George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
When it comes to the world of athletics, it's safe to say there's very few of us who can shoot like Michael Jordan, throw like Joe Montana, drive the ball like Tiger Woods or swim like Michael Phelps. But that fact doesn't affect the millions of Americans who go to the basketball courts, golf courses or swimming pools each and every day. For most of us, sports is about fun, exercise and recreation, and there are four Havre natives, and all-around great athletes in their own time, who are making sure the regular sports enthusiast has a place to be heard, products of their own to wear and an avenue to explore which is outside the realm of the seemingly unattainable and increasingly detached world of professional and big time amateur sports. Former Havre High graduates Dave Worstell, Eric Hanson, Brent Baldwin and Mark Peterson came together with Great Falls native and Missoula resident Dave Peppenger and lard butt Emeritush Chris Carlson of Havre to form lardbutt.com. The company and web site is, as it states on the site's "about-us" section, an apparel and lifestyle company for below-average athletes, providing athletic apparel for the rest of us. The site features a well-updated blog for weekend warriors and sports enthusiasts from all walks of life to communicate and share stories, as well as a list of related events and charities, a place to share photos and the group's popular line of apparel. "The four of us grew up in Havre, played sports and continue to play sports and live an active lifestyle to this day," Peterson, who lives in Seattle said. "We've all went on to do different things but have always kept in touch over the years and stayed close. And this is something we started together, basically out of fun and pretty humble beginnings." Indeed, the "lard butt" idea began when the group got together for annual ski trip in Whitefish several years ago. They had t-shirts made with the lard butt logo on them, and during the trip, and at times when one or more of them was wearing a shirt, they would be approached about where one could be purchased. The idea spawned form there, and in 2005 in Seattle, the group met for what would be known as a "lard butt summit" meeting. The group began to produce more "lard butt" apparel, and earlier this year, launched the company's full web site and online store. "Our motto is 'get cracking,'" Peterson said. "In this world of highpriced athletes and steroids and all that is going on with the professional sports, we just felt like there is a niche for people like us, people who still love to play sports, live an active lifestyle and do the things we used to do in competitive sports, but who also don't take things so seriously. This is about fun and friendship and looking at sports from a positive, healthy and humorous standpoint." And the response has been phenomenal. Since the group started producing more apparel, "lard butts" have been spotted all over the country. The web site has pictures of people in "lard butt" apparel at such places as a Nascar event in New Hampshire and the NCAA basketball tournament. And Peterson said since the launch earlier this year, the amount of "lard butts" has grown and grown. And, like the group says, "why not," because all of us who may be past our prime when it comes to competitive athletics have had a "lard butt moment." At least one, or more, and that's what the movement is all about. "People who visit our site are going to find updated, funny and relevant content," Peterson said. "And it's really a place for everybody who loves sports and who enjoys living an active lifestyle. It's not just the below average athlete or the weekend warrior, I think it's for anybody who loves sports like we do, and still enjoys the fun and humorous aspect of it. That's what we're about is including everyone on that level, and I think people who come to the site will really enjoy what they read and see." Havre's "lard butt" founders Dave Worstell (HHS Class of 1986) was an outstanding football and basketball player for the Blue Ponies He represented Havre in the 1986 East-West Shrine Game (tight end). Eric Hanson (HHS Class of 1988) was a basketball and baseball standout in Havre who played college basketball for Northern Montana College and semi-pro baseball (nasty left-handed pitcher) in Canada. Brent Baldwin (HHS Class of 1988) a lifelong sports enthusiast who was candidly a better basketball player in high school than many guys were who were on the Blue Pony roster. Mark Peterson (HHS Class of 1988) played football, basketball and ran track for Havre High and was fortunate enough to represent Havre in the 1988 East-West Shrine Game (defensive tackle/end). For more information on all five founders, go to lardbutt.com.