50 Shades of Gary – Fort Worth Weekly

todaySeptember 15, 2022

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For TCU followers watching Gary Patterson-influenced Texas host Alabama final Saturday, the feelings had been extra difficult than Center Jap geopolitics.

Additionally, sort of like in case your child goes to school at your alma mater’s rival. Yeah, you attend the mother and father’ weekend recreation — and, yeah, you put on an overpriced Nike polo from the bookstore — however, damnit, you don’t have to love it. On this case, Gary lived in TCU’s home even longer than 18 years.

After seeing all of the puke-inducing photographs on Twitter of GP splattered in burnt orange subsequent to recruits, Horned Frogs have cringed usually over the previous couple of months of this awkward transition.

Faculty GameDay’s go to to Austin got here and went Saturday morning with solely the visitor picker, UT alum Glen “Hangman” Powell, saying publicly and with a straight face that he believed the Horns would beat the No. 1 school group within the land.

I used to be chuckling on the extreme hype and questioning what number of touchdowns Bama would put up by halftime. Texas had lately renovated their scoreboard, and I figured they’d want one other redo after all of the factors Bryce Younger and firm would hold on it. Then a bizarre factor occurred. UT was transferring the ball — properly — and making Nick Saban’s offensive bunch go three and out repeatedly.

If the Longhorns even have a shot, I assumed, this adjustments issues. Despising Texas is an integral a part of being a Frog fan, however the Crimson Tide— the New York Yankees of school soccer — are even worse. To not point out, Patterson with a few of the greatest groups TCU ever fielded earned a shot at Saban as soon as many moons in the past. Oh, hell. Hook ’em, Horns!

As my temper shifted from burnt-orange pity to a “I acquired this T-shirt on the grocery story” bandwagon fandom, the UT protection continued to impress with twists, stunts, and blitzes. The commentators identified the ever-animated and perma-sweaty Gary Patterson on the sideline and talked about his affect on the gameplan. Did they even point out Texas’ defensive coordinator? Have they got one? Does he have a reputation or simply an empty workplace that Gary sits in now like an 800-pound silverback?

Watching, I started to mirror extra on the Home that Gary Inbuilt Fort Value. Dennis Franchione put up the scaffolding within the late Nineteen Nineties from which GP crafted the St. Peter’s Basilica of North Texas school soccer like Michelangelo.

After the 2011 Rose Bowl victory, TCU followers simply assumed Patterson would coach the Frogs longer than Invoice Snyder stayed at Kansas State. TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati as soon as stated, “Gary can coach right here so long as he desires,” which should have made firing the man midseason final yr all of the extra dramatic. I figured Patterson would nonetheless be loafing across the Carter within the 2090s with a workers like Gandalf, doing his mad scientist defensive soccer wizardry factor. Not less than he’s all the time acquired the bronze statue to fall again on.

By the super-sucky late-Mack Brown years and after, Patterson’s Frogs beat UT two-thirds of the time. Yr out and in, the geniuses in sports activities media would insist Patterson was going to depart TCU for the top job at UT. Talking of, you gotta give it to Texas AD Chris Del Conte. Relying on the way you spin it, he’s both the slyest canine or slimiest snake in all of this. The previous TCU AD stored Patterson completely happy in purple for years when GP was on a number of high quality head coaching-search lists. After which, Del Conte dropped Fort Value like first-period calculus for the 40 Acres of underwhelming soccer and gluten-free, lab-meat breakfast tacos with nut cheese on high.

A few years go by, and he’s dragged his faculty and the Sooners out of the Large 12 to the SEC like a Navy SEAL op: deliberate for months in secret however made public solely as soon as the mission was full. CDC didn’t trouble telling his household pal, protégé, and TCU AD successor, Donati, what he was as much as. A number of years later, Del Conte ropes Patterson into a training stint within the Individuals’s Republic of Austin, and so they rattling close to take down Alabama. You possibly can say a number of issues about Del Conte, however “underachiever” isn’t certainly one of them.

Like an workplace lunch catering order, each TCU fan has a barely completely different tackle the collection of occasions from Patterson’s midseason firing in 2021 to at present. Some say he ought to have seen it coming. Some say he walked on purple water and Donati was incorrect for firing him. Others insist he misplaced management of his program however by no means stopped being an absolute defensive genius — it was time to go, however he nonetheless had his mojo working. I confirmed up in Fort Value as a freshman in 2007 and attribute many a superb time to ol’ GP.

Had been it not for his time at TCU, we wouldn’t have been neglected of the final three rounds of convention realignment, as a result of we by no means would have been within the dialog in any respect. The Campus Commons would probably nonetheless be a parking zone. Enrollment may be 40% decrease, and TCU might need been fortunate to outlive the uncertainty of COVID in any respect. Final weekend’s Tarleton recreation might have been a marque convention recreation as an alternative of the well mannered, just-down-the-road, right here’s-your-fat-check-for-your-troubles butt whipping that it was. That’s the distinction profitable soccer makes and mockingly why TCU felt the urgency to fireside Patterson midseason — the shedding seasons had been piling up.

The considered GMFP swapping purple for burnt orange was unfathomable this millennium — till it occurred. It’s bizarre and complicated, however that is what we’ve got to take care of. With UT on the best way out of the Large 12 and unlikely to face TCU greater than a handful extra occasions this decade, I’m completely happy for Gary to maintain dialing up blitzes and retying his sneakers so long as he wishes — particularly in opposition to the groups that the BCS and CFP cartels stored TCU from going through within the years the Frogs greater than belonged within the natty dialog. Horned Frog Nation ought to simply be glad Gary Patterson coached within the Fort for so long as he did.

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