54b's 2004 Preseason Unspectacular


When did we fans go from being consumed with winning titles (and beer) to being obsessed with beating just one other team? How did our teams with so much talent and promise come up short year after year? Are we cursed because we spurned one of our most popular players ever?

Given this time of year, you'd probably think I was talking baseball from the perspective of a Boston Red Sox fan. But I'm talking college football and even with the entire season set to begin tomorrow, like many Longhorn fans, all I can think about is just one game: beating the Oklahoma Sooners. Of late, OU seems to be the Yankees of the Big XII and the one team standing between Texas and a shot at the national title.

Since Coach Brown came to Texas, Longhorn fans, like many Red Sox fans, have reveled in the thought that "this year was finally going to be the year" that Mack brought the title back to Austin, only to get our dreams trampled upon in early October. Sure, we almost backed our way into a title shot three years ago, but spurned our diminutive all-conference QB for a six-foot blonde with a pedigree. After which, we got down our knees and cried "God, why have we failed again?" But no answers ever came, just more heartbreaking losses to those hated rivals in the crimson and cream.

In 2000, we were "surprised" by the Sooners 63-14. The next year, it was a couple of "fluke plays" and a gravity defying DB. In 'O2, Mack said the "wind" did us in and last year after another lopsided loss, we didn't get an excuse, just another apology. Four years, four season shattering losses and after all that, Mack's still here. So is Greg Davis and the same coaching philosophies that have yielded six straight nine-or-more-win seasons and six straight trips to the "Close-but-no-cigar" bowl.

Undoubtedly, many of you will dismiss my latest comments as negative and short-sighted (especially on the eve of a new season) while most Red Sox fans would find my ill-contrived comparison to their century of futility and anguish insulting. Admittedly, both parties may be right. The Horns have won three national titles in the past 100 years and actually have a winning record against our version of the evil empire from north of the Red River. But you have to admit that there are some uncanny similarities between the teams from Boston and Austin...both have come painfully close to getting a shot at the title the last couple of years only to be thwarted by their most hated rivals and the thought of another championship dream being squashed again by those very same nemeses is more than most Red Sox fans or Orange-Bloods care to bare.

But every year is a new year and don't look now, but the Red Sox are leading the wildcard race and you just never know what to expect from the...


As always, this commentary assumes that you already know the names, playing weights, favorite Hilton sister and wind-aided 40-time 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 something to wipe your ass with when the two-ply runs out, go pick up a preseason preview from one of those snake-oil prognosticators. 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. So go grab a #2, phone and friend and let's begin the always unpopular....


1) Fifty-five dollars a ticket to see North Texas - does Deloss believe in the "mean green?"

2) The Longhorns return to Fayetteville for the first time in years to face the Hogs - this little piggy went off or this little piggy got his ass handed to him behind the woodshed? (Sorry, still bitter from last year)

3) Better motto for Rice Football Team - "Still Breathing" or "No Nerd Left Behind."

4) Has Baylor's mascot been officially changed from the endangered black bear to the endangered black (basketball) player?

5) With so many lawsuits still pending, will the Colorado defense still be able to penetrate?

6) Mizzou's non-conference schedule - cake or frosting?

7) In Lawrence, which will happen first - Jayhawks complete a pass or Coach Mangino gets a bypass? (Hey, I'll take odds on Mangino)

8) The Cowboys lost their Senior QB and WR, will Stillwater still suck?

9) Will our new defense slow Tech down this year or will Mike Leach have his way again with our DB's Lubuttocks?

10) At the same time A&M stopped putting the players' names on the back of their jerseys, they also stopped putting points on the scoreboard – coincidence or was it?

11) And for the 5TH STRAIGHT YEAR, I must ask: Will OU suck or will the

Horns blow?

Every preseason report says the same thing about UT: "lots of talent, but can they beat OU?" It's practically a cliché now. Most pundits have picked

OU to win the conference which is no surprise but a few homers are still holding out hope. One even went as far as to say "Texas would beat OU because our offense is more balanced and defense has been shored up." How far up Bevo's ass does your head have to be to make that comment, much less believe it. We have a QB who can run but can't throw. But that doesn't matter because we don't even have any receivers to throw it to anyway. We have two plays: Vince keeps it, Vince gives it to Ced. Tomorrow, it wouldn't surprise me if you heard the guy on the radio say, well North Texas has eleven in the box.

For me, Texas' year depends on two things: Can Vince and Ced get the ball to the Tight-ends on first and second down so they don't set themselves up in third and long situations. If they can disguise the passing plays when opposing defense are set up to stop the run, they could surprise some people. The zone read will work against most teams, but the good ones, especially OU, will be stop it easily. The key is the Tight-Ends.

On the other side of the ball, let's home Tomey and Robinson implemented the zone defense. If our DB's can't alternate man-to-man with zone defense, good passing teams like Tech and OU will pass all over us again.

But will UT be able to beat OU and win the conference championship? Well, for that capricious prognostication, let's turn it over to the always unbiased, unabated, unabridged, unethical, uneducated, and always uncensored....


Kobe will get off, Bush will...sorry, wrong prediction.

As for the 2004 Texas Longhorns championship hopes, all I know is that I'm having a boy the week of the TX/OU and how could God ever let little 54C start life out 0-1 to the Sooners. Oh yeah, this is our year.


I'm glad to report (White Snake is getting back together) that despite all the tinkering the Longhorn Foundation (Bevocrats) has done to the parking system (can't cut through all the orange tape), the Whittemore Gang (Jac-Street Boys) will be back at it again reserving that awesome spot (location, location, location) in the parking lot on the corner of 18th and San Jacinto (Remember the Alamo), just a block north of Schultz Beer Garden (Pilsner patch). The tailgate will probably start jumping (Tex n'effect) about three hours before kick-off (Make it 3pm). Just look for the white trailer ("down by the river") with the keg taps and the 6-foot BBQ smoker (meals on wheels). There will be some beer on tap ("hooray for beer"), but it's probably a good idea (double bag it) if you bring along your own frosty beverages (burnt-orange whip). As for food ("it's Shake n' bake and I helped"), there's always something good cooking on the grill (I feel the need, the need for feed) and word is they've built a new smoker (You can do it, we can help). 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 (Come early, be loud, donate).


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