Week 8: TCU
Featuring College Football Tour, Again!
West Virginia 29, TCU 17
Sometimes, the outcome of a game doesn’t sway your enjoyment of a game day. Would a Horned Frogs win have been a cherry on top of a terrific Saturday? Absolutely. But when you’re surrounded by great people and a hospitable set of fans, you come away just as excited as a TCU walkoff.
What made Week 8 extra special was the opportunity to collaborate with College Football Tour– a friend and role model in the college football travel space. If you’re unfamiliar, let me catch you up: He’s been touring for over 20 years and has seen games at 88 different stadiums all while attending over 100 Wisconsin games.
Links to his stuff:
Another note needs to be made about Killer Frogs and their gracious set of hosts: Barry, Rema, Ryann, and so many more. They were gracious hosts and tour guides around TCU. Their site, KillerFrogs.com is a must if you’re a fan of TCU.
Anyway– if you find yourself in Fort Worth and itching for some Big XII football, this is the place for you. TCU fans are hospitable and passionate about their team in purple and black. For most of the recent decade, they’ve had plenty to cheer about.
Attending a TCU game against the right opponent can be an affordable afternoon. Tickets range from $15–$50 resale against teams like Kansas State and WVU, but can push $90-$150 against Texas and Oklahoma. Pro tip: You can park on side streets about a mile away from the stadium, or at various churches around town with a free shuttle.
Outside of campus, Fort Worth has a ton to offer people of all ages and backgrounds. The Fort Worth Stockyards are a great tourist destination and be sure to catch a show at Billy Bob’s Texas if country music is your thing. Like going out? 7th Street is for you after dark. If you like a relaxed environment to drink in, then check out Magnolia Street.
Forget something at home? Don’t worry– there’s more retail than Fort Worth’s 900,000 residents know what to do with (trust me, I’m 1/900,000). There’s also plenty of eateries, highlighted by BBQ (Goldee’s in town was named the best BBQ joint in Texas) and Tex-Mex (chains like Chuy’s down to local favorites like Joe T. Garcia’s).
Find yourself outside the southeast corner of the stadium for a terrific (and I mean terrific) band walk an hour before kickoff. While you’re in the area, grab a photo with Superfrog or the horned frog statue outside the sports museum and check out the history of TCU sports. That history, by the way, includes Hall of Famer LaDanian Tomlinson and Andy Dalton, just to name a pair.
Get inside early– concession stands offer Happy Hour with half-priced beer up until 10 minutes before kickoff.
The student section has one of the more bizarre chants in college football. It goes something like this:
“Riff, Ram, Bah, Zoo! Lickety, Lickety, Zoo Zoo! Who, Wah, Wah, Who! Give ’em Hell, TCU!”
Don’t ask me what it means.
There’s no bad seats in Amon G. Carter Stadium. If you find yourself sitting in the upper 400s, there’s a perfect view of the Fort Worth skyline, especially around sunset. Anywhere else and you’re practically on top of the action.
Unfortunately for Horned Frog faithful, TCU couldn’t pull out a win this week despite a narrow 20-17 halftime margin. West Virginia ultimately bested TCU 29-17. With everything surrounding game day, the final score is a mere footnote. However, WVU fans signing Country Roads was pretty neat.
TCU is one of the most relaxing, exciting, and invigorating game days in the nation. It’s very affordable if you pick your opponent and there’s so much to do pregame for fans of all ages.
Game Day Grades
Stadium: B+. It’s one of the smaller Big XII venues and the quaintness can be jarring in comparison to, say Texas. But it’s very walkable, has great seating options, and is recently renovated. Very high quality.
Tradition: B+. There’s surprising amount of traditions at TCU. Though on the national scale, the program has a “short” history, many of these quirks date back before World War I. This is a storied program, even if their success story and status became more well known post-2011.
Atmosphere: C+. TCU’s fanbase is a bit more reserved, older, and high-brow. As a result, you get a quieter stadium atmosphere, but everyone is really well behaved (not to compare them to a pet, but fan behavior is pivotal in game enjoyment). It’s laid-back and relaxing, which is a nice contrast to other stadiums like Texas A&M or LSU.
Tailgating: B. TCU is a smaller school and a good portion of tailgaters nationally are alumni, so the scene is a bit scaled down. However, the existing tailgates are top-notch. Individually, they receive an A. But as a whole tailgate scene, this isn’t the SEC.
Fans: B+. The crowd is a bit of late showers and, as mentioned, is a more reserved crowd. While they aren’t what I’d consider “rabid,” they’re extremely knowledgable and aren’t obnoxious. There’s no blind followers of the Horned Frogs– they know their stuff and when to criticize their own team.
Extracurriculars: A. Am I biased because I live here? Yeah probably. But TCU lies right in the heart of Fort Worth, which is conveniently attached to Dallas. The DFW Metroplex (“The Metroplex”) is one of the busiest metros in the nation. There’s zero shortages on things to do and with one of the busiest airports in the world, TCU is one of the easier campuses to get to.
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