Like many of you, I've had the pleasure of attending games where Andy Dalton led the team I was rooting for. Unlike most of you, not a single one of them was in Fort Worth. The first time I was there to watch was an Andy Dalton led TCU victory in the 2009 game against the San Diego State Aztecs. It was the first TCU game I had attended since the 0-11 season in 1976. This was a whole new experience, and it ignited a bright purple spark in me! At the end of that season, I traveled to Phoenix to watch the Frogs take on Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. If not for a couple of unfortunate picks, that game would have had a very different outcome, and it was nevertheless fun to be there and experience the pageantry of my first ever - but not my last - bowl game. Since SDSU played in Fort Worth in 2010, I had to watch the Frogs' progress and see if maybe they would end up in a bowl game anywhere near Southern California. Well, Pasadena worked just fine! After a beautiful drive down the coast on New Year's morning, I experienced the fantastic way in which Dalton led the Frogs to that exciting victory over Wisconsin. Possibly even better was the interview afterward where Andy gave glory to God for the teamwork of the Horned Frogs that led to that moment!
I continued to watch the Horned Frogs, and have subsequently attended TCU victories at Boise State, San Diego State and the Poinsettia Bowl versus Louisiana Tech, both back at Qualcomm Stadium, a loss in Stillwater, and finally last week the Mountaineer's whooping at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth (more on that soon). However, I was also interested in what Andy Dalton was doing in Cincinnati. I have never forgiven my childhood heroes, the Rams, for leaving Los Angeles, so I've been a man without a team for decades (with a marginal affinity for the Broncos mainly because of the amount of time I've spent on vacation in Colorado). Andy Dalton gave me a reason to become a Bengals fan, which was solidified when I read an article about how his character was turning the team around. In January 2014 I was able to see this at a Bengals victory over the Chargers at yes, Qualcomm Stadium again.
So, it is very fun to see that Andy Dalton broke Bengals history Last Sunday by leading Cincinnati to their first ever 7-0 start, with their victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. A couple of days later, the jersey that Dalton was wearing during that historic victory arrived at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton OH, and became the newest artifact to be put on display there. In addition, Dalton joined Dan Marino, Ben Roethlisberger, and Matt Ryan with 23 road victories in his first 5 seasons. Dalton broke that days later when the Bengals beat Cleveland Thursday night, and are now 8-0. They go for 9-0 in the Monday night spotlight November 16 when they host the Houston Texans. All of these are reasons for me to get to more Bengals games and to Canton OH someday.
GO FORMER FROG IN THE PROS!
Rose Bowl and Chargers game photos by Warrior Horned Frog. Hall of Fame jersey photo courtesy of DKC Public Relations