Great Texas Line Press, which specializes in small books that pack a big punch, has published two new pocket-sized titles sure to be popular with football fans.

In The Texas Tailgate Cookbook: Menus, Secrets & Strategies to Elevate Your Party Game ($5.99, 114 pages), veteran Texas food writer June Naylor Harris and husband Marshall K. Harris share more than 50 of their favorite game day recipes.

The Fort Worth authors host impressive tailgate get-togethers before TCU home games with anywhere from 30 to 60 guests invited.

“The tailgate starts two hours before game time,” they note, “but at least a day’s worth of work goes into the preparation,” with a different theme for each party.

They devote a chapter to preparing for the party before getting to the recipes themselves, grouping them into eight elaborate menus, complete with main course, sauces, sides, drinks and desserts. The themed tailgates cover Texas barbecue, Southern barbecue, serious brunch, a taco fiesta, pork & beans & more, brats, “festa Italiana” and chilly Saturday (featuring chili).

While the Harrises are busy off the field, the other Great Texas Line Press title covers the action on the field at TCU: Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends by Jeff Wilson ($5.99, 86 pages). Previously, the press published Aggie Football Legends, Longhorn Football Legends, and Dallas Cowboys Legends.

In the TCU book, Wilson focuses on superstars Jim Swink, Bob Lilly, Davey O’Brien, Sam Baugh, Andy Dalton and LaDainian Tomlinson as well as coaches Dutch Meyer, Gary Patterson and Jim Wacker.

Wacker is an interesting selection, taking over the hapless TCU program in 1983 that had won only 17 games in the 10 previous seasons. At one point in that dismal era, some jokester posted a sign on Fort Worth’s Loop 820 that read: “Loop 820, TCU 0.”

In 1984, his second season, the enthusiastic Wacker coached the Frogs to an 8-3 record and a trip to the Bluebonnet Bowl. But the next fall, Wacker learned that several TCU players had been receiving secret cash payments from prominent boosters for years before — and after — he took over. TCU called in NCAA investigators, hoping that by turning itself in, the NCAA would go easy on the team. It didn’t. TCU was hit with harsh penalties and didn’t have another winning season for seven years.

Patterson’s coaching run — he moved up to head coach from defensive coordinator in 2001 — has been so successful that the author calls him the “most influential person” in TCU football history, even more so than the Hall of Fame players profiled in the book.

Dalton, who quarterbacked TCU to a perfect 13-0 record and No. 2 ranking in 2010, says of Patterson, the winningest TCU coach ever: “what he has done for the university, for the football program, for athletics in general, it’s trickled over into everything for this school.”


Glenn Dromgoole writes about Texas books and authors. Contact him at g.dromgoole@suddenlink.net.

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