A top-ranked team deserves high attendance

One of my favorite landmarks in Fort Worth is the Railhead Smokehouse on Montgomery Street, where the employees wear T-shirts that read, “Life is too short to live in Dallas.” Being a Fort Worth convert from Dallas by way of TCU, I especially love the motto, because I know exactly what they mean.

Among the aspersions a seasoned Fort Worth resident could cast on Dallasites is the unnecessarily fast pace of life and the frequent change in lifestyle without regard to a system of values. After all, humans naturally resist change. Change that is value-oriented and improves the quality of life, however, should be welcomed and put in action.

As I approach four full years as a TCU undergrad, I’ve seen some incredible change at TCU in the overall quality of the student experience, both in regards to facilities and TCU employees. These changes have been heralded on campus, as well as by local and national media. When TCU proactively decided to upgrade the athletic experience, though, it was met by many with a striking degree of cynicism.

With regards to the unprecedented raising of more than $100 million to renovate Amon G. Carter Stadium in six months, the neighborhoods surrounding TCU were in uproar over the potential adverse effects of stadium construction. They must have forgotten the property-value increase they’ll be seeing, as well as the opportunity to attend a game in what will be one of the nation’s finest stadiums.

With the announcement of the Big East conference move, everybody in America has to put their spin on why it might not be the best decision for TCU. As Athletic Director Chris Del Conte said, “We’ve arrived,” when Ohio State President Gordon Gee has to “throw stones at our house.” However when that criticism is rooted internally, it’s cancerous to the success of our university.

I’ve heard students complain they’re going to have to travel significantly further for away games. With an average distance difference from TCU of about 100 miles between the Mountain West Conference and Big East Conference away travel, that is simply not true. Furthermore, it’s not like many fans were driving to conference away games in the MWC. I imagine flights might cost slightly more going east because of market demand, but I’ll pay more to visit Syracuse or Connecticut over Boise or Laramie anytime. Not to mention, for the road games you don’t attend, you’ll probably have heard of the channel most games will be broadcast on 8212; it’s called ESPN, and most TVs in America get it.

As the media tried to press Del Conte for adverse effects of the move to the Big East during Monday’s press conference, he reminded the room, “Guys, this is the Big East. This is a great conference we’re joining.”

Horned Frog fans should appreciate the product they’re getting and act accordingly.

Del Conte indicated Monday that he expects sold-out men’s basketball games when storied Big East programs such as Pittsburg, Notre Dame and Georgetown come to Fort Worth to play. However that same evening, TCU dominated a fairly well-known school by the name of USC to an at best half-full crowd at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

If we want the Horned Frogs to be associated with top-tier institutions, we need to act like it off the court as well. Our student-athletes have been busy setting records on the field, and now it’s time for fans to step up their game as well.

John Andrew Willis is a senior Spanish major from Dallas.