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 Fayetteville, let's just say the town is not exactly known for its hospitality and it may very well be the only college football venue where the hostile atmosphere is actually more stressful on the visiting fans than it is on the visiting players. Fortunately for us, we made it back to Dallas in one piece, and after a little soap and water, the words "Arkansas Mother F*cker" written in shoe polish actually came off our car. Physically I may have been fine, but mentally, I think I was still a little Traumatized than usual. A couple days after the game, I was sitting comfortably on the couch in my den watching television. And seeing how Tuesday night is "Must Suck TV," I hit the Tivo button to replay a little of the Arkansas game and see if I could pause it on the part where the refs were bought off with a lifetime supply of pork rinds from SAM'S CLUB.

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 Fayetteville. Can't tell for sure, but I think I was having what psychologists and the butcher at my deli counter refer to as...

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 Aspen's no Doubletree (or is it?), but we knew for sure we were getting the short end of the sheet when we got to the room - oh yeah, no vibrating bed or heart-shaped whirlpool tub. But don't worry, we were able to overcome this obvious show of disrespect for our Longhorn-ness when we threw open the drapes to find that we had an unimpeded view of a Taco Bell next door advertising a special on spicy bean burritos. Hey, problem solved, just don't breathe in.

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 Fayetteville looked like Porky Pig took over the Hell's Angels. And don't even get me started on this upside-down Longhorn craze. It's bad enough when they make the hand gesture, it's even worse when they cover their cars, make signs and wear all those clothes with it too. At halftime Mack told ESPN that one of his players with dyslexia went into anaphylactic shock.

3:02pm - Passing our first Arkansas tailgate when some Hog fan wearing a red wig and big red plastic beads comes out to tell us just how welcome we were with a hearty "you best go back the way you came orange-bloods." But instead of turning around, I politely asked for directions to Dickson street and wondered aloud if he had shown his tits for his beads. Then another Hog from the back jumped in and smartly replied, "no but your wife did." I walked away wondering what it must have been like for that guy to see a naked woman other than his sister.

3:34 - We've now walked about four miles and passed at least 47 Razorback tailgates while walking down Razorback Road near the stadium. So far only two death threats, fifteen invitations to go fornicate with ourselves, seven kids under the age of ten demonstrating to us that they were number one by extending the middle finger, two solicitations for factory knock-off Hog Hats and not one smile. Go figure.

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.

As for...


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...


Why Deloss Dodds keeps Rice and their triple option, slow-death offense on the schedule is beyond me. I know that the city of Houston is a hotbed for recruiting, but has a Houston-area prospect ever said, "I'm going to UT because the Horns beat the smart kids." Of course, the president did say "no nerd left behind," and that definitely includes Rice. Regardless, there's no reason to talk X's and O's about this game, so on to the...


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...


(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 Fayetteville by 7am and punch some Razorback in the face when he went to reach for his newspaper."

"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?"

"Oklahoma land rush, what a crock of shit. 'Oh hey Cherokees, don't worry, you can live on that rock over there. And here, have these Small Pox blankets too."

"This place (Ft. Smith, AR) can't be too backwards if it lets a man in a ponytail sell hemp products in the middle of Town Square."

"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 Arkansas - (entire crowd joins in) - Firstdoooown!"

Eye-candy sideline reporter..."There's a lot riding on the line for these

Arizona Razorbacks."

"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...

"Whose house?"

"Horn's house!"

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 Bell..."You guys are the only happy fans we've served all


3:45 am in the hotel room..."Holy geez, you guys quit farting, this isn't dueling banjos."



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, Texas running back Cedric Benson told ESPN Radio "Game Night" he'd rather win the Heisman than beat Oklahoma. Truer words haven't been spoken since "Leon" started doing commercials for Budweiser, but you would think a team leader and a senior would know better than to fall for some thinly veiled trap set by some ladder climbing, no name reporter, especially with PlasmaGate finally coming to a close just a few weeks ago. But no, our tailback with a craving for a Scooby Snack decided it was time to put his Heisman PR campaign in overdrive. And since the media rarely ever gets it right, I took the liberty of tracking down the "real" interview with ESPN Radio for a segment I like to call...


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 Texas fans? They've been waiting for four years to beat Oklahoma, you think the team can deliver this year?"

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 Texas fans and say how seriously we're taking Rice."

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 Midland a few years back.

By the way, special thanks to Dan Rather for providing the above transcript.


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