Time for the fans to step up
Oct. 1, 2005
I called our former athletic director Eric Hyman last week; just a social telephone call to thank him for working so hard to get TCU in the Mountain West Conference. Two games into the 2005 season and I can see clearly the reasons for the decision. Two games in and I can see how TCU folks are going to relate better to the members of the MWC. I can see that this is a league made up of first class institutions, run by first class administrations with first class fans. I trust that after the first home win over Utah, and last week's win on the road in front of nearly 60,000 in Provo, that you are starting to see it as well. Now I just hope that we can live up to our end of the bargain.
Don't get me wrong, I am not worried about coach Patterson and this team living up to the billing. High atop the Mountain West standings right now, this team has already knocked off the two dominant teams in the short history of this league. It's a conference with tremendous parity, so much so that the games usually come down to coaching. Gary has proven that he meets the challenge. His players have as well, and we have found out that we need all of them!
This league demands depth, and Gary has been building for this for the past two years. Able to play 10-plus defensive linemen, multiple linebackers, defensive backs and wide receivers, coach Patterson had hinted to us that a deep roster would pay off as the season progressed. But, who could have known that it would be unknown depth at running back and quarterback that would be the difference in the first two conference games. Aaron Brown and Jeff Ballard walked the walk that Gary Patterson has been preaching. An ability to step in at a moment's notice to fill the void left by an injured teammate has become a common trait of the Frogs.
In a league where seemingly every game goes down to the wire, where overtime is more of the norm than in any other conference, where offenses push the extreme in the passing game and defenses take calculated risks on every play, the depth of the Frogs will come in handy. That depth will be tested tonight against another of the elite teams in the MWC.
We welcome the New Mexico Lobos to Amon Carter Stadium. Folks, this match-up tonight, I believe, will be the first in a long line of fierce battles between TCU and UNM. Head coach Rocky Long has continued the success started by coach Patterson and coach Fran in Albuquerque. And, because of that run of success, New Mexico now joins a growing list of teams in the MWC where the passion of the fans rivals any in the country.
We got a good taste of that Saturday in Provo. A loud and hostile atmosphere, fans on their feet, bands dominated by brass and drums (sans the woodwinds), media clinging to every word from the coaches and players. It's a scene that is replayed week in and week out in a majority of the MWC markets, from Salt Lake City to Colorado Springs, from Laramie to Fort Collins. TCU will fit right in to its new home in the Mountain West, as far as the coaches, players and facilities are concerned. Our teams will compete at a high level in every sport in this conference.
Those are not my concerns when it comes down to holding up our end of the bargain in this new league full of passion. No, my concern involves you and me, our friends and family. Are we committed to be the best fans in the MWC, will we pledge to be in Amon Carter Stadium every time the gates open? Will we yell and scream for our Frogs and applaud the efforts of our fellow conference members? Can we stack up against the competition like our teams will?
It's going to take a commitment from us all. I am in -- are you ready to join me?