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TCU Magazine "Class Notes"

"Socks vanish like mad"

The above headline from a December 1947 Skiff, further proclaimed: $135 Is Cost of "New Look" For Well Dressed Gridster.

From the archives of The Skiff, December 1947:

"It costs $135 to put a Frog football player on the field for the first practice, when the expense of all his equipment is counted up," according to Albert "Smitty" Smith, squad trainer and "keeper of the togs."

The fancy game uniforms are a small item. It's the gear worn in addition to the nylon shirts and the pants with the two-way stretch backs that bring the total to its high mark.

On opening day, each squad man is issued practice shoes, pants, three T-shirts, two sweatshirts and socks. The shirt and socks are a "one in and one out" laundry system. Most of the gear will last the season, with the exception of the backfield men's sweatshirts.

"One grab by a lineman will finish a shirt," says Smitty. "We figure on two extra for the backs during a season."

Longer service is gotten from the "hard" equipment -- the shoulder pads, blocking pad and helmets. But a consistent process of repair is needed to keep them in the game. Game shoes become practice gear after the wear and tear of a few seasons.

Hardest item on the list to keep in stock is socks, says Smitty. "We start the season with about 300 pair, but by the time the laundry has gone out twice, there doesn't seem to be enough to go around."

Fifty-five years later É

It runs $768 to put a player into just one uniform today, says equipment manager Rich Abadie. That covers one shirt, a pair of pants and the equipment, but each player is also issued three jerseys and three pairs of pants -- one each in white, purple and black. And for practice, two more jerseys and pants, as well as T-shirts and shorts.

"Socks are still a problem," Abadie admits.

Cost of dressing out today's gridiron heros:

Shoulder pads-$300
Face mask-$15
Chin straps-$7
Underarmor gear-$20
Knee pads-$5 a set
Thigh pads-$10 a set
Hip pads-$10 a set
Gloves-$20 a pair