Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I was pretty happy to hear Chris Del Conte's reponse to Ohio State President Gordon Gee's comments last week, when he essentially said that when you start getting criticized by the Ohio States of the world, you know you've arrived.
Not that I'm comparing this kid to Gordon Gee. In fact, I hope you'll be go somewhat easy on him in your comments because frankly, I think he might have Asperger's and also because making fun of someone for having a gay-sounding lisp is considered inappopriate these days. But this kid echoes the sentiment of plenty of UT fans, which I find completely hilarious and indirectly flattering.
He starts the video by saying that he hates TCU more than any other school in the nation. And while he spends nearly seven minutes attempting to tell the viewer why...he never gets to the heart of it. He makes a few points over the course of the video, which I'll take the opportunity to respond:
"Of all the BCS conferences, you join the easiest to win. I don't think the Big 12 is in a position to turn schools away right now"
-I'm not usually one for internet shorthand, but this really made me "LOL". In whatever fantasy land this guy lives in (presumably his parents' house), TCU has their choice of whatever conference they want to join. And of all those, he believes, TCU decided to avoid playing in a conference against the same former SWC rivals that they've exhaustively tried to schedule in non-conference games for the past 15 years. Back here in reality, we've come to understand the fact that the Big 12 has no interest in new teams based on athletic prowess, but instead on marketability. The Big 12 has showed they don't want TCU, while the Big East does.
"When TCU beat Baylor, the newspapers acted like they had just beaten Alabama"
-Wrong again. The local media, which has been reluctant to cover TCU since the SWC broke up, simply gave the Frogs their due after their humiliation of Baylor. Had TCU simply beaten Baylor's best team in 20 years, you wouldn't have heard much. But championship-caliber teams are supposed to beat the Bears handily, and the Frogs absolutely destroyed them. I, for one, actually give Baylor credit for coming to face TCU in Fort Worth...unlike certain other teams...
"You can't even fill your own stadium"
-Oh, attendance smack. The ultimate fall-back for the ill-informed masses. But actually, we did fill our stadium three times this year, and four times in the past two seasons. For a school of about 6,500 undergraduates to average over 42,000 fans in a market saturated by pro sports and a myriad of other entertainment options, I'd say TCU is doing just fine.
So why does this guy, or any other UT fan like him, hate TCU with such passion? It's because we represent a threat to their monopoly on athletic success and fanfare in the state. For a long time now, the Longhorns have had a stranglehold on glory. Their fans enjoyed being the only ones who had signficant accomplishments of which to be proud (no offense to Baylor and their women's basketball national championship, but I put that right along with our national titles in equestrian and riflery). But now here comes little ol' TCU with Top 10 rankings, BCS berths and a brand-new stadium on the way for football as well as Top 10 rankings, All-America players and a College World Series berth (that went straight through Austin) in baseball. And UT fans can't stand having even a shred of the spotlight taken off of them. Are we not supposed to be proud of the success our Frogs have accomplished?
This was my first in-person look at this year's squad, so I'll talk about the product on the court first. The biggest difference, to me, is the addition of Hank Thorns at point guard. Having a true 1 out there has allowed Tuffy Moss to flourish as a shooting guard, giving the Frogs their best scoring threat since Corey Santee. This year's Frogs also have a much better ability to finish plays- Garlon Green, Sammy Yeager (despite an uncharacteristically cold shooting night) and J.R. Cadot all got the crowd on their feet with emphatic dunks. I don't want to put thoughts of the Final Four in people's heads or anything, but this is a team that will be refreshingly distant from the conference cellar.
While many believe that the Frogs will need a great improvement to be able to compete in the Big East, I think the biggest need for improvement with this program is in the stands. The box score will tell you there were a little over 4,000 there last night, but I'm not sure a TCU basketball box score has ever reported anything under about 3,500...and I've been at some games with much, MUCH fewer fans than that.
Don't get me wrong, here- I'm keenly aware of the status of this program over the past few years, so I'm not expecting Daniel-Meyer to be rivaling Cameron Indoor right now. But the student section last night was completely non-existant. I did spy a few pockets of what looked like current frat dudes, but they looked as if they couldn't have been less enthusiastic or likely to stand up or cheer.
It doesn't take much to make that arena loud and boisterous, but it does take more than nothing. I assume ticket sales will skyrocket once the team starts playing a Big East schedule, but it'd be nice if the crowd weren't 100% newcomers come 2012.
TCU's move a good idea? Our columnist debate Star-Telegram
TCU makes leap, accepts Big East invite Star-Telegram
Jobs or TCU coaches got easier and harder Star-Telegram
Horned Frogs ready for their close-ups Star-Telegram
TCU falls in line with the BCS machine Star-Telegram
TCU's move to Big East provides security ESPN
Gary Patterson glad TCU no longer non-AQ ESPN
TCU will enter Big East in 2012 Boston Globe
Texas: College football's new East Wall Street Journal
TCU's Carder makes AFCA All-America team Star-Telegram
Broyles award panel picks 5 finalists Washington Post
ESPN's Edwards: TCU could get title shot ESPN
UW football: Tale of the tape shows TCU smaller than UW-Whitewater Madison.com
Frogs beat USC, but Big East's a concern Star-Telegram
Trojans' woes continue as they fall to TCU, 81-69 Los Angeles Times