Denver's StonerBowl.org shirts inspired by...beer?

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Big photos below.
As soon as smart asses realized this year's Super Bowl would feature teams from the two states that have legalized recreational marijuana sales, the jokes started flying, with participants including The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, the nation's meme makers and entrepreneurs hoping to generate a little cash along with some laughs. Count among the latter Bryan Matthew, a co-founder of Denver-based StonerBowl.org, which is making T-shirts and more. However, the idea behind the site wasn't inspired by the first intoxicant that springs to mind.

A few days before the Broncos took on the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship on January 19, Matthew says he and some pals started "making some jokes over beers, probably too many beers," about the prospect of teams from legal-pot states reaching the Super Bowl. "Then we started writing some of the stuff down. And there was one person at the table with the foresight to ask, 'What if we put some of these on a T-shirt and sold them?'"

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One T-shirt design from StonerBowl.org.
This question mobilized Matthew and the crew. On the Friday before the New England game, Matthew plunked down $44 to secure the StonerBowl.org address; someone in Texas already had dibs on StonerBowl.com. Then they got to work on graphics in case events broke their way -- which they did.

Fortunately for Matthew, he's got what he describes as "an almost two-decade background in nightclub and event promotion," and his associates' skills include marketing, sales and the use of social media as a hype tool. Through their assorted connections, they were able to launch the site by the middle of last week.

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A StonerBowl.org hoodie.
According to Matthew, the response "has been massive. We've received thousands of comments via social media so far, and all of them have been positive except one" -- a guy who didn't like the use of the word "stoner."

Not that the reaction has translated into untold riches. Matthew declines to talk specifics about sales, but he admits that "we're not making Jerry Seinfeld money. The jokes are spreading faster than the sales."

The StonerBowl.org yuksters aren't disappointed, though. "While it was our intention to be entrepreneurial, we didn't think we'd be able to buy new homes or cars." Besides, Matthews feels "the material will be relevant until the next Super Bowl. And we also feel as if the brand could be something we could sell at some point. If there's someone in the medical marijuana business who wants to quick-start their business with Twitter, Facebook and brand recognition that's already established, they might be interested."

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The NFL/THC shirt.
Of course, the operation does carry some inherent risk -- especially in terms of a shirt featuring the NFL logo transformed with the letters "THC." Matthew reveals that "we consulted a lawyer, and he said something in a way that only a lawyer could -- he called it 'arguable parody.' But if anyone says they're not scared of the NFL, they should be. So if somebody from the league reaches out and says, 'You better stop doing that,' we'll abide by their request. We don't want to ruffle any feathers."

Well, maybe some Seahawk feathers. Matthew is a big Broncos fan and is pulling for Denver to win -- although he's enough of a businessman to have a plan for the opposite results. "We've got designs for after the game that say 'Seattle got smoked.' But we've also got some that say 'Denver got smoked,' too."

One more thing: Matthew doesn't partake in marijuana personally -- but he says some of the others behind StonerBowl.org "might say something different."

Click for more about StonerBowl.org.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Photos: Pot Bowl 2014 T-shirts that are absolutely Super."

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19 comments
Brian McElvy
Brian McElvy

Doesn't that fall under the protected category of a "Parody".

Tavis Fong
Tavis Fong

If this circus is the blueprint, we're fuxxed.

Henry King Burgwyn VI
Henry King Burgwyn VI

ungrateful haters that refuse to acknowledge this period of time in Denver being part of one of the most important times to ever happen to Denver will try to say it is stupid. We are setting a blueprint for the rest of the country to follow and one day it will not be a big deal. These shirts will be great nostalgia one day

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

So, the "big game" has been associated with drugs for a long, long time. Those drugs are alcoholic drinks. That's never been humorous (no, actually, it's sad) but now all of a sudden, the coincidental tie-in between two states that decode to license and regulate pot is funny? No, it's sad too.

Ty Baron
Ty Baron

And here I am just learning that it was ever funny

Ryan Knaub
Ryan Knaub

i got a chuckle the first time i heard the joke, a few minutes after the seacocks won... since then it's been a nuisance.

Joe Hensley
Joe Hensley

If the super bowl was being played here or Seattle it would make sense...but its being played in NJ and those ignorant folks still think weed is bad and should be illegal.

Sid Quintana
Sid Quintana

Is this really news, what a westword waste, trying to be like those 'smart asses'

Keith Laubhan
Keith Laubhan

It was played out five minutes after the Seahawks advanced.

Michael Roque
Michael Roque

Since none of the players are stoners as per league regulations, yes it's played out.

Blayne McMillan
Blayne McMillan

Yes, it's been played out since the day both conference championships were won.

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