If I was to ask you to name the college football program with the most swagger, who would you name?
The Oregon Ducks, amiright? After all, the Ducks sport some of the most fantastical, bizarre, and swag-laden uniform combinations not just in college football, but in all of the sports kingdom.
It’s no coincidence, given this, that the Texas Tech Red Raiders, with their newly-minted GQ head coach Kliff Kingsbury are looking to force a little swagger of their own, although to a completely bizarre effect. Sure, some of this swag has gotten TTU a little national attention in a recent Sports Illustrated article, but the memo released today between a local clothing store proprietor and the deputy athletic director at the university detailing how image should be crafted comes off as nothing but laugh-worthy.
As noted in another major sports site, Stephen Spiegelberg, owner of local men’s store Chrome, sent a lengthy email to Texas Tech deputy AD Joe Parker, suggesting plenty of intentional swag for Kliff Kingsbury, including the following gems:
Get Kingsbury a nickname. Suggestions include “GQ,” “Hollywood,” and “Swagger.”‘
Get Kingsbury on the “B-list,” which will somehow lead to his being invited to the Oscars and Grammys. Also New York Fashion Week.
Get Kingsbury a professional stylist, specifically Fred Segal, who has apparently styled “Micheal” Jackson, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Ashley Olson, Bruce Willis, The Beatles, Carrie Underwood, and Adam Lambert.
Kliff Kingsbury was hired to coach football, right? Or, is there a side gig that we don’t know about?
Before any of you throw the “but swag is a part of recruiting now” epithets at me and note that I should come into the 21st century be aware that I’m well aware the role that swag plays in crafting the ever so pliable minds of 17 year old football recruits across our great nation.
Programs with that swag, however, earn it through results on the field, not generating it through well-placed outfits, movie cameos, and PR campaigns.
Oregon’s Nike relationship doesn’t hurt, but the facts are, they are a damn good football team first and foremost. Kids want to play for them because of the opportunity doing so provides– the “swag factor” is just a nice bonus.
When Tech gets to the level where their play creates a little swag, then so be it.
Trying to put the cart before the horse, however, and generating some fake swag creates an atmosphere they’ll constantly be tasked with trying to maintain.
In this case, A will need to come before B. The other way around looks too much like Hollywood– even for a team desperately seeking swag.