This Just In: February 12 - 19 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


Summary: A small, South Side business owner is tackled by the NFL over T-shirts. Station: Alan Jennings, WPXI Channel 11 Airtime: 2 minutes, 6 seconds on Feb. 6 Visuals: * Outside the South Side shop, with signage in the window that reads, "Thanks for the season." * Highlights from the Steelers Super Bowl win, showing Big Ben hoisting the Lombardi. Highlights: * When anchor Peggy Finnegan reads with great urgency, "Our top story at 5:30 -- sales shut down! The NFL nixes sales of some popular Super Bowl shirts. Shirts celebrating the Steelers Super Bowl win have been flying off store shelves all week." * When Jennings dramatizes, "Penalty flag. Not here at Heinz Field, but thrown right on the doorstep of a South Side T-shirt maker. The NFL sent him a letter and said, 'Knock it off. Stop making them. Or we'll see you in court.'" * When Dan Rugh, owner of CommonWealth Press, confirms, "They asked me to stop and I'm gonna stop." Jennings reiterates, "That simple," and Rugh responds, "It's that simple." * When Jennings reads the sign in Rugh's storefront: "'Effective immediately, we are no longer selling any football-related merchandise.' The sign appeared soon after the NFL sent a cease-and-desist order to Rugh's small operation. The NFL said his T-shirt with the words 'Yes we can,' and depicting the Lombardi trophy, violates NFL copyrights. The NFL also complained about a T-shirt Rugh printed and sold with 'Sixburgh' on it, using Steelers black and gold, claiming that, too, was a violation." * When Jennings blabbers, "New Steelers merchandize started flying off printing machines shortly after the Santonio Holmes catch heard rounnnd the world. It triggered an avalanche of brand-new, world-champ merchandise. Anything without the official NFL logo and hologram is illegal. [Rugh] told me it was a misunderstanding, and that he stopped printing and stopped selling the instant he was notified." * When Rugh asks Jennings, "Have you ever seen the guys that work for the NFL?" He gestures by raising an arm above his head -- "About that big." * When Jennings clarifies that Rugh "does understand it really is no laughing matter and he's going to cooperate. The NFL has also demanded that Rugh give an accounting of the Web-site sales of those shirts, because they may be entitled to a percentage of it." What We Learned: Some of the best "misunderstandings" have been resolved by the threat of a lawsuit. Unanswered Questions: This your top story? Aren't we running out of Steelers-related stories yet? News Value: 2. I'm sure this isn't the only place in town peddling unlicensed wares ... how about a big exposé?

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