As I sit at my desk, drinking my coffee, a thought worms its way into my head. How much longer until TCU brings home the natty (no not natty lite...anything but natty lite). I'm talking about the ever so elusive national championship that always seems to be within our reach, but then slips away at the last second.
I reflect back on my freshman year in 2013, the days when I was young, naive, and oblivious to things such as national championship dreams. After all, the football team had just finished going 4-8. The basketball team had just finished winning nothing. Then a magical thing happened, after what would become the regular for our baseball team, a stressful post season had resulted in TCU's ticket to Omaha being punched. The scent of a national title was in the air and boy did it smell good.
Of course, a national championship is like that girl that is out of your league at the bar, that flirts with you because she finds it entertaining. Of course you're willing to do whatever it takes to get her sacred 10 digits, but then you eventually strike out and it's time to leave the bar with nothing but the notion that, "well there's always next time".
2014 - 2015
Then 2014 comes around and TCU is knocking on the door of the college football playoffs, things look bright for this talented squad that won only 4 games last year, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it's gone. We get snubbed because of a multitude of reasons, which I am sure I will rehash in some later article again and again until the end of time.
This time the girl at the bar actually gives you her number, but you then later find out that despite all of your jubilee and excitement...it turns out that it's the wrong number.
Basketball season is once again a dumpster fire, however the flames do not look as bad as before. Then once again the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, TCU baseball outlasts a 16 inning fist fight with an old rival to once again return to the promise land. However, even though things were looking good after eliminating the top team in the country in LSU, the Frogs got sent home by Vanderbilt in a painful final game.
You go back to that same bar and see that same girl waiting for you so that she can send you home empty handed. You come off strong, with some good small talk and things are looking good. Then things take an unfortunate turn when she cuts you off mid-sentence to go and talk with some other guy across the bar. You know you made progress, but alas it was not enough.
2015 - 2016
Football came into the 2015 season with national championship dreams. To be fair, had they not suffered the worst snake bitten season of any team ever in the history of man kind they might have well met those dreams. Don't get me wrong that season was something special, so instead of a natty we got to go home with the biggest comeback in college football history.
After being so close the last time, you decide to hit the gym and cut out eating fast food for a couple of months to get yourself in shape. You cut out all of your dad jokes from your repertoire, and you get a fresh new haircut. To say that you are feeling good about your next trip to the bar is an understatement. Alas, during one of your gym sessions you simultaneously blow out both of your knees and can't even make it to the bar this time.
Somehow after the improvements the year before, the basketball team took a step back. Somehow the flames in said dumpster got fanned higher, and things were not looking good Bob. However, once again baseball season comes around, this time as more of an enigma than anything. Yet despite all of the uncertainty the Frogs fought their way back to Omaha for the third year in a row. Were it not for some damn good/lucky pitching from Coastal Carolina, TCU may have finally won the game of bases and hoisted the trophy high in the air. But alas, that is not how the cookie crumbled, and the Cinderella story had a story book ending as Coastal Carolina walked away as the national champion. Who would've guessed that such a small school could do such big things?
Alright, once again you are back at the bar and you cut all of the funny business. You are so so so close to getting this girl's number, when she asks if you have a pen so she can write it down. You look away to grab a pen and when you finally find one you turn around to see her talking with some other guy. This guy is smaller than you, but hot damn is he spitting some mad game. so even though you are mad initially you gotta give that guy mad props for what he just accomplished.
2016 - 2017
Enter 2016. While the football team had a big turnover on the offensive side of the ball, there is still so much to be excited about. Half of the fun is not knowing what we have right now, it could be really special and the chance to watch this team grow into a potential title contender is going to be awesome. We have depth on defense, a world class coaching staff, a lot of exciting young talent, and recruiting has never been better. The sky is the limit.
Our sports Czar, Chris Del Conte, saw the opportunity and hired Jamie Dixon. The prodigal son of TCU basketball had returned. Recruiting for TCU hoops has gone up so fast and it's strange to say out loud, but TCU BASKETBALL COULD BE FUN TO WATCH NEXT YEAR! Get excited everybody.
I could never forget about baseball. The work that Schloss has put in and the foundation that he has laid for this program in the years to come is nothing short of spectacular. Skipper, I tip my hat to you. Consistent success are two words that you have to say when talking about this program. Good recruiting? Yessir. Experience in the postseason? Yessir. One of the best managers in the biz? Yessir. I honestly haven't been this hyped up for something since my first listen of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
All of these things are pushing TCU closer and closer towards finally winning that national championship that has eluded our grasps for what seems like forever. I am now a senior, old and tired. But like all of you, my heart is full of hope and optimism for this school.
So now I've got a question for all of you: Who do ya'll think is going to bring home the gold first? The question for winning a title is no longer "How?" but "When?" because it is only a matter of time. Gary has the pieces and football is always capable of making a run. If the men's basketball team can make it to the big dance in March, then anything is possible. You might laugh, but they call it madness for a reason. TCU baseball is building a monster out of what is already a championship level team, and I cannot imagine Schloss finishing his tenure in purple without a ring.
All of your hard work has led to this moment. You've fought off adversity so many times, but you have a feeling that this outing is going to be special. You get your good pal Luken Baker to be your wingman #LukenBakerIsMyWingman and you roll in with your posse and you see her. That girl that you've been so close to getting her number time and time again. However, this time is going to be different She sees you, confident and beaming with charisma. You walk over and hit it off, you know that this is it because this time you brought your own pen.
She FINALLY gives you her number after so many times of being so close, you finally smell the roses of victory and nothing could possibly smell better. You take this girl on several dates, begin dating, eventually you propose to her and she says YES. You run off into the sunset like Dustin Hoffman at the end of The Graduate (without the weird awkwardness at the end) and you live happily ever after. You and her buy a house, you end up fathering three children, winning several father of the year awards along the way, you grow old together, and you end up being buried next to one another with matching lyrics from Kanye West's "Ultralight Beam" written across your tombstones. It is glorious and a truly beautiful thing.
So...who ya'll got?