It Takes A Village to Stitch 20,000 Dallas Cowboys Sweatshirts

Top Headlines


Obama Returns From Trade Summit With 5 Stout Ships Full Of Cardamom, Silk, And Indigo

WASHINGTON— Exhausted, berimed with salt, and haggard from his long sea journey, but nevertheless triumphant as he guided his fleet to port following the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Barack Obama is said to have made harbor in Washington, D.C.’s anchorage Monday, his five sturdy galleons choked to the very gunwales with the finest silks, casks of redolent cardamom, and great cakes of vivid dye-of-indigo retrieved from the far Orient.

Goals Of The U.N. General Assembly

The 70th United Nations General Assembly takes place this week, with member countries focusing on plans to address global sustainability, economic growth, and the Syrian refugee crisis, among other major topics. Here are the main goals of this year’s assembly:

Pope Francis’ U.S. Itinerary

Pope Francis is making his first visit to the U.S. this week, with stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia as he speaks to government officials and conducts large-scale masses. Here is a full itinerary of the pope’s visit

A Primer On Pope Francis’ Views

Pope Francis has garnered much international attention in the first two and a half years of his papacy, taking a more liberal approach to women’s issues, the family unit, and the environment than his predecessors. Here is a primer on prominent global issues and the pope’s views on them:

Shoddy Chinese-Made Stock Market Collapses

SHANGHAI—Proving to be just as flimsy and precarious as many observers had previously warned, the Chinese-made Shanghai Composite index completely collapsed Monday, sources confirmed.

Why Westerners Join ISIS

With more than 150 Americans accused of attempting to fight alongside ISIS in Syria and countless young Europeans allegedly joining or supporting the terrorist group, many are left wondering what a population of extremists has to offer Westerners a world away. Here are some reasons these people might want to ally with ISIS

Nicaraguan Diplomat Drops Deadly Spider Onto John Kerry’s Blanket

ISLA GRANDE DEL MAÍZ, NICARAGUA—Creeping stealthily into the bungalow where John Kerry lay sleeping after a trade summit Thursday, Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Santos López, illuminated only by a sliver of moon, reportedly slid open the lid of a small pine box and released a deadly Brazilian wandering spider onto the blanket of his American counterpart.

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

U.S. Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles

WASHINGTON—Following Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heated objections to the nuclear deal struck between the United States and Iran, American officials announced Tuesday that they were calming the upset head of government by treating him to a nice, big shipment of ballistic missiles.

World Begins Another Day At Mercy Of 19-Year-Old Estonian Hacker

TALLINN, ESTONIA—With the private data of national governments and entire global industries at his fingertips, sources confirmed this morning that yet another day had begun with the whole world helplessly at the mercy of 19-year-old Estonian computer hacker Jüri Pevkur.

FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

Items Found In Bin Laden’s Compound

On Wednesday, the U.S. government declassified more than 400 documents and other material seized from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout during the 2011 raid that resulted in his death. Here are some of the items found in the former al-Qaeda leader’s compound

U.S. Worried About Living Up To Netanyahu Campaign Promises

WASHINGTON—Saying the Likud Party leader had set Israeli citizens’ expectations extremely high in the run up to his reelection Tuesday, top-level sources expressed their worry Wednesday about whether the United States would actually be able to...

A Timeline Of U.S.-Israel Relations

A congressional visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has reportedly rankled President Obama is the latest issue in what have often been strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Mankind Tired Of Having To Remind Itself Of Good In World

PARIS—In the wake of this week’s terrorist attacks on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo and two ensuing armed standoffs that together left over a dozen innocent civilians dead, humankind admitted Friday that it is sick and tired of having ...

Schlubs From U.S., China Meet In Lowest-Level Talks

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA—In an effort to strengthen diplomatic ties between the global superpowers’ most oafish representatives, sources confirmed Thursday that schlubs from the United States and China met in Australia this week for a series of low...

Iranian Team Openly Working On Bomb In Negotiating Room

VIENNA—Asserting the Middle Eastern nation’s right to a safe, peaceful energy program, members of the Iranian diplomatic team attempted to seek more favorable terms of a deal with the P5+1 global powers while openly assembling a nuclear weapon...

Where Is Kim Jong-Un?

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public since September 3. Here is the latest speculation on his whereabouts

How China Stifles Dissent

Recent clashes with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have refocused international scrutiny on the Chinese government’s efforts to quell social unrest and silence demonstrators.

Nation Admits It Could Probably Be Talked Into Another War

WASHINGTON—While they acknowledged that getting behind such a plan might take a little convincing, the American populace admitted this week that they could, in all likelihood, be talked into another war. Citizens across the nation told reporters tha...

Ugly Custody Battle Over Ian McKellen Narrowly Avoided

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—Following Scotland’s referendum Thursday rejecting independence from the United Kingdom, sources confirmed that a protracted and ugly custody battle over celebrated actor Sir Ian McKellen had been narrowly avoided.

Tips For Achieving Peace In The Middle East

With the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalating, sectarian violence boiling over in Iraq, and Syria mired in a civil war that’s now more than three years old, the Middle East continues to be plagued by bloodshed and unrest.

Experts: Ebola Vaccine At Least 50 White People Away

CONAKRY, GUINEA—With the death toll in West Africa continuing to rise amid a new outbreak of the Ebola virus, leading medical experts announced Wednesday that a vaccine for the deadly disease is still at least 50 white people from being developed.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage



College Freshman Decides To Be Lanyard-Wearing Kind

ANN ARBOR, MI—Emphasizing that this was not a choice he had made lightly, University of Michigan student Kevin Peterson told reporters Thursday that he had officially decided to become one of the lanyard-wearing kind of freshmen.

It Takes A Village to Stitch 20,000 Dallas Cowboys Sweatshirts

In this life, we need the help of others to get by. No one person—nor two, nor four, nor even forty—is enough to undertake the task of producing thousands of pieces of officially licensed NFL merchandise. You cannot do it alone. It takes a total team effort. Indeed, here in Guatemala, we have a saying: It takes a village to stitch 20,000 Dallas Cowboys sweatshirts.

Look at this fine, upstanding Russell Athletic-brand sweatshirt. Do you think one person could have brought this item into the world in isolation? Of course not. It takes the contributions of every last member of the community. We all have a job to do, whether it be sewing on the sleeves, silk-screening the silver-and-blue Cowboys star onto the chest, or checking for irregularities.

Sure, it's hard work. But you know what? It's well worth it. That sense of teamwork and collective responsibility shows in each and every sweatshirt. From the durable, double-stitch fabric to the stain-resistant cotton weave, a sweatshirt raised here in Quetzaltenango is well-prepared for whatever the world may throw at it, be it a tackle-football game in the park or a salsa spill on the couch.

Just as the Cowboys offensive line must work together to protect quarterback Chad Hutchinson from opposing pass rushers, we must all work together to protect Quetzaltenango from losing its Russell Athletic factory to a neighboring village. Let's say that someone in our happy enclave of productivity falls ill with malaria and can't meet her quota. It is up to the rest of the villagers to stand together and fill that order so that the contract doesn't go to, say, the people of Totonicapán.

I take pride in the work we are doing. These sweatshirts are going to Cowboys fans who really appreciate well-made, great-looking team gear. These fans will be the first to speak ill of a shoddily made sweatshirt to other prospective buyers. That is why, as a village, we must look after one another to ensure that everyone is pulling his or her weight. We must also make sure that our fellow villagers do not get their fingers sliced off in the material cutting machine, potentially jamming the works and slowing production with a work-time injury. We are all tied to our village through pride, just as we are tied to the embroidery machines with a comfortable length of rope.

Sweatshirt-rearing, mind you, is not exclusively the job of adults. Children play a vital role in the process, as well. While some of Quetzaltenango's villagers may only be 7 years old, they are not too young to sew in a tag or make sure that there is no rippling or cracking in the screen job. They, like the adults, must look beyond their own needs to help make these tackle-twill sweatshirts the kind we can all be proud of. Without them, fans of America's Team would not have a comfortable and stylish way to show their support for Emmitt and the rest of the boys in blue.

We don't do this for the money—although $15 a month is certainly a generous salary. We also don't do it for the fame, although everyone in southwest Guatemala knows which town has the Russell Athletic sweatshop. We do this for the Plano, TX, bank teller who wears one of our pre-shrunk Dallas Cowboys sweatshirts while watching his team take on the hated Philadelphia Eagles. For the Ft. Worth tax attorney who wears one while cheering on the team from his company's skybox at Texas Stadium. And for all of Dallas, a city that truly bleeds silver and blue.

So you see, the village cannot function without the contributions of each individual. Without each villager, there would be no one to unload hundreds of bolts of cotton fleece to the manufacturing floor. There would be no one to operate the industrial cutting implements to shear off enough fabric to cover an XXXL torso. And there would be no one to sew, emblazon, and pack these sweatshirts so they may be sent to the hard workers of another village far away—a village called Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.

Yes, our allegiance lies with the greatest fans in the entire world, the fans of the Dallas Cowboys. Unless, of course, that long-rumored Starter jacket factory finally comes to town. I understand they pay 30 cents an hour. Then it's 49ers all the way.