We've dispatched an intern to the Hall of Records on a fact-finding mission yet even before the empirical data is in, we feel confident in saying that yesterday was one of the best ever for quarter-zips. Combine the news of Jim Nantz stepping away from Final Four duties after one last job in Houston with the ManningCast hosting President Barack Obama during Monday Night Football and the garment was soaring high while still allowing some air flow to reach the upper torso. Quarter-zips are not just having a moment, they are dictating the moment one 40-plus dad at a time. They are ubiquitous on golf courses and board rooms and serve as a constant reminder to strive toward those KPIs outlined in Q4.
This marks progress in the long-simmering and hard-fought battle against overdressing on television. When one stops and considers just how much the dress code has been relaxed for on-air talent, it's both inspiring and cause to wonder what the hell took so long. Because everyone looks nice in the get-up. Millionaire broadcasters can afford the finest threads and most flattering fit, yet even a young journalist performing a Friday Night Frenzy through the local high school football action is comfortable and appropriately professional.
Some would look at this and say we made it. That it's time to stop and rest on our 3/4th-zipped laurels. Dreamers like myself, however, wonder just how far we can push to needle closer to comfort casual. Close your eyes and imagine a highly-functioning society that welcomes the track jacket to television. Wouldn't that be a place you'd like to live?
The quarter-zip community is full of enthusiasts who occupy C-suites so let's not get it twisted. They are perfectly fine. But a track jacket is the superior sartorial unit. It has everything it's more closed companion can offer yet one thing it cannot. Maximum autonomy. A track jacket can be zipped to any completion. It can be fly completely open if one is feeling wild and has a vintage band T-shirt they want to display. It has — and this cannot be stated enough — a more prodigious and firm collar that elongates a person and nestles like a security blanket.
Now, with great power comes great responsibility. Critics would correctly point out that a proliferation of track jackets would lead to many Steve Buscemi Hello, Fellow Kids moments as grandfathers try to channel the energy of a college sophomore. Advancement is messy work and setbacks are inevitable.
We can only know if we try.