Texas 22, Arkansas 20
Last Saturday, the Leatherberry brothers (2/3 of my legal team), fellow walk-on and road trip veteran Clay (aka Luke Sleepwalker) and me, 54b, jumped in the hoopty and went to Arkansas to watch the Horns slip by the Pigs by the hairs on Bevo's chinny-chin-chin. No doubt the game was an instant classic and one none of us will soon forget. As for
Well, after watching for about five minutes, my palms began to sweat, my stomach knotted-up and my wife even made the comment that I looked anxious. We weren't even watching the Spice Channel. Not that we have the Spice Channel or even know what that is...let's move on. Anyway, for some reason the visuals from the game took me right back to
FAYETTE-NAM FLASHBACKS (September 11, 2004)*
1:37pm - In the lobby of the Aspen Motel when I notice the two complimentary cookies the Razorback-clad receptionist handed me upon check-in were barely cooked. Coincidence, maybe. Hey, I know the
2:45pm - Pulling into the parking lot across from the Razorback baseball field while I meticulously documented all the flagrant sticker abuse infractions all around me. These Hogs are worse than the Aggies. I swear, the highway into
3:02pm - Passing our first
3:34 - We've now walked about four miles and passed at least 47 Razorback tailgates while walking down
3:47pm - Somebody, okay it was me, took a left instead of right and despite being warned, still led the group down a street adjacent to the stadium where there was only a thin rope separating us four from say....oh, about 4,000 angry Arkansas students waiting in the hot sun for tickets to the game...in retrospect, it probably wasn't a good idea to respond to the kid who yelled out "hey, Longhorns go to hell," with an even more audible, "I'm already there." But unfortunately, for Jon, Bill and Clay, I just couldn't help myself. After 3 seconds of forced contemplation, the crowd finally got it and turned a new shade of red. Not long after the people from Crayola came out with a new crayon labeled "Red Ass."
5:37pm - For obvious reasons, I will never truly know what it was like to be a black man living in the segregated south, but I think all Longhorn fans there that day got a small taste of what it might have been like...First, the four of us, all wearing orange, were stopped at the door of a popular Sports Bar right off campus and asked to go straight to the back of the place because of a "fire code" restriction, even though there were still unoccupied tables in the front section. Then when we got in and asked to see some menus, we were informed that they couldn't serve us on this side of the bar despite all the Hog fans slopping it up around us. So we went to the other side of the bar where we were promptly informed that the kitchen was now closed, no more orders. But I think the passive aggressive prejudice play of the day had to be when they turned off the Notre Dame/Michigan game on the television right next to us (there were about 40 TV's in this place) to replay highlights from the 2000 Cotton Bowl. But what do you expect from a state that vehemently attempted to stop a few kids from entering a high school just because they were black.
7:27pm - Clay and I are now walking up the ramps to the upper deck. Jon and Bill have gone to their seats closer to the field. As we crisscross up the ramps I keep noticing a menacing looking Razorback fan on the ramp below us eyeing me and shooting the horns down. I'm not absolutely certain, but I think he was an extra in the movie "Deliverance." Finally after the fourth pass, I just motioned to him and said, "bring it on." And low and behold if that Razorback didn't go hogwild and start running up the ramp after me. So I said, "Clay, hold up, it's about to get ugly." I didn't care, though. Even if 20 of his friends jumped in and beat the crap out of me I was going to make this little piggy pay for four hours of non-stop insults and jeers. So with clinched fists I waited as he came close and just as he got to me he grinned and said, "you boys really think yur gonna win tonight?" And despite wanting to knock out what teeth he had left, I just said, "yeah", slapped his hand and that was it. Not exactly Tyson/Holyfield, but I guess it's better then getting arrested and spending the night with Boss Hog squealing like a pig.
12:05am - The game is finally over and we're all walking back to the car exhausted. We should be jumping for joy but having spent the last 8 hours watching your back had taken its toll. The atmosphere is surreal. All those boisterous voices from before have been quieted. Only a few drunk jackasses are still talking smack: "You guys got lucky, you didn't win, we lost." How do you respond to that? And to think someone once told me pigs were smart.
I'm guessing just about every Longhorn fan (at least the slightly sober ones) said the same thing after the game: "Glad we won, but there's no way in hell we're beating OU if we play like we did tonight." True, the defense gave up a lot of big plays, Vince still didn't pass the ball with any consistency and if the offensive line jumped off-sides one more time, everybody in the crowd was going to get a free chalupa. But the Horns showed a lot of heart and sometimes having heart and being lucky are better than being good and playing pretty. In the end, a win is a win, and there's still a lot of time to get better before the second Saturday in October. And it all starts with...
THE NEXT GAME
Why Deloss Dodds keeps Rice and their triple option, slow-death offense on the schedule is beyond me. I know that the city of
Longhorns - 56
Nerd Herd - Pi
Texas/Rice (Southworst Conference rematch) is set to kick-off (hopefully not twice in one game like last time) at 6pm on the 25th (Christmas in September). And though Fox (Fair and Balanced Sports) is inexplicably televising the game against the Owls (It'll be a hoot), head on down to the tailgate anyway ("that thing got a Hemi") and get yourself some BBQ (I'm on the Fatkins Diet) and drink a few beers (Mmmm, liquid carbs). Whittemore and the gang (Hamburger Helpers) have easily put together (some assembly required) one of the best tailgates around (Nominated for the Hall of Flame). So show your appreciation (don't sweat the technique) by throwing in a couple of bucks ("Sure Eddie, about how much need? About $52,000"). Apparently, we (Les Miserables) are still having to pay parking taxes ("banks on me like flies on a rib roast) in the sum of $10 for each space we occupy (um, I was told there'd be no math).
And finally, it wouldn't be a 54b road trip without...
QUOTES FROM THE ROAD
(As always, the names have been withheld to protect the not-so-innocent.)
"We're leaving at 9am? Hell, back in my day, I would have left at 2am just so I could get to
"Should I bring my gun? No, don't need the temptation."
"I have to fart. Is it safe to test the cork (Imodium AD)?"
"Hey, we're in Chickasaw, I once played golf around here near an Indian reservation."
"Really, did you have to circle the golf carts?"
"This place (
"Hey did you see that sign, it said Hemp Skateboards for sale."
"Yeah, you can rid'em all day and then smoke the bejesus out of 'em."
"Man, that is one big Quizno's restaurant."
"Yeah, I think it's a Quizno's Outlet."
"Why do they call it Fayettenam?"
"(Hey Longhorns), go to hell."
"Thanks, we're already there."
"Sorry, we can't serve you, the kitchen's closed for an hour."
"Are you sure it's not because of the color of my shirt?"
"Hey, no need to call the pigs when you've got one sitting next to you."
PA Announcer all game long..."And that's another
Eye-candy sideline reporter..."There's a lot riding on the line for these
"Put in Romance, Romancy, Ra-moncey, we want Ray-mon-cy, ah hell, whatever his name is, put him in."
Amid the thunder of boots pounding metal bleachers...
Walking back to the car after the game...
"It's like a Steinbeck novel around here."
"No, more like a Tolstoy."
2am at the Taco
3:45 am in the hotel room..."Holy geez, you guys quit farting, this isn't dueling banjos."
BENSON PUTS THE "ME" BACK IN "TEAM"
Enjoying the bye-week when right in front of my cynical eyes should appear, a story in the paper featuring Cedric the Explainer talking out of his rear. For those of you not in the know,
ESPN: "Cedric, you've had a strong start to the season, has winning the
Heisman Trophy crossed your mind?"
CB: "Most definitely, most definitely. When Cedric is not playing baseball or kicking that ho's door in, Cedric is constantly striving to be a better
Cedric for the fans."
ESPN: "Yeah, well how about those
CB: If I could win the game entirely by myself - both offense and defense, punt returns, kickoffs, calling plays, moving the chains, throwing flags - then I'd take the win over OU. But hey, Cedric can't do everything."
ESPN: "There's no I in TEAM."
CB: "And there ain't no WE either."
ESPN: "Mack, what do you think of Ced's comments?"
MB: "I just want to apologize to all
ESPN: "Okay, back to you Ced. Which would you rather have: a win over OU or the Heisman Trophy."
CB: "Cedric will take door #2."
ESPN: "Okay, how about a win over OU or finding your stolen plasma TV?"
CB: "Hey Cedric wouldn't create a hole to beat OU like he did to find his flat screen. Cedric can't watch Cedric without it."
ESPN: "Who can argue with that? Last question, how about a win over OU or this brownie made by Ricky Williams?"
CB: "That's easy, Cedric will take the win over...wait a minute, did you say that brownie was baked by Ricky? Pass that thang over."
PERSPECTIVE: Cedric did go on to say that he would rather win the National Title than win the Heisman and as my buddy Jon pointed out, "it's not like Ced can win the Heisman without beating OU." So let's hope the Horns can refocus on football and this whole sordid affair blows over like that mysterious smelling cloud over
By the way, special thanks to Dan Rather for providing the above transcript.