Frogs still growing fan base ‘one at a time’

Posted Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The line stretched out of the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility and fans arrived more than two hours early for TCU’s annual Meet the Frogs autograph session Saturday.

More than 2,000 fans got autographs, snapped pictures and visited with Horned Frogs players and coach Gary Patterson.

The interest in Frogs football is at an all-time high, with the season opener against LSU in the Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium less than a week away.

A record number of season tickets have been sold (more than 32,000) for Amon G. Carter Stadium and only standing-room only tickets remain for Saturday’s 8 p.m. opener that will be televised on ESPN.

“I didn’t get a chance to look up,” Patterson said, after signing his last autograph at 3:40 p.m., more than an hour after the two-hour event was scheduled to end. “It’s cool. I’ve always said you grow Frog fans one at a time. For us, when you see older and younger [fans] and from different backgrounds. We used to just see kids from right around in this community and now you see them from every part.”

TCU tight end Stephen Bryant said he remembers getting autographs as a young boy and how intimidating it could be.

“Any time we’re able to sign autographs, or just say hello to the little ones it’s always an honor,” Bryant said. “This is a big turnout. My hand is definitely tired right now.”

Uniform buzz

Reaction to TCU’s new uniforms has been mixed among fans, including many of those at Saturday’s autograph event.

The most common sentiment seems to be that the new uniforms look good, but the helmet may be a bit much. The new helmet features red stripes on either side instead of the classic TCU logo, which is now on the back of the helmet.

Of course, it matters who you’re talking to. The younger the person, the more they’re impressed with the new helmet, including two top TCU commits, who attended Meet the Frogs on Saturday. Decatur quarterback Grayson Muehlstein and Dallas Skyline offensive lineman Ty Barrett both love the new look.

Junior cornerback Kevin White has been around for several uniform changes. He loves the red on the helmet, but wouldn’t mind seeing the Frog logo make an appearance. Patterson has hinted that a Frog logo could be added before Saturday’s game.

“It’s different with the red stripe on the side,” White said. “You don’t see a lot of red with TCU. I like having the Frog on there and Coach P is kind of superstitious. He feels like the Frog makes us play better. I’m pretty sure they’re going to put the Frog on there somewhere.”

Longtime fans such as Fort Worth resident Bill Hall, a 1966 TCU graduate, said the uniforms should attract their intended audience.

“I think a lot of imagination went into it, especially with the red streaks,” Hall said. “I think it’s a little awkward having [the TCU logo] on the back, but I’ve been accused of living in a time warp so it might be time to go for something new. Of course, anything [Patterson] does is all right with me.”

Fred Hernandez, of Fort Worth, has been a TCU fan for 21 years but was attending his first Meet the Frogs event.

“I think it’s cool. I like the Frog [logo] on the hip. I like the cleats, they’re awesome,” Hernandez said.

Quotable

“‘Thanks for staying.’ I guess they thought I was going somewhere.” — TCU coach Gary Patterson on the comment he heard most during Meet the Frogs.

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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