Saturday was a memorable winner of a day for Kay and me (yes, that really is proper grammar ).
As we watched from the top row of Section 406 at Amon Carter Stadium, her TCU Horned Frogs pulled out an epic comeback win over Oklahoma State in double overtime. A few hours later after we finally made it home, we watched the last 3 innings as my Astros won an 18-inning, 6-plus-hour marathon over Seattle, 1-0, to earn their sixth straight trip to the American League Championship Series.
The No. 13 Horned Frogs trailed big all afternoon but pulled off a stunning 43-40 victory over No. 8 OSU in front of just under 50,000 fans. TCU, which fell behind 14-0 early and trailed 24-7 in the second quarter, held the Cowboys without a touchdown in the second half and erased a deficit that still stood at 14 entering the fourth quarter.
When it was 14-0, I told Kay we’ve seen TCU rally from way down before, including the best game we’ve ever witnessed in person — the Frogs’ comeback from a 31-0 halftime deficit to beat Oregon 47-41 in triple OT in the 2016 Alamo Bowl. So of course, I told her to “Remember the Alamo.” TCU still trailed OSU 24-13 at halftime, but I had plenty of optimism.
When the final period began with OSU in front 30-16, I told Kay that I still thought the Frogs would rally. And they did, scoring two fourth-quarter TDs to send the game to overtime.
It looked like the Frogs would win after scoring first in OT, but OSU converted a big fourth down and then scored a TD to send it to a second extra period. TCU then held OSU to a 52-yard field goal and just needed to score a TD to win. I knew they’d do it, and running back Kendre Miller, who had 104 yards on the day, punched into the end zone from 2 yards out to complete the Frogs’ comeback.
Afterward, I asked Kay if she’d thought the Frogs would rally to win and she admitted she didn’t — even after what we’ve seen them do. The game lasted just under 4 hours and the temps were in the 90s — but luckily, our seats on the west side of the stadium were in shade from opening kick through the end of the Frogs’ sixth win without a loss.
We’d bought tickets for cheap in a 2-games-for-1 deal, so we’ll be at next week’s game against Kansas State too. Luckily that’s a night game, and with a front Sunday expected to cool North Texas down all week, it might even be nippy!
As for my beloved Astros, I hated to miss watching their playoff, but we monitored it on our phones throughout the TCU game. Little did we know that even after a long postgame wait for the shuttle buses taking fans to the Fort Worth church where we always park, and after picking up our youngest at work, the Astros and Mariners would *still* be in a scoreless tie when we arrived home at 8:30 (TCU’s game started at 2:30).
The Astros made our day complete when rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena crushed a breakthrough home run in the top of the 18th, and then Luis Garcia — normally a starter — finished off 5 spotless innings of relief to seal the 3-0 series sweep and send Houston to yet another ALCS, where it awaits the survivor of the Guardians-Yankees series.
The unbelievable 18-inning game brought back forever memories for me of the Astros-Braves NLDS playoff I attended with my college friend Gerald and his 2 teens on Oct. 9, 2005 — a six-hour game Houston won on Chris Burke’s walkoff home run in the 18th. The Astros have now played in two of the four longest playoff games in MLB history.
I’m so lucky to have an amazing — and understanding — wife who enjoys sports so much, at least football of any kind and Astros baseball, thanks to my lifelong fandom that’s also made her a huge fan of the team. We’ll never stop rooting for the Frogs, Astros and my Aggies (who didn’t play today) as long as we’re around and able to!
Go Horned Frogs! Go Astros! Go Aggies!