Texas' national championship title gear headed to Haiti

Everywhere I looked before Christmas, national championship game-specific team merchandise was selling like hot cakes extolling Texas' upcoming trip to the BCS national championship game.

It didn't stop there -- as always. Before the Longhorns kicked off their Jan. 7 national championship game against Alabama, some manufacturers had already produced thousands of hats and caps they hoped to sell after a Texas victory.

But Colt McCoy got hurt early in the game and Texas lost, 37-21. It left those producers with scads of leftover merchandise that have the shelf life of Brett Favre Minnesota Vikings Super Bowl T-shirts.

Such merchandise for losing teams typically is shipped overseas to a needy country in a charitable contribution.

But the University of Texas Co-Op will send 14,000 shirts and hats a little closer to home as it ships them to Haiti through its work with Kids In Distressed Situations Inc.

George H. Mitchell, president of the school's co-op, said that he hopes providing the shirts and hats to the needy in the earthquake-ravaged country will help in some way.

"With the terrible tragedy and loss the Haitian people have suffered and are still experiencing, we do realize this donation may not be a very high priority for them," Mitchell told the Austin American-Statesman. "However, we all need clothing and this is a small contribution we can make to assist in their recovery.”

It's a positive ending to a negative memory that most Longhorn fans still are trying to forget.