Around the Horned With Brian Estridge - Sept. 11
Sept. 16, 2004
I took some time last Thursday night to walk around Amon Carter Stadium prior to the Northwestern game to take in the sights and sounds and I couldn't help but notice all of the changes that have taken place in last six or so years.
Last week I mentioned the new turf practice field but I didn't really talk about the effect it has had on this program already. Coach Patterson has had the luxury to move his team from the turf field to the natural grass surfaces throughout the preseason, sometimes based on weather, sometimes based on specific drills and sometimes just because he could. The surface is great on the players legs reducing the pounding that preseason can bring.
It is pretty amazing now to look behind the Justin Center and see the three practice fields now in immaculate condition. Especially when you think back to what was here when Coach Patterson arrived - a field in the middle of an old track with light poles in the way. That first year the Frogs actually walked to the soccer stadium to practice, just to find a good stand of grass, now they have three fields in their backyard to choose from every day. I am not sure there is a better situation anywhere in the country now.
But you know that's not the biggest change around right now.
Tonight we play on September 11, a date that all of us will remember for the rest of our lives. The tragic events of 2001 changed us, changed the world and changed the way we look at things. If you step back and start to think about it, that day helped put things in a different perspective and I think in some ways for the better.
Tonight TCU Sports Marketing will make a very special effort to honor some of the people, who before September 11 had gone relatively unnoticed. We had become accustomed to the efforts put in on a daily basis by our emergency, police and fire personnel. The fact that they put their lives on the line everyday didn't register on our radar screens prior to 9/11/2001. Times have now changed and we get a chance to thank some of those folks tonight. It will be an evening-long tribute in what has been billed as a "Tribute to Heroes."
It will all start in family-friendly Frog Alley where local emergency personnel will have some of their equipment on display. Then as you make your way into ACS, each of you will receive an American flag to wave with pride throughout the evening. One of Fort Worth's finest will welcome us with a stirring rendition of our National Anthem as a 3,000 square foot American Flag is unfurled behind the airplane delivering the parachutist with our game ball. At halftime, Fort Worth Mayor Michael Moncrief will recognize some of our public servants with a special presentation.
TCU Sports Marketing went out of its way to show their support with thousands of ticket vouchers to families of our emergency personnel and FWISD students who participated in an art contest remembering September 11, 2001.
In between all of these events there will be a pretty important football game between two old rivals. A game that is of high importance for both TCU and SMU fans alike. But not nearly as high as the other important event taking place tonight.
I applaud TCU Sports Marketing for the idea and the events of the day, it's just a shame that it took a tragedy for us to make a night like this a priority.
From the streets and avenues of North Texas to the information superhighway, I'm Brian Estridge. We'll see you on the radio.