9.02.2005

54b's 2005 Preseason Unspectacular

Can you believe it, seven straight seasons writing at least nine or ten winning commentaries, and still no championships. Sound familiar? They say winners never quit and quitters never win, but those who never win and never quit are special, but not in the good way.

So is this the year Mack Brown and the Longhorns put an end to years of frustration, quiet the critics, and finally bring the championship home to Austin? Hell if I know, but unless you've been hanging in Crawford while waiting for a sit-down with the Prez, chances are good that you're aware that just about everyone is...

GOING BOZO OVER BEVO
Ever since Vince Young led the Texas Longhorns to a last second Rose Bowl win over the New England Patriots, sorry, Michigan Wolverines, it seems everyone wants to get in on the party, so much so that the Longhorn Bandwagon now resembles a big burnt orange snowball rolling down hill picking up fans and smothering critics. And since the Longhorn fan base seems to be growing to no end, I thought it only appropriate that I help identify a few of the lesser-known members of Burnt Orange Nation in a little segment I like to call...

WHO'S JUMPING ON THE LONGHORN FAN-WAGON?

"THAT GUY" - Yep, this is the guy who started a Texas-Fight chant at the last (wedding, funeral, bat mitzvah, etc.) you attended. He's most likely in his mid-twenties, terminally single (but claims he's dating the twirler), and works for his father who paid off the rush captain to give him a bid. He's easy to spot because he's always wearing the shirt you swore the Longhorn Co-op stocked by accident and when somebody takes a picture, he will invariably jump in at the last second grabbing his crotch and pointing at your wife's cleavage. The best thing about that guy, he doesn't even know he's that guy.

"THE QUEER STEER" - Though most of our Log Cabin Longhorn friends feel the burnt orange color is barbaric and clashes with most of their clothing ensembles, you will not find a more loyal or knowledgeable group of fans. Just because their version of the Hook'em Horns sign may be a couple of degrees off of vertical, doesn't mean they don't get upset when the center-quarterback exchange goes awry. The boys from "Texas Queer for the Straight Steer" want to remind everyone to, "Come early, be proud, stay hard and wear something super, like a scarf."

"THE CONFUSED TWEENER" - Though he's only 4-foot-seven, wears size "husky" dungarees, and runs the 40-yard-dash in a shade under Tuesday, he still shows up to every game in his official #10 Vince Young jersey, Under-Armer shirt, and Nike elbow sweatbands. Like any 12-year-old Longhorn fan, he's full of hot dogs and dreams of playing for Texas one day. Unfortunately, an untimely growth spurt and a dominating performance at last weekend's St. Agnus Private School Flag Football Jamboree has lulled him into a false sense of his own athletic prowess. Chances are good that the only thing he'll ever play at Royal Memorial Stadium is a tuba, and if he ever actually did meet Vince Young, he'd probably sh*t himself.

"THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE FAN" - Also known as "The Donger," bless his heart, he knows almost as much about football as he does about girls. And though he can't understand why one would use a pigskin for something other than Mu-Shu Pork, he manages to break out of the library and find his way to the stadium on Saturdays. If you end up sitting next to him, he'll most like spend the entire game explaining that the probability of getting 50-yard line seats from the student draw and a date with a cheerleader are 4.3-gazillion to 1.
If so, just smile and say, "Go Ronghorns!"

"LITTLE MISS LONGHORN" - Despite an ambient temperature of 110 degrees at game time, her game-day outfit, make-up and hair are painstakingly perfect. (Think Charles Darwin at Nieman Marcus.) Unfortunately, the intended targets of her extreme fake-over aren't interested in talking about "Brad and Angelina." So in order to make a big entrance and gain the attention she so desperately craves, she must demonstrate a grasp for football beyond a remedial knowledge of the game. She has to say something current, something edgy, something she probably just pilfered from the water cooler at work, something like, "I find Craig Davis' play-calling to be uninventive. If he wasn't so bad, that QB recruit from Louisiana, Bryan Marylou, would have come here instead of LSU"...And you know the best part of all, even though her bullsh*t is as transparent as Greg Davis' play-calling, if she's at all good looking, every guy nearby will simply reply, "wow, that's fascinating, can I get you some more punch."

"UNCLE RICO" - He swears to anyone within earshot that if it wasn't for that damn inverted patella tendon in his left knee (doctors "coincidentally" discovered about the same time he started freebasing super glue and knocked up the drive-thru girl at the Tasty Freeze), he would have been all-state and received a full ride to Texas. He wears an official Longhorn football jersey almost 24/7, but unlike the "Confused Tweener," he puts his own name and number on the back. He also brings a football along to the game, you know, just in case he gets the call to go in, he wants to be warmed up. Though he looks harmless, approach with caution, as this All-Star is always a threat to drop back to pass, even in the line at the men's room.

Well, now that we know who we're watching the games with, let's talk about who we'll be watching, the...

2005 TEXAS LONGHORNS
As always, this commentary assumes that you already know the names, playing weights, favorite dead rap star 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 grab a #2, phone and friend and let's begin the always unpopular....

POP QUIZ

1) For the Louisiana-Lafayette game, the teams will turn back the clock by sporting a retro look. So if the Texas players are wearing uniforms similar to those worn in the 1960's, does that mean the Ragin' Cajuns will be playing barefoot in cut-offs and wife-beaters?

2) Why do the Ohio State players put scratch-and-sniff stickers on their helmets and what does a Buckeye smell like anyway?

3) How many licks does Mr. Owl think it will take to kick Rice's arse?

4) This season Texas plays at Mizzou - Tigers den or petting zoo?

5) Will tough-looking Texas Monthly cover boy Mack Brown and the Horns "kick some OU butt," or will Texas fans get another punch in the gut?

6) When comparing Bevo the Texas Longhorn with Ralphie the Colorado Buffalo, is it the size of the horns that matter or the girth of the dump they crap on the field?

7) How many Texas Tech Red Raiders does it take to screw in a goal post?
Please, explain.

8) Did Baylor add the "School for the Deaf" to their non-conference schedule for recruiting purposes?

9) Will the NCAA make Oklahoma State rename their famous bar, Inuit Joes?

10) If the BCS allows "Jared" from Subway to vote in the New Harris Interactive Poll, will Kansas Jayhawks head coach Mark Mangino call off all this conspiracy talk?

11) If Texas A&M started a reality show about selecting their 12th Man, would it be called "Agronomy Idol, The Benchwarmer, or Sharpest Tool in the Shed?"

Extra Credit: If a train leaves Pittsburgh going the speed of light, the atomic weight of Kursplatinum is 3.26, and Johnny tells Sally to piss off and go get her own freaking apples, will this finally be the year Mack Brown leads the Longhorns to a championship, any championship?


SERIOUSLY, IS THIS THE YEAR?
Every media entity from the Associated Press to Arthur Fromer's Travel Guide has Texas preseason ranked #2 and are all but assuring a return visit for the Horns to the Rose Bowl for the National Championship. Well thank goodness Texas has a history of always living up to the hype, whoops - on second thought, I think we all better just relax, it's going to be a long season. Road games at Columbus, Columbia and College Station loom, not to mention some long overdue unfinished business to take care of in Dallas. But the Horns do feature the two of the best lines in the country, tons of depth and one super-human quarterback. And any time you've got a player like Vince Young, anything is possible provided he stays healthy. So is this the year they win it all? Well, for that capricious prognostication, we're going to have to turn it over to the always unbiased, unabated, unabridged, unethical, uneducated, and always uncensored...

UNPREDICTABLE PREDICTION
What's up players? Please give it up for Def Poet MC Daft here to lay some fresh rhymes down with his poem:

"Bevo, please!"

Oh no you didn't just rank the Horns #2,
Ain't that a bitch, got to go to OSU
The polls all hype, can't all be wrong,
But we got no tailback, Ced's long gone
If anything, Texas ought be called a sleeper,
Cuz Greg Davis only knows one play, the QB keeper
Gene's the Shiz-nik, he got the D flowin' like Snoop,
But the best rush-end we got is back on the F-Troop
Yo, the offense returns seven, the defense nine,
But the specials can't kick the ball past the goal-line
Mack's the man, he always gets at least 10 wins,
But the trophy cases' empty, ain't got no skins
Texas fans would give anything, they on their knees,
Longhorns, National Champions - Bevo, please!

Forecast: 10-2, Big XII Champions

THE HALL OF FLAME TAILGATE UPDATE
Who ever is serious (take dead aim) about beating Louisiana-Lafayette ("You can do it!), meet me in the parking lot at 18th and San Jacinto (remember the Alamo") before the game (Ragin' Cajun Cook-Off). Whittemore and the Gang (Jac-Street's back, all right!) will once again be reserving that awesome spot (Libation Station), just a block north of Schultz Beer Garden (Pilsner patch). The tailgate will probably start jumping (watch your head) about three hours before kick-off (laces out). 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 whips). As for food ("what's the beef du jour?"), there's always something good cooking on the grill ("how do you like your bun?"). And even though these guys (Hamburger Helpers) 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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