Red Raider retailers report blackout shirts selling fast

Published: Sep. 12, 2014 at 11:37 PM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 2:26 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - When Texas Tech called for a blackout game against Arkansas this weekend, it caused confusion among fans because some expected to wear white for the 3rd annual Celebrate Cotton game.

While fans are also encouraged to wear cotton clothes, Coach Kingsbury has a good reason for the request to wear black.

"Arkansas is going to wear white uniforms," said Texas Tech Assistant Athletic Director Blayne Beal. "So we certainly don't want our fans in white uniforms with them coming out in white."

Tech is wearing throwback jerseys similar to those they wore in the 1990s. The jerseys are black, so Kingsbury called for a blackout game.

"What we do in big games is wear black," Beal said, "and with the weather tomorrow, black is going to be a great looking color on television."

For Tech football fan Vickie Funck, the game against Arkansas is personal.

"I have family coming in that is from Arkansas," she said, "so it's a big family rivalry."

She is not the only fan who feels this way.

"I actually have some family in Arkansas," said Kyle Power, "so we've been running our mouths back and forth at each other. I hope we win."

That's what brought them to local spirit shops in Lubbock.

"Getting blacked out," Power said.

Fans like Power will do their part to make sure Jones AT&T Stadium is completely blacked out, however at first, some local spirit shops expected the shirts to be white. Red Raider Outfitters was not aware of the blackout until Monday.

"We were able to flip our production within a six hour time period," said Katie Savage, head buyer, "and we just pulled double shifts making sure that we were able to execute a blackout game and I have to say, we've been very successful. Also, with the weather changing, we were able to adapt to that so we're in stock on anything you need for rain or cold weather."

Since it is also a throwback game many shops made sure that fans could match the Red Raiders' 1990's throwback uniforms.

"I mean, shirts are still hot out of the boxes," said Steve Massengale, owner of The Matador, "and people are coming in shopping excited really to get their hands on some of those vintage marks that we haven't seen in quite a while."

However, these shirts are selling out fast.

"We had thousands of t-shirts whenever we got them on Tuesday," said Bradley Whitworth with Cardinals,"and these bins were full and overflowing, We had some backstop and we've already blown through that and don't have a lot left, so people better get out soon."

While fans unite together in black to intimidate Arkansas , Texas Tech Athletics wants to make sure fans honor the cotton farmers who helped make those shirts.

"We know the sacrifices that they make and it's a tremendous relationship that we have with that group," Beal said, "and to have the opportunity to showcase that industry in front of a national television audience on Saturday is something very special for us."

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