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TAKE YOUR DANG HAT OFF SON

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NOT YOU, BUD, YOU WERE BORN WITH ONE ON

Georgia Tech v Virginia Tech Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Taking your hat off when you go inside: is it a Southern thing, or just antiquated manners, or base superstition, aaaaaand we just answered our own question, didn’t we? It’s probably all of those, but it’s something you don’t unlearn, like not stepping on graves or dying from typhus if you don’t write a thank you note after a gift. (The last one: completely accurate.)

This is odd considering the power rankings we sort of didn’t even realize we had re: people who keep their baseball caps on indoors. This is a thing we do have, btw: there are hats you would expect to see on the heads of people who don’t take their hats off indoors, either because they were raised without the chains of tradition, or because they were raised like wolves. Those rankings, presented completely off the top of our head in order of “would wear a fitted into the Sistine Chapel and not even flinch.”

  1. Notre Dame. Heavy Northeastern and Midwestern bro contingent, i.e. the kind who would wear a sweatshirt, fitted, and shorts in February on the way to see their mothers on their deathbed. Also this hat cost $95, something they will definitely not tell you about while detailing the hard grind of a summer internship at a hedge fund.
  2. Georgia. Going primarily on that sign, but also on the habits of Georgia golf-n-grill guys who believe the solution to hair issues—balding, mussed hairdos, or severe dandruff—is to place a hat on it and hope it goes away and/or you die first with said hat on.
  3. USC. Mainly repping for the West Coast contingent who believe a fitted athletic logo cap is the 21st century’s businessman fedora, and that the brim should be straight enough for dragonflies to land on like planes hitting the even, well-maintained flight deck of an aircraft carrier.
  4. Texas. See “Georgia,” but with different meats on the grill and an even bigger truck.
  5. Texas A&M. Only below Texas in probability of wearing a hat everywhere via natural affinity for rite, superstition, and especially irrational rituals. Also: might have removed hat to throw in anger at something the Aggie football team just did. Texas fans will have given up on anger, and moved directly to a well-lubricated despair since sometime during the 2010 season. (Their hats: pulled low, so as to avoid seeing anything happening, and kept firmly on the head like blast shields.)
  6. Kentucky. Less a style choice, more a lighthouse warning others I'M GONNA TALK SHIT ABOUT BASKETBALL IF YOU MENTION SPORTS IN ANY WAY, FOR REAL, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SAY YOUR NIECE PLAYS YOUTH TENNIS AND I'M UNLEASHIN
  7. Michigan. The fitted is worn twice, maybe three times before being discarded because yes, I have the money to replace them at that rate. You don’t? Shame.
  8. Virginia Tech. Strong hybrid culture of redneck baseball cap cover and expat mid-Atlantic hat game, and that’s before you count in following Bud Foster’s lead on never, ever being seen in public without a hat. It’s not even a hat, as it turns out; it’s a benign growth. "Coach Foster, you have acute snapback. There is no treatment, but you can still live a very active life."

NOT RANKED: West Virginia. Sure, they have plenty of hats. They just don’t spend time indoors.