Monday, July 11, 2011

Taking Inventory: The 2011 Horned Frogs

This guy's look tells me he knows something I don't about apple juice...
With 53 more agonizing days until kickoff, you probably feel about like this in regards to TCU football- don't you? Honestly, I caught myself flipping through the guide on my TV the other day looking for Canadian or Arena League games. Instead, all I found was Peter Gammons and the rest of the Baseball Tonight crew giving Derek Jeter the happiest of happy endings and a lot of attempts for me to get super excited about a women's soccer game- what do they think I am, a Baylor fan? But it's only a few weeks until players report the first week of August and practices get started, so it's time to take a look at what's in the cupboard headed into the 2011 season.

Starting tomorrow, we'll go position-by-position, taking stock of the personnel at the coaching staff's disposal this year.

Your job in this little excercise will be to fill up the comments section with your opinions- let me know if you think I'm wrong or if you think a certain player will surprise us all at that particular position this year. And email each post to anyone and everyone you know that's a fan of the Frogs. If we can't watch football just yet, at least we can get more people talking about it on here!

Casey, the Creator.

Let's just hope Pachall hasn't had a threesome with a triceratops like his masked muse.
Thanks, EDSBS, for the obvious comparison here.

Ah, the majesty of Facebook and its effects on the high profile college athlete, or however you choose to classify Casey Pachall. For those of you who weren't privvy to Pachall's virtual display of his manhood this past week, EDSBS has the evidence and roundup available. I'd post them here but I... I just can't.

For the average TCU fan not named Brian Smith, Pachall is a pretty polarizing figure. Not because of anything he has or hasn't done on the field. No, it's because he doesn't look like Andy Dalton. Some may not admit it publicly, but its true. I'm guilty of this myself. Even when Dalton was struggling through his first season under center and even up until two years ago in the Fiesta Bowl, once we realized how utterly moronic chanting for Marcus Jackson was we gave Dalton the benefit of the doubt because he was EXACTLY how you wanted your team leader to come across. Well, except for the ginger thing, but I think he's pretty much exonerated any misdeeds committed by that entire race with last year's performance. But you get my point - he was well spoken, clean cut and, back then, just enough under the radar to make him sort of a cult hero. In short, Dalton made you feel like you were rooting for the good guy at all times.

But Pachall? Whew boy, if he loses to Baylor and/or Air Force, just wait for the backlash. I'd expect a panic of pre-Pattersonian proportions. This would be total bullshit because anyone expecting a third straight undefeated season after all of our key losses from last year is the worst, most blow hard of homers, not to mention that Patterson should've built up at least 75 lifetimes of goodwill and fan support by now. But I think, if things trend 9-3 or even 10-2, you're going to see fans who make chicken little seem like Ron Swanson. And it will mostly be because of those pictures of Casey Pachall. And it will be probably be pretty unfair.

Look, I'm just as guilty of anyone else of jumping to conclusions on the kid because he has an arm sleeve tat. But, I think it's mostly because I kind of view the football team as my surrogate children, to the point that I fear I'll take a TCU football disappointment worse than a lot of things my own unborn children may do. This probably speaks mostly to my football related neurosis, or it could just be that I'm not going to be as good of a parent as Tracy Morgan. Whatever it is, the fact that I and countless others let the actions of teenagers dictate our happiness for four months is probably just as fucked up as letting unfortunate Facebook pictures be the basis for lowering our expectations of the coming year. After all, had Facebook been the behemoth it is now when we were in school, there's a good chance we would've had questions about a lot of our favorite athletes, no matter the preconceived expectations we had for them.

Curmudgeonly anecdote: When I graduated, I'm pretty sure facebook was still only available to a handful of colleges nationwide, and I don't even recall photo albums being offered. Back then the only outlet we had to investigate the newest crop of freshman tail was to creep around the sorority houses during rush or make pledges provide you with an arsenal of Frog Faces' Magazines. These were fonder times for the female populations on college campuses. They were not fonder times for upperclassman dudes.

But that being said - come ON, man! Throw us a damned bone, here! With all the disciplinary action that has been inflicted on NCAA athletes as a result of Facebook and Twitter related transgressions, why would you let these surface? Look, Casey, we want you to be our guy. We really do. The fact that you turned down Notre Dame, Florida and Texas to ply your trade in Fort Worth spoke a lot of volumes about you. Sure, it placed some unfair expectations on you, but that comes with the territory of being a high profile recruit. But you have to meet us half way.

Regardless, rest assured whatever GP has in store for Casey once these pics hit his desk - and they will, whether it be the result of the EDSBS posting or an anonymous emailer with Facebook access and a concern for the program - will be more than enough punishment to fit the crime. Ole Gar Bear has a way of handling things that would rival any Medieval torture device. And even if its just scrubbing Bumpas' moustache after each team dinner, it'll be enough to scare him back into line.

And if not? Well, Tyler Matthews, you don't REALLY need to play out your Senior year, do you?

The Frogs have come a looooong way...

Whether it's at TCU, SMU, Tulane or any other private school in a major metropolitan area, the blueprint for football success always includes numerous mentions of the Miami Hurricanes. If you watched the 30 for 30 about the Miami program, you probably drew a lot of parallels between the Schnellenberger/Johnson 'Canes and the Patterson Frogs...although GP's teams don't have quite the rap sheet.

What you might not know is that Miami and TCU were semi-regular opponents of each other for a period stretching from the late '40s into the '70s, with the Hurricanes winning five times out of eight against the Frogs. Then the two schools faced each other again in October of 1992, at the height of Miami's national dominance:

Aside from every player wearing comically large shoulder pads, the other big difference is that back then, the Frogs were nothing more than a squashed fly on the windshield for Miami- who rolled TCU 45-10 that day on their way to an appearance in that year's "national championship game" at the Sugar Bowl against Alabama. It's clearly a different story in Fort Worth these days, where the Frogs have been in the national title discussion themselves each of the past two seasons and are on the other end of embarrassing scores.

If you're not a big fan of looking back at the dark ages of TCU football, our own Counselor Frog has promised a series of posts highlighting the greatest moments in the Patterson Era- so be on the look out for that sometime later in the summer.