Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Shirts and skins

After playing hockey in the mornings, I often have occasion to walk through the part of the gym with the basketball courts. There one can see numerous pickup games with teams divided into "shirts" and "skins."

The majority of men in these games are over thirty and have love handles and a layer of seal blubber, accentuated by a shiny layer of sweat. A solid minority are pale and scrawny. They are the opposite of eye candy. Eye rat poison, perhaps.

Men clearly overestimate how good they look without their shirts. Objectively speaking, I'm guessing that perhaps 5% of men look good without their shirts -- and perhaps that's wildly optimistic -- but if American men were surveyed on the question "do you look good without your shirt," at least 60% would answer "yes."

In hockey, we don't play "shirts" and "skins." We play light and dark jerseys. So what's the deal with basketball -- don't these guys own light and dark t-shirts?

he he he he.
Perhaps you could start a fund drive to help the shirt-free out.
Seriously! I mean, my husband plays soccer, and they do light Ts versus dark Ts. It ain't hard to figure out.
The majority of men in these games are over thirty and have love handles and a layer of seal blubber, accentuated by a shiny layer of sweat. A solid minority are pale and scrawny.

And these are at least active guys. Sedentary guys would look even worse! But I say encourage shirtlessness in men: This would provide an incentive for them to do something about the flab.

Hockey players don't do shirts v. skins all that much probably because rinks are much colder than basketball courts.
Maybe the men don't care if they're scrawny or have love handles, and maybe that's all that really matters.
I play skins and shirts a lot, I'm on a basketball team. It's much more comfortable to be shirtless in a hot game like basketball than to have 2 layers of shirt on! (I'm 29...and I would say I'm in the 5%, even if it sounds like bragging. I'm a daily athlete and eat fairly carefully...like to show off the tattoos too.) To be totally honest, I've gotten dates with girls who stopped in for pickup games when I was a skin, though never, I think, as a shirt!
To the last guy who posted: do people look at your bellybutton when you play as a skin?
I play shirts and skins basketball every week. (I also play shirts and skins roller hockey and shirts and skins lacrosse, but that's another story). Anyway, most of the guys I play with are not in good shape. But I gotta give them credit for running up and down the court trying to burn off some flab. As for why shirts and skins vs. light shirts and dark shirts... well, partly it's tradition. It's pretty much expected that when two sides meet for pick-up basketball one side's gonna be forced to strip off the shirts. But the other thing is it's a whole lot easier to identify your teammates with shirts and skins -- especially if you're playing a fast-paced game with guys you don't know. As for why guys look at bellybuttons during a game -- that's approximately the best spot to look at to gauge which way a player is gonna move.
Haha, I didn't notice some guy asked if people look at my bellybutton during play. At first glance that looks like some weird fetish questions, but come to think of it you're right. You do look at bellybuttons on the basketball court because it's supposed to be the only spot that remains consistent and can't be used to fake you out. So...maybe I have had people glance at my bellybutton!
Shirts vs. Skins is old school and about tradition in terms of hoops. I would not want to go skins in a cold gym regardless if I was in good shape or not, but I would go skins on a hot summer day in the sun especially playing pick-up ball at a park. Not only can you get a good even tan, it's also a great weapon against your opponent....they're not going to want to defend against you with all that sweat! If you're still against it, then go to www.shirtsandskinsinc.com and buy yourself a jersey. BTW, that's our company and we love it when we hear people are still playing shirts vs. skins. Good hoops everyone!
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