TCU scored an upset when the Horned Frogs beat Oklahoma at Memorial Stadium 17-10 in 2005 by limiting former Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson to 63 rushing yards.
Scott Nix, owner of KillerFrogs.com, said head coach Gary Patterson thought the Web site KillerFrogs.com posted news about an injury and some schemes that he did not want released. Nix said that when Patterson closed practice to the media, the outcome of the game could have been affected by the lack of media attention.
“They close practice and low and behold three weeks later (TCU) beat OU,” Nix said. “So we like to think that he used us to help beat OU.”
The Web site KillerFrogs.com contains information about Horned Frog athletics, recruiting and university news in general. Users could post their comments on any article or in any forum on the site.
Wes Phelan, the second owner of the site, sold KillerFrogs.com to Nix about four years ago. Since then the site has become a popular site among TCU alumni and students, as the site receives hundreds of users on a daily basis, they said.
Phelan and Nix both graduated from the university. Phelan earned degrees in radio-TV-film and geology in 1973 and Nix graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1982.
Both men are in sales these days, but they stay visible around the university. Nix said they tailgate on game days and hold luncheons for Horned Frog sports fans.
Matthew Brown, sophomore history major, said he manages the web marketing and maintenance of the site. Brown said he uses two user names because his father is Ray Brown, dean of admissions.
Matthew said he uses one for most of his posts. The other he opted to keep a secret so he could be more opinionated online despite his father’s position at the university.
“I bet you if he knew … he wouldn’t think highly of it,” Brown said with a laugh. “That’s one of the beauties of KillerFrogs – you can have that anonymous aspect on your side.”
Nix said the site’s motto, “Lowering office productivity since 1997”, could hold true for many Horned Frog fans. Some companies have even blocked KillerFrogs.com, he said.
In one case, Phelan said he had to delete every post one user made because the user’s employer ran a random Internet check and saw he spent multiple hours each day on the site.
Another user, David May, said he spend many hours a day on KillerFrogs.com. He asked for the sake of his job that his employer not be mentioned.
“All (KillerFrogs.com) does is delay me getting out of here at night probably by about a good hour at least, maybe more on some days,” May said. “It definitely can impact the day.”
May goes by the user name “TopFrog” and regularly contributes to KillerFrogs.com. He said he writes articles for the site occasionally and he also search the Internet for stories written about the university’s athletics.
Despite all the quick links to Horned Frog news, the site’s owners do not consider KillerFrogs.com to be a hard news site.
“It’s a place for the fans to display their passion for TCU,” Phelan said. “For me, that is probably the most rewarding thing having seen TCU during the dark days of athletics and where we are now, going from a handful of passionate people about TCU to thousands.”
As for a potential upset on the football field, the Horned Frogs play on the road at Brigham Young on Oct. 24. Who knows what role KillerFrogs.com could play in TCU’s game this year?