Charlotte man creates ‘Bracket Jacket’ to celebrate March Madness with friends

Every year, Brian Farrell and his friends print a NCAA Tournament bracket on a thrift store jacket.
Every year, Brian Farrell and his friends print a NCAA Tournament bracket on a thrift store jacket.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:23 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - When most college basketball fans wear the love of the game on their sleeve, they do so metaphorically.

When Brian Farrell wears his love of March Madness on his sleeve, he does so in a very literal fashion.

Ten years ago, he decided to “dress it up” by creating the Bracket Jacket — which is exactly what it sounds like.

Every year, Farrell scours the local thrift stores to find his canvas for the new tournament. He then takes it to a local print store to have that year’s bracket laser-printed on the back.

Then the jacket accompanies him and his friends to every bar as they celebrate the biggest days in the sport of college basketball.

“I decided ‘why not dress it up a little bit?’” Farrell said. “In my mind, March Madness should be a national holiday. Everyone just kind of joins together, and the excitement, camaraderie, everyone’s rooting for the underdog. It’s a lot of fun.”

Brian Farrell created the 'Bracket Jacket' a decade ago, and it's still a hit each March.

Farrell and his friends have held this tradition for more than 10 years, always making time each March to get together no matter what.

“Life gets busy at our age. People have kids, and get married,” Farrell’s friend Anthony Richmond said. “It means a whole lot for us to be able to come together.”

At the end of each tournament, Farrell stows the bracket jackets away, despite what his wife, Jane, may think.

“I’ll tell you who it’s not a prize for, my wife,” Farrell said. “I’ve kept every single one, and this is 10 or 11. And every year they’re in the closet.”

“We’ve got separate closets,” Jane quipped with a laugh. “He woke up like a kid on Christmas morning today.”

No matter who is crowned this year’s champion, for Farrell and his friends, a tradition like no other lives on.

Related: Five teams from the Carolinas selected to compete in 2023 NCAA Tournament