ENOUGH with the ILL Shirts Already!

The "ill" shirts are starting to make me sick (heyyo!)… and they might be infringing on trademarks.

At some point over the last year it became cool to wear these awful shirts.  If you're not familiar (don't worry, we have plenty of pictures below), the "ill" shirts we first designed by the hip Philly clothing store, Ubiq, according to NBC Philadelphia.  They surfaced midseason last year and were immediately a hit, selling out quickly at the Center City retailer.

This season, they hit the tipping point.

You can't walk 15 feet at a Phillies game without seeing an oversized sweat-stained version of the shirt.  It has quickly gone from fad to trend.  Every clothing designer around is trying to capitalize on this abortion of a t-shirt.

I originally thought it was just reserved for a few bandwagon hopping fans, who wanted to revel in the pure obnoxiousity of new fandom, then I took a stroll on Ocean City's boardwalk.

Every store, up and down, nothing but "ill" shirts.  Red shirts.  Blue shirts.  Orange ill.  Green ill.  Ill hats.  Ill hoodies.

Ill feeling.

Why must we choose the most awful abbreviation of "Phillies?"  Why not "Phil", or I know, I'm going to make my own shirt:  "LIES!" It celebrates the unceremonious departure of Clifton Phifer Lee.

When did this


turn into this?

As if that's not bad enough, the style is being adopted for the Flyers and Eagles too.

One retailer told us the shirts are selling like crazy.  No kidding.  Even the trendy Spot (a great place for trendy Phillies gear) is featuring the awful shirts.

The boardwalk is a great place to find out the latest douchy trend in clothing, and sadly, this one is taking over the Philly sports scene.

Not only has it gotten out of control, it may also be ingfringing on trademarks.  Most of these shirts aren't licensed, yet they are clearly using the Phillies font and likeness.  An MLB spokesperson told us they are "aware of the t-shirts, and [they] are addressing the situation."

Thank god.

Seriously, stop.




86 Responses

  1. What a stupid article. I read the first paragraph and stopped. Its a cool shirt…just because your probably fat and old doesn’t mean you can knock on the younger generation.

  2. i have an ill shirt…..i’ve always been a huge phillies fan for 19 years…so tell me know, how does a shirt i own make me less of a fan than you?

  3. Saw them in Ocean city, MD this weekend I was like omg you have got to be kidding me! I agree enough ready! They were fun for 5 mins then I was like ok pick a better abbreviation, it makes it sound like we are sick of the phils!

  4. I’m fat and old and, you got it, I don’t like nor get the popularity of these shirts. To each their own though.

  5. I always thought those shirts were for illadelph bongs and everyone wearing them was a stoner. goes to show you what I know!

  6. Why is it that the only people I see at games wearing this shit are the stoner and frat boy types? Youre not ‘ill yo’ (whatever the fuck that means) and you probably started watching baseball right around October 2008. These are the same douchebags that start tailgaiting at 3 for a 7 pm game then walk in and act like assholes while real fans are actually, oh I dont know, watching the game. Get a life stoner. You didnt care about baseball in 2001 when we had the likes of Felipe Crespo and Jose Mesa, so why do you care now? Jimmy was right, this is a town full of front runners.

  7. I like the “ill” shirts as a novelty, but they are getting out of hand. I personally do not own one, but I think they were okay for a bit there.

  8. I frequent this site and have never felt the urge to post until now. Its nice to see all the “real” Phillies faithful trashing the people wearing these shirts. Way to live up to the reputation. I dont get the hate for these shirts. Are they in everyone’s taste…..NO, but does that mean that only A-Holes wear them? I am a life long Phillies fan (in his 30s) and though I do not have any ILL merchandise, I do think that it is clever. The only element of this article that I agree with is that it has rapidly spiraled out of control. I understand the red/white/blue ILL shirts, but all of the other color combos are bordering on ridiculous. As for the copyright infringement, was this your first time at the shore? I mean seriously almost every single boardwalk store is riddled full of items that are infringing on copyrights (the urinating Calvin comes to mind).
    Instead of worrying about what kind of Phillies shirt people are wearing at the games, perhaps we should be more concerned about cheering on our team. We are in the midst of a pennant/wild card race (with half our damn team on the DL) and this is what passes as an important discussion.

  9. Damn, jealous that some people are making a buck. Not infringing anything either. Only the P in Phillies is copyrighted. Im guessing you are probably a Yankees fan too cause you are hating that the Phillies get a bigger and bigger fan base. Or you’re probably the same fan that hates when any Philly team gets to a big game and then a bunch of people jump on the band wagon, huh? Who really cares?! It makes it a lot more fun! More people cheering, more excitement in every play, more adrenaline for the player and fans. Stop being such a self-absorbed haphazard clown

  10. No, it bothers me that something Ive loved my entire life (even when it was unpopular to do so) has now turned into a fad. Its not just the shirts, its the whole mentality of the new ballpark. You get these people who cant pay attention to a 9 inning game, and have to start the wave in the 8th inning of a 1-0 game (that the Phillies need badly, by the way) against the Mets.

  11. I agree that it’s getting out of hand but Jesus H. Christ why should I, or anyone for that matter, care how someone shows their support for the Phightins ??
    I’ve lways been a Phils fan..I’m in my 30’s, have LOADs of shirts, sweatshirts, hats etc.. and I have an ill shirt.. so freaking what!?!? Why do you give a rat’s a$$ what I spend my $$ on??

  12. The boardwalk presence is what does it for me too. The fact that it’s coupled with all those dumb shirts that either have neon paintball splashes, tapout, Ed hardy, “juicy”, or something that plays off a beer logo, not to mention all the knock off NFL jerseys, “ill” has run it’s course into the ground. It’s most certainly “bros” who buy it up, and it wasn’t hard to keep myself from joining the crowd.

  13. Wow what a pointless article, I want my time back that I spent reading this to use it on buying this “ill” shirt.. What’s with Philadelphia fans constantly crying about bandwagon fans of their own teams? As a solid flyers/phillies/eagles fan for 20+ years, I think you should find something better to waste your time worrying about, enjoy the teams for the game.

  14. what’s wrong with people supporting their team in a cool way? most teams would kill for a chance to have shirts as popular as these

  15. This site is lame about a lot of other fans and loves to call out hurt players and fans on dumb shit. Why don’t you do a little research on sprained ankles before calling out Howard you dumba$$. You can normally walk on them a few days after, but it still hurts and can be resprained easy. I should know, i’ve done it a billion times. Crossing Broad?!?! More like crossing Broadway. Go back to NYC you self-hating Philly fans. I bet you ride a fix geared bike.

  16. I just recently bought an Ill shirt. I am female, 26 years old and have always been a Phillies fan. I have season tickets, witnessed the 2008 World Series win firsthand and was one of the last out of my seat when they called Game 5 for weather. Summer means baseball to me, not the beach. The sound of summer is the crack of the bat, not the thud of a base to fist pump to. I do not totally disagree about who I see usually wearing these shirts, but I wanted to inform that there are some who are true fans and genuine people who wear the ILL with pride. Although I also have an Ed Hardy hat and I can imagine what kind of ignorant stereotype I’d be labeled with wearing both lol. GO PHILLIES!

  17. I agree completely. Shirt was cool when it first came out. Now it’s like an overplayed song on the radio. Enough already.

  18. Just clicked on this link from someones facebook post. Never been to this site before but after looking around I will not be back. Anyone who likes this site definitely isn’t a real fan of any philly team. All they seem to do is talk crap about all the players and fans. and try very hard to get people to hate on other fans and stuff. stupid!!!!! sports bring citys and towns and stuff together.

  19. Jeeze dude did you not have a good BM this morning? Who gives a crap about the Ill shirts? Seriously? I picked one up over a year ago at the Gallery because I had seen very few around previously, and it was a nice break from the overly played out Hamels/Howard/Utley jerseys. I agree it may be getting too played out at the moment (I stopped wearing mine), but if you don’t like it, don’t buy it.
    PS – take a shit, you might feel better.

  20. Shirt is dope. It’s ashame some one wastes an article on a fan made creation to grow phillies support in a fun way. I wasted my time reading this.

  21. I have to agree with this article, working on the OC board walk it’s nothing but the “ill” and “free hugs” I will admit last August I saw the shirt worn on the Jimmy Fallon show and made my way over to Ubiq and bought two but now I’m ashamed to even own these things. I feel like the biggest asshole walking around wearing it and dread ever wearing it to a Phillies game.

  22. Please stop wearing those ill shirts to the games. They are so distracting because of how douchey they are! Ps that wasn’t me at dorney park!

  23. hes just jealous that he didnt think of it. He needs to stop crying like a bitch and using his tears as lube while he jacks off in the corner or his room (his parents basement). Get a life, douche. I hope you get cancer of the aids of the lukemia of the eyes. Hey I also bet your a yankees fan too. How does gAy-Rod’s dick taste?

  24. this is one of the most pointless articles EVER TO BE WRITTEN! your just mad your an old fart & your hating on a younger generation. “ill” happens to be “slnag” do you know what “SLANG” IS? let me help you out…
    Slang- slang is the continual and ever-changing use and definition of words in informal conversation, often using references as a means of comparison or showing likeness. some modern slang has endured over the decades since its inception (i.e. cool) and some will only last a few years before being rendered obsolete or outdated (i.e. bling bling). slang can be born from any number of situations or ideas (the word slang itself has come to represent selling, especially of illegal drugs), and can be blunt or riddled with metaphor, and often quite profound.
    the use of slang is frequently ridiculed by culturally-ignorant people who feel it is the product of insufficient education and believe it to be counter-evolutionary; of course, they couldn’t be farther from the truth. human language has been in a state of constant reinvention for centuries, and slang has been used and created by poets and writers of all sorts (William Shakespeare has been credited for the upbringing of at least a couple of words). it is the right and responsibility of the modern human to keep re-evaluating language, to give dead words innovative contemporary meanings or to simply invent new ones, in order to be more appealing and representative to the speaker/listener (which was essentially the basis behind language anyway, to understandably…
    therfore meaning that “ill” has a definiton as well let me help you again…
    ill- Contrary to most of the definitions found here, this is the correct one:
    ‘ILL’ : Adjective meaning ‘wild’ or ‘crazy’. Not always derogatory, but used when something may be so outrageous so as to be unruly.
    ‘ILLIN’: Adjective or Verb. Lunatic behaviour. See above.
    “The guy was drunk – he was Illin'”
    “With those green and yellow clothes you look real ill.”
    are we caught up on your lesson now??? i hope so. because contrary to YOUR opinion on these shirts, A LOT of phillies fans like them. NOT just bandwagon fans but reall phillies fans, & this is probably the best thing to come out to show support for the team. & all the philly teams.
    anddddddddddddd i if i remember correctly & i do… when jayz came out with “empire state of mind” & the new york yankees took it on as there song… a local phillies fan made his own version called “ill state of mind” for philly which can also support the shirts…

  25. These shirts are just a reminder as to how “ILL” Philadelphia teams really are so you might want to lay off the HATERADE a little bit.

  26. Oh my bad, I didnt realize that the word ‘Phillies’ wasnt cool anymore. When you say things like ‘ill’ and ‘illadelp, yo’, you sound like an uneducated, lower class degenerate. I cant wait until these clowns get sued and the shirts are banned from the ballpark.

  27. I’m a stickler for traditional. The ill shirts didn’t bother as much until this year when they seemed to multiply. And then they started making them in different colors. If you are going to wear one, at least wear one that is red or blue…or I’ll give you a pass for a green/Irish one in memory of Tugger. I don’t get the other colors unless they are trying make this a “Philly” thing instead of just a “Phillies” thing. Still no excuse for pink or yellow.

  28. i agree. one everyone i know who owns or likes these shirts was never a phillies fan before they won the series. and two my main point, if youre gonna support your team wear the actually logo/colors your team wears. i hate these shirts and i hate those stupid pink jerseys they make for girls, wear the true colors of your team. god i am so sick of all these new phillies and flyers fans.

  29. It’s not a matter of the word “Phillies” being uncool. It’s just someone taking a spin of the word and attracting it to a younger “slang speaking” crowd. Again, I don’t own one but I think it is pretty clever. It also serves as a nice change from all of the t-shirt jerseys that everyone in the damn ballpark is wearing. If you want to call out some fans…how about the people that still run around in their Jim Thome jerseys. Im not saying throw it away, but do you really need to wear it to the ballpark? Same goes for the Cliff Lee stuff. I understand that he was great and I enjoyed having him as much as the next guy but he’s gone and he ain’t coming back so give it a rest. I actually saw a clever shirt the other night. It was a Lee jersey T and the kid add haLEEday to the back. Kind of clever. At least its not the same ole same ole.

  30. For as awful as those “ill” shirts are…don’t shoot me if I say I’m significantly more disgusted by the “miss me yet?” George W. shirt that’s chilling next to the “ill” shirts in the 2nd picture.

  31. Love all the feedback! Mission accomplished.
    Agreed. These shirts looks dumb, but to each their own. The demographic is there and as long as they exist it’ll make money. Sadly, it is copyright infringement. Everything inch of the Phillies logo is owned by the team/MLB. A cease and desist can be issued to stop sales then they can go ahead and sell it themselves. They may have to pay fines, too. It’s all in the hands of MLB and I wouldn’t be surprised if their preparing to do such a thing.

  32. ill = for the younger crowd? I call bull shit. I’m 22 years old; I’ve been a die hard Phillies fan my whole life, from the days of Daulton and Dykstra, to Glanville and Gant. In all of my time as a Phillies fan, I’ve always worn a Red “P” Cap, and have worn t-shirts that say “Phillies”, or “Phillies” jerseys. Tell me why it’s so hard for these so called younger fans to wear “Phillies” apparel, as opposed to “ill” apparel?
    ill = Slang? I call bull shit again. I grew up in the Frankford Neighborhood of Philadelphia, and even went to Frankford High School. If there ever was a place for the creation, and use for “Slang”, then it was there. And I can tell you, that not one person would ever use “ill” as a slang term for the Phillies. The use of the word “ill” to describe the Phillies sounds like something the Douchebags on Jersey Shore would come up with. Or even something a Noo Yauka would come up with.
    So I say “Nay” on the “ill” shirts.

  33. I am 26 and have been a Phillies Fan my whole life(and if you don’t believe me I have the tattoo to prove it…I am a lifer)! I own a “ill” Shirt in blue and a Orange one for the flyers and I don’t see anything wrong with it. Do you disagree with the Phillies shirts with the players nicknames on them? I own a Shirt that has Chooch on the back and one that says RAUUUUULLL. Are we not allowed to support our teams in different ways? To each is own! Get over it! Not everyone is a bandwagon jumper.

  34. It just seems like our generation wants stupid hip hop related garbage to take over the world, and its getting utterly ridiculous. Its not just with these shirts either, its every where you go. These shirts are made for absolutely no good reason except to get idiots to wear even dumber looking outfits…as if the t-shirt dresses weren’t bad enough. Please, can we keep thug life away from one of the few things we can still enjoy. I love my sports, and I want it to stay that way.

  35. It’s fairly obvious. Do I need to really explain? I suppose so. Only the idiots who wear sideways hats, shirts that are 8 sizes too big, shorts that go down to their ankles, and underwear that shows are the types who would use the word “ILL”. For example… “Yo dawg, dat new muffler youz spent all yourz welfare check on is flat all ill yo. Dem 9G rimz be da hot ill shit yo”.
    The decay of society ^

  36. I’ve never met anyone, nor heard anyone who sounds close to that. Who speaks like that?

  37. Haha. Then I guess you don’t get out enough. I seem to encounter it everyday. Its the typical moronic trash, that’s doing nothing with their lives other then spending all our hard earned money to sup their 84 Hondas. Word up!

  38. by the way, I’ve seen this shirt many times being worn by perceivably normal, well-dressed human beings who speak English just fine.

  39. So…yeah I do think this is kind of a weird abbreviation. I’m only 16 and have been watching the Phillies since I was a wee tot. Like, ill? I think it sounds a bit negative. But hey, I guess if people like it, they can wear it…I’m not though. :p

  40. Which is part of the problem. The few well mannered normal people who are wearing these, are essentially wearing them to be “cool”. They’re basically saying “Hey, It’s alright to want to appear like these clowns”.

  41. what a waste of time for you to complain about shirts!!!!philly fans will wear what they want, who cares!!!!!

  42. crossing broadway…. that was actually really funny…and i’m a phillies fan… and i don’t hate myself because of that lol.

  43. Why are there so many people who hate this site yet still read and comment on everything? It’s not CNN people. It’s a damn blog. Journalistic integrity is not a requirement.
    I like it here. And I hate ILL shirts.

  44. Im 20 and think these shirts are fucking stupid, I don’t care how old you are or how many years you allegedly have had season tickets for, or what the fuck you were doing when brad lidge recorded the final out. The word “Ill” is rather disgraceful. Answer this question. What does Ill exactly mean? Are you not feeling well? I cant imagine any of you walking around telling your coworkers or classmates that you are ILL without getting strange looks. All in all, go phils and buy a domonic brown shirt instead of this ill bullshit. Everyone that walks by you at CBP is assuming that you are a beer guzzling, dave matthews listening, fist pumping douchebag.

  45. the people wearing the shirts spent money just like you did to go to a game, chILL, im sure you dont have a problem with the poorly made “world phuckin champions” shirts and redneck trucker hats. if you love the team so much, seeing their likeness spread all over the del val should be an amazing thing. bandwagon jumpers always appear when a team is sucessful, i.e. the reason for so many knuckle head yankees fans. i have waited all of my life to see a championship in philly and the parade was the most amazing time to be a philly fan, and welcome new ones. no one cared who was a bandwagon jumper or a lifetime fan. relax, it’ll fade, until then, ignore it and spend more time figuring out how to get howard and utley to start carrying the team through september.
    p.s. enough with cliff lee, would have been awesome to keep him, but you and i both know that if we kept him and he got that injury in philly that he did in seattle, WIP would have been lighting up with people saying we should have gotten something for him. we cant bring him back, as much as we’d love to, so why pine on it?

  46. I am young, just 19, and I HATE these shirts with a fiery burning passion. I remember back in 4th grade, when I was the only kid in my entire school who would have phillies stuff. I had a passion for this team and now its just a trend like anything else. and the Ill shirts are just another reminder of them. They are stupid, ugly, obnoxious and everything that is wrong with the new fans.

  47. My brother is not a frat boy, not a stoner, and he loves these shirts. He’s proud of his team, and wants to show support in the style that suits him. You can hate on the shirt all you want, but remember, not everyone is a follower. He was in the heart of the celebration when they won, it was a pretty big deal! Quite frankly, buying a lakers jersey or David Beckham jersey is more bandwagony than this.

  48. it’s not an abbreviation for the name. “ill” is meant to mean cool or awesome. just like “fly” is meant to mean fresh or hip. i’m annoyed by them too. you should know what you’re talking about before you speak though.

  49. can’t wait to wear an ill shirt to every Phillies game from now on to annoy people that care too much about what others are wearing.

  50. Nuorgam odottaa vielä joulun ajaksi palvelijaansa, voisitko rukoilla asian puolesta.
    Samoin kolulumme rakennusten pienet kunnostustyöt odottavat tekijäänsä. Talvi o0n sopivaa aikaa sellaiseen puhdetyöhön. Muistakaa myös venäjällä olevaa juutalaisyhteisöä, rukoilkaa rauhaa Israelille.

  51. Thinly sliced salmon with serve-yourself garnishes of capers and onions, vegetables with dip and cheese platters were also laid out on both sides of the room, but beyond the typical cubes of mozzarella and cheddar, there was also a lavish Michigan Artisan Cheese table, sponsored by Meijer, that encompassed an impressive array of specialty cheeses, presented and served up by local creameries.

  52. Allen at Division is right. British politics and courts are very different. I would have a difficult time in a British courtroom with a judge that looked like this. I would definitely be thrown in the gaol. Notice how I threw the British term for jail in there?

  53. What I like most about this article is that it comes up at the top of Google when I search “What do the ill shirts mean?” Also, I agree that these shirts have gotten out of hand. So have the FREE HUGS and COME AT ME BRO shirts. I will never hug nor come at you bro, so leave me alone. But these shirts do serve their purpose however. You used to have to talk to people to figure out if they were complete douches or not. Now, we have certain shirts to mark these assholes as lesser beings and to be immediately written off as such.

  54. I love the ill shirts and I have been a Phillies fan since the 80s. I have no problem with the alternate colors; in fact I hate red. Don’t tell me I have to wear the “colors” of my team sorry when I became a fan it was maroon and light blue! I must have 3 dozen phillies shirts and only one is red. Quite a few “throwback” shirts in maroon/light blue and the rest mostly white, blue, or grey, and green for st pats of course. When you go to the stadium and you see hundreds of the same red phillies logo shirts I personally think it’s fun to “stand out” a bit by showing your phillies love in a slightly different look. To each their own but I think having so much hate for a phillies shirt is absurd. I love walking around and seeing everyone in Phillies gear! Have to agree with other commenters that this is a STUPID article.

  55. I love how this guy doesn’t even get the hip hop slang. GET OFF MY LAWN hahahaha. Amazing article.

  56. It represents Philly. Why are you so against it? Shut up already, please. Let us Philadelphians wear what we want in peace.

  57. The word “ill” in this case is a short version of the HopHop nickname for Philadelphia, “illadelph”. Get a grip. It is bad enough Philly is always told to act like NYC or that we are not as important as Washington DC. Yet, to shoot down a catchy idea that give a moment of pride in our city is just a weak show of how you are just a tool of NYC and DC in trying to make Philadelphia a less important place in the history of this country. Despite the fact General Washington did have slaves, Philly was the first capitol of the USA. It is the birthplace of the declaration of independence of the USA. It is the city of the creation of the first flag of the USA despite how many people and companies violate the Flag Code of the USA. It is the region that has a sandwich named after it (hoagie name after sandwiches created on Hog Island, near the airport many years ago) despite the fact California wants us to call them Subs (in reference to the shape of a submarine) or NYC calling them Heroes (in reference to the side of the sandwich). We are the internationally know home of the best DJs on the planet. Our DJs created the transformer scratch. Philly has many things that make it of utmost importance in historical value as well as the birthplace of the Cheesesteak (not just those Cheez Whiz stomach killers either). So leave “ill” and “illadelph” alone. It is another way for people to show pride in their home. I don’t see you making shirts with the clothespin on it. Th clothespin represents a couple holding each other taking a kiss. Where is your “Love park statue” shirts or your Rocky Balboa – Italian Stallion gear? You may be the author of this article. It is a weak attempt at being a true journalist because you did not looks at more sides and angles of this story with a true discerning eye. Yet, in a world that tries to make people from Philadelphia feel as if they are second class citizens, leave this alone. Other people in other cities are wearing this just like you are probably wearing a pair of Air Jordan sneakers or “sporting” a New York Yankees hat right now. If you do’t like it that much, leave Philly and don’t let the Soda Tax hit you in your behind when you pay for your Italian Hoagie.

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