I’m talking about football season. In fact, it’s just hours away.
You can always tell that it’s time for the first football game of the season. There’s something in the air. Sure, it’s early September and here in Texas, still hotter than a crotch, but it’s as though you can feel an underlying coolness. OK, maybe not coolness per se, but there’s something different about the atmosphere. It’s palpable, like a density that you can run your fingers through and actually feel something…like resistance. And not only that, but the days are already starting to get noticeably shorter while shadows get longer. Soon, fallen leaves, sweaters and declining deodorant sales will become a part of the vista of which we are all a part.
I love college football. And if you’ve been reading this blog for any of the three football seasons it’s been alive, then you know I am a dyed in the wool Texas Longhorn fan and have been since the Horns beat Arkansas in the Big Shootout on December 6, 1969. Yes, I remember the date They won the National Championship that year. I was ten and enamored with the Longhorns and this happened to be Texas’ last all Anglo football team.
Aside from their social irresponsibility, Longhorn football has meant and continues to mean a great deal to me. I don’t know why–I suppose it’s because I’m a native Texan; I went to UT for a while ( graduated from a smaller university not far from Austin, but never lost my Longhorn allegiance) and well, let’s face it; so few people outside Texas look good in burnt orange. And like other devoted and loyal fanatics of sports teams, I have supported the Horns through great seasons (such as the BCS Championship one of 2005, courtesy of a pigskin clutching Harry Potteresque wizard named Vince Young) and not so great seasons which would be any that didn’t include a finely tuned Vince, Colt McCoy or Ricky “Blunt” Williams. 2010 comes to mind.
I know they’ll have a blemished seasoned. 2011 is going to be yt another rebuilding year for the team. Garrett “Noodle Arm” Gilbert as he became known in the Kendrick Household in 2010, played admirably when he was forced into action after Colt bruised his shoulder in Texas’ initial drive in the National Championship game at the Rose Bowl against Alabama two years ago.
The uh…the Horns, well, uh…the Horns lost that game.
But unfortunately, Gilbert fell short so many times last year…I saw leadership and poise issues. But Mack Brown insists he’ll start this year. Oh well…I wish my favorite team well. This year, they’ll need it.
Well, love ’em or hate ’em, the Texas Longhorns are one of true powerhouses in college football. And this year proves it with the newly created Longhorn Network, the much-hyped and ballyhooed controversial partnership between ESPN and the University which features a channel dedicated 24/7 to nothing but UT sports. Discussions for the idea for an ALL UT, ALL THE TIME network began in ernest five years ago after a perceived lack of exposure for the Longhorns’ non-revenue sports, meaning everything NOT football. Well, forget the words “non revenue generating” from this point on, folks. That’s a thing of the past. Check out the particulars of the deal: we’re talking a 20-year, $300 million partnership with ESPN. And from what I’m hearing, this has VEXED every other team in the Big 12. And not only that, it’s created concerns within the whole of college football that one of the country’s wealthiest and most powerful programs just got a whole lot richer.
Color Texas A&M maroon, white AND vexed. In fact, they’re so pissed over this and other issues I would imagine, they want out of the Big 12 entirely. Their new home conference in 2012? The storied SEC. (I mean seriously people, can they really be considered a legitimate contender in the conference going up against the likes of LSU, ‘Bama and even Auburn on occasion?) I don’t think this is a wise move at all for the Ags. It’s almost like this move is a big, childish temper tantrum. They’re just gonna get up and take their toys with them. But why? It’s my understanding that Texas Athletic Potentate, Deloss Dodds offered the Aggies a piece of the action several years ago, but they claimed they weren’t interested. Back then, the concept seemed like a lark. Neither school had a clue as to the revenue generator this could be. Eventually, the Ags changed their minds when they saw the dollar signs written on the wall, but when they went to Austin to express an interest in a partnership, Texas told them it was too late. The Longhorns were convinced a University of Texas-only network would be viable….and very, very profitable. And apparently, ESPN agreed.
Now, here’s what I don’t understand. Criticism for this all-Texas sports network has been staggering. Deloss Dodds has been vilified. He’s been called Satan….Hitler with a drawl…Dick Cheney….the Destroyer of the Big 12 and very, very greedy by fans and other schools. Greedy??? Oh really? That ‘s the pot calling the kettle black because for university coffers, the name of the game isn’t football itself; it’s getting as many games televised as they can. College athletics, particularly football has always been a massive revenue generator. And yes, TV is the reason. If A&M or Ohio State or Slippery Rock or any other college on the planet had been offered this oppprtunity they would have jumped at the chance, but that would never have happened. Simply put, few other schools have the following UT has to pull it off and lets face it, Disney, who owns ESPN, isn’t in the business of making bad business decisions. Walt’s company has 300 million reasons to believe The Longhorn Network will fly fast and far.
So with this in mind, I guess an autopsy on the stomach contents of the Aggie’s body of work in the Big 12 (especially where this network is concerned) would consist of sour grapes and bitter pills, which is probably the main reason they’re heading to the Southeast Conference, a move I feel sure they’re going to regret.
Well, be that as it may, The Longhorn Network will ONLY be good as the hordes of viewers it can rally and therein lies the rough. As of early Friday, officials at ESPN and Texas hadn’t announced whether a major cable or satellite provider will carry the Longhorn Network. As it stands, the biggest carrier so far is Verizon, which will include TLN on its FiOS-TV sports package. This will have a potential reach of about four-million subscribers in about a dozen states, including Texas. Something better happen STAT. The Horns season opener is Saturday….against Rice. Didn’t UT and ESPN secure all this head of time? Seems completely foolhardy to me if they didn’t.
But the point I’m trying to make is that a school couldn’t make that kind of massive deal without having power. And a lot of it and yes, UT does. And I don’t care who you root for; even if you hate the Steers, Texas’ power is undeniable. And not just on the field (in good years).
CASE IN POINT: Texas getting to play Michigan in the Rose Bowl in 2005 without REALLY deserving to be there. Mack politicked is way into getting that berth. He promised and he delivered. UT equals money. A lot of it. Nobody is going to say no to pure profit. The Rose Bowl Committe knew this and welcomed the Horns into their pigskin bosom. Does that mean Texas bought its way into the 2005 Rose Bowl? Well, I prefer to say they rented their way in and I say this as a Longhorn devotee AND as a staunch critic of BCS partisan politics, especially where elite teams are concerned, and yes, UT is one of the most elite , thanks in part to wealthy and generous alumni, wise investments, tuition ready students who want to attend UT and live the Austin experience at all costs and of course, the Permanent University Fund. As this university has proven time and time again, money talks–loudly and Texas has loads of it. This means Texas can afford the best speech coaches.
Look, here’s the deal: I’m a fiercely loyal Longhorn fan, but that doesn’t mean I can’t criticize my beloved Horns–because I do. That doesn’t mean I can’t poke a little good-natured fun at them, which I will do in this blogpost–AFTER I harass and harangue a few other college teams first. So, here are a few funny football related videos and jokes to help get you in the mood for the College Grid-Iron: Version 2011.
Let’s begin with USC.
The Beach Boys said California girls were cute. And it is undeniable. By and large they are–and I say that as a tried and true heterosexual woman, but apparently (and OK, OK… I’m strictly referring to the California girls who cheer for USC) they’re just not that bright when they don maroon and gold cheerleading uniforms. Either that or they’re extremely specious and accommodating when it comes to the cheering on the opposing team on their scoring drives.
What exactly is this all about? What’s with the cheerleader? A hidden trampoline? Springs instead of femurs, maybe??? An idiotic frog impersonation???
Remember this embarrassing moment? The bench clearing fisticuffs you’re about to see, ensued after some strange play or something. It all went down in the game between Miami and Florida International University a few years ago.
One fan said of this brawl, “I thought this was sickening and an embarrassment to the sport. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was angered and mortified for both teams. I was stunned at the levels to which these teams sank. Then, I saw the body slam…..that was freakin’ AWESOME!!!
Well, there you have it. I’ll leave you with these tried and true college football jokes. Feel free to use them and interchange the teams as you see fit–I did.
Happy college football season 2011, ya’ll. May A&M get a fitting send off from the Big 12 this November with a big burnt orange footprint on “they’s ass”; may Notre Dame lose often; may Boise & TCU get the respect they deserve; may USC receive an additional Death Penalty for the next 20 years, and may the Sooners see the errors of their ways. I mean they are from Oklahomo after all.
And as always, GO HORNS!!!!!
Q: What do you get when you put 32 Arkansas cheerleaders in one room?
A: A full set of teeth.
Q: How do you get an Alabama cheerleader into your dorm room?
A: Grease her hips and push.
Q: How do you get an LSU graduate off your porch?
A: Pay him for the pizza.
Q: If you see a UCLA fan on a bike, why should you not swerve to hit him?
A: Because it could be YOUR bike
Q: Why is the Baylor football team like a possum?
A: Because they play dead at home and get killed on the road.
Q: What do you do if you get an Ohio State player buried up to his neck in sand?
A: You get more sand!!!
Q: What are the longest three years of a Oklahoma football player’s life?
A: His freshman year.
Q: How many Nebraska freshmen does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. That’s a sophomore course.
Q: Where was O.J. headed in the white Bronco all those years ago?
A: College Station, TX. He knew that the police would never look there for a Heisman Trophy winner.
Q: What did the average USC quarterback get on his SAT test?
And here’s further proof that I can make fun of my own:
Q: Why did Texas choose orange as their team color?
A: You can wear it for the game on Saturday, hunting on Sunday and then for picking up trash along the highways the rest of the week.