Probably writes for the DMN.
You may be aware, but just in case you aren't, TCU is playing a "home" game this weekend against BYU at Cowboys Stadium. I say a "home" game because the Frogs have 7 true home games this season at Amon Carter Stadium and BYU has 7 true home games in Provo, which suggests 7 true home games is a reasonable expectation unless you're in the SEC and play like 9. The way I look at it, this weekend is not a true home game for TCU because, while Jerry World is a mere 20 minutes from campus, the tickets will be split evenly. Given our small footprint and BYUs roving hordes of baby rapists, it's likely to expect, of the 50,000 tickets sold thusfar, 25K TCU fans and 25K BYU fans Friday evening. This is truly a "neutral site" game because the fact that BYU fans have greater, nationwide numbers and a distinct recruiting motive cancels out the proximity of TCU. Again, most teams play 7 home games a year - if TCU was only playing 6 and BYU 7, you could make the point. But, as things are, you can't.
Unfortunately though, the local media -read: Big 12 centric - doesn't it see that way and is already launching the "TCU should play its home games at Arlington" campaign. Or, that's probably not fair. They're not DIRECTLY launching it, but if you check your recent morning dumps, you'll find a fair number of, "Patterson says NO to Big 12 games in Arlington" articles, with the writers using the BYU "home" game as a crutch as to why he might consider it. Fortunately for the DMN, they have the most ignorant grouping of commenters on these here internets. So while the articles dance around flat out calling for it, the commenters and their "THEY TOOK ERRR JEERRRRRBBBSSSS/TICKETS" mentality drive the point home.
And I'm seriously going to kill the next person who agrees with this.
So let's back it up a little, all the way to last September when we opened the season against Oregon State in Arlington. Again, not a true home game, nor did we give up a true game for it to happen because the conversations only started once Tech backed out the first time and we needed to fill a slot on the schedule. Once that happened I suppose we COULD have filled a slot on the home schedule with a Portland State or South Central Mississippi State Community College at Jackson, but we opted to ramp up our schedule. Since the Tech game was cancelled so late, we were fortunate to have anyone to schedule at all and, even though we all hate ESPN, they gave us a big boost in arranging this game. We didn't give up a home game because the Tech game was in Lubbock and it was never a home game we were going to play anyway. But, the Big 12 folks don't see it that way; they see it as TCU being a pushover, willing to reschedule home games at an outside venue for a quick buck.
And it's the same situation with the BYU game. The Big 12 folks don't look at it as, "Well, one of our own - Tech - dropped them from their schedule AGAIN and two members of their Conference left, which put them in a bit of a bind. Combined with the fact that their stadium is under major construction, I suppose it makes sense for the Frogs to grab the best game possible to fill the slate, that being BYU." I'm not defending our decision to play the game at Jerry World because clearly I'd rather play all local games in FW. But I'm logical enough to understand that this is a very unique year for TCU football and it brings a set of challenges not facing any other team in the country. I'm not sure this game even happens without ESPN brokering the deal and setting it up at Jerry World, and if my choices are between that, playing the game in Provo or playing another direction Louisiana school in front of 15000 people with 10,000 in the parking lot, I'll take it everytime.
But I've quickly learned that Big 12 folk don't have synapses that fire that way. Rather, they take the approach that, "TCU IS A BUNCH OF PUSSIES AND THEIR STADIUM SUCKS AND THEIR FANS ARE TERRIBLE BLAH BLAH BLAH HERPES." To a UT fan, it's absolutely unfathomable that they would "allow us into their Conference" without a stipulation in place that we play all of OUR home games against them in Arlington. A friend of SB actually had a conversation with people associated with the UT Athletic Department who asked, "Well, if they keep the games in Fort Worth, where are all the UT fans going to sit?" Yes. This ACTUALLY happened. Last time I checked it's not our responsibility to accommodate the fans of the visiting team. (Well, I say that, considering our own fans are often treated FAR worse by stadium personnel than those of the visiting team, but that's an entirely different conversation for a different post.) Do you think DeLoss Dodds or Joe Castiglione or whatever mental midget runs the show in Lubbock give two shits about opposing fans? Do you ever think DeLoss Dodds has thought to himself, "Hmmm, we COULD make more tickets available to our students... but then where would all the Oklahoma State fans sit in our stadium?" Heck, without NCAA and Conference stipulations, no team in the country would make seats directly available to opposing fans at all. So why on earth would anyone expect a school to move their own home CONFERENCE game to a bigger stadium to accommodate the opposing team? It's ludicrous.
But apparently TCU is different. Apparently TCU is supposed to feel blessed and fortunate to even be in the Big 12 at all. And that is some serious bullsh. I don't feel fortunate at all to have been invited to a Conference that has blocked our entrance for nearly 20 years; the fact that we're in now just shows how far we've come without them and how much they need us more than we need them. But no, we're supposed to bend down and kiss the rings of DeLoss and Mack because they were just SO generous. Give me a break.
No, I mean literally give me a break from this rant. Here are some of the opinions I alluded to earlier, courtesy of the Dallas Morning News.
Wow! You would expect a coach who really believed in his team would be willing to play any team, any place. Guess he thinks he needs a home-field advantage (even if he is within miles of it at Cowboys Stadium)- but maybe that is just against Big 12 opponents that he thinks may be a little more competitive than he is used to in his conference now.
wow, hasn't even played one b-12 game, and is already laying out his rules? what a set this guy has.
little man for a little stadium
See what I'm talking about? Aside from the new wrinkle the last commenter tossed in about Patterson being little - something no opposing fan before him has ever accused the man of being - this is the same tired, trite stuff you're going to find on every message board of every Big 12 team. Why on EARTH would Gary Patterson, a man who is almost entirely responsible for raising the $150+ million needed to renovate Amon Carter Stadium, agree to move all of his home games to the cavernous Jerry World? In what realm of logic does this even begin to scratch the surface of being reasonable? Because we should only be concerned with the alumni of other Universities having easy access to a ROAD game? Baylor has an old, small stadium. Perhaps they should move all of their home games to Jerry World? It's only a little over an hour up the road? Even better, maybe they should play half at Jerry World and the other half in Reliant to REALLY give the UT and Tech alums an even shot? Best yet - 2 home games in Arlington, 2 home games in Houston, 2 home games in Austin and 2 home games in San Antonio - now EVERYONE gets a fair shake!
But perhaps my favorite sentiment is that now that we're in the Big 12, Patterson doesn't feel as confident about his team and would prefer to have a home field advantage on his side in HOME games. Well no, effing, DUH!!! Not the confidence part, the latter half of that equation. Isn't that what HOME games are about? Isn't that why teams not called the Miami Dolphins typically have better overall records at home than on the road? Isn't that why, in most sports, teams try to win as many games as possible so they're have home field advantage in the playoffs? Isn't that why they invented the term HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE in the first place?! "That Gary Patterson, how DARE he want to play scheduled Conference home games on campus!!! Who the hell does he think he is?!?" Now I remember why I've hated this Conference all these years.
Sadly, attendance dumbassery it's not just limited to other schools. Worried about future attendance issues, one commenter over on the Eastern Bloc suggested TCU increase enrollment to 25,000!!!!!!!!!!!!! in order to fill our stadium to the brim for every game with our own fans. That'd be a fun conversation for CDC and Boschini to have.
"Hey Victor, I know we just completed massive renovations on our campus to provide more housing and classroom space for students, but what do you say we put 4 students to a room and have students sit in each others laps in class so we can double our enrollment and beat those greedy UT fans out of a ticket!?!?"
How about, "stop bitching about the sun shining and come support your team?" or stop taking the, "HOW DARE TCU MOVE MY SEAT TO ACCOMMODATE A FAN WHO GAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAN I DID TO MAKE THE STADIUM RENOVATIONS POSSIBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE!" approach? Again though, that's a post that has been written countless times already.
But we also have fans going the other way - fans that worry that the new stadium will not provide ENOUGH seating and that we should rethink the plans for expansion and add MORE seats. Guys, we've sold 25,000 season tickets to this point and we can hardly get all of those folks to come. Who the heck do you think is going to snatch up the remaining 20 when UT or Tech plays. I'll give you a hint: The most common phrase they hear on a day to day basis is, "Attention, Wal Mart Shoppers." Yes, we're going to add new season ticket buyers due to the Big 12, but not anywhere near 45,000. Get real.
Now I'm not even sure what I'm ultimately trying to convey here. One the one hand, fans of other teams are arrogant to the point of idiocy about their expectations for TCU joining the Big 12 and I hope we destroy them all. On the other, our own fans are pretty dumb with their expectations as well. Seriously, I hate everyone except for about 15 people. You know who you are.