If you care at all about factual integrity on your college and professional sporting fan T-shirts—and Old Navy’s sure betting you don’t—then you might want to fact-check your gear before you purchase from the GAP Inc.-owned retailer.
The latest error comes via an NFL fan shirt for the Houston Texans, which comes with a current logo of the team and a tagline calling them the 1961 AFC Champions. All fine and good! Except there are so many things wrong with that statement that we don’t know where to begin.
First off, the Houston Texans didn’t exist in 1961. And the AFC? That didn’t exist in 1961 either.
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Admittedly, it’s a bit confusing. In 1961 a pro football team called the Dallas Texans did exist, although they didn’t win any championships. And Houston had a team then, the Oilers (which moved to Nashville in 1997 and became the Tennessee Titans). The Oilers did win the American Football League (AFL) championship game in 1961 — but that’s a totally different thing from the AFC, which didn’t even exist until the AFL and the NFL merged in 1970.
The Houston Texans are an expansion team that started play in 2002 and took the old Dallas nickname after that team moved to Missouri and became the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1960s.
The Texans shirt isn’t the only one with a mistake on it in the Old Navy line. The Cleveland Browns are credited as the 1964 AFC champions, when they actually won the NFL championship. The New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs are dubbed NFL champions in 1968 and 1969, respectively, although those are the years they won the AFL championships. But hey, we’ll give it to them: that’s just a one-letter mistake.
This isn’t the first flub from Old Navy when it comes to licensing sports-related gear. A 2011 back-to-school shirt, ironically, showed off a grammatical error, leaving off the apostrophe in the cheer “Let’s Go!!”
Later that year Old Navy printed the wrong founding year on a trio of college shirts—the University of Iowa, the University of Arizona and Colorado State University.
According to ESPN, Old Navy blames its third-party licenser for the factual flubs and has pulled the NFL T-shirts from sale.
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