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Contrary to what most of these followers may believe, TCU once produced national champions in authentic polls in real newspapers, conference champions regularly, bowl teams in abundance, All-Americas by the gross and even a Heisman Trophy winner. Uh-huh. Just like your normal, everyday Ohio State or Southern California.
I am armed with facts about the glorious past, but first a word about The Drag. Why? Because it is necessary. The Drag was once the nerve center of the campus, a symbol of truth, honesty and delicious plate lunches. Its deterioration oddly corresponds, although for no discernible reason, with the deterioration of TCU football itself.
I'm talking about The Drag that belonged to Rags Matthews, Cy Leland and Johnny Vaught before it was Sam Baugh's and Davey O'Brien's, and then mine. Me. B.A. '53.
Every campus has a drag, of course, but TCU's was shorter than most and had fewer Gucci outlets. Which is not to say it didn't have charm. In its better days, The Drag was primarily a long block on University Drive that began with T.C.U. Drugs and ended at the TCU Theater, only you had to go around the corner to the Hi-Hat Lounge if you wanted to get a Pearl beer and listen to arguments about God and Modern Lit.
Along the way were such points of interest as a shoe store, a cleaners, a record store, Oliver's Bite Shop, The Spudnut, the Frog Grill and Blackburn 5¢ to $5.
The big sign above the drugstore said: T.C.U. DRUGS/DRINK COCA-COLA.
The signs on The Drag were responsible for a student dialogue that went something like this: "Want to go over to Drink Coca-Cola and get some coffee?"
"Yeah, but before that, I have to stop at Five-Cents-to-Five-Dollars."
"I don't have anything to wear to the dance."