Spirit wear, for those on the right of the pond as I look at the map, is team apparel. It’s not your kit (here probably called your uniform) but it is anything else they can sell you with your team logo and name on it.

Sprit wear is a pretty big thing over here. We also have spirit shirts for school (in our case a staggeringly unpleasant confection in tie-dyed orange and red) and children are routinely turned into walking adverts every summer because every camp they go to will issue them a tee-shirt with the name of the camp blazoned all over it. It’s all about showing who you are.

Do I sound a little snarky? Well that’s because I am. Today I’ve learned that when you are in a school team over here – any team – you wear your team shirt to class on the days you have games after school so that everyone knows who is in the team and who isn’t. No wonder Child 1 was beside himself with happiness when he got promoted to the school soccer team, despite having initially made a pig’s ear of his try-out. At least half of that happiness is because today he can go all through his math and french and english and science and whatever else classes IN HIS TEAM SHIRT.

And before anyone says well what’s wrong with that, I’d just like to refer you to the photo from Glee. I have thought for years that it was a hysterical joke that those nasty cheerleading girls wear their uniforms to school everyday, but it’s not the joke I thought it was! And look at those girls’ faces. Are they wearing that outfit because they love their team and they are proud of the their achievements? Well, maybe. But aren’t they also showing everyone else who is not wearing it what a bunch of fails they are? And isn’t that what’s happening to 12 to 18 year old kids all over the country? I’m not saying that everyone should be able to be on a team and that life shouldn’t be a meritocracy or anything like that. But I do think kids should be going to class to learn, not to show off that they made a team and can wear something other people can’t. Come back school uniform. All is forgiven!