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El Paso Chihuahuas ‘Ugly’ Dog Face Jersey Divides a Community

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Social media comments on the special jerseys with a dog’s face on them the El Paso Chihuahuas plan to wear for the next Bark in the Park promotion mostly range from “Gawd awful” to “Horrible” to “WTF?!!”

And the fact that the team plans to auction them off and donate the proceeds to our local Humane Society hasn’t softened the criticism much. While the charity angle is appreciated by many, “Don’t like shirts. Like the cause,” is the prevailing feeling locally on the web.

Ever since the Mountain Star Sports Group persuaded the El Paso City Council to approve a deal to finance the stadium in 2012, the decision has divided the community. And despite recently setting a new single-season attendance record for minor league baseball in El Paso, almost any and everything Chihuahuas is still controversial. The dog face jerseys is just the latest.

Nationally, however, and especially in sports circles, the reaction has been much more positive. USA Today declared them “majestic, regal, and refined” and “the best jerseys in sports.” CBS called them “outstanding.” And Yahoo Sports thinks they’re “awesome” – albeit “a little creepy too with those large eyes zeroing in on you.”

As innovative as minor league ball is and has been, shirts with the proportion of the dog faces done up so the sleeves look like the mutts’ ears is not original. A Google image search will bring up many, many results of such clothing, including one of a Chihuahua that looks almost exactly like the team’s special jersey.

What is novel and fresh is that no team has had the cajones before to field a team with their players looking like, as put it, “[a] dog-obsessed middle aged aunt [who] took a picture of her pet chihuahua, blew it up to the size of a man’s torso and silk screened it onto the front of a baseball jersey.”

And for that I say, kudos to you C-dogs.

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