Texas 58, Rice 14

As the saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough go out and find a little nerd they can beat the crap out of...thankfully, after nerve-racking victories over three purported “patsies” who apparently forgot they were “supposed” to quit trying to win after the first quarter, UT finally drew a non-conference opponent who apparently quit trying to win shortly after World War I. And while I’m sure Rice has had a few good teams since they began play in 1919, you know winning seasons have been few and far between when the number one reason Rice football players give for quitting the team is: So I can join the Owl Chess Club and increase my chances of getting laid.” Checkmate Hooters. But I digress...

Regardless of the Owl’s athletic prowess--or lack thereof--the Longhorns' performance last Saturday night was still impressive, or at least more like what we expected and hoped for from the first three games. Texas QB Colt McCoy had over 300 yards passing, much of it to a rejuvenated Limas Sweed who bounced back after leaving the UCF game with a bum ankle. The much maligned defense completely shut down the Rice running game and held the Owls to couple of meaningless TD’s. And with a comfortable 41-7 halftime lead, Mack benched the starters early in the 3rd and turned several promising young players like back-up QB John Chiles loose on a Rice team who looked like they just wanted to go home and write a term paper.

So does the Longhorns 58-14 plucking of the Owls mean Texas’ season is back on track?

Hell if I know. But because I care deeply for you the bemused reader, I aimed to find out with some real investigative reporting. You know, walk the beat, talk to the players and coaches, and ask them hard hitting questions like, “Colt, in the players-only Bible Study on Friday nights before games, do you ever discuss passages like, Thou Shalt Not Steal Thy Neighbor’s Nintendo?”

Unfortunately, the Texas Sports Information Director wasn’t impressed by my “fresh off the press credentials” from Kinkos (Your name is McLovin, just McLovin?) and the best I could manage was a one-on-one interview with a member of the Longhorn’s support staff. But not just any member mind you. No, I put ankle taper extraordinaire, James “Spatz” McGhee on the...


54b: “All-righty then. Spatz, can I call you Spatz, when did you know you wanted to be an ankle taper?”

Spatz: “Um, yeah, you can just call me James and taping ankles is only one of the things trainers do. We also keep up with the latest advances in sports medicine like Ice and Heat Therapy?”

54b: “That’s hot, maybe they should call you Dr. McSteamy...er, so tense. Okay, question duex, if Mr. Miyagi had been alive during the K-State game, could he have fixed Colt’s neck with that whole clap-hand-rubbing thing?”

Spatz: “No, that’s completely ridiculous. But we do use massage therapy to treat muscle strains.”

54b: “Sounds like a happy mending to me. Sorry. Back to ankle taping...so just how fast can you tape an ankle?

Spatz: “32.7 seconds. I’m the second fastest of all the student trainers.”

54b: “Not the fastest, huh, is the plaque for the alternates in the lady’s room, he-he...just kidding. But seriously, did you tape Limas Sweed’s bad ankle before the Rice game? He looked 100% out there.”

Spatz: “No, I’m not allowed. Limas has to get taped by the Head Trainer because his ankles are insured by Lloyd’s Of London.”

54b: “Yeah, I get that, my mouth is insured by Chico’s Bail Bonds...So besides ankles, what other appendages do you tape?”

Spatz: “Mostly just wrists and hands though we once had to tape a guy’s entire pelvis because he pulled his groin?”

54b: “Yowsers, just like Michael Douglas when he had to do those sexy-time scenes in Basic Instinct.”

Spatz: “What? No, I said we taped his pelvis, not his penis!”

54b: “Relax, you’re in a safe place. Nobody’s judging you here...speaking of hard, it’s been a tough first month of the season. Lots of injuries. Lots of juries. What do you make of it all?”

Spatz: “By law, we’re not allowed to discuss injuries to the players and my job’s to get them back on the field, not comment on events that take place off of it.”

54b: “Gosh, I admire you, Spatz. But tell me the truth. Forget the pre-wrap, let’s operate without the stick’em. Deep down in places you don’t like to talk about at hard core, trainers only, Jell-O-filled whirlpool parties, do you ever just want to grab Jamaal and tape the football to his hands so he never fumbles again?”

Spatz: “Um, yeah, look, unless you’ve got a question about sports medicine, I gotta go. I got class.”

54b: “Simmer down, Shortbus, I got your sports medicine question right here...If all the King’s horses and all the King’s men had had your taping skills, could they have put Humpty Dumpty back together again?”

Spatz: “I think you need to seek some serious help.”

54b: “Well, you’re the trainer, tape something.”

Spatz: “Let’s start with your mouth...”

54b: “Touché, el Spatz. You may go, you’re off the 54Budweiser Hotseat!”

Well there you have it, an in-depth look at Texas football through the eyes of an insider. Of course if you really want to know if Texas has put their season back on track, I’d recommend you tune into the...

Regardless of what happens in the Cotton Bowl against OU next weekend, I think the K-State game this weekend is the true barometer for UT's fate this season. The coaching staff always talks about needing to fix things, but I subscribe to the Bill Parcell's "You are who you are" theory. And while the Horns may get a few players back from injury or suspension, I don't think teams change...I think their opponents do.

Sure enough, UT looked like an entirely different team in the win against Rice. And while I don't think the coaches feel everything's hunky-dorry, I am concerned that the easy win may have given the Horns a false sense of stability, particularly with the play of our young O-Line, revolving line-backer core, and pass defense.

Now here come the Wildcats...focused, hungry, playing without distractions and on two weeks' rest. Not only am I concerned that we could lose to K-State, I'm honestly concerned we could lose bad. Not because we don't have the talent to play with them, but because we refuse to believe they have the talent to play with us.

Many pundits have talked about the revenge factor and UT’s desire to redeem themselves for last year’s debacle in Manhattan. Let’s hope they’re right because then maybe we’ll finally see this 2007 Longhorn Team play with a true sense of urgency from the very first whistle.

On to the...

Since nobody seems to be able to understand that chick singing in the I-Pod commercial, I’ve taken the liberty of filling in the lyrics myself. Enjoy trying to get this song out of your head all day...

One Two Three Four
Tell Mack that you (still) love the Horns
Nerve racking games
That is what Jim Beam is for

Pre-Season hopes are still alive (barely) at our door
Left with nothing, hardly, it’s not like we’re 0 and 4

Oh oh-oh, don’t go changing your heart
Oh oh-oh, the Horns are gonna go far

Texas – 38
Prince’s Purple Pain – 24

The non-conference schedule is finally over (Wake me up when Sept. ends) and Big XII play is finally here (It’s the most wonderful time of the year). So excited was ABC (More like Desperate), they felt compelled to make Longhorns Vs. Wildcats (Cats Gone Mild) the regional telecast of the week (It’s was an honor just to be syndicated) and kick-off has been set for 2:30pm (When the Horns make a K-Statement). So come on down to the corner of 18th and San Jacinto (Map it before you tap it) beforehand and get yourself something hot off the grill (while supplies last) and pour yourself a cold one from the tap (Hooray Beer). And as a way of saying thank you to the Whittemore Gang (Them’s good people) for all their hospitality (Hosts with the mosts), toss a couple dollars into the jar (Donation Station).

On the heels of yet another felony arrest of a Longhorn player, Jim Boon, the Director of the Longhorn Alumni Association felt it incumbent upon himself to send an email chastising alumni for a lack of fan decorum during the Arkie State and TCU games...

“What an unfortunate occurrence -- booing college students for playing well and booing referees whose jobs were not complete. I received complaints about the use of obscene language in a stadium that included many children. Unfortunately, I feel the behavior over the last two games has not lived up to the high standard we expect. It only takes a small group to tarnish the image of our university.”

Not that I condone poor sportsmanship, but I’m thinking UT’s image problem of late is due to a little more than just booing and Mr. Boon might have used a little different tack when addressing a group of people who probably had little if anything to do with the alleged misconduct.

Make Us Proud, indeed.



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