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Frog on the helmet is TCU's good luck charm

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The new-look helmets debuted after the overtime loss to SMU.

The new-look helmets debuted after the overtime loss to SMU.

Michael Jordan wore North Carolina shorts under his Chicago Bulls shorts for good luck.

Superstitions and sports have coincided for a long time.

The lucky charm for the Frogs on the football field... a frog.

The last three losses for the Frogs, the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, season-opener against Baylor and overtime loss at home to SMU all happened after the frog design on their helmet hopped off.

The last time the TCU lost with a frog on the helmet; a 13-10 loss to Utah in 2008.

TCU took the frog off the helmet to make it easier to see on television, according to head coach Gary Patterson.

But after the loss to rival SMU, Patterson called for the frog back.

“We hadn’t lost two regular season games with the regular frog, and since they put it back on, we haven’t lost since,” Patterson said. “So the frog stays on.”

He said he likes the design of it better, too.

“I thought it looked like Trojan helmet instead of looking like a TCU one, so I put the frog and it made it look more linear coming straight down on their uniform.”

Although Patterson played off his superstitious nature, offensive guard Kyle Dooley said he’s not very superstitious, but he knows who is.

“Coach Patterson’s real big into it, and it’s a real big thing around here at TCU and the football department at least,” Dooley said. “It might play a little bit of a role, it might not. I have no idea, but we seem to be able to win with it.”

Patterson said part of his superstitious nature is to take his mind off little things.

“Whether you wear the same tie, the same shirt or the same underwear, all of it, if it makes you feel better, play better and takes your mind off it, then that’s a superstition.”

This coming from a man that ties his shoes differently if a game isn’t going TCU’s way.
“You’ll notice in the ball game the other day, I tied it one time the first half,” Patterson said. “Second half, they came down [and scored]. It was a bad shoe tie, so I changed. I re-tied them. It wasn’t going the way we needed to.”

Safety Johnny Fobbs said the frog doesn’t give him any extra confidence.

“It’s not really superstitious or anything like that,” Fobbs said. “It’s a good look, though. It’s the TCU, so I like it.”

Maybe it’s the superstition of the lucky frog, or maybe it’s just Patterson’s eye for fashion.

“I am a model type,” Patterson said, tongue-in-cheek. “I mean you look at me and say this guy should be on the cover of GQ right now.”

While the TCU community awaits Patterson’s modeling debut, it can see Patterson and his team Saturday take on the CSU Rams, and most likely, with lucky frogs on their helmets.

Fun facts about the lucky frog

- The frog first appeared on the helmet in 1965 and was revamped in 1966.

- The frog wouldn’t return until 1998.

- Between 1967-1997, all without a frog on the helmet, TCU won just 32 percent of its games.

- The most successful season without the frog in that stint was in 1984 when Kenneth Davis led the Frogs to an 8-4 season.

- In 1997, the Frogs went 1-10. The next season, the first with the frog on the helmet, they improved to 7-5 and won their first bowl game since 1956.

- Between 1998-2008, TCU won 73 percent of its games, all with the frog on the helmet.

- Besides stripes, TCU started putting designs on its helmets in 1958.

- Since then, TCU hasn’t won a bowl game without the frog on the helmet.

- TCU has only had two losing seasons with the frog on the helmet, 1966 and 2004.

- It had 29 losing seasons without the frog.

- TCU’s last three losses came without the frog.

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