Everyone has their own thing that makes them unique. For fifth-year student Isaiah Brooks, there are two things that he is known for around campus: Tie Tuesday and football. Both of these aspects played a significant part of his college career.
Brooks recently finished his last season as an offensive tackle and guard on the University of Maine football team.
“We didn’t finish it the way we wanted to, but everything good must come to an end,” Brooks said of his final season playing for UMaine.
Brooks was recruited by UMaine from his hometown of Bloomfield, Conn. A few well-known athletes come from his town, including Dwight Freeney of the Indianapolis Colts, Matt Lawrence from the Baltimore Ravens and Nykesha Sales, who plays professional women’s basketball.
“I had other options but I chose here. I liked the coaches and the players, and I thought it was nice and quiet when I came for my visit. I thought I was going to do a lot here,” Brooks said.
Having started playing football his first year of high school, Brooks’ football career won’t end with his final season of UMaine football. He has plans to try out for professional football teams.
“I live football, I don’t like it, I live it. It’s what I grew up to, it’s what I have been doing. What I am good at,” Brooks said.
Aside from football, Black Bears may know Brooks better for Tie Tuesday. Since his freshman year of college he has been wearing ties every Tuesday.
“At first I was nervous. I wasn’t as confident as I am now. I was braced for the questions people might ask.”
He originally started it as a way to leave a legacy so that people remember him for something special. He had also noticed how good people look when they are dressed up.
“It’s good to be different because usually people come to school wearing sweatpants and the same old clothes. I wanted to do something special so that people remember me. Just leave a legacy here and change people’s lives.”
After doing it by himself for a while, he is now trying to make it a campus-wide event where people wear ties every Tuesday.
“They always asked me, what are you so dressed up for. I would be like, ‘Tie Tuesday just to look nice.’ Be the change you wish to see.”
One of the factors that made Brooks want Tie Tuesday to be observed by others was the boost of confidence he noticed when he was dressed up.
“When other people did it, they felt better about themselves. They felt more confident. It just makes you feel good. You feel good and you look good,” Brooks said.
Depending on the weather and his mood, Brooks will wear anything from a full suit to just a pair of khakis and a tie. But picking the tie is quite a decision. He has a tie collection of 100 ties with ties for every holidays and color. He started collecting ties his junior year of high school and in the seven years that followed, the collection has increased steadily.
“I only have a couple bowties,” Brooks said.
Despite these two interests being fairly diverse, Brooks has played football and attempted to make Tie Tuesday a trend here at UMaine, which he will continue to do after he leaves UMaine this December after finishing his degree in marketing.
“Everything I do, I do at my best ability.”