Around the Horned With Brian Estridge
Jan. 7, 2002
I trust that each of each of you had a wonderful holiday and now, like me, are struggling to get back into the rigors of the daily grind. With all of that behind us, it gives us a chance to reflect on the year 2001, and feel thankful for everything accomplished here at TCU. Each column I try to take you behind the scenes of your athletic program with insight and stories that you may not hear anywhere else. With this one, I thought I would let you know some of the things that I think make the Frog family great.
I am thankful for the passion with which our student-athletes play the game, it is not everywhere (and believe me we see them when we travel to other schools) that the players actually play with a sense of pride for their school. From the all-out effort during the games to the singing of the alma mater as a group after the games, the pride they display makes me proud. I still get excited every time that LaTarence Dunbar comes on the field or every time that Bingo squares for a three or Safi catches it on the low block or Adam Rubinson tees it up or Nick Browne bicycle kicks it over his head. It is awesome just watching them in action...I am thankful for the fans, and you know who you are, who stand by our players through thick and thin, through wins and losses, through mistakes and great plays, show up for a football game in Amon Carter when it rains or make the effort to come to a women's basketball game on New Year's Day, just because the Frogs are playing-thank you!...I'm thankful for the great group of coaches we have, from the fiery Monte Stratton in track (who I still think has a soft inside--just no one has been able to break that tough shell) to the big-hearted Richard Sybesma in swimming--always looking to help someone else first. I'm thankful for Jeff Mittie, whose organization and big dreams have developed our women's basketball program to one of national stature, for Gary Patterson and his entire staff, who fought through some tough times this year to return the Frogs to a school-record fourth consecutive bowl game with class both on and off the field. I am thankful for Billy Tubbs, even though his run in Fort Worth is about to come to an end, we sure are better off because of him. Gosh, I hope we can find a way to win him 11 more for 600 career victories before he walks away...And for the rest of our coaches, both head coaches and assistants, thank you for your unwavering effort and passion for TCU!
I am thankful for the jobs that go unnoticed, Rich and Jose in the equipment room--what would we do without them? Milton and his crew in Academic Services who do such a wonderful job helping our student-athletes keep the main thing the main thing...For C. Hall, Todd, Kim, Kristin and Grace in training room who keep all of us healthy (yep, even the radio announcer needs a cough drop every once and a while)...For Fink, Drew, Trey, Flynnie and Ryan in Media Relations, Crane, Booker, B.J. and Terra in Marketing and Chip, Phyllis and Cathy in the ticket office, they have difficult jobs, but they always come to work with the lunch pail ready to get the job done (or we all know that O'Connell will bring it for us!) For the administrative assistants, all of whom make our jobs that much easier--thank you! And I am thankful for Eric and the administrative team for providing us guidance and direction as we go into uncharted waters in Conference USA.
I am thankful for the fast-paced drives to the airport after road football games to catch the charter back to Fort Worth...I'm thankful for the team dinners in basketball when we really get to know this great group of players (that's when we find out the juicy stuff like Junior Blount getting married in July or Rebel Paulk asking former TCU golfer Brenda Anderson to marry him)...I'm thankful for the Billy Tubbs Call-In Show. Doesn't this have to be the most entertaining coach's call-in show in the country?...For Hal and Mark in the Frog Club and those hospitality rooms they have become famous for...For J.J. Yale and John Carter from the TCU police department, just having them around makes me feel better...And finally to they guys on our radio crew, Breed, Eddie Jr. and Wayne in football, and David, Russell and Chuy back at the studio night in and night out, I know it pains them not to be at the games, but we couldn't pull it off without them. And as I sit on this plane back from Tampa I am thankful for the guys that we spend three months a year with, our voice of reason and experience (meaning he is old) Herb, Randy the wisecracker, Jeff the talker and Sperry the mathematician.
All in all it was a great 2001, let's be thankful for what we have, thankful for what the future holds and most of all thankful that we're Horned Frogs! Thank you for letting me be part of the family! Happy New Year!