54b's 2002 Preseason Unspectacular


“Ride Wit C” (Nelly style)

Where they at (Where they at)

It's the cops (Hide the smack)

If you wanna go and take a ride wit C

Party hoppin' in Midland with the Horns R-B

Oh why do he look this way?

(Hey, must be the dooby)

If you wanna go and get high wit C

Smokin' a J at the pad with the Benson-R-B

Oh why do he feel this way?

(Hey, must be the dooby)


Yes, football season is still 121 days, 9 hours and 32 minutes away, but I couldn't just sit still and type nothing could I? Of course not. Not when the most heralded running back at Texas since "Little Earl" ran roughshod over the 40 acres, got busted for possession of a controlled substance. As many of you already know, Cedric Benson was booked last weekend on charges of possessing less than two ounces of Marijuana. Not quite Nate Newton numbers, but enough to get your name in the papers, even in Dallas. Speaking of newspapers, the media rarely ever gets it right, so I've taken the liberty of reading between the "quotes" in what I call the....


"It's not his place and he didn't have any knowledge that it (dope) was there." - Benson's attorney John Carsey

TRANSLATION: We're out looking for the "real" toquers right now.

"We weren't targeting him or anything. Nobody really knew who was who until he was booked." Midland Police Sgt.Dale Seago

TRANSLATION: In west Texas, hicks like Dale think black people all look the same.

"A 20-year-old woman also was arrested on possession charges and a minor in possession of alcohol." - Midland Reporter-Telegram

TRANSLATION: Somebody's gettin' a new car from Red McCombs in exchange for testifying that the grass and the hooch was really hers.

"The marijuana was in a couple of places." - Police spokeswoman Tina Jauz TRANSLATION: Yeah, places like the toilet, her pants and the cookie jar.

Texas coach Mack Brown has said he won't comment on the arrest but called Benson "a great young man." Any team discipline will be handled internally "within our family."

TRANSLATION: Benson is my only hope for a national championship because the quarterback I bet my coaching career on can't figure out a zone defense to save his life. The only disciplinary action that will be taken will be in the form of kissing Cedric's ass while massaging his talented thighs with buttermilk.

"Not guilty your honor." - Cedric Benson

TRANSLATION: Ain't no jive ass, redneck, Rosco P. Coltrane gonna stop me from averaging 200 a game.


Little Edwin

El Weed

Cedric the Explainer

Kwame II: Cedric Boogaloo

"3 yards and a cloud of smoke"

The cannaBUS

The Half-back with a Scooby Snack

Sublime Time


"If you didn't see Ced take a hit, you must acquit."

If he's found guilty, one year probation, time served and he'll probably sit out the North Texas game. If a not guilty verdict is returned, nothing will happen to him and if coach Brown tries to suspend him for being an idiot, Johny Cochran and Jesse Jackson will be all over Mack's ass like OJ at a free buffet.


DECEMBER 1, 2001 - In the biggest game of his career, his fall from atop a paper-mache pedestal took less than a quarter of play. Three interceptions and a fumble on four consecutive drives lead to 28 unanswered points by the opposition. And though his predecessor valiantly tried to right the ship, the damage had been done. What had only moments earlier seemed like a team destined for a birth in the national championship, sunk quickly back into the abyss of BCS obscurity. Abandoned by an indecisive coach, dressed down by a hoard of drunken fans and crucified by a merciless media, he wept and asked why. Why did this have to happen? There would be no answer, until now....

AUGUST 31, 2002 –

“Guess who’s back” (Eminem style)

Guess who's back, back again

Simms' back, tell a friend

(Orangebloods) guess who's back

(Big XII) Guess who's back,

(OU) guess who's back,

(Gameday) guess who's back.

Guess who's back, guess who's back, guess who's back....

I created a monster, guess nobody wants me

But Applewhite's gone, you got Simms ya see

I'm on Texas Monthly

And since you got me, this is what I'll give ya

A six-five frame and a rocket for a south-paw

A whole lot of Ced mixed with some play-action

Some bombs to Roy just for voter satisfaction

Then a shock when I get props for the Heisman

By the same media who keep contradicting

Am I good, am I bad, it's so complicating

Hey, summer's over you can stop debating

'Cos I'm back, Major's gone and I'm navigating

I know that you got a job to do Mr. Corso

But you can kiss my ass, 'cos you're just playa-hating

So the AP won't let me be

'Cos my pops was an All-Pro QB,

So go ahead and hang me in effigy

You know we can't get to Tempe without me

So go ahead Horns fans, get drunk in the stands

Boo me all you want, I don't give a damn,

But ya better get krunk, 'cos this is true,

Horns will be number 1, courtesy of #2...

Now this looks like a job for me

So everybody just follow me

'Cos we don't need a QB-controversy

'Cos we can't get to Tempe without me

Now this looks like a job for me

So everybody just follow me

'Cos we don't need a QB controversy

'Cos we can't get to Tempe without me

In case you hadn't heard, Chris Simms is back - back on the cover of all sorts of magazines, back as the main topic of several sports talk shows and back as the starting quarterback for the 2002 Texas Longhorns. After all the ridicule and condemnation Simms received after the Big XII Championship game last year, you'd think the majority of the sports-media consuming public would never want to see or hear about him again. Yet there he is on the cover of Texas Monthly, USA Today and just about every other preseason college football guide, just a-grinning like a blackjack dealer sitting on twenty-one. So why not put Redding, Benson or the best trio of receivers in the country on the cover? Why would so many editors and publishers subject so many football starved Longhorn fans to constant reminders of painful memories, unfulfilled expectations and an uncertain future? Because sadomasochism sells? Probably, but it's more likely because the fate of Texas Longhorn football rests squarely on Simms' sore shoulders. Where he goes - good, bad or indifferent - so go the....


This commentary assumes that you already know the names, playing weights, favorite Back Street Boy and wind-aided 40 times for all 22 starters, the specialists and the water boy. So if you're looking for in-depth depth chart analyses, returning starter ratio theorems, position-by-position breakdowns or the perfect liner for your birdcage, go pick up a copy of Athlons or Dave Campbell's. Believe me, before the season starts, there isn't a whole lot I, or anyone else for that matter, can tell you that you don't already know. So if you're reading this commentary in search of answers, I'm afraid all I have to offer you is more questions with the always unpopular....


As with any team heading into a new season, there are always questions to be answered. How early and how often your team solves for these unknowns usually factors heavily in determining their fate, or more to the point, your sanity. So, for the sake of wasting time, I've come up with a few infrequently asked questions of my own. So sharpen your #2, phone a friend and let's begin:

1) Is $30 a ticket to attend the North Texas game outrageous or just a lot of "Mean Green?"

2) Will Texas Monthly cover-boy Chris Simms be "Man of the Year" or just another "Bum Steer?"

3) How will North Carolina taste with no Peppers?

4) Will Mack Brown win the big one or bite the big one?

5) What the hell is a "Green Wave" anyway: Tulane's mascot or the result of too many "Hand Grenades" on Bourbon Street?

6) Now that Nathan Vasher has made the move to cornerback, will he be known as ESPN3 or Comedy Central?

7) Will OU Suck or will the Horns blow, again?

8) After sustaining a season ending shoulder injury last year, will alleged pot smoker Cedric Benson be able to "take a hit" this fall?

9) When does Bob Stoops' deal with the devil expire?

10) Will the real Roy Williams please stand up? (I hear the ankle's all better now.)

11) Road game in Manhattan, Kansas: watch out for potential let down or potential hoe-down?

12) The Texas Defense lost six starters including a trio of linebackers and an All America DB: "whoa is me" or "Glory be the funk's still on D?"

13) What will the Horns find when they visit Nebraska: Big Red Machine or "Children of the Corn?"

14) If Bud Selig were commissioner of the Big XII, would Baylor be a candidate for contraction?

16) Major Applewhite: ex-athlete or shock jock? (Weekdays 2-3pm, 1300AM)

17) If a goal post was torn down in Lubbock and nobody cared, would it make a sound?

15) Will Mack have mercy on the Special Teams if they commit another "Halo" violation?

18) What's up with the Aggies lately: too much Inside Veer or not enough of the "Perfect Cheer?"

19) Will Texas have enough "energy" to make it back to the Big XII Championship at Houston's Reliant Stadium?

20) And, finally, is this the year we finally have an excuse to drink more beer?

Okay, that last one was obvious; duh, you never need an excuse to drink more beer. But the question still remains, is this finally the year the Texas Longhorns silence the critics, convert the incredulous, live up to lofty expectations and hoist the (I guess everything really is negotiable) Sears National Championship Football Trophy for all to see? Well, for that capricious prognostication, let's turn it over to the always unbiased, unabated, unabridged, uneducated, and uncensored....


"On January 3, 2003 the entire planet will be put on alert as the oceans boil, the mountains crumble and all life as we know it is...sorry, wrong prediction. Ah yes, here it is, fate of the 2002 Texas Longhorns: okay, it's coming to me, getting clearer...I see a man with gray hair...looks like Rosco P. Coltrane, maybe not, could be "good news" though...ah yes, now I see him...hey, what do you know, it's Mack Brown. And he's standing next to none other than Chris Simms and - get this - he's not apologizing to anyone. Not only that, but he appears to be holding something in his hand, a shiny object with the word Sea on it, maybe it's a shell...no that's not it...I think it says..yes I'm sure it says SEARS. Could it be? Can it be? Well, I'll be damned, IT IS, it's a Sears Craftsman 18.0 volt Cordless Drill with variable speed, adjustable torque and a keyless chuck."

Not quite what most of you wanted to hear, I'm sure, but all hopes, dreams and delusions of grandeur aside, I think we Longhorn fans are looking at another 11-2 season. Texas is loaded with talent – no question about it - but the fact remains that Chris Simms is still just a good college quarterback and until he proves he can put the team on his back and win the big games, I'm afraid the National Championship is still out of reach. Even if Texas does find a way to get past OU (please, for the love of God), the Horns still have to visit Manhattan, Lincoln and Lubbock. And, with a non-conference schedule so stimulating it could double as a tranquilizer for Bevo, it's probably only going to take one loss to knock them out of the National Championship hunt. Plus, when you take into account the number of teams with a considerably higher strength of schedule rating, that's not being pessimistic, that's being realistic. But as the saying goes "anything can happen and usually does." As for exactly who will take home the Sears Trophy this year, my thoughts are that it will be a team from the Big Ten or Pac 10, dark horses that can dominate conference play and have the luxury of not having to put it all on the line in a conference championship game. Whereas teams from the Big XII and the SEC, which include several top-rated teams, will invariably end up knocking each other off. Even teams like Miami and Florida State, who are often criticized for playing in traditionally weak conferences, have opted for ridiculously hard non-conference schedules. Miami plays Florida, Florida State and Tennessee this year. That's practically a playoff system in itself. It's unbelievable how many great match-ups are on the schedule this season. Every week it's going to feel like the National Championship is on the line, which is great for college football fans and makes predicting the eventual winner nearly impossible. College football is quickly becoming the most popular sport in the nation if it's not already. On any given Saturday you'll find hundreds of thousands of screaming fans converging on stadiums across the country to cheer their team onto victory in the hopes that this may be the year their team makes history. And speaking of getting together, it's time for the....


Despite popular belief (the earth is flat), tailgating is a sport (Game on!) and nobody does it better than The University of Texas ("and that's kickin' your ass"). And, fortunately for us (Orange-blooded Americans), Nad and the boys ("It's rainin' men") are back at it again reserving that awesome spot (location, location, location) in the parking lot (Lincoln Park) on the corner of 18th and San Jacinto (Remember the Alamo), just a block north of Schultz Beer Garden (mmm, Pilsner patch). The tailgate usually starts about three hours before kick-off (come early, be drunk, pass out later) and everyone is welcome ("bienvenue, vilcomen"). Just look for the RV ("down by the river") and the 6-foot smoker (you mean Ted?) on the back of the trailer (meals on wheels). There has been some talk (rumors really) of a generous local beer distributor (The Libation Army?) possibly sponsoring the tailgate ("thanks giant beer"), but it's probably a good idea (double bag it) if you bring your own frosty beverages (burnt-orange whip). As for food (guilty gourmet), there's always something good cooking on the grill ("save the neck for me Clark") and if you ask nicely ("how much for one rib?"), they'll let you have some ("ho's got to eat too"). And even though these guys ("oh gees, these players") don't ask for anything in return (sexual favors), it would be nice if you threw a few bucks their way (snaps for the petro). Just find Nad (Mini-XXX) and he'll point you in the right direction (go left). Thanks and we'll see you there ("um, I've noticed you around").


"No more excuses. We are extremely talented, and we're not young anymore. We would like to leave our mark. This is our year to do it." - Chris Simms

Translation: "Major's been discharged and now I'm in command. I've got more weapons at my disposal than George Bush and I'm going to destroy every last record in the book on my way to the Fiesta Bowl. And if you don't like it, you can kiss my ass."


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