The Horned Frog football team is back in action this spring and is scheduled to take the field Saturday in their annual spring scrimmage.
The team finished with a winning percentage of .766 last decade, ahead of storied programs like LSU, Georgia and Virginia Tech during the same time frame. After getting his team to a BCS game for the first time last season, head coach Gary Patterson has put his sights on a national championship.
“What we’re trying to do is to become the best team in the country,” Patterson said. “We’re focused on paying attention to details, playing with emotion, but playing smart at the same time. If you watch any team that wins football games, they play with a lot of intensity, but they play with a lot of intelligence as well.”
With fans already excited about the upcoming season, the athletic department is adding some pre-game flair to their annual scrimmage. Fans will get their first opportunity since January to get a look at the new team at the Spring Football Frog Fest on Saturday.
Jason Byrne, director of athletics marketing, said there will be some added flair to the pregame festivities. Byrne said that Boomerjack’s, a local restaurant, will provide food and drinks for the event, as well as a face painting station and bounce house. The department will also sell university apparel at a discounted price.
“We realize that fans have a hungry appetite for TCU football,” Byrne said. “I think coupling the pregame festivities with the opportunity to see the team scrimmage is good. I know coach Patterson is comfortable with having everybody out and being a part of it, and is looking forward to having people there.”
The football program in years past has never hosted a pregame party for an exhibition game. The atmosphere for the previous scrimmages was not that different from a traditional practice. With interest in the football team higher than ever, Byrne said the event is the perfect opportunity to not only attract more fans who would normally not attend a scrimmage, but also get people excited for the upcoming season.
“I think fandom rides in waves,” Byrne said. “You get the excitement of the schedule, and now here’s an opportunity to see the team and remember this past season and how great it was. It’s a great opportunity to see the team in action again.”
In addition to Frog Alley and the scrimmage, Byrne said there will be other events, such as the football banquet on Saturday, to drum up excitement for the team and the upcoming season.
Some schools, like the University of Alabama, have major networks like ESPN broadcast its spring game. While TCU doesn’t want to show their game on television, Byrne said he hopes the scrimmage, as well as Frog Alley activities, can become a tradition at school.
“I think we’ll probably grow toward [a bigger event] in the future,” Byrne said. “It depends on whether the event fits into the football program’s schedule and the way they conduct their spring practice.”
Spring Football Frog Fest
When: Frog Alley will open at 11 a.m Saturday.
Game at 1 p.m.
Where: Amon Carter Stadium