Well, this season has been interesting...scandals, upsets, rematches, duds of the centuries. And in all of this, I forgot to finish up the Uni-obsessed history articles! However, fear not fashion fans, I shall finish this.
I know it's been awhile and some of the newer readers may not know what this little project is, so here is a description:
While we're in the off-season, it's nice to know about some different things. I've decided to take on the grueling task of researching each MWC's team (and future MWC team) uniforms and helmets. Uniforms are one of the defining characteristics of a team (as well as gameday traditions and mascots), and as someone who takes pride in trying to obtain as many jerseys of my favorite teams as possible and also obsessing on how each team dresses, I think knowing the history of each teams uni and where they're headed is important. If you have some information that i missed and you would like to share, email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (when you do so, put Uni-obsessed in the title so I know what it's about). I'm going to make the posts as often as I can.
Wondering where the previous breakdowns were? Click if you dare:
Mountain West logo (do you really want to? I don't)
Ready? No? Well too bad, TCU is about to get uni-analyzed.
Editor's note: Now includes Rose Bowl helmet
TCU has their last hurrah with the the MWC tonight in taking on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. I'm giving them their uni-analysis as my last hurrah to them. Lets begin. Until recently, with the Nike Pro Combat Unis, TCU has had very straight forward uniforms: purple or white tops with vice versa botttoms. However, TCU's helmets have been all over the place.
In the 1950's TCU used solid purple jerseys with purple helmets: Jim Swink (1954-56) shows us an example below.
It was the late 1950's, when TCU had a simplistic white helmet with purple numbers shown below (there is a picture of a TCU-Baylor game with white helmets, but I'm unsure of the year, Bob Lilly is in it though):
In 1965, the first "horned frog" helmet appeared as well as the first uniform change to a solid jersey look, and in 1966, the frog became refined in the helmet:
The horned frog only lasted 2 seasons however, and over the next four years, 3 new helmets appeared:
Helmets from left to right appeared in 1967, 1968 and 1969-70
From 1971-1976, TCU changed their logo to interlocking letters and alternated helmets between silver and purple:
From 1971-73 the silver TCU helmet was used and from '74-'76 the purple was used
Finally, in 1977, TCU found the iconic logo they were looking for (and what some hard core fans still prefer). Enter, what I like to call "the Star Wars look":
This logo stayed with the whole uniform until 1991 when the modern "arched" TCU appeared. We can ask many questions about the helmet changes, however in my opinion the reason for the many changes comes in the all the losing seasons. Even with the arched TCU logo, the colors and outlines changed until 1998 with the introduction of Dennis Franchione as the coach.
Speaking of which, with the introduction of Franchione, TCU returned the horned frog to their helmet and the current logo has been on the helmets ever since:
Because of the successes of the Patterson era, Nike decided to give TCU the Pro-Combat treatment, which has led to some awesome uniforms, like the "spit-blood" uni in 2009:
and in 2010, TCU got the "hell-frozen-over" uni inspired by the philosophy of the 1930's TCU coach "Dutch" Meyer:
"Fight 'em until hell freezes over. Then fight 'em on the ice!"
When they don't decide to wear the pro-combat uniforms, the Horned Frogs go simple purple tops with black bottoms and either the arched TCU with or without the horned frog.
Finally with TCU making the Rose Bowl this past January, the Horned frogs decided to celebrate the occasion in their helmets, tweaking the design ever so slightly:
So with all these helmet changes from the past, what can we expect for the future? In my opinion, outside of any more Pro-Combat uniforms, these helmets or uniforms aren't going anywhere. TCU has an iconic look, a newly developed powerhouse program, and a coach who seemingly will stay at their side.
Enjoy the Poinsettia Bowl.