Letters: Wednesday, December 03, 2008
No Greener Grass

No Greener Grass
To the editor: Fort Worth Weekly sports stories always catch my attention. To me, the articles have a similar feel to Frank Deford’s cursory tongue-in-cheek contributions on NPR broadcasts. So this week when I read Dan McGraw’s column concerning TCU head football coach Gary Patterson (“Glad We Knew Ya,” Nov. 26, 2008), my inner Horned Frog got a bit upset. McGraw’s premise that Patterson’s performance has earned him a shot at a higher-profile college football program cannot be denied. McGraw made two valid points as to why Patterson should move on: one, that local sports coverage of his team and its accomplishments is wanting; and two, that attendance at Daniel Meyer Stadium stinks. Both true. However, almost everything thing else that McGraw said was utter hogwash. Why? Because he didn’t have his facts correct.
“Patterson has just about zero chances of getting to a BCS bowl game ... .” Did McGraw not realize that if TCU had beaten Utah two weeks ago (a game the Frogs lost in the last minute of play) they would have earned an automatic berth in a BCS bowl? That’s actually the second time Patterson has been in that position since he took over the team, the third time if you count the 2000 season when Patterson was the defensive coordinator. Many larger schools cannot make that claim — in particular, Clemson, Syracuse, and Kansas State, schools that McGraw mentions as possible destinations for Patterson.
McGraw commented that Texas Tech lost a game this year and still is in the hunt for the national title game. This is simply untrue. National lack of respect for Tech, coupled with the blow-out loss to OU, eliminated them from the national title discussion and a BCS bowl slot. However, TCU’s loss to OU this year did not eliminate its chances at a BCS bowl berth.
McGraw commented (and he’s not the only one) that “[TCU’s] players come from the ranks of those left behind from the football powerhouses.” He then says that at a larger school Patterson would have a “chance to recruit better players than the ’tweeners he gets now.” These are facts. And yes, they make Patterson’s job more difficult than some other coaches’. However, the idealist in me asks, “Why can’t this be Patterson’s motivation for sticking with TCU?” Patterson must take pride in the fact that he can offer “left-behind ’tweeners” a spot in a great college football program at a good university. This is his already-established legacy, and it’s very impressive. The fact is, his chances for a BSC bowl or a national championship really don’t increase if he goes to coach at Kansas State. He’s got a good thing going here. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, and Patterson’s no dummy. I’ll bet he stays here for a long time.
Mitch Weverka
Fort Worth
Risky Crossings
To the editor: Thank you for recognizing the sad state of sidewalks in your 2008 Turkey Awards (Nov. 19, 2008). We moved to Fort Worth just a few weeks ago and are both delighted and disappointed by the facilities available to those who choose not to or cannot drive a car. The bus and train networks are a very pleasant surprise. So is the trail system for cyclists, although access seems awkward and is not always obvious to a newcomer. Plus, the lack of bicycle lanes makes riding on streets generally dangerous.
For a pedestrian wanting to get from one place to another, or even just out for exercise, the situation is disheartening. In addition to the lack of connected and usable sidewalks mentioned in your article, crossing signals designed for pedestrians often are not functioning properly or the timing is so limited that it is difficult to get across without running. And many drivers don’t seem to feel the need to yield to those on foot, even at legitimate crossings, so that both of us have almost been hit on more than one occasion. If we, as able-bodied adult walkers, encounter such difficulties, we can’t even begin to imagine the frustration that a person in a wheelchair must feel.
Alice Spitzer and Mike Owen
Fort Worth
Shop Local
To the editor: I was glad to see the public service announcement in a recent issue of your paper that encouraged shopping at local businesses this holiday season. Even $100 spent locally will do Fort Worth a world of good. In these hard economic times, small businesses need our support more than ever. I intend to buy all my presents from “mom and pop” this year. I encourage others to give gifts not only to their friends and family, but also to their community. Shop locally!
Thanks for the timely reminder.
Gina Garner
Fort Worth

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