If you have something on your minds, let us know. We welcome feedback from our articles as well as ideas for new ones. Instant reactions about the Frogs, the Mountain West or any other team are welcome. If you have something really good to say, tell us and we will post your e-mail below. Look forward to hearing from you and Go Frogs!!!
Well, your asking us to believe your evaluation of Griffin is better than GP and Bumpass. But that doesn't mean you are necessarily wrong either.I'm with you on getting Broughton onto the field more. He is 265 or 270 and is strong as a bull. So is Leatch for that matter. One of the guys on the Mtn watched film on Griifin and was very impressed, so I'm feeling Griffin does alot of protecting the LB's and that may be why your idea. I can't wait to see Broughton Sat if they follow thru with the pracitce idea. Hope they do.Totally agree with you on Yendrey. He is one heck of a playmaker. He has had sacks and if you consider how little they let him play, he has done a serious job.KM.
David is in Vegas so I will try to respond as best as I can. The Griffin issue, while I agree with you, is one that we will have to agree to disagree with David on. The staff sees all these guys in practice as well as the games so your point is valid. However, it is not unreasonable to believe that a player (Yendrey) who plays well in limited snaps would increase that production with more playing time.
It will be interesting to see if Broughton & Leatch do see some time at DT.
Thank you for your feeback.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
You are obviously a sports enthusiast who has absolutely no knowledge of music or musical endeavors. As many in this world you are walking around with blinders on thinking that everyone thinks the way you do. Wake up and smell the coffee my friend. As a musician and a parent of musicians in the TCU Band I take great pride in the accolades received by the Horned Frog Band in the last year, voted second in the nation of college marching bands. I absolutely HATED the racket played over the loudspeaker at the games. The band couldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t possibly play because of that noise. Do you even know that the band has been told when they can or canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t play because it might ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œbotherÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â the team. Break their concentration or cause an audible to be missed. I have watched GramblinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ shuck and jive, dance obscenely and look totally ridiculous. I have watched the M.O.B. make fun of anything and everything. I watch in total boredom as A&M plays follow the leader in tight formation up and down the field. I have watched as the University of Miami band (with another of my children) has struggled to keep it together. The band does not exist just to cheer for the football team. These musicians have worked hours and hours for a paltry .5 credit. They spend hours each week, all day game day and several weeks in the summer in the Texas heat to be brow beat by such as you. Why bother, when they are not appreciated by folks with their blinders on such as those who write things such as this? Maybe you should talk with the band directors to see all the things that they do to make the coaches and team feel supported. Oh and by the way all those scholarships donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t just go to students who want to cheer the football team in their spare time but they go to students who want to pursue the artistry of music as performers, composers, and teachers. The 40-80 hour weeks they put in on their instruments in addition to all of their classes apparently donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t count for anything. Take the blinders off and get a grip. The world does NOT revolve around you.
Thanks for writing.
Monday, September 06, 2010
I agree with your recap except on McCoy. Yes, McCoy was beat for the 1st. TD. However, and why I don't know, he did not get much if any safety help the whole evening. He was one on one with the best receiver he will face this yr. As of now, I think he is our best corner and look for some interceptions returned for TDs. A puzzling thought is the OSU staff had all yr. to plan the game and they chose to pick on him - that must tell us something. Rodgers cuts and moves made it real difficult to stay on him with a 3 man rush, even with McCoy's closing speed.
Luttrell going out hurt our blitz for some reason and it put real pressure on our corners with a 3 man rush, but hey, it worked and we won the game. If OSU was playing at home against BSU, I think they would have a good chance of beating them, but alas, not the case..
I think McCoy has the raw talent and speed to make up for some of the experience he lacks right now. I think he will be an asset long term, but there are some growing pains in the short term. I think if you go back to the Wyoming game, teams have attempted to exploit him for some time now and it is evident that other teams see the same shortcomings that I see. Again, I think he is going to be a great player for the Frogs, but he is a work in progress.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
This message is in response to the article "Time To Revamp The TCU Band" by David Peterson.
After reading this article, I was deeply saddened by the lack of respect and attention that the author has paid to the TCU Band. Being a former TCU Horned Frog Band member, I have to share a few points that came to me in response to your suggestions.
1. The Student section is not across from the TCU band, the band is IN the student section. 2. The uniforms currently in use are very practical. They are a lightweight durable material made out of TCU's colors. PURPLE, WHITE, and BLACK. The reason we take the jackets off in the stands is so that we can effectively cool off after marching a 10 minute show carrying an instrument. Not to mention, we wear all-matching purple TCU band shirts underneath in order to still be uniform. Have YOU ever marched AND played an instrument for ten minutes? It's one thing to march with an instrument, but another to constantly blow as much air as possible into a wind instrument at the same time. 3. Playing new music. The band DOES NOT play only classical or big band music. Not that there's anything wrong with those types of music. I for one happen to enjoy and study them very much, something you are not sophisticated enough to understand. But back to the point; you obviously don't listen to anything the band does when you're at the game. Last year, the halftime show was a rendition of Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, and Party Like a Rockstar with vocals, rhythm section, and even a tuba solo playing the guitar parts on Voodoo Child. Some examples of other songs performed in the stands are: Pretty fly for a White Guy, Jungle Boogie, and Carry On My Wayward Son, just to name a few. 4. You obviously have no idea what concepts go into making good music. As a tuba player myself, I can honestly tell you that adding more "tubas and drums" is not the key to making a band "hip." It has nothing to do with instrumentation. And not that the TCU band needs to be more "hip" anyway, if last year's marching show is any indication. 5. Brian Youngblood, the director of the Horned Frog Marching Band is constantly striving to make the band more effective, crowd friendly, and set a great atmosphere at football games and events. If you feel that he is doing an inadequate job, take it up with him. But I for one firmly believe that he, the band staff, and the TCU Horned Frog Band have nothing to prove to ignorant persons such as yourself.
I am very disappointed that you feel the way you do about the TCU Band. If you actually did some research and paid attention to what the band does, I am positive that you would retract your statements given in your article. Thank you for reading this. I hope it sheds some light on you and your beliefs.
I appreciate you taking the time to write me and I do apologize if you felt I unnecessarily offended you or the band. Your points are well taken and I would like to offer an explanation.
I think the main point I was trying to get across was the band at a football game is a major focal point of excitement at a college football game. What my aspiration would be is for a band to play music that creates an excitable atmosphere that can get the crowd into a frenzy. Not only musically, but spontaneity, creativity and timing are so key to getting a crowd excited at a football game and on some of these fronts I feel we can do so much better.
I do think the band is good, but I also believe this group could be great. I would never question their playing ability, their ensemble or their knowledge of music. In fact, all of the songs you listed below are very enjoyable arrangements. But while I am not an expert on bands, I have listened to bands at 30 different college venues across America and I feel like there is room to improve. That is not to say our sparsely filled student section could not do more or the home side could not do more to cheer, but the band should be the focus of the atmosphere at a college game. And to achieve a great atmosphere, the band has to be great.
I had hoped to convey that message in a collaborative way, but I have clearly hurt a lot of feelings by saying what I did. My intention was for this piece to serve as a pep talk more than lecture. If I failed to do so, I take full blame for that.
Thank you for your response. I appreciate your directness in your response and hope that I did not offend you. I was a little upset with your article, but I am glad that we can collaborate in a professional manner.
As for "sponteneity, creativity, and timing" being points to work on, I feel that you are correct. These are always things that can be improved. I always remember that we were constantly striving to do better with our timing. And while it is difficult for a 250-piece band to develop sponteneity, I will agree that there is some room for improvement in that area. Creativity is something that musicians always have to be developing. Even master musicians have to still be able to create new and interesting things. I feel that Brian Youngblood's creativity is something that is invaluable to the TCU band. Even in just the 6 years I spent there, the level of creativity of the various bands skyrocketed. Not only on Mr. Youngblood's end, but the Jazz Bands and the Wind Ensembles as well. But not everybody views everything the same way. We are all entitled to our opinions and I suppose we must agree to disagree on what is creative and what is not creative.
During my last two years at TCU, I was working on my master's degree and therefore was not required to be in the marching band. By attending the games as an actual non-marching band student, I was able to see the impact of the band up-close and afar. There were a few games where I sat literally right behind the tubas (obviously I know some of the guys), but there were some games (The Utah Game for one) where I was forced to sit way up in the top right section of the student section. I will agree that the impact of the band was not as obvious there, especially with the outrageous amount of people at that game. I wish there were that many people at every single game. How exciting would that be? The only problem this situation poses for the band is the fact that the sheer number of people drowns out their sound. I have personally talked to friends who played in the band at that game, and they have all told me that they were all playing as loud as they could and could not even hear themselves playing their own instrument. The problem here is that a 200 piece band just doesn't cut it for those kinds of crowds. For a small private school, our band is actually pretty big, but none of those other small private schools have a nationally ranked football team who can play on the level of Big Twelve schools. UT's and A&M's bands are at least twice the size of ours. That is a huge factor in how much sound and energy is produced within the football stadium. While TCU is growing, the School of Music can only recruit so many people to come to TCU and play in the band. Because of that, I believe that Mr. Francis, Mr. Youngblood, Mr. Wilson and all the band staff try to do the best that they can with what they have. I have only ever seen them work very hard to portray a very positive atmosphere at all performances, sports events, tours, bowl games, etc.
So you see, there are many more factors involved than would seem at first. I hope this gives you a little more insight as to what goes on within the band at TCU. I am glad that we are of the same mindset that TCU's football game atmosphere needs a good "pep talk." I do agree overall that the student section and the band could use some more creativity and sponteneity.
Thank you for your viewpoints, I wish you the best, and Go Frogs!
I enjoyed our back and forth and appreciate your response. Not much to say that has not already been said.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
When you mentioned us spreading out in our sections and playing in t-shirts, the fact is that we wear a uniform that is almost entirely made out of wool. Those uniforms are extremely uncomfortable and especially when it is 105 degrees outside, they can be almost a health hazard to wear for several hours at a time. We do wear our full uniforms during highly televised games such as the Fiesta Bowl, the BYU game last year and the OU game two years ago. However, for games against teams such as Wyoming or San Diego State where we are lucky to get on any T.V. channel at all, we are more concerned with comfort rather than looking our best. So why not get new uniforms? The uniforms made by leading designers like Fred J. Miller are very comfortable, light and have a more modern look and are more stylish. The problem is that a set of these uniforms for a group of our size could cost upwards of $200,000-$250,000 and in a time when the music department has had no budget increase or even a budget decrease, like in the last 5 or 6 years, they just don't have that kind of money. We want new uniforms more than anyone but they just aren't in the budget right now. As far as texting in the stands, I will admit that I have done it. We are playing at a football game. It's a social event, not a classroom. I'm not saying that justifies anyone texting while we are supposed to be playing, that shouldn't be happening. The problem is that it's just hard to monitor that in a group of 200+ people.
Our band is made up of a majority of non-music majors. We are very proud of the fact that people, who are not required to be in marching band due to scholarships, still want to participate and contribute to our sound. If the band was made up of only music majors, it would be pitifully small and probably sound pretty terrible. That goes for the majority of college marching bands I would imagine. I can't say that for sure because I don't go to any other school but I can only imagine that the majority of the are made up of primarily non-music majors. Being in marching band is only a small part of our scholarship requirements so we still have to pay to be in it because it is still considered a "class". No on is on a "marching band" scholarship, so to mention that may have been a bit unfair.
As far as bands like Grambling and Southern, those bands have had that rivalry for decades and it is a tradition there to have "battles" like that. The fact is that we are a top 25 BCS school and there are so many stipulations that come with that. The people that go to Grambling and Southern games, and other school like that, are there to watch the bands because they are the main attraction at those games. The TCU Band is not the main attraction. We are there to support the football team, not battle other bands. Then there are the Stanford band and the MOB. These groups are more of a pep band and we look at them as a joke. Yes they have fun but they contribute very little musically and they look ridiculous. That may make them stand out and be unique, but I think they do that in a negative way.
We have several tunes that we play on specific downs and whether we are on offense or defense. We are trying to integrate these tunes and cheers into the norm and recently the student section has picked up on this and joined us. TCU has not been a football powerhouse until the last couple of years and because of that, the students and fans don't really have any "traditions". SEC teams have been around for a long time and have been successful in football for so many years that the fans have many traditions as far as cheers go and the band has many tunes that are a staple at the games. We are trying our best to implement these things but they take time.
That fact is, being in a top 25 BCS team means you can only have so much individualism. There are so many restrictions on when you can play and for how long. A lot of the more "modern" hip-hop tunes and songs that you talk about are one, too lengthy and two, sound terrible. We have read through Lady Gaga and other pop songs and frankly, the arrangements are horrific and we cannot justify playing such horribly-sounding music because we do consider ourselves competent musicians.
One thing that does separate us from other schools is the kind of show we put on at halftime. If you watch bands like UT, OU, LSU, USC and other top football schools, they have maybe 4 or 5 sets in their show. By sets I mean the formations they make on the field. They have extremely easy marching shows because they stand there the entire time and just play. Last year our show had roughly 75 sets that we learned and we played a rock n' roll show featuring songs from Journey, among others, that we arranged ourselves. I would consider that rather crowd-pleasing and it led us to being named the #2 marching band in the nation by USA Today (I believe it was USA Today, I could be wrong). We were very proud of that, obviously.
I want to thank you for your article because articles like the one you wrote allow us to see what it is that could make us a better band. We are continuously striving to make ourselves sound and look better and you can only do that by having outside criticism and comments.
I appreciate your response and think it is a very levelheaded view on things. Also, I think you hit the nail on the head at the end. I meant it all as constructive criticism.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
We have got young not overly paid offensive coordinators. They made a monumental blunder in my opinion in overlooking the talent of Skye Dawson last year.
Dawson can run past any safety in the nation. He is that fast. Last year he ran by the Utah safety and the guy grabbed him, he was beaten so badly. They totally missed this and never ran the stupid play for the rest of the season.
Dawson could have opened up our whole offense. But we blundered so badly, I couldn't believe it.
Maybe they catch on this year, who knows. They are young and dumb and you know the rest of the phrase. I believe they are smart and they will improve. But we have Dawson just one more year and the experience thing starts all over.
I think Saturday night speaks for itself on this one. Good call on Dawson.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Your recent blog post ripping the TCU band is ridiculous. Saying "the student section has always been boisterous at TCU games" is laughable. When is the last time you were at a game? The student section is NON-EXISTENT. The band provides the only student atmosphere at the games, and you're bashing them?!
How about the other 7,000 students who do not show up to the games? You're picking on the 100 or so that actually show up and cheer on the team?
And, I hate to break it to you, you did not experience the "best bands" in New Orleans. Maybe if you grew up going to Michigan-Ohio State games, or USC-Stanford games. Good idea, let's aim to become the Grambling-Southern bands. But, hey, all of your 25 followers on twitter I am sure care what you think.
I appreciate you taking the time to write me and I do apologize if you felt I ripped the band. My intention in writing this piece is I think TCU has been forward thinking in a lot of ways, but the band is one area where we have not progressed in regards to the football atmosphere. You mentioned the Michigan-Ohio as an example and I could not agree more that these are 2 of the best bands in the country. But what makes them great is they have carved out their own traditions and made themselves unique.
In no way, shape, or form do I believe that the TCU band is bad. In fact, I think they are very good at what they do and have improved over the past decade. But what do we do that is unique from any other school in the country? How do we differentiate ourselves from other bands so that not only our own students, but people outside of TCU will recognize our band as one of the best in the country?
I feel like there is so much potential there and as long as we are improving season ticket sales, the stadium and the product on the field, what else can we do to improve the overall atmosphere. I do agree wholeheartedly that the students need to show up in larger numbers consistently and that is a point that does not go unnoticed in my eyes and many other peoples eyes as well. But this is about making everything better and to me the TCU band could be better. If I said that in a way that came across as offensive, I truly do apologize because I do not mean to belittle the effort that each of those students put out each game.
Hello Mr. Peterson,
As a member of the TCU Band, I cannot tell you how upset I am currently. I wish that you had done your research completely, because you would have known that last year's marching show was based off a Top 40 hit "Rockstar." You would also know that our stand tunes include many fun, new songs, and we in fact only have maybe three "big band or classical music." Finally, you would know that our band is known for starting all the cheers on the student side.
I am thrilled that you brought attention to our band; just maybe, next time try to find more facts.
I appreciate you taking the time to write me and I do apologize if you felt I unnecessarily offended you or the band. You are not the first one to write me since I posted my article and clearly there are a lot of hurt feelings over what I wrote. In no way was that my intention.
You make valid points and your point about the Shop Boyz song - "Party Like a Rockstar" is something that I admit, I remember and I will give you credit for.
Aside from apologies, all I can offer is an explanation for my purpose in writing the article. I see TCU making every effort to increase the popularity of their football games and promoting a great college football environment. For my money, the band is the focal point behind only the players on the field. The band is what makes the atmosphere at games what it is. What I had hoped this would do is spark creativity within the administration and band to allow for you guys to carve your own niche. The bands I used as examples have done things throughout history to become just as important as the game taking place on the field. That is what I hope for from you all because I think you guys could be better than good, I think you could be great. I have used that line in many of my responses, but it is true. I want you guys to continue being progressive and be passionate about differentiating yourselves from all the other bands across America.
But while my message was meant to be a pep talk, I ended up hurting a lot of feelings along the way. For that I am truly sorry.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
I completely agree that Utah State adds zero to the MWC and, as evidenced by the emails uncovered last week, was right in the middle if the whole BYU WACko debacle. Why should these pot stirring, no talents be rewarded with an invite to our conference? The thought of pandering to BYU for anything makes me want to hurl. I say tell them to put on their big girl panties and quit their geographic rival whining. Better yet, tell them not to let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya as they exit the MWC to certain obscurity.
Your though appears to be squarely in line with the article Jared wrote this week. I thought Jared painted a pretty realistic picture of Utah State, which even surprised me. I did not realize how little support they get.
A lot of people use the Boise State example to say if they can do it, anyone can. Well, you have to keep in mind that Boise State is the premier school in the state. Most of the state supports the boys in blue and orange. Utah State is the 3rd school in the state when it comes to importance well behind BYU and Utah. That example does not work here.
As for BYU, I still maintain that moneywise, they would make more by leaving. However, BYU is certainly helpful to have in the Mountain West, but not at the cost of taking in Utah State or pandering to them like the Big XII did to Texas, A&M and Oklahoma.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Nice job getting us ready boys. Basically restating what you said on this Will, but to me this whole thing comes down to their ability to bring pressure with the front 7. This is in regards to run and pass pressure. We all know it does not matter how many Darrelle Revis' (widely considered the top cornerback in the NFL) you have behind you it is too difficult a job to cover for more then 4 seconds. I like Wayne Daniels, but I admit I am not sure how he is gonna do. I hope he is great, but he just did not look like a stud to me, and I think that is pretty unfair since I have not truly evaluated him. However, nobody said that is what he needs to be and often some of the best pressure creating teams are those that have lots of good players and not a singular Jerry Hughes.
The talent and speed is certainly there. I was actually watching the Wyoming-TCU game from last year and saw the play where Greg McCoy returned a kickoff for a touchdown. On the play, he had a lineman as his lead blocker that was running step for step with him and I thought it was Jerry Hughes. Instead of #98, it was Wayne Daniels wearing #96.
Whether he can emulate Jerry Hughes or not, you make a great point Kevin. Last year we were able to get so much pressure with our front 4, that blitzing was a rarely used option. In 2009, TCU blitzed nearly 2/3 of the time using Stephen Hodge as an extra linebacker. I believe Patterson knows that getting pressure on the quarterback is key and if he has to move an extra guy up to do so, he will. But we all hope Daniels, and the rest of the line, can make up for the loss of Hughes.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
One thing you are overlooking, and I have seen this at practice, is Clarence Leatch. All talk Broughton and Maponga, but Leatch has outshown them by a mile in practice this summer.
He could have a terrific year, but he misses assignments some, which has tormented his playing time. So, he could help and he will, but how much is the question.
But the big thing that will make up for Hughes is McCoy. I bet he leads the nation in interceptions. Only thing is, he is not a secret anymore and people may throw at Teague. Doubt Oregon State knows that much about him.
The other thing offsetting the loss of Hughes is, we have a lot of seniors. That is so big a factor, most never understand.
From watching practice, I am amazed at the depth of quality players on this team.
I wish we could find out if you were going to be right on Clarence Leatch, but shortly after you wrote this e-mail, it was announced that he will be out possibly 6 weeks with a non-football injury. I always liked the guy and thought he had a good build. He loses leverage at times, but he is a guy I fully expected to fit into our rotation.
As for teams throwing at Jason Teague, the secret is out. Kellen Moore and the Boise State offense stayed away from Greg McCoy most of the game and continued to test Teague. I had hoped with more experience and an offseason between the Fiesta Bowl, Teague may have caught up, but it sounds like that remains a concern.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
TCU, BYU, Boise State, Air Force, Hawaii, Notre Dame, Army, Navy and maybe UCF. 8 or 9 schools. Loose affiliation and football only. If you do not want to play Hawaii then do not. Each school plays 4-8 in group games based on schedule needs. Keep your own TV money. Group is comparable to 6 BCS conferences, better shot at BCS status. Some national TV interest, good markets. NBC?.
As conference affiliation continues to spiral around, silly scenarios are a lot of fun to throw around and I do appreciate the suggestion. There are a lot logistical problems with this one though, but I do think we would see a spike in attendance at TCU on this schedule under this scenario. Army and Navy remain 2 of our biggest draws at Amon Carter Stadium and BYU, Boise State and Notre Dame would surely be big time matchups.
Also, I do like the idea of a loose requirement of games where it truly is independent status with a catch. Essentially, this is what BYU is trying to do with the WAC.
That said, this is probably far from realistic. Furthermore, NBC already has Notre Dame and I am not sure the other schools provide them that much in incremental revenue.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Will, your article "Between The Lines" is a good one - thanks.
IMHO, I believe the program is at a point where we reload so to speak. We have depth now with above average athletes. Good coaching and recruiting for a long-time has produced this product.
Our season, in my opinion comes down to two things - Dalton stays healthy and we can successfully run the ball in the red-zone against the good teams. If we continually have to go into a 5-wide set in the red-zone to make a 1st. down against the good teams then we probably finish around 10-3, which is not bad, but not what we all are expecting.
Your point is well taken in response to the article Will wrote earlier this week. We spend a lot of time talking about how we are getting bigger, faster and better at every position and that definitely includes quarterback. But without Andy Dalton, the prospects of another BCS run seem very difficult. Casey Pachall and Yogi Gallegos are clearly talented, but they do not have 3 seasons worth of experience. Last year was the first time in a long time we did not require a 2nd quarterback, I hope we can make that 2 years in a row.