If Rick Vaughn wasn't playin', I wasn't watchin'
I'd like to start this out by saying, I'm no fan of baseball. I mean, I'm not AGAINST baseball per say, but it's never been one of those sports I've been absolutely die hard over. I mean, sure, I went to Rangers games growing up all the time, and we've even had season tickets since the Ballpark opened in 1994. However, most of the times I went it was just because I was with a youth group or because Six Flags was too dangerous after dark, not necessarily because I liked the team and, quite frankly, who could blame me?
By comparison, my TCU baseball career has been even worse. I think I made 2 games all throughout college, and one was because it was for a class project. It wasn't because I had a bad time when I attended; in fact, far from it. I thoroughly enjoyed the games I went to. The stadium is phenomenal, the team is great, and it's the only place where you can eat an obscene amount of hot dogs and no one bats an eye. But, when you're in college and your options are to go sit in the north Texas heat for 3 hours and watch a game that could potentially end as a 1-0 snooze fest or, as happened with Texas the other night, go for seven hours and 25 innings... or, on the other hand, go to Snookies or the Aardvark and chase freshman tail... well, I just didn't want to chance it.
However, this whole playoff situation college baseball has is probably the most intriguing and exciting thing I've checked out sports wise in a long time. First off, I love the format. I love how you get a re-do if you crap out in a game. I love how they spread the regionals out all over the country and how even the little guys get a chance to host . I love how you get a chance to face a multitude of teams from your area based on your region, which furthers local rivalries - thanks for ruining it, Aggy. Bottom line: it's not just about money, it's about the love of the game.
Most of all, though, I love how much this whole thing is energizing the TCU community. Now, I'm a very admitted fair weather TCU baseball fan. I'm with everyone here who would cheer for TCU in all sports that don't involve women, because, let's face it, they aren't real sports, and we don't want to be like a Baylor who legitimizes their presence in the Big 12 by their women's bball. However, like most of you I haven't always been willing to put in the effort. Part of this could be because I exhaust all of my mental, physical and fiscal capacities for all things Frog from the months of September thru December... and hopefully January this year. Part of it could be because it's not always easy to get over to games after work on a weekday to catch a 7PM tip or pitch. Also, with the advent of the mtn, I could watch all of the basketball games on TV anyway, so, convenience, you know?
No more though. No more will I be that guy, that fan who shows up when things are good and act like I've always been there, and who pleads ignorance when they aren't. After watching the games this weekend, I'm all-in. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but after watching the two games this weekend, I realize how seriously good our team is. Vern, Carpenter, Featherston, that pitcher who only made the team because his brother repped him to coach S... those dudes are like the J Phil, Henson, Hughes and... Reeves Dalton? of our team. Jimmy S - see, I can't even spell the coach's name - is SO GP, and possibly even more excited to be at the school than he is. He saw TCU as a dream job and threw all of his weight behind it, and look at what he's done. We have one of the premiere baseball facilities in the country, pile up top recruiting classes, and are consistent players in the post season. How can we not have been behind that?
I know this is too little too late, and that I'm admittedly jumping on the bandwagon, but, did I even mention the most important thing of all? That we have a chance to stick it to Texas tonight? The Longhorns? The most well funded athletic program in the country? The baseball program that produces such quality human beings as that ass hat Roger Clemens? The fanbase with the most arrogant bunch of sonsabitches in the entire universe? I laud you brave souls who are actually in attendance, because there's absolutely no way I could leave DF Field without being in handcuffs. I've been raised against UT my entire life, but have rarely had opportunities to flaunt superiority because, I'll admit it, they smoke my teams the majority of the time. Apparently they have some sort of ace on the mound tonight, but what does that matter? We threw a kid on the mound last night who, like I said, is a walk on who is only at TCU by way of a North Dakota JC because his brother pushed for Schlos to watch his game tape... and he didn't allow a baserunner past first until the sixth inning. This despite Texas employing it's "small ball" - read: bitch ball - techniques which have flattened most teams in their way this year.
I know I'm walking into a hornets net here, but I haven't been this fired up about a TCU sporting event, excluding this year's Utah game and the Southern Miss game, ever. Seriously, ever. I want to beat Texas so bad I can hardly make it through my workday. It's like the day of the BYU game, and maybe worse. If you can make it to the game, you have to: we need all of the support we can get. It's a hostile environment, but we overcame it last night. If you can't, definitely tune into ESPN2 at 6.
All the pressure is on Texas. We're further along than anyone expected. We have a chance to make history tonight, but if we don't, it's been a heck of a ride for a school with a comparably minute amount of funding and fan support. Regardless, we can do it, and I think we will do it. They may be Texas, but just remember, we're TCU, and that means a lot more in the world of sports than it does for just about every other school in the country.