Here are some random thoughts about the TCU gameday experience:
- I arrived in Ft. Worth via Dallas around 3pm on Saturday. After meeting up with some fellow Iowans at Dutch’s right across from the TCU campus, we settled in for a few hours before the game started. While we sat at the bar prior to kickoff, a random TCU fan approached our corner section of Cardinal and Gold and told us (in so many words) about the horrible time he had in Ames during last year’s 14-7 thriller of a game. He proceeded to tell us that Iowa State fans treated him like crap (although he did mention the decision they made to tailgate in the student lots...), and he hoped we would have a better experience in Ft. Worth. That being said, I found it super weird this guy came up to us just to express his displeasure. That was also the first time I’d ever heard someone with a vastly negative opinion about the Ames experience. Can’t please everyone, I suppose.
- I thought the TCU campus was spectacular. Beautiful buildings and a nice layout.
- The lack of open tailgating was very frustrating as a visiting fan with nowhere to go. The TCU faithful have a large portion of the area immediately outside the stadium that is full of cookie-cutter tents and set-ups, but outside of that I didn’t see any miscellaneous tailgating outside of this small area. Ames, it is not. Special shout out to the group of ISU fans that we chatted with around a half hour before kickoff that let us bum a few beers- ya’ll were way too generous!
- I thought the stadium was phenomenal. It holds cozy 50,000 and even sitting in the 2nd level didn’t feel like I was half a block away. The speakers were loud, the field looked good, and there was plenty of space to walk on the concourse.
- About the TCU fans: Outside of the stadium, they were all extremely friendly and eager to help with directions, etc., which was great. During the game, on the other hand, they gave off the impression that they really didn’t care about the outcome. It was dead quiet for most of the game, and frankly, I was a little underwhelmed. I noticed a lot of people not actively participating during the game, that is to say, unless TCU did something to give them a reason to cheer, they were dead quiet. Even on third down the noise level never got above a dull roar.
- Lee Greenwood sang “God Bless the USA” at halftime. It was super random and very dope.
Thank you to the inimitable Lee Greenwood for singing "God Bless the USA" at halftime! pic.twitter.com/qMPvSKUlhn— TCU Football (@TCUFootball) September 30, 2018
- TCU plays a train horn thing whenever something good happens and I’m honestly just confused why they have it. Sure, they may be the “Horned” Frogs, but don’t you think that’s a little TOO literal?
- One of their marketing campaigns involves the phrase “Knuckle Up”...
- It was a “white-out” game for the Horned Frogs, which is cool, but if half your fans aren’t gonna show up and your seats are purple, I can tell you the effect is pretty much completely negated (Side note: why on Earth have we not striped Hilton OR Jack Trice at least once? Imagine a Cardinal & Gold striped Hilton when Kansas comes to town. Marketing department, I’m looking at you).
All that being said, I would absolutely go back to Ft. Worth to see a game.