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Trivia Corner

In 1920, Benjamin Russell Jr., a quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team, was tired of the constant chafing and itching caused by their wool football uniforms.

He worked with his father, whose company made women’s and children’s knit garments, to come up with a better option. They created a thick cotton practice jersey that was a modification of a ladies’ union suit top. These loose, collarless pullovers were the first sweatshirts.

A new division of the company, focusing solely on the production of sweatshirts, became the Russell Athletic Company.