Thursday, January 25, 2018

Get in gear

I remember LA Gear’s LA Lights shoes were pretty cool when I was a kid. I mean, they lit up. Literally. With actual lights. Admittedly, I never owned a pair. Even at an early age, I was a Nike/Reebok/Adidas guy. While I can’t say I’ve owned a pair of Reeboks in at least 20 years, I’m still a strong Nike supporter. Occasionally I rock some Adidas too, like the pair of Originals NMD-C2sI just got for Christmas.

So while friend-by-friend showed up to elementary school in their new LA Lights, I rocked my original Reebok Pumps, Adidas Samba Classics, or Nike Airs.

That didn’t stop me from appreciating the LA Gear signed photo that Karl Malone sent me, however.
He was one of my first TTM successes as a kid, and I’m happy to say I still have the photo to this day.

Malone was in the middle of a Hall of Fame career, so it was a big deal to get it back. It was actually part of a school project where we wrote letters to athletes, celebrities, national brands, and local companies in hope for a response and possibly some free stuff (although that wasn’t the point). I think we each had to write three letters, focusing on letter format and penmanship.

I remember some kids getting free samples of Kool-Aid back, while others got McDonald’s Happy Meal coupons. I know I was feeling left out, then one day, bam, The Mailman delivered…literally.

I can’t remember who else I might have sent a letter to, but I think experiences like this early in my childhood are why I’m still sending out TTM requests to players today. It brings back fond childhood memories, just like this.


  1. Very cool. When I still taught at the elementary level (10+ years ago), I had my students do a similar project and the kids were blown away by how many free samples they received back. Although a few kids struck out completely.

    P.S. When it came to basketball shoes, I was always a Nike guy myself. These days I wear mostly flip flops, Adidas Shell Toes, and Vans Half Cabs.

  2. Great photo. I did a similar thing in school, but wrote to my favorite radio station.. received a few bumper stickers.

  3. I remember doing this too and got coupons for Gatorade. Haha thanks Quaker Foods.

    As for basketball shoes I was wearing converse because of LJ and his "grandmama"

  4. It's the same reason I request fan packs. I did it as a kid. It's still fun to find something from a team in my mailbox.