Just how angry are bottle-throwing Braves fans over the questionable eighth-inning call Friday at Turner Field that they insist cost the team a spot in the Division Series? Mad enough to wear a $20 “Worst Call Ever” T-shirt?
A Wisconsin company has quickly come up with a “Worst Call Ever 10.05.12” T-shirt for Braves fans who want to further express their indignation. Oppermacher.com hopes to capitalize on the outrage over the infield fly rule call Friday and the Braves’ 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card game
With a chance to load the bases and with only one out, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons was called out after his pop fly dropped into left field between two St. Louis Cardinals players. An umpire cited the infield fly rule, which caused pandemonium in the sold-out stadium and sent beer bottles and plastic water bottles flying onto the field as Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez rushed out to protest.
“You may not have been in the stands at Turner Field that night, but you were probably showering garbage on your living room floor as the travesty unfolded in front of you,” Oppermacher co-owner Scott Tappa said in a pitch to get his “Worst Call Ever” T-shirt on the backs of Braves’ fans.
It’s a shirt similar to one the company quickly produced after the Green Bay Packers’ Sept. 24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks after another disputed call.
“Packers fans can feel Braves fans’ pain because it happened to us,” Tappa told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday. “It’s probably even more painful for Braves fans because your season is over now, and we have another 13 games to go.”
Packers fans were apoplectic after a pass to Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate appeared to be intercepted by Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings but was ruled a touchdown. The replacement ref’s last-play call gave the Seahawks a 14-12 victory. The NFL, however, later ruled that while the call was legitimate, an interference call should have been made moments earlier, which would have given the Packers the victory.
Tappa said his company sold 3,000 of the “Worst Call Ever” Packers T-shirts to fans in all 50 states, and filled orders as far away as Germany and Afghanistan.
Tappa, his wife Jana, and two others, Joe Opperman and Dennis Gruetzmacher, started Oppermacher.com last year in the small central Wisconsin town of Iola, an hour west of Green Bay. They produce T-shirts for social and church organizations, and sports fans.
Tappa said he and his colleagues were watching the Braves game Friday while packing Packers shirts when they saw the chaos unfold at Turner Field. They quickly realized it was another opportunity to design another “Worst Call Ever” shirt and “try to capitalize on that, to be honest.” Tappa said.
Oppermacher sold the “Worst Call Ever” Packers T-shirt for $12.07, which Tappa said should have been the final score in Green Bay’s favor in the Seattle game. The Braves T-shirt, however, is priced at $20.12, to reflect the year the Division Series hopes were dashed.
Tappa said his company couldn’t sell the Braves shirt for $6.30 to reflect the Cardinals-Braves score because the company would lose money. He also said the Packers’ shirt price will be increased soon.