Pigskin Pursuit

An eight year odyssey across the backroads of America during the ultimate College Football roadtrip.

Tag: TCU 2009

Go Frogs!!!

A few short months ago, I could have purchased TCU tickets for fifteen bucks apiece and probably sat on the team bench if I so desired.Since that time, however, TCU had strung together nine straight wins, and stood with an unblemished #4 ranking in the country.Add in the biggest matchup of the year against a 14th ranked conference rival, and the ESPN College Gameday hoopla, and the result was absolute bedlam in Fort Worth on Saturday night.

Early in the season I had predicted TCU vs Utah may be one of the biggest games of the year for us on the tour, and Saturday I was proven correct.In fact, the Horned Frogs hosting the Utes shaped up to be the biggest game on the TCU campus since the leather helmet era.With a record crowd of 50,307 eager Frog fans looking on, Amon Carter Stadium was stuffed beyond capacity, shattering their old attendance record by nearly 3,000 fans.Initially, we could only find standing room on the concourse behind the endzone seats. The place was electric.

Coming into the game, TCU knew they had to prove themselves BCS worthy.They needed a signature win against a quality opponent, and had to justify their ranking among the nations elite.Even the slightest falter would give the shifty eggheads of the BCS reason enough to snub them.TCU needed “style points”.

TCU delivered.

After a back and forth first half, TCU blew the score wide open in the second half by punching in three touchdowns within a 2-1/2 minute span.The third of which was enabled off by a brilliant interception and return for a touchdown.Offensively, TCU never looked back from this point, as they went on to drop 55 points on the Utes, who simply had no answer for the balanced attack of the Horned Frogs.

Like any Mountain West team that typically lights up the scoreboard, we knew that TCU had an explosive offense capable of putting points on the board.Equally impressive, however, is how balanced this team is on both sides of the ball.The TCU defense was smothering the entire night, forcing a couple interceptions, blocking a kick, and generally flummoxing the Utah offense.The defense is anchored by man-child defensive end Jerry Hughes, who during one defensive “3 and out” series had all three tackles (including a sack) to force the Utes to punt.It seemed like every other play the crowd was chanting “Hugghhhhessssss”!

The victory was capped off by our first field rush of the year.After the final whistle blew, the frenzied crowd emptied onto the field in celebration of one of the biggest wins in school history.Were we not in the upper deck at the time, we likely would have joined the party at midfield.

In short this TCU team might be one of the most balanced non BCS conference teams that we have ever seen before, and they are going to be a scary matchup for any of the traditional powerhouses in a BCS Bowl.That “other” team in Texas better start looking in their rearview mirror….

A shout out to our friend Chip who came all the way in from Massachusetts for the weekend.And to JJ for agonizingly monitoring the Irish score during the game.

Finally, a huge thank you to our friends Heath and Melissa for hosting a phenomenal tailgate at their house prior to the game.Glad we finally got you guys to a game!

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Angelo’s BBQ

Despite your stereotypical impressions of Texas, and the widely circulated myth that good barbecue is omnipresent and available in every corner of the state, the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex is actually a black hole for proper barbecue in Texas.

Of course there are a handful of “famed” institutions, such as Sonny Bryan’s, that you may find on television purported to be among the legends of Texas barbecue.The reality is that Sonny’s exists on undeserved reputation alone. The only BBQ tradition to be found within their walls is a daily serving of grayed meat virtually indistinguishable from highway roadkill.This makes the quest for decent BBQ in DFW a difficult challenge.

Fortunately, there is one serviceable option that can satisfy an appetite for properly smoked meat in DFW: Angelo’s BBQ in Fort Worth, Texas.Adding to the pressure, there was an out of town guest to impress.My friend Chip had flown all the way in from Massachusetts and his exacting standards demanded some of Texas’ finest barbecue.I knew Angelo’s could deliver.

I have long maintained that a good barometer for a great restaurant is the prevalence of domestic, full size pickup trucks in the parking lot.Simply put, if you take a gander across the parking lot and notice a convoy of Ford F-250’s, Chevy Silverado’s and Dodge Ram’s, you know you’re in for a good meal.Not surprisingly, Angelo’s parking lot closely resembles a truck dealership, and I almost felt ashamed swinging into the parking lot in a zippy red Infinity sedan.My anxiety was quickly relieved, however, by the enchanting smoke wafting through the front door, and the familiar greeting of assorted dead animals adorning the walls.

I’m no stranger to Angelo’s, so I promptly ordered up my usual hearty feast: the combo plate of ribs and brisket paired with a giant frozen schooner of Amber Bock lager.Chip marched in close behind, and like a seasoned BBQ veteran, ordered up the same power plate and tossed a wad of cash at the clerk (Angelo’s is a strictly cash enterprise).

As usual, the feed at Angelo’s was superb.The brisket was smoky and moist throughout with a nice blackened crust.The ribs are Angelo’s signature item, and following every visit I am amazed by their consistency.They are tender, well rendered throughout and have that telltale pinkish hue of smoked perfection.Finally, the frozen beer schooners at Angelo’s are an absolute essential.There are few things as enjoyable as sipping your suds out of a frosted mug speckled with flaky chunks of ice.Every bar should take note.

If you’re ever in the Dallas Fort Worth area, and searching for a solid representation of what Texas Barbecue has to offer, head on over to Angelo’s in Fort Worth.After loosening his belt a few notches in approval, I think our northern visitor Chip would agree.

In the past a few folks have asked me “how are the sides at Angelo’s”?My response is simple: who cares?It’s a BBQ joint; side dishes are a distraction at best.

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