When I was playing football with the neighborhood kids I always called being Larry Brown, since he was the Cowboy who went to TCU. My neighbors didn't argue much, since that let them be Troy, Emmitt and Michael, but to me the idea that a guy who went to the University that my family had gone to was playing for the Dallas Cowboys was both wonderful and unbelievable given how bad TCU was at the time. Then Brown won the Super Bowl XXX MVP award and suddenly there was a bit of competition for who got to be Brown, at least until he left for Oakland. Brown is currently the co-host of the Dallas Cowboys pregame and postgame shows on 105.3 the Fan and is representing Allstate at the TCU/LSU Cowboy Classic game tomorrow night.
HawkeyedFrog: You played for Jim Wacker, the first era of TCU football that I can remember. What was your favorite memory playing football at TCU?
Larry Brown: Wow, my favorite memory? Jim Wacker was such a good man, he taught us about more than just football. He taught us about being a human being, being a good person, and that's really what I remember most about my experience at TCU. It wasn't just about the athletics, what they stood for from a character and moral side from the discipline side made me a better person and that's what I remember most.
HawkeyedFrog: Does coach Patterson encourage participartion from TCU's NFL alums like yourself? Can you just take in a practice and address the team when it suits you?
Larry Brown: He does. He's a good man, coach Patterson, when you go back over there he allows you to come to practice, allows you to sit in on film sessions, pretty much whatever you're open for he's happy to have you for. Hes done a great job and TCU's lucky to have a guy of his character who's also a great coach and I'm proud of what he's done over there and I support him in any way he needs it.
HawkeyedFrog: The NFL has been abuzz with elements of the spread moving from college to the NFL. Since the 4-2-5 that Patterson runs has been so effective against the spread do you see it making it to the NFL as a regular defense at any point in the future?
Larry Brown: I think that it has. I think that you look at the different versions of college and then the pros you see similarities. As you see more spread college coaches going to the NFL I think that you're going to see more and more of the 4-2-5 concepts head that way.
HawkeyedFrog: As TCU's authority on cornerbacks, I'm curious what you think of current TCU star Jason Verrett's NFL prospects. Is there anything our dreadlocked star needs to do to improve his grade for the NFL?
Larry Brown: I don't think so, I just hope the NFL gives him the shot he deserves. He's proven he's one of the best corners, if not the best in the country. I think unfortunately oftentimes they'll give guys from the SEC more respect, but I hope that they respect him and give him the props that are due to him.
HawkeyedFrog: I absolutely agree, I think right now there's nobody better at taking the ball away in the air than Jason Verrett.
Larry Brown: You know, we were there in the Mountain West conference we were treated without that respect, but now that we are in the Big 12 hopefully the arguments against the level of competition disappear. The funny thing about it is the same arguments from the past come up whether we're in the Mountain West conference or not. There are a lot of guys have left TCU to go to the pros and have done very well. And I hope that they move away from the "TCU kids don't play against elite competition", because playing in the Big 12 should eliminate that argument.
HawkeyedFrog: Absolutely. Well, you touched on the SEC a little bit, so what do you think of this string of dominance the SEC is currently on? What teams (other than TCU of course) do you think can break the streak?
Larry Brown: Well, number one just to be very candid is the way they pay their coaches. You know those guys make a lot of money, Nick Saban and Les Miles, to bring in the talent and they do. I think the other thing is that the SEC has, at times, gotten some opportunities that other conferences wouldn't get. You go back a couple of years ago a school like LSU, which has done a great job under Les Miles, got a chance to play for a national championship with two losses. I believe, partially- I'm not saying all the time, that there can be some bias at times.
HawkeyedFrog: I agree, I think that Oklahoma State being shut out of the title game a couple of years ago was the biggest case of that.
Larry Brown: Yeah, absolutely. You're absolutely right. (Ed. Larry Brown just told me I'm absolutely right. My life is awesome.) I think as a conference the SEC is committed to football, you know, the schools pay the money, the conference pays the money to build up great facilities and I think that what you're starting to see now is everybody catch up. The SEC for so long has had the best facilities, but when you look at the most recent trends- TCU is getting upgrades, you look at what Oregon did with their football facility. They're starting to catch up.
HawkeyedFrog: I certainly hope so. So, you're going to be at the Allstate fanzone tomorrow from 5-6 for meeting fans and signing autographs. Every Cowboy fan knows that you have good hands, because they've seen the clips from the Super Bowl a hundred times. What made Allstate appealing to you, though?
Larry Brown: They're a great company, and I think Allstate gets that it's about the fans, it's about the people who come out and support us. Support TCU, support the Cowboys. Allstate knows they are and basically they recognize who really makes the difference. It's great to be an athlete, but there's nothing like fan support, the adrenaline and cheers they give us. Allstate recognizes that, and I appreciate that. It's a collaborative effort between players, coaches and fans, it's not just the players and the coaches and Allstate has recognized that fans are a big part of the game and the reason the games are what they are, and that's why I support their initiative.
HawkeyedFrog: Back on the TCU front, what do you think of the new uniforms?
Larry Brown: I love it. I love the whole color thing, when you never know what somebody's going to come out in. You know, a couple of years ago TCU came out with the little snakeskin and I think it makes the game more exciting for the players.
HawkeyedFrog: I can't argue with that, but I still kind of miss the Flying T from your days.
Larry Brown: *laughs* Well, you know I used to be a traditionalist, until one day I thought, "You know what? We've got to keep up," and I'm not being funny here, I'm serious. There's a lot of kids that go to schools because they see the cool uniforms. They think they're stylish. I'm not saying that the whole decision process, but how teams look is a big deal in decision making. We have to stay in tune with what the rest of the country is doing, with the Nike combat and all the other things. I think TCU has done a great job of doing that.
HawkeyedFrog: It certainly helps when you have Nike on your side. Who is your favorite current TCU player and why?
Larry Brown: My favorite current TCU Player... I think it's Casey Pachall. I like Casey and I like guys who have had a chance to go through adversity, but at the same time took the opportunity to get themselves together. What happened for Casey was unfortunate, but at the same time he came back and he's done everything that he's supposed to do. He's done everything the coaches have said, and I think it'll be a great story if he comes out and takes the Big 12 offensive player of the year award to show that you can go through adversity and make mistakes, but bounce back and be stronger. I think he's on that road and he's done that, so Casey Pachall is my favorite TCU player. On defense, Devonte Fields. I've gotten to meet Devonte and it's the same thing, he's had a couple of issues but Devonte can come back and he's a really good kid, I know his mom. I'll be cheering hard for those two guys. I cheer for everybody at TCU, but Casey on offense and Devonte on defense.
HawkeyedFrog: What do you think needs to go right for TCU to beat LSU on Saturday?
Larry Brown: Number one is discipline. Don't turn the ball over, don't make mistakes and don't be intimidated. Yeah they're the tigers from the SEC, but play your game. TCU has the talent, they have the weapons to do it so trust each other and play four quarters. Find a way to win the game. I think it's going to be a good game, so you have to find a way to win it in the end. I think TCU will have every opportunity to win the game.
HawkeyedFrog: That's excellent to hear, do you have a prediction for the score?
Larry Brown: I'm very bad at predictions, I'll just say it's going to be a close one.
HawkeyedFrog: Fair enough. Is there any charity that you favor that you'd like to plug to our readers at Frogs O' War?
Larry Brown: Yes, I'd like to plug my charity, a sports league called Metroplex Select. Just go to metroplexselect.com and anybody who wants to support it would be appreciated. It supports football shoes and equipment for kids that want to play the game but can't afford it. It's about giving all kids an opportunity to play the game we love, the game of football.
HawkeyedFrog: Fantastic Larry, thanks so much for doing this.
Larry Brown: Thank you for having me, I enjoyed it.
Our special thanks to the fantastic Larry Brown for taking the time to talk to us, if you're in the area swing by the Allstate fanzone and you can meet Larry from 5-6 PM tomorrow before the game for autographs and general merriment.