Football defeat a loss for fashion, too: Philip Rivers' bolo loses mojo

bcain@newsobserver.comJanuary 15, 2014 

San Diego’s loss to Denver last weekend could signal an even greater loss in the fashion world: the bandwagon bolo tie trend.

Former N.C. State and current San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers gained significant notoriety over the past few weeks as he sported the oft-maligned bolo tie in postgame press conferences (team dress code requires a jacket and tie for those events). Reports of bolo sightings began after Rivers’ Nov. 24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs and again in December when the Chargers defeated Denver.

But it was the truly spectacular elk antler bolo Philips wore after the Jan. 5 victory over Cincinnati – a tie made by a 76-year-old Charger fan – that became a sensation on social media and the Internet, drawing comments from fans and detractors alike on Twitter:

• “I got to find me a Bolo like my man Phillip Rivers for next weekends games. Truth” – @DeionSanders

• “ALERT: Phillip Rivers wearing a bolo tie with what looks like a hub cap on it. @nflnetwork now.” – @CaptTouchBack

• “I hope the chargers keep it going in the playoffs, just to see how many more bolo ties Phillip Rivers has in his closet. #YoloBolo” – @RStephenSalinas

• “Phillip Rivers is just more proof that no one can pull off a bolo.” – @sneakygeek

• “Just when I thought Phillip Rivers couldn’t annoy me much more, there he is … in a bolo tie.” – @adjer1

• “After his post-game interview, Phillip Rivers used his bolo tie to unlock the mysteries in a children’s fantasy novel.” – @bobdust

Magical bolo?

Football fans connected the tie’s appearances with the team’s wins, making the bolo something of a lucky charm. The Union-Tribune newspaper in San Diego called it an “Accessory of Destiny” and noted that bolo tie sales had taken off in the city. Pixar animator Bobby Rubio, who also happens be a loyal Chargers fan, rendered a glorious depiction of Rivers in his magical bolo, which became the temporary online profile pic of many a Charger (and N.C. State) fan.

GQ Magazine weighed in, saying it loved bolos and Rivers’ couldn’t-care-less sense of style, but didn’t care so much for the execution. “Rivers’ bolos have grown with the team’s swagger on the path to the Super Bowl, to the point where they look more like something that would awaken a mummy, or morph a Power Ranger,” the magazine wrote.

Rivers, who broke school, ACC and NCAA records while at N.C. State, still has many devoted fans in the Wolfpack Nation.

N.C. State graduate Jim McBee, 48, promised his friends last week that he’d buy and wear a bolo tie if the Chargers beat the Broncos. Late in the game Sunday, McBee, who lives in Casper, Wyo., seemed relieved that the Chargers defense was absolving him of that promise.

“I don’t know that I was dedicated enough to the bolo proposition,” he admitted to us later that night. “Just wanted PR to finally win something.”

The fashion merits of this classic Western neckwear aside, the magic of the bolo didn’t work a second time against the Broncos, so odds are the newfound love of the bolo will also die.

But before we move on, let’s just revel in the glory of the bolo for a few minutes longer. And then may it rest in peace.

Cain: 919-829-4579; Twitter: @brookecain

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