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Go-To-Gear For Game Day

Here at Turtleson, we love making clothes that our customers consider go-to gear for game day. Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to make lifelong friendships with coaches, athletes, boosters, and fans from schools across the country.
And while we’ll gladly stand shoulder-to-shoulder and cheer for your team with you, full disclosure requires us to tell you we have a special connection to the University of Tennessee.

Sure, it’s a short trip down the interstate from our headquarters to Neyland Stadium, but it’s also the alma mater of our co-founders Greg Oakley and Chet Sikorski. In fact, long before they dreamed up their apparel company, the two shared a house on Forest Avenue near the Knoxville campus.

Greg and Chet are often in the stands for Tennessee home games, and even lucked into being on the scene to watch the Vols stun the Crimson Tide with a last-second field goal to bag a 52-49 win in 2022.

We caught up with Greg and Chet to talk about the kick heard ‘round the world, memorable moments from Neyland Stadium, what happens when a college-aged kid goes astray, and what makes college football so special.

Go-To-Gear For Game Day

What are some of your favorite moments from your days as students at Tennessee?

Chet: I transferred to Tennessee, so my first game after I got there was Florida in 1990. It was a great night.

Johnny Majors was still Tennessee’s coach and it was Steve Spurrier’s first trip to Knoxville as Florida’s head coach.

The first half was somewhat close - I think we were leading by a touchdown at halftime. Then in the second half Dale Carter ran the second half kickoff back 91 yards for a touchdown and that’s when the floodgates opened.

That was our homecoming game, and we won 45-3, which is the biggest margin of victory in series history. It was crazy.

What was the feeling in the stadium the night Tennessee beat Alabama last year?

Greg: It was electric. There was this real sense that Tennessee was maybe a little stronger than Alabama was accustomed to, and on the flip side, that Alabama was – for once – a little more vulnerable than we were accustomed to.

I don’t think we sat down the whole night except for a few commercial breaks. And it was so loud. Neyland is always loud, but when you’re in the stands on a night like that you just can’t believe how loud it is.

When Chase McGrath hit the game-winning field goal, the whole place erupted. It was like the walls just instantly collapsed and people just poured out of the stands onto the field.

Chet and I stayed above the fray, but we stood there for a long time watching this huge sea of orange on the field. And then we booked it out of there to get back to the car. It was nuts.

Greg, your son is a student at Florida State and Chet, your son is a student at Ole Miss. How does it feel to have your boys leave the proverbial college football nest?

Greg: (shooting a smirk at Chet) At least mine didn’t go to a rival SEC school. That’s just bad parenting.
I felt pretty good about sending my son to FSU because when he went they weren’t that competitive, but now they’ve turned the corner.

No, I’m fine with it. But when we took him to orientation they had everyone do the tomahawk chop and as a Vol, I refused.

Chet: Having a kid at Ole Miss is fine with me. I mean, the SEC West is interesting. There’s a learning curve since we’ve spent all our lives watching the SEC East so closely, but it’s fun. They're exciting to watch.

What makes college football so special?

Greg: There's nothing like college football – especially in this area. It's really not about professional sports in the Southeast. It's about college sports

That’s not to say I think the Southeast has a monopoly on the college football or athletic experience, but since there aren’t as many professional sports teams here, you just grow up with college sports and those traditions and rivalries.

Chet: And there’s something special about listening to a game on the radio. Greg and I went to that Alabama game last year and then turned on the Vol Network in the car on the way there and then again on the way home. And that show lasted until we were all the way home in Bristol. There’s nothing like listening to that radio broadcast after a big win.

What’s your go-to outfit for a day at Neyland Stadium?

Greg: If it's a nice fall day, there's no question. I’ll have on a pair of Turtleson jeans and a Wallace hoodie with a big Power Tee and my Tennessee hat.

Chet: On a chilly day I’d probably have the Bristol twill pants with the Power T performance polo in white, and then I'd do the Wallace quarter-zip in orange.

We’re honored to create apparel for many of your favorite schools. Shop our full selection of polos, quarter-zips, vests and sweaters in our Collegiate Collection.