If that's a 'rip-off', then I want credit for the Shoelaces shirt, the dreadlocks shirts, Hokemania shirts and the Mike Martin hulk smash shirts people created because I came up with those ideas before anyone made shirts for them.)

I get #eating is a great cause, but this isn't the right way to go about it. Wayyy more vinegar in this post than required.


August 27th, 2012 at 8:46 PM ^

I'm not into design patents, but the two shirts are substantially different. On a lot of levels. Can no one use the word "eatin'" or "eating" anymore on a shirt?

Your request for a response is reasonable. Your request to have the shirt pulled or all the profits donated is not. My guess is that the shirt is already made and it is not in the cards to suddenly throw out all the shirts or donate all proceeds (or profits) on it.

I like your post in that it brings attention to the very worthwhile cause Odoms has started. Maybe a nice thing the folks at MGoStore could do would be to link to the cause so people can buy whichever shirt (or both if they want).


August 27th, 2012 at 9:02 PM ^

Just that the two shirts seem completely different to me. I'm not sure how there is anything "unethical" about this at all.

It seems like the OP seems to think this is a deliberate rip-off of Odoms' cause. I think it's a completely different idea and executed completely differently.

I also give the benefit of the doubt to the MGoStore folks as I have not seen them rip-off other people before. I also have to think that they've got a bunch of shirts that they were hoping to sell and could lose a lot of money if they don't sell.


August 27th, 2012 at 8:52 PM ^

I'm not sure exactly what happened here, but I'm going to notify Brian about it. I'm not sure that he's even aware of this concern. 

All I ask, is that we all please calm down and give Brian a chance to address the concern of the MGoUsers. Brian can not patrol this board all on his own. That's why he has moderators, like myself that do it for him. If anybody has screwed up here, it's us, the moderators. Personally, I didn't know that this was a concern until this evening. Brian makes every effort to address the concerns of the people that frequent the blog. This site gets, in the neighborhood, of  6 million page views a month. I'm sure you can imagine the large amounts of e-mail that Brian receives. If he has not answered your e-mails, it doesn't mean that he isn't interested in your concerns or that he doesn't feel that they are valid. 


-Eric Upchurch



I'm simply the photographer for the site. I don't make executive decisions, but I do have direct contact with Brian. I will do my best to make sure that he is aware of this concern. 


August 27th, 2012 at 9:09 PM ^

You know this dance wasn't invented by Odoms right? You know they didnt start doing the dance to help Pahokee right? If anything the shirt will bring more awareness to a great cause but your indignation is a little over the top. Email Brian if you are so pissed, I think he will handle it better then you have.


August 27th, 2012 at 9:29 PM ^

At the end of the day I like the MGoStore and I like Six-Zero.  That said.

In my mind Odoms has the prior art on this.  His #Eating concept came first.  The players from Florida popularized it with the eating gesture*, the charity he established made use of the Eating hashtang, and started out the idea of clothing.  I would prefer that Six-Zero's shirt simply cease to exsist or the profits for that specific shirt be redirected to the charity.

Secondly I do feel as if the blog has been dodging this issue.  Concern over that shirt was the first comment made in the unveiling thread and the comments replying to it supported that comment.  There was no reply by anyone associated with the business end of MGoBlog.

My personal view is that if this shirt remains for sale with profits returning to the blog, UGP ([email protected]) and Moe Sport Shops ([email protected]) will be getting an email informing them of my displeasure and the fact while that shirt is for sale, my business will be going to one of the sports shops that isn't a partner of MGoBlog (Ulrichs, M-Den,etc).  I'd encourage others to do the same.  

I'd have much rather seen one of the gag Upton shirts get greenlight and moved en masse to the tasteless party boy market demographic.  As it stands this entire ecosystem is built on the backs of students who do it all for scholarships (assuming they're not a walkon) as amateurs.  The entire field already makes a tidy profit off their image and efforts, which is one of the reasons many people, including Brian, have argued that these students deserve cost of living stipends and the like.  To turn around and issue something that might even come close to cutting into the charity efforts of one of these individuals, after arguing they deserve more compensation, is just unacceptable to me.  Brian rants and rails about Brandon selling us out and all that, but he has no issue dropping a product that at the very least brushes up against the fundraising efforts of current and former players, I really just have to shake my head at that.  

*The only time I've seen this gesture in my life was when players in winged helmets did it. The NFL may have done it and all that, but the concept of 'Eating' is marketable to the Michigan fanbase because of what players on our roster from Florida did.  


August 27th, 2012 at 9:50 PM ^

While the players certainly popularized the 'eating' stuff, they did so BEFORE Hope for Pahokee existed, and before the fundraising effort. It'd be like if it turned out Hoke decided to create the "Fedgodsakes Foundation" to battle cancer. Sure, he popularized the phrase, but it entered the lexicon without the correlation to the philanthropic efforts.


August 27th, 2012 at 9:55 PM ^

Six-Zero's shirt comes after Odoms had clearly attempted to claim the phrase and stake it out for charitable purposes.  I agree Odoms likely did not use the phrase thinking "I'm going to use this a charity tagline".  However he was attempt to go back and use that phrase was one prior to this shirt.  His desire to use it charity does predate Six Zero's shirt.  

I'll channel my inner blue hair and simply go with:

"A Michigan Man should not be releasing for profit products based on the words and actions of a player, when that player is attempting to use those words for charitable fundraising."  


August 27th, 2012 at 10:06 PM ^

Odoms clearly used it for a shirt before Six Zero. I'm just saying that it wasn't like the only reason Six would have known the phrase was from the Pahokee stuff. Presumably he learned of it the same way I did (from the players during the season), and may have been unaware of the prior appropriation of the phrase.

I agree that they should make good on this, and Brian's comments below seem to indicate they will. I'm just suggesting that it was likely a coincidence rather than a nefarious effort. 


August 27th, 2012 at 9:43 PM ^

**Preface: I am in no way involved in the MGoStore stuff, and have no input in the whole shirt thing**

Generally speaking, posting actual concerns in the comments is a terrible way to communicate with Brian, and is not even an especially reliable way to be sure information has been relayed to a poster if they don't respond. If you have a serious concern, you can e-mail mgoblog (at) Or you can contact one of the mods (who are on the board WAY more often than Brian/Ace/etc.), who can relay information to the appropriate party.

I will email Six-Zero and Brian momentarily to make sure they were aware of the situation. I don't know if they will respond to the OP, but the information will be in their possession this evening.

As to the issue itself, I think it's important to note that the phrase "we're eatin'" pre-dates the creation of the Hope for Pahokee shirt. It was a statement made during the season, and Odoms didn't start HFP until after he stopped playing (I'm not even sure it would have been NCAA permissible for an active player). Also, I consider myself one of the more attentive Michigan fans and MGoBlog users, and I had almost completely forgotten about the Hope for Pahokee shirt, let alone the design. I didn't even note the correlation when I first saw the shirts, and I didn't notice any comments about it in the thread.  So to attribute Six Zero's design (which is completely different from Odoms') to maliciousness when an equally (if not more) plausible explanation is inadvertant correlation is a leap I'm not willing to make/

Finally, there are ways to make a point without subsequently being a jackass in the comments. Just a thought.