Monday, March 15, 2010

Homerism 101.

Dwight Smith: 1, Haterz: 0.

The best thing about writing for a blog solely dedicated to your team is that you have every right in the world to be an enormous homer, and no one can really call you out on it. You aren’t trying to gain a readership who isn’t interested in your chosen topic and you don’t even really have to gain a readership beyond your immediate group of friends. We aren’t in this for the money; we’re in this more or less to entertain ourselves and occasionally share some insight into the team we love and support. So if I want to come out and say that Jerry Hughes and Wayne Daniels were the best defensive end tandem in football last year, or that Antoine Hicks will be a Biletnikoff finalist this upcoming season, I can because I believe it to be true. And truth lies in the mind of the beholder… or something like that.

But even I’m not sure I can get behind this.

Now, I’ve always been familiar with bleacher report, but just assumed that it was another sports blog. I thought it was cool that there was a mass market website out there that covered Frogs football, but was somewhat curious why it didn’t get more attention from us as fans and why we weren’t familiar with the writers. So once this story broke, I had to ask a few questions, and it turns out, for those of you who like me did not know, bleacher report is basically the Wikipedia of college football news. Anyone can contribute, and you can pretty much say whatever you want. The way I had it described to me was, “Bleacher Report makes spitblood seem credible.” But still, I just had to share this with you.

So we all know Dwight Smith, right? His year-long struggle to make it to campus has been beaten into the ground to the point that I’m not sure I realized he had actually been cleared to play until well after the fact. We’ve heard all the hype and we’ve speculated endlessly about what he could bring to the TCU Football team should he qualify, but until the guy plays a snap for the Frogs, we’ll never know if the hype is justified or not. But, according to our good friend Scott at bleacher report, once Dwight puts on some pads and a helmet, every single expectation we had for him, no matter how lofty, will be blasted into oblivion by his sheer awesomeness. You should read the article yourselves, but here are the highlights.

  • According to coaches at Southern Cal, Dwight Smith was the most talented recruit they had visit last year, and the greatest running back prospect they have EVER seen. I'm assuming this would mean the Pete Carroll era staff.
  • Smith was the most talented prospect in the state of Texas last recruiting season, and the greatest high school running back ever.
  • Smith received a late offer from Texas after he qualified academically, but remained committed to the Frogs since we stuck by him from the beginning. That’s actually really bad ass if true. I’m framing that one.
  • Smith will be just as good if not better than LaDainian Tomlinson.
  • Smith WILL be better than Adrian Peterson
  • An “unnamed NFL running back” who watched Dwight Smith at a camp once said, “"Dwight Smith has the most God-Given talent I have ever seen in a young player. He could play in the NFL right now, and he would not only be the biggest running back on my NFL team right now, but he would also be the fastest".”
  • Opposing coaches feared for the lives of their defense because Smith was so big and strong they were afraid he would hurt their tacklers.

Now, I’m for homerism as much as anyone – if you read my recaps of the games each week, you’d think that TCU’s defense rivaled the 85 Bears and that our offense could score 50 points per game while blindfolded. But, let’s be honest here. The best recruit to step on USC’s campus last year and the greatest running back prospect they’ve ever had? And they didn’t offer him because of his grades? I’m not trying to be a buzz-kill, but under Pete Carroll, USC ran one of the dirtiest programs in college football history. They haven’t been caught yet and it looks like Carroll may have skipped town just in time, but everyone outside of southern California knows that he should. So if Dwight Smith was the best prospect they brought in all year, and the best running back prospect EVER, despite his eligibility issues, they would’ve made it happen. I’m not knocking his talent, but just put it in perspective.

I’m not trying to say that Dwight Smith isn’t going to be a phenomenal running back. I mean, I suppose a kid who played 3A football that could jump straight to the pros and be the best running back on an NFL team, according to an unnamed source of course, will rack up 2000 yard seasons in the lowly Mountain West Conference like shortnkerleys racks up non-Mormon TGIFriday’s waitresses numbers. Or at least their facebook friend acceptances.

I want to get on board with this, no questions asked. But I suppose I still have that James Battle memory lingering in my head. A promising recruit who may or may not have attitude issues? Normally I want to be counted out because nine times out of ten, they break your heart. They have all the potential and talent in the world, but unlike in high school, when you get to the NCAA level, everyone has ability and talent. It takes a lot of something extra to become truly elite and separate from the pack. I'm not saying Dwight Smith doesn't have it, I'm just saying articles like these put a lot of pressure on a kid who is already a year behind most of his peers.

But still, despite all of my wet blanketing of the writer’s enthusiasm – an 18 year old from Virginia who is fans of, of all teams, the Jets, Knicks, Mets, George Mason, Villanova… and TCU? – part of me really wants to believe all of these things are facts. I want to think that an NFL player showed up to a camp Smith attended and really felt like he could sign a contract that day and be a starter on his team. I want to believe that Golden Boy Matt Barkley wasn’t the best recruit to step on USC’s campus last year. I want to believe that TCU secretly has a future Heisman Trophy candidate hiding in plain sight in Fort Worth right now. Basically, I want to believe that Smith will be that one guy out of ten who overcomes the early obstacles he established for himself and comes out firing on all cylinders wanting to prove his point.

So, you know what? I take all the pessimism from the beginning of this post back. I’m going with this. And when Dwight Smith is stiff arming Earl Campbell’s memory and calling Bob Stoops to tell him that Adrian Peterson was a bitch who peed sitting down, I’ll know that I was on board from the beginning. Even if the information was passed along to me by an 18 year old from Virginia who is a fan of George Mason basketball.

It also doesn’t hurt that Smith is one of the more quotable myspace posters I’ve come across in quite a while. From the few I’ve seen, I think I’ve developed a pretty clear idea of what makes Dwight Smith tick. Ladies, take notes.

Likes – capitalism, TCU, National Championships, that sticky icky icky, leaning on that gin, chillin in the dorm room on that Dominos, Anita Baker, Staying M.O.B. til the day he die, Christmas Eve, Snow Days, Steppin’ out without a girl.

Dislikes – haterz, girls (well, not exactly, but Smith is apparently a-ok with not having only one woman in his life), going to class (a stance that monsieur Smith may want to rethink considering his history), girls who don’t tell their man good night, fake ass hoes, cold weather (which is ironic since he loves snow days, but he really only loves the side effect of snow days), Carthage (he’s real ready to get outta that bitch), Time wasters, The girls of his past, who are currently being defecated on by the girl of his future.

Truly a renaissance man for our time. Player, play on.

The Frogs have arrived

While the last decade or so has been very favorable for the TCU football and baseball programs, the Frogs hadn't TRULY arrived until this weekend...and I don't mean the national title the Horned Frog rifle team brought home. On my way back from Austin yesterday, I stopped at the Czech Stop in West, TX to indulge myself in a kolache or two- jalapeno, sausage and cheese. Delicious.

When I went to fetch myself a bottle of authentic Czech Stop bottled water, I walked through the aisle that is stocked with all of the cheesy college merchandise. In the past, it's been all Longhorn, Aggie and Red Raider-oriented. But then a splash of purple caught my eye- TCU koozies. It's not a lot- in fact, it's still less than what Baylor's got available- but for TCU to gain the approval of a true Lone Star cultural icon like the Czech Stop, I'm more than happy with the start.

So the next time you're cruising up or down I-35 and stop in for your Eastern-European baked goods fix, be sure to plop down a few more dollars for some TCU merchandise to let them know they were wise to stock it.

WFAA: NFL Scouts like TCU's speed

Pretty good press from the Dallas-iest of the local stations. I'm not saying you should break NCAA rules and start contacting recruits yourselves, but if this video were to magically show up in their email inboxes...

Frogs now ranked 4th

Coming off of the weekend sweep of Texas Tech, TCU baseball is now ranked 4th in the country by Baseball America. David Peterson of registered his thoughts on the weekend HERE.

I wish I had been able to be there this weekend. With the perfect weather and domination of a Big 12 team, it must've been a fantastic three days at Lupton. And for the second straight weekend home series, a new attendance record was set with over 10,000 fans at Lupton for the three game set.

Up next: a Tuesday-nighter at Oral Roberts and then a Thursday-Friday-Saturday home series against BYU to open up MWC play this weekend.

Morning Dump

TCU gets to Texas Tech ace in baseball sweep Star-Telegram

NFL scouts fall for Daryl Washington

No. 7 TCU holds on for sweep of Texas Tech

Scherer wins smallbore national championship

Rifle crowned 2010 NCAA Rifle National Champions

MWC earns record 4 seeds in NCAA tournament AP

Oui lounge bartender remembered as philosopher Daily Skiff