A Cal football player and his lucky socks

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Michaela Swensen/Staff

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On Wednesday, Cal football linebacker Brennan Scarlett was sent back to the locker room. But it wasn’t because of his athletic play — it was his psychedelic socks.

Surprisingly, the coach preferred monochrome black or white socks to the eccentric pair Scarlett was wearing: a maroon pair bedecked with glasses-wearing dogs. The Tuesday before, Scarlett had had to change out of his socks again — a reddish-orange, two-toned pair that would have made Harry Potter’s sock obsessed house elf Dobby jealous.

With over 60 pairs in his closet, Scarlett knows his way around the sock aisle.

“I’m all about the fresh sock combo,” Scarlett said. He also never gets rid of socks.

A junior enrolled in the Haas School of Business, Scarlett tries to buy a new pair of socks every week his team has a game. On game day — or sometimes on the day before — he will wear his new pair, saying the ritual helps take his mind off the seriousness of the game. Unfortunately, since he hasn’t been playing this season due to an injury, he has not been able to increase his sock collection regularly.

Scarlett’s extensive sock collection has made him somewhat of an arbiter on sock-related fashion. “When the socks match the tie,” Scarlett said, “that’s tight.” However, he’s less supportive of people who mix and match their socks, saying “That’s just not okay.”

His sock obsession is not recent. A love affair that started during his eighth grade basketball season, Scarlett found buying socks to be his favorite pregame ritual. After coming to Berkeley, Scarlett upgraded to buying himself designer socks — his favorite sock designer is Stance — but said the most he would spend on a pair is $20.

“I like them, but I don’t actually like them that much.” Scarlett said. “They are still socks at the end of day.”

Scarlett has had some help over the years creating his voluminous collection. His family and friends constantly support his effort, making him probably the easiest person to shop for, ever.

The linebacker says most of his teammates know about his love of socks and will sometimes ask where he gets his unconventional pairs from. Shockingly, he doesn’t have a favorite out of the about 30 socks of his that are adorned with cooler designs. And, although he has some blue and gold socks, none of them have the infamous Cal logo, an addition he still needs.

Scarlett has future plans — regarding his socks, of course. Scarlett says he just might pass down his socks to his son when it’s his game day.

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