Sunday, November 20, 2016

We need a few more cowboys

The “Brothers Tailgate” made their way to Fort Worth, TX Saturday morning to watch the TCU Horned Frogs take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Mrs. Tailgate’s Alma Matter. TCU Football has a long and storied history dating back 130 years. Their glory days came in the 1930’s when they were steered by Quarterbacks Slinging Sammy Baugh and Davey O’Brien. The Horned Frogs claimed two national titles during the same decade and were a force to be reckoned with. For over 60 years they were part of the old Southwest Conference until it disbanded in the early 1990s. They moved onto the WAC, then the MWC and ultimately landed in the Big 12 five years ago. Along with the golden boys of the 1930’s other greats such as Bob Lilly, Ladanian Tomlinson and Andy “Opie Dalton” graced the gridiron of Amon G. Carter Stadium “AGC”.

The stadium has been around since 1930 and is named after a major benefactor from that era and the school’s greatest cheerleader. AGC underwent major plastic surgery five years ago giving it the appearance of a brand new stadium. The school leaders wanted to make it the “Camden Yard” of college football. They hit their mark in the aesthetic areas and unique attributes. Carter seats 45,000 fans and has all the amenities and conveniences you would expect in a modern facility. 
The majestic Amon G Carter Cathedral
We rolled into Fort Worth at 9:15 AM for pre-game activities and joined our friends the Fernando family from Danville. The Texas skies were cloudless and the air was brisk with a slight breeze providing for perfect fall football weather. We learned the Horned Frog symbol which is a peace sign with the fingers bent down. The school chant is something out of a 1930’s period movie “Riff Rham Bah Zoo”. The cheerleaders were typical Texas beauties with plenty of enthusiasm and big smiles.  Did you think I was going to say something else? Please, clean your act up. Accompanying the cheerleaders on the field were the showgirls, which are reminiscent of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. The only complaint I will lodge is that the Pride of TCU Marching Band was consistently drowned out by piped in rap and heavy metal all game long. I won’t get on my soap box too much on this topic but marching bands are to be heard along with being seen. I can listen to rap and rock on my i tunes anytime, I don’t need it at a football game. 
Sue and Roger Fernando, AKA our Chaperones

The stadium is surrounded by grassy areas and parking lots with purple and white canopies and the smell of good Texas BBQ.  On this day the Horned Frogs would be hosting the Cowboys from Oklahoma State. The two coaches Gary “No voice” Patterson of TCU and Mike “Mullet” Gundy are both the most successful coaches in their program’s history. Just think, Mrs. Tailgate graduated with Coach Gundy, she could have married him but hit the motherlode instead. Oklahoma State came into the game with an 8-2 record and an outside chance at the college football playoff. TCU is in the midst of a rebuilding year with a 5-4 record. 

The Frogs started the game on the right foot by recovering a Barry Sanders Jr muffed punt return and scoring a quick six. From there it all went down Hill, as in Kenny “Trill” Hill their transfer QB from TAMU. The Frogs shanked the extra point and went on to surrender 31 unanswered point to the Pokes. The Ok State offense spearheaded by 6’5 QB Mason Rudolph and RB “No” Justice Hill and a compliment of receivers tore through the Frog defense at will all afternoon. The final score had the Cowpokes on top 31-6. For a moment I thought Mike Stoops was running the TCU defense. The Pokes are now in a position to win the Big 12 when they meet their rival the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman for the “Bedlam” game in 2 weeks.
An amazing day in Fort worth
After saying our goodbyes to the Fernandos and Fort Worth we made our way up I 35 W for the 45 mile trek to the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. There we met up with Bobby and Julie Baumgardner for a pre-game tailgate. We chowed on homemade bacon infused potato salad, Johnsonville beer brats and cheese grillers all pared with frosty PBR. The tailgate acreage has an area called “The Hill” where the Greek and other student organizations get their pre- game swerve on. We were in the parking lot adjacent to that area. 
The DFT UNT Tailgate
The last time we attended a game at UNT in 2009 they played in the old dilapidated Fouts Field and were part of the Sun Belt Conference. They now call Apogee Field home which was completed 4 years ago and are now part of the Conference USA. Apogee is spectacular and unique with the east end zone stands shaped like bat wings and the athletic dorms beyond the west end zone. It is also one of the on campus stadiums that serves beer deep in the heart. Geez I love Texas. This would be my sixth Texas school of the year to attend a game. After purchasing affordable care general admission tickets we found a stack of premium tickets discarded by scalpers. These tickets scored us seats on the 40 yard line 5 rows from the field. The CFB God’s looked kindly upon us.
The Green Machine at Apogee Stadium

The UNT Mean Green would be hosting Conference USA foe Southern Mississippi, AKA Favre University. UNT under first year offensive genius coach Seth Littrell entered the game at 4-6 with a shot to still make a bowl. The SO MO’s Golden Eagle’s record was 5-5. The 400 member spirited UNT band rocked the stadium with continuous songs belted out throughout the contest. After storming out to a 20-0 lead to the delight of the green clad fan base, SO MO scored 27 straight to take a seven point lead. The Mean Green kicked a field goal to get within 4 points.  The Green defense stiffened up and produced several late turnovers resulting in another touchdown to secure a 30 - 27 win. UNT’s most favorite alumni was celebrating somewhere with a Coca Cola. The band belted out the Alma Matter as the players rushed the student section and then we departed back down to our lodgings near Love Field. Honestly I had the stamina to hit the second half of the SMU game but my sleepy older brother needed his nap earning him Bieber consideration.

Bobby wannabe band boy Baumgardner

Which one is the real Chickenhawk?
Here is our weekend in a nutshell (Click through to get to flipagram):

Around The Country

In the cold and snow in Morgantown, the Oklahoma Sooners capitalized on numerous Mountaineer turnovers to secure a 56 - 28 win and a shot at the BIG 12 Title and an outside chance at the playoffs. On a night when the hillbillies could use the extra heat, there would be no couch burning in Morganhole. Although the score looked lopsided the Mike Stoops engineered defense surrendered close to 600 yards to the Eers. At one point, screaming Mike was caught on TV throwing a tantrum in the booth.

On Thursday night, the college football world witnessed the Louisville Cardinals offensive line win the national mannequin challenge by allowing Heisman Leader Lamar Jackson to be sacked more times than a George Steinbrenner Manager. The Houston Cougars dominated all facets of the game winning by a score of 36-10 and knocking the Cardinals out of any playoff chances. This was the Houston team that beat OU in week one, not the team that lost to SMU a month ago.

In the makeup game postponed by the September Hurricane, a pissed off Florida Gator team migrated into Baton Rouge to meet up with SEC foe LSU. There was much behind the scenes bickering about where and when this game should be played after the original venue was in Gainesville. Bitterness was abound on both sides. After stopping the Tigers on a fourth and goal situation late in the game, the Gators held on for a narrow win and the SEC East championship. Their victory prize is a meeting with Alabama in 2 weeks. Coach O’s chances of keeping the HC office next season diminished further. Florida coach Macilvane had this to say in the post-game about the LSU athletic department: 

Most of the rest (not all) of the SEC played junior high teams for what reason I don’t care to know.

The much improved VA Tech Hokies traveled to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish. The Hokies came from deep behind twice to notch a 34-31 win over an Irish team reminiscent of the Charlie Weiss era.

In Boulder, the Mike Mac coached Colorado Buffs fared better than the Cougs from the Palouse in a PAC 12 showdown. The win all but guarantees Colorado the PAC 12 South title and a shot at the overall conference championship.

In the Mountain West it is widely rumored that the Aztecs from San Diego State purposely lost to the Wyoming Cowboys to avoid having to play Boise State in the MWC finale. I hope this is not true. Wyoming only needs to conquer New Mexico next week and they will take the MWC north and meet up with the Aztecs again on 12/3 for the ship.

DFT daughter and i Carly at the Blue Friday night.

Bieber Candidates - We have a tie this week: The NCAA for excluding my 24th ranked Frostburg State Bobcats from the Division III playoffs. They selected 8 teams ranked lower than them to the 32 team field. I needed a safe space and a crying room to deal with this injustice. I am now wearing my safety pin just to show my hurt and anger. The Bobcats did a get a “courtesy reach around” game called the Asa A. Bushnell Bowl at Franklin Field in Philly where they played St. John Fisher and won 38-14.  The Bobcats finish the year at 10-1 in one of their best seasons ever. The other golden ticket winner is former Sooner Charles Walker who walked out on his team this week to prepare for the NFL draft. It seems Chucky Boy who was just cleared to play after six weeks on IR opted to take the “me first” route and leave Norman and go get himself ready for the combine. Walker is considered a highly regarded defensive lineman by NFL scouts and pundits. Either Chuckles had his bell rung so hard that he isn’t thinking right or he was just sick of screaming Mike Stoops. Well son, I hope you got your freaking degree because the NFL does stand for “Not For Long”.  Congratulations to both of you.

Next Week

The Brothers Tailgate will reconnect with cousin Teen and her hubby, the good Doctor Eric Glassy along with the Major to enjoy the fruits of my video victory at the Coliseum in Los Angeles. I am hopeful that ND can salvage a disappointing season with a win over arch rival USC just because.

The Rabagos at the SJSU v Air force game
Playing CFB at double nickles, an inspiration to us all.
Happy Tailgating!