Around the Horned With Brian Estridge
Nov. 17, 2003
Well, it is that time of the year. Time for us to start thinking about post-season team and individual awards. I began to take some notes this week as a voter in the C-USA post-season superlatives, and a common theme occurred. As I always do, I look at the TCU players first to make sure they are getting the recognition that they deserve, when it dawned on me. The MVP for this team, the MVP for the season, the guy who has had the toughest job of the year, has already graduated.
Nope, not talking about the leadership of LaTarence Dunbar or Sean Stilley and what they meant for this team. I'm not going down the road of LaMarcus McDonald or Jason Goss and how their departures paved the way for the emergence of Martin Patterson and Mark Walker. And it's not even Joey Biasatti, who took the time to show John Braziel his knack for getting a punt off in less than two seconds. Nope. This MVP graduated from TCU long before last year's senior class.
This year's MVP had a small impact on last year's 10-win season, but he has had a tremendous impact on the Frogs of 2003. This year's MVP, in my estimation, is Chris Hall, the Director of Sports Medicine for TCU. I know what you are thinking: Chris Hall, how can that be, Estridge? Haven't you noticed that Robert Merrill already has 800 yards on the season? Did you not look at the stats where Nick Browne is now tied for the all-time scoring record among kickers at TCU? Don't you realize that Reggie Harrell needs less that 150 receiving yards for the all-time best single season mark at TCU? Hello Estridge! Can't you make a case for Brandon Hassell or Martin Patterson or Jeremy Modkins or Bobby Pollard or Bo Schobel? Did you see how Jeremy Modkins has been playing? Or how Chase Johnson has controlled this offensive line from center?
Yes. I saw all that and I know all that. And I also know that Gary Patterson deserves a vote as well. It's just that Chris Hall has mine.
In late August, C-Hall, as he is known around campus, stepped in during two-a-days when a personnel move required that he become the football trainer in addition to his duties as the basketball trainer and Director of Sports Medicine. Chris has been a member of the TCU sports medicine staff since 1984 and has earned the reputation as a team player over the years. But his work over the last four months goes above and beyond the call.
He hasn't shucked his other responsibilities in the training room or in the classroom as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Kiniseology. He continues to oversee the budget, purchasing, inventory control and institutional drug testing for the sports medicine office. He serves as the direct liaison with the NCAA and its drug testing program, not to mention all of the athletic department committees that he is a part of.
But does he complain? Nope, not a bit. And he could have. And it hasn't exactly been that easy. He can handle all of the administrative stuff, and he is the best trainer you'll ever meet, but he got everything and the kitchen sink thrown at him. The Frogs lost their starting tailback, their starting quarterback, a defensive tackle and a star safety, all for the season. This doesn't even mention the injuries that have kept players out for multiple games. Yet through it all, he greets you with the smile and the usual, "How's it going?"
To me, C-Hall is the ultimate team player, stepping in wherever needed, taking on any task asked of him, working diligently to get players healthy and back out on the field. Keep your eye on him tonight; he'll be the guy on the sideline with the smile on his face. C-Hall, he's my MVP.
From the streets and avenues of North Texas to the information superhighway, I'm Brian Estridge. We'll see you on the radio.