Archive | September, 2012

Not-so-Jolly Ranchers

29 Sep

Texas 41, Oklahoma State 36

Sept. 29, 2012 • Stillwater, OK

Cowboys are right up there with bears when it comes to mascots that Texas has played most often. We have already played one cowboy team this season, and that’s in addition to all the other times we’ve played OSU. We’ve spelled Texas with a variety of  cowboy-worthy items: rope, Cowboy coal, hot dogs (think campfire out on the range), brisket, even Fun Dip (a.k.a. “chaw”). This time I figured I’d branch out a little with this homage to one place a cowboy can call home: the ranch. (This may be a sign that I’ve been reading a little too much Pioneer Woman. By the way, I seem to remember seeing photos of her kids in Okie State T-shirts at their ranch home.)

These Cowboys certainly felt at home on the range, breaking one big play after another, including that ridiculous game-opening possession that gave them the early lead. If this game were a rodeo, OSU would not be cowboys, though; they’d be the bulls that change direction every time their riders think  they have found their rhythm.  The Horns’ D, meanwhile, would be the rodeo clowns: They provide a distraction, but they have no intention of actually making contact with anyone. I mean, were they TRYING to avoid the ball-carrier or what? Good cattle!

It’s crazy to think that our defense gave up 576 yards (a whopping 8.6 yards per snap), and yet the Horns won. CRAZY! In spite of the porous D, our offense pulled out a win. QB David Ash was clutch. He threw one interception, but when the game was on the line, he converted on 4th and 6 to extend what turned out to be the game-winning drive. Johnathan Gray threw his own coming out party there in T. Boone’s stadium, and J Gray was just one of a posse of backs who traded carries. Jaxon Shipley earned a hat trick, scoring three touchdowns. Crazy how often good things happen when Ship (version 2.0) gets the ball.

For the record, I do believe Texas’ last TD was, in fact, a touchdown, that the ball crossed the plane before Bergeron fumbled it. I also believe that college football uniforms should never stray too far from their traditional look. (Those OSU unis looked RED to me, red-orange, if I’m generous. How do you run a commercial at halftime that says you’re “America’s brightest orange” and then wear that dark color? Bring back the traffic cone orange!) If you haven’t noticed, I also believe that it’s OK to be a “first-person fan” and use “we” and “our” when referring to the team you’ve cheered and loved since birth. And while I’m at it, Brett Hull’s cup-winning goal was legit and Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. End of rant.

ANYWAY, I’m always glad to see the OSU game in the rearview mirror so I can get back to rooting for the Cowboys. One of my UT buddies went there for his undergrad, and I figure UT and Okie State fans have that “My enemy’s enemy is my friend” thing going for them. Besides, how can you not like a college town that is home to Eskimo Joe’s?

Next up: West Virginia and Heisman candidate Geno Smith. It took forever for football season to get here, but since the first two back-to-back games, we’ve had a whopping THREE tailgate-less Saturdays. Let’s fix that next weekend when the Mountaineers come to Austin. WV beat an RG3-less Baylor 70-63 this weekend, so this may be another “last one with the ball wins” kind of game. But who knows? Maybe our D will morph from rodeo clown to cowboy by then.


Where have all the apostrophes gone?

28 Sep

This 2012 bye week has given me time to lament our dearly departed friend, the apostrophe.

Goodbye, apostrophes?

Um, NO.

Now I shouldn’t say the apostrophe is gone. In fact, it seems to show up incorrectly more than ever in plural words, as evidenced by many online examples such as this one at the Apostrophe Catastrophe blog.

But it certainly seems like apostrophes are in short supply, considering the number of times a left single quote mark is used instead.

It’s really quite simple. Apostrophes are used:

  1. to express possession (as in “Vince Young’s touchdown” or “Earl’s Heisman”) or
  2. to take the place of something that’s been deleted (e.g., in a contraction like “that’s” just a few words to the left or for years when you don’t need to know the century, like 05).

(“Grammar Girl” has several great episodes discussing apostrophes, by the way. You can find one of them here.)

Closest to my heart is the apostrophe used in our favorite phrase: HOOK ’EM. Our team’s rallying cry is short for “hook them,” and the apostrophe takes the place of the very un-Texan “th.” Easy, right?

Not so fast. Instead of having an apostrophe, famous for looking like a little 9, the phrase “hook ’em” is written repeatedly with a left single quotation mark. The left single quote, which looks like a little 6, typically is used at the beginning of a quote within another quote. An example: “The play known as ‘4th and 5’ may be my favorite of all time,” she said.

Programs like Word (and even the WordPress interface through which this blog is written) often assume the writer wants an opening single quote when he/she hits that apostrophe key before typing a word. That causes problems when typing contractions like tis or years like 63, 69, 70 and 05.

And it’s a big ol’ problem when “Hook ’Em Horns!” ends up in giant type—incorrectly—on DKR’s Godzillatron…

…or on the ribbon boards. (Et tu, Mickey D’s?)

Of course, it’s not just Texas products that feature these impostor apostrophes.

How ’bout we fix that!

Fortunately, some apparel makers get it right:

But for every T-shirt or coffee mug that has our rallying cry correctly punctuated, there are a dozen misfires,

and that’s a real shame. We are Texas! It’s true that what starts here changes the world, but do we really want our university to be part of this change, to eradicate the apostrophe while substituting its impostor?

It’s time we find our missing apostrophes and put them back in “hook ’em” where they belong. If we don’t, imagine what kind of world that would be.

On second thought, maybe we shouldn’t imagine that!

Join us next time as we debate the necessity of the apostrophe in “Horns” or the commas in “Hook ’em, Horns!” and “Go, Horns, go!” (Just kidding. I’ll stick to spelling Texas from here on out!)

Disclaimer: Although I teach English, I wouldn’t dare claim this post is error-free. In fact, it really bugs me that imposter is an alternate spelling of impostor. They both look wrong. ANYWAY, I’m not really a grammar nazi, but I am a tried-and-true Longhorn fan who will love my school til Gabriel blows his horn!

Ole Mess

15 Sep

Texas 66, Ole Miss 31

Sept. 15, 2012 • Oxford, MS

Ew, ew and EW! This was the messiest, stickiest, ickiest SPELL TEXAS yet! And the finished product? The Mississippi mud cake might not have been that bad, but I’ve changed enough diapers in my day to see a certain resemblance. Again, EW!

Fortunately, the Horns’ offense looked nothing like our cake tonight!  David Ash had a great game, as did Marquise Goodwin and Malcolm Brown. In spite of a game-opening drive that stalled on our own 31, the O came through big-time, showing strength on the ground and in the air.

One of my football buddies was in Oxford for the game, but I was plenty happy on my couch. ESPN carried the game, but I ended up watching the alternate angles on Longhorn Network so I could hear Craig Way’s call. And man, do I love hearing The Eyes and seeing the Tower light up at game’s end, all thanks to LHN (and U-verse, who finally decided we are worthy of this channel).

Now I know it’s bad form to gripe about your team after a 35-point win, but good grief, our D needs to step it up in a hurry. Okie State, West Virginia and ou will roll all over us if we can’t plug some holes and actually—oh, what’s the word?—TACKLE. Special teams gave up a 99-yard kickoff return for a TD, too.

Still, in spite of that rather—ahem!—poopy play, the end result was just like that Mississippi Mud Cake: SWEET.

Obedience School for the Lobos

8 Sep

Texas 45, New Mexico 0

Sept. 8, 2012 • DKR

In nature lobos are wild, ferocious creatures. In DKR, however, the UNM Lobos were more like cute little puppy dogs. They did a lot of yipping and yapping in the first half, holding the Horns to just 17 points, but in the end, they were really good at rolling over and playing dead. (Hat tip to Amy E. for suggesting the dog biscuits!)

We had a good crowd at the tailgate. The sausage wraps with grilled brats were tasty, and watching A&M’s SEC debut was not a bad dessert. Nothing like seeing 30 Texas fans doing the Gator chomp!

Adding to the usual DKR atmosphere was the Alumni Band (and the legendary Baton Guy). As for the game, the Horns got off to another slow start (scary!), but it’s hard to complain about a 45-point shut-out.

The dog treats and their fixed size made spelling Texas and making the state outline a little more difficult than I would’ve thought.

See what I mean? If we ever use Milk Bones again, I’ll buy the smaller ones. (At least our dog appreciates the larger treats!)

New signs and flags for the tents! Coors Light is now an official sponsor of UT Athletics, so we have the university’s blessing to display the banners.

Sausage wraps!

The season ahead

Watching the ags and Gators

So nice that my niece and nephew-in-law could join us for the game! (Thanks, Dede, for your generosity!)

Big Bertha and the “big Q-Tip”

Alpha Phi Omega and the largest Texas flag

So good to see the Tyler Rose, Earl Campbell, walking on the field! Earl has struggled with back pain for years.

Earl was on the field for the coin toss.

Randy Peschel was the “mystery Longhorn” for the intro video. “Street to Peschel” is legendary in Texas football history. Peschel’s pass reception sealed the Horns’ 1969 national championship. See here for more:

While in DKR, I documented Texas’ Southwest Conference championships—you know, just to show what an accurate list looks like. To see an inaccurate list, click here:

Here are actual Big 12 championships, not south division ones. Ahem.

We were on the Godzillatron!!!

David Ash drops back to pass.

Pass to Malcolm Brown (the one on offense, not the DT)

The LHB and alumni band celebrate the 75th anniversary of the UT Tower

The Tower with the “75”

A special “Eyes of Texas” for our Tower. For some reason, singing to a building didn’t seem as odd as that time we sang “The Eyes” to Bevo.

Second half entrance

Did not realize until this game that we use the weird pictures to signal defensive plays

Years later, and the “Get Your Horns Up” promo still gets the crowd going.

Yet another Longhorn TD!


Ready for New Mexico

8 Sep

It’s just over two hours until the Horns and Lobos kick off. A nice breeze is cooling us off, sausage wraps are being consumed, and Texas has been spelled. We’re ready for some football!

Hook ’em, Horns!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Rope the Cowboys

3 Sep

ImageTexas 37, Wyoming 17

Sept. 1, 2012 • DKR

We’ve used string to substitute for rope before, but the thicker rope (found in our garage early Saturday morning) seemed a little more authentic.

ImageThis first tailgate of the 2012 season took a little while to assemble, but once that generator was humming, we were good to go.

ImageWe had some trouble with the satellite dish, but that didn’t keep us from watching LHN!

ImageBecause of the extreme heat, cold sandwiches were on the menu. Since we felt like we were already in an oven, no one missed the grill.

ImageWe ended up with a decent crowd, even if we did get off to a late start and our ringleader was away being a good volleyball dad.

As for the game, here’s a glimpse into what we saw from our Section 1 viewpoint:

Bergeron on the verge of our first TD

Double “Script Texas”! So nice of the LHB to match our rope spelling this week.

Visitors from Wyoming

Full moon = extra lighting

Bergeron runs for another TD

Happiness is an orange Tower