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So Fresh, So Clean: Breaking down TCU’s uniform release

With inspiration from Gary Patterson and a nod to LT, TCU’s uniforms have some hidden details.

TCU’s new uniforms are out, and they’re looking sharp.
TCU Athletics

When I was in eighth grade, my football coach told us what your football (or basketball, or softball, or whatever sport) coach probably told you:

Look good, feel good, play good.

He was trying to get us to make sure our uniforms were clean and our locker rooms were spotless, I believe. We went 0-8 and didn’t score a single point all season, but that’s probably because we were wearing high school practice jerseys from 1994 during games.

Anyway, the point I’m making is that TCU unveiled its new football jerseys today, and boy howdy, I love them. The stripe on the facemask is a little off-putting at first, and I don’t like how the Nike logo bleeds into the geometric shapes on the collar, but other than that, I think the designers hit the proverbial nail straight on the proverbial head.

Our co-overlord Jamie Plunkett broke down the basics of the new design in the piece linked above. But I wanted to delve a little bit deeper into the accompanying feature the TCU athletic department released along with the jersey announcement. It’s exceedingly well done, for starters, so kudos to them on that. But it’s also full of the minutiae and hyper-specific branding that I, a noted ranker of Cheez-Its, cannot get enough of.

So let’s trawl through this link here and see what we can find.

These uniforms and their accompanying breakdown are heavy with homages to Gary Patterson, and they probably should be, considering the man has a statue out front of the stadium. GP is a noted Tom Petty fan, as is every red-blooded American, and that’s where “Don’t Back Down” comes from.

But I feel like the athletic department missed about eight different possible Petty references in the above screencap, minus the one in bold. “Gary Patterson is an American Girl. He was born among the Wildflowers. He’s had his Last Dance with Mary Jane, and buddy, You Don’t Know How It Feels. Eventually, he found that it was Time To Move On and left Kansas for Fort Worth. But while he’s been Running Down A Dream, he’s kept a simple creed. I Won’t Back Down.”

“Also, Free Fallin.”

“Say girl, you wanna break down a Mesh route combo with me?”

LT’s Hall of Fame bust either looks exactly like LT’s face behind the helmet in the photo on the right, and nothing like his face in the photo on the left. That doesn’t mean anything, I just found it interesting. Also, if they wanted just to run back those exact jerseys, I wouldn’t be mad.


I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t know what any of this means. Sounds cool, though!

Here now is a list of what other coaches’ neck patches would look like.

Nick Saban: A Little Debbie cake.

Jimbo Fisher: A pile of money.

Urban Meyer: A hand covering a pair of eyes.

Kliff Kingsbury: A can of hair gel.

Dana Holgorsen: A Red Bull, or a poker chip, and you can’t make me choose.

Mike Gundy: T. Boone Pickens’ face, which Pickens put there to haunt Gundy.

Lane Kiffin: Pedialyte and Gatorade.

Each jersey has a specific embroidery on the collar, signifying where TCU will wear them. I’m guessing this means we’ll finally get to see the Frogs wear a purple jersey at home. This is the best news of the entire release.

This is my favorite look of the set, but it’s also the one that’s the most Oregon-esque. I can live with that, though. The uniforms are a step up from the boring sets of the last two years, and if we are biting styles, it’s best to bite from the most stylish program in college football.

TCU did an outstanding job with the release and the graphics package to go along with it. All credit to Jeremiah Donati, Caten Hyde and the rest of those involved.

And yet, this is the only thing I can think of now.