September 12, 2018
Flags on the east side of TCU’s campus commemorate 9/11. Photo by Amy Peterson.
The excitement over week three in the Horned Frogs’ long football season has certainly gone over the top already. The high-profile matchup featuring No. 4 vs No. 15 has finally arrived and along with it tons of predictions, what-ifs and even ESPN’s College GameDay in The Commons on Saturday. We’ve come a long way in the past 20 years and we have a lot to be thankful for in the TCU community.
But this week is full of things that help us keep a college football game in perspective. And I’m not talking about the Frogs having to stay focused because it’s Texas next week and Iowa State after that, etc. etc.
I’m talking 9-11 and hurricanes.
The images, sounds and gravity of that morning in New York City 17 years ago all came to the front of our minds yesterday. I’m not sure I can remember any event in my lifetime that has been more stunning, more impactful, more surreal. For most of us, it was getting to witness war firsthand. On our soil. Kind of the Pearl Harbor of the time.
The total confusion, the scrambling to assess the situation and the nation rallying as one was happening so fast.
I have two vivid memories of that day that I’d like to share: The first, that morning, my young daughter (who’s a freshman at TCU this fall) pointing at the television saying, “Candles!” as she pointed and I turned my attention to see the smoke coming off the top of the first tower hit at The World Trade Center. Candles.
The other was later in the day at my then-office near DFW Airport as plane after plane landed quickly in accordance with an order shutting down all U.S airspace. On a normal day, a plane came over our office every 40 seconds; we got used to it. For the next several days, there were none. Nothing but the wind whistling. The quiet around DFW Airport was a constant reminder that things were about to be different. And never the same again, especially if you travel often by air. One other thought on 9-11 is that it totally derailed the presidency of George W. Bush. Prior to 9-11, the hot topic and debate was over stem cell research and its appropriate uses and application. TCU’s football game versus Marshall on September 15th (along with hundreds of others around the U.S.) was cancelled.
Then there’s Hurricane Florence. The “Storm of a Lifetime” they are calling it. It’s huge and barreling down on the East Coast, taking aim at North Carolina and South Carolina. We go through this every year, and the storms bring devastation and danger during and after the storm. The scenes of interstate highways being turned all one way — OUT. These, too, are life-changing events for those who are affected, and it takes faith, guts and time to get through it all. Say a prayer for those folks today, especially those who choose to “ride it out.” Their challenge begins late Thursday.
The Frogs’ challenge will not be the weather, as the roof will be closed at AT&T Stadium on Saturday. We’ll look at Ohio State on Friday.
Until then, Remember and…
Kick Em High!
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John Denton has been the color analyst for the TCU Sports Network from IMG since 1988. A former standout for the Horned Frog football team, Denton went from walk-on to a four-year lettermen as a kicker and punter for the Purple and White from 1981-84 and completed his career at the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl. Shown here with his former coach, the late Jim Wacker, Denton currently serves as the Director of Major Gifts for TCU Athletics.
Your comments are welcome
John, those are excellent remarks.
I love anything TCU sports, but this reminds us to keep it in perspective.
Thanks for a great article.
–Randy Moresi (Class of ’74)
Well said JD!
I always look forward to your posts and this is especially impactful at this time…
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