Around the Horned With Brian Estridge - Sept. 25
Sept. 25, 2004
I know Saturday was painful for many of you. Believe me when I tell you it was not what any of us who have the honor of traveling with this football team expected. I don't know if I have ever been involved in a game where the momentum shifted so drastically in such a short period of time.
Now, the challenge for the Frogs is the tough task of putting that game and its residual effects behind. It will be hard for these players, and it may be the biggest challenge that TCU fans have faced in several years as well.
Athletic Director Eric Hyman often talks about making deposits within the community. We do that by winning games, creating a family-friendly atmosphere and representing our fans with class. TCU has done all three things numerous times in the short tenure of Head Coach Gary Patterson.
Twenty-two wins in the prior two seasons filled up that account. Six straight bowl games and a Conference USA title were seed money for the growing fan base that the Frogs have enjoyed playing in front of over the last few years. Frog Alley and the TCU Village have made the game day experience at TCU much more entertaining. Mix in the fireworks, videoboard and improved game presentation, and you are hard pressed to find a better "family night out" for the money here in the Metroplex.
And then there is the way that this football team represents its fans. With all-out effort on the field and a commitment to community service off, this program personifies the "can do" spirit that people have come to expect from Fort Worth.
I knew that this program had finally taken that next step in embracing, and in being embraced by, the community of Fort Worth when senior defensive back Mark Walker said after the Tech game, "I'm embarrassed for Fort Worth and all TCU fans."
This team has made things fun for several years. Now, we have to do our part to make football fun for them. It is time for this team to make a withdrawal after all of those deposits, and I hope you'll sign off on the transaction. It is by no means the end of the world or the end of this season for that matter. In fact, today's game begins the "second" season for the Frogs. The one that ultimately matters the most when it comes to advancing to a bowl game for the seventh straight time. The Conference USA schedule begins with a very good South Florida team tonight, and this withdrawal may just in fact be the difference in tonight's outcome.
These players hurt after Saturday's game. They heard the comments when they got back to town. They read the articles and saw the television coverage.
Then they had to decide to move on. And they have. A hard week of practice where the coaches focused more on corrections than blame helped this team get through the week. Now, it's up to us to get them over the hump at kickoff.
When you arrive in Amon Carter Stadium in your purple tonight, you need to let these Frog players know just how much you think of them and the deposits that they have made in recent years. Show them that the wins over Louisville over the last three years made you proud. Let them know that the bowl string made you feel proud and that you want to do your part to see that it continues. Remind them that the national attention they have brought to this once dormant program is well worth the time and effort they put in on the practice field, in the weight room and in the classroom.
Sign off on this deposit tonight by standing and cheering on your Horned Frogs who have made you proud and who deserve your emotional investment.
From the streets and avenues of North Texas to the information superhighway, I'm Brian Estridge. We'll see you on the radio.