Football in Fort Worth

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November 14th 2015
Published: November 15th 2015
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I guess there isn’t much to tell in terms of traveling today. Most of the day was spent on the campus of TCU for the festivities surrounding the football game against Kansas. I made my way to the parking lot of Paschal High School around 8 AM and then walked to the football stadium. It was a little over a mile, so no big deal. I have to admit that the tailgate scene at TCU was weak, compared to the other places I’ve been. It’s mainly been SEC schools, so maybe that’s not a fair comparison. I will say that the free swag scene around the stadium was amazing. They have a string of tents set up called Frog Alley, which is also where the football team arrives and walks through to get to the stadium. I got there in time to see that and get a whole lot of free stuff: a t-shirt, some cups, stickers, a free breakfast brisket soft taco, a drawstring bag to put all this stuff in, and the baseball team was there signing autographs; they did really well last season in the College World Series. The stadium opened at 9 AM, and I had expected to see a number of students already waiting when I got there. But they were not. There were less than 10. Students get into all games free with a valid student ID, so now I felt no pressure to get in any earlier. I walked around a little more outside the stadium before heading in, around 9:20.

The stadium was originally Art Deco, and they’ve maintained some of that in the façade and the engravings. The student section had maybe 50 people in it when I got there, and there were white mini towels available for us. I don’t know why they were being given out, really, since no one actually used them during the game. The student section is all along the opposing team’s sideline, at the field level. I think that’s pretty good design, and I wish I could see UGA do that. That’ll never happen. I did notice that at least 75% of the students at the game - male and female - were wearing cowboy boots. It's such a cliche, and in Georgia, it would be a joke. But I guess it's serious here.

Since there wasn’t much activity in the student section, I decided to get a drink and caffeinate myself. No Coke products, only Pepsi, so that was disappointing. But the stadium had plenty of vendors, and I like it. They also have “Texas size corndogs,” so I got one. They’re $5, but they couldn’t break a $20, and I only had 4 singles. So I paid $4 and felt pretty good about it. It was pretty big. Then I made my way back to the student section and got a place towards the top, near the 50-yard line so I could see it all. Throughout the day, the video board had some glitches, which were annoying, but even worse were the speakers; they piped the marching band through them, and the speakers were right behind us. Loud. When they worked. When they didn’t, it was pretty miserable. Intermittent blaring of odd chords at random times, and even the refs’ microphones had problems being heard through the speakers. At many times, we all audibly groaned and asked why they didn’t just turn them off.

It was senior day, so all the seniors were recognized before the game. Students were told to wear white, and probably 75% did. I heard that they were trying to alternate purple and white by section elsewhere in the stadium, but that didn’t appear to work from where I was sitting. One of the traditions they do is having lots of kids run down the length of the field with the team when the team takes the field, though the kids run along the side of the field. It was different. TCU had won 8 of their 9 games this season coming into today, and Kansas had lost all 9 of theirs, so there was supposed to be no doubt about the outcome of the game. It’s odd how it doesn’t work out that way sometimes.

TCU’s best player is the quarterback, Trevone Boykin, but he hurt his ankle toward the end of the 1st quarter and never made it back into the game. We were up 10-0 at that point, I think. Maybe 10-3, but still ahead. The game was tied at 10 at the half, and the quarterback they had in for TCU didn’t get anything done for all the 2nd quarter or in the 3rd, until Foster Sawyer came in. For the final 20 minutes of the game, he was pretty good. We scored on 3 of the first 4 drives with him, to go up by 13 points. Kansas scored a touchdown in the 4th to make it a 6-point game, but after that, they couldn’t get much else going. TCU came in as more than 40-point favorites but only won by 6. Not the most promising of outcomes, but at least I got to see them win at home. So now I’m 4-for-4 at TCU games.

For most of the game, I was surrounded by fraternity and sorority students – maybe that’s their normal place, and I just happened to get in there without knowing? Maybe. Or it could be that they never get there early and have to sit where they can, which would be at the top of the student section (with me!). There weren’t any issues with drunkenness or lewd activity, so that made me happy.

The walk back to the car was uneventful. I found out that my Georgia Bulldogs overcame a deficit on the road to beat Auburn, and that makes me happy, too. I had attended that game every year between 2008 and 2014, so that’s another one of those streaks that came to an end this year. Good to know I don’t have to be there for them to win or for me to take joy in them winning.

There just happened to be a Whataburger across the street from my parking lot, so I stopped by there before heading out. I needed to check the weather and book a hotel before figuring out where to go. I had wanted to check out Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, as well as see a friend in Tulsa, so I’m glad that everything looks like it’s cooperating for that to work out. The driving in Texas has been mostly good - if you like to drive WAY over the speed limit with little reason to fear, then Texas and Oklahoma are for you. I only saw cops in the Dallas area. I made it a policy that, if I got passed by a pack of fast-moving cars, I'd increase my speed by 1 mph. By the time I got to my hotel tonight, I was at 80, and I'd started at 73. No cops, so no problems, I guess. I’ve made it to Norman, OK, where I’m staying the night. And I've topped 1100 miles on this trip.Tomorrow, I’ll get my Oklahoma fix, I suppose, before starting the journey back east.


18th November 2015
I almost got under the big flag in the student section

Nice photo
Looks like lots of fun.

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