Turkeys, Turnovers and Time for Change

23 Nov

TCU 20, Texas 13

Nov. 22, 2012 • DKR

Two times. Dos. Just twice in my lifetime TCU has beaten my Horns in football. I was there for both losses, and as bad as that 1992 game was, this one was worse. Recent ou games may have been more painful because of that rivalry’s intensity, but this one was off-the-charts frustrating.

I have never seen Texas so unprepared for a game. The defense struggled to slow down TCU’s rushing attack (no surprise there), but the Frogs had no trouble stopping our run. Our backfield is filthy with talent (see: J. Gray, Daje Johnson), but none of our guys managed to get into a rhythm. Our receivers dropped passes and ran wrong routes, and our QBs made some poor decisions under pressure. And the turnovers! Oh, the turnovers! TCU turned two of those turnovers into touchdowns. Thanks to those turnovers, our guys were behind all night, and in spite of a late TD drive led by Case McCoy, there was no Kansas-esque comeback this time.

Fortunately, that turkey of a game was not the day’s only turkey. In fact, at our tailgate, we feasted on FOUR fried turkeys and some ham! Everyone brought their family’s favorite dishes, and we chowed down in fine fashion. In honor of our fantastic Thanksgiving dinner, we spelled Texas with five of our foods: turkey, mashed potatoes, frog legs, stuffing and croissants.

It was perfect tailgating weather.

Of course, we had frog legs as an appetizer.

Steve takes a bite out of frog.

We even had a few guests from TCU try the frog legs!

Now that’s Texas hospitality. (I’m pretty sure the guy in the suit is the TCU version of PSY. Oppan Fort Worth style?)

We had our just desserts.

Carving time

We had more food than table space.

Our own Thanksgiving feast

Corn salad, broccoli-rice, pineapple casserole, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, four different stuffings: DELISH.

Wow.

So many desserts, so little time.

During the off-season a few years ago, a tree appeared in the middle of our spot. By the first game, though, that tree was gone. So imagine our surprise when all this time later we discovered a tree smack dab in the middle of our spot! No worries: Now our tent home features a central “courtyard.” (No trees were harmed in the making of this tailgate.)

I don’t have many game pix this time; it’s hard to focus when you’re losing your ever-lovin’ mind after your QB throws for a 3-yard gain on 3rd and 7. In spite of the on-field ugliness, there were a few highlights:

LHB in the big T and the world’s largest Texas flag: Never gets old!

TCU band (under the direction of an old friend)

Senior Night

Here come the Horns!

Rare moment in the red zone

NOT a highlight: one of many incomplete passes.

Missed TCU field goal: Doesn’t look like we got a hand on it, but it was a miss all the same.

In honor of the 96th anniversary of UT having a longhorn mascot, Bevo XIV celebrated with a birthday haybale cake. He immediately pulled down a bale and started chowing down.

TCU Band halftime show

We are TEXAS.

The band plays on, and the steer keeps eating…

…and eating! Hook ’em, Bevo!

And so another home football season comes to a close. I’ll miss the time spent with our friends at the tailgate. I’ll miss the hoopla and fanfare, the songs and the cheers. I’ll miss the chance to really let loose with a good scream when we’re on defense. But I WON’T miss the frustration, the disappointment, the forehead-slapping WHY-WHY-WHY?! that comes with losing.

This is not the first time we’ve lost our last home game, but it is really tough to get used to this. Same goes for losing to TCU! So here’s the deal: How ’bout we don’t? Let’s NOT grow accustomed to losing to unranked teams, to seeing our team utterly unprepared to play, to watching our seniors lose their last game in DKR. Sure, we could be OK with mediocrity, find a way to accept that you win some, you lose some. But I don’t wanna.

Coach Brown has done wonders for our program. When I think of my days in the student section back in the late 1980s, I realize just how far we’ve come. We owe Mack tons, but you know what? We’ve PAID him tons. He’s earned plenty of respect. But that doesn’t mean he gets a free pass forever.

Like Coach Royal told him, “You’ve got to win all them damn games.”

Call us spoiled; call us “whiny.” Whatever. It’s a long time until our next game in DKR and even longer until we can avenge this loss. We want more. We want to win every damn game ’til Gabriel blows his horn.

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