Archive | November, 2013

Trading Turkey for Tortillas

29 Nov

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Texas 41, Texas Tech 16

November 28, 2013 • DKR
 

That fake punt. Sad that after a win, I’m still shaking my head over a fake punt that gave Tech their first touchdown. But my goodness, we were so busted on that play! I have to admit: Early on, I was afraid we were going to be the Raiders’ Thanksgiving dinner.

Thankfully, our guys found some offense (McCoy! Bergeron! Shipley!) and some punishing D (Jeffcoat! Jeffcoat! Jeffcoat!). Late in the game we even got to see a little Swoopes, and it was especially sweet to watch him score the first of what should be many, many Texas touchdowns. The result? A victory that was the sweetest pumpkin pie to follow that turkey of a loss to Oklahoma State.

So now the Horns can win a share of the Big 12 title by beating Baylor. Baylor, the team I just THOUGHT was a buzzsaw—that is, until I saw them undone by the Okie State Cowboys. Can we beat ’em? Who knows! But if we do, we can get a piece of the conference title, and that ain’t too shabby for this injury-riddled, mistake-prone, humiliated-by-lesser-teams team. (And if ou beats OSU, we can even win the title outright with a win over Baylor. A BCS bowl? THIS year? Now THAT would be crazy. Can you think of any other time when an unranked team has won its conference and played in a BCS bowl? Yeah, no.)

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Every time I think about using something other than tortillas to represent Tech, I see or hear something that convinces me otherwise. Sure enough, at kickoff, tortillas flew from the north endzone stands onto the playing field. Yep, Techsters still love their tortillas! I like ’em, too. Gotta love any spelling medium that I can cut with scissors! Talk about flexible.

You know what I don’t love? Thanksgiving games. Oh, I didn’t mind the every-other-year schedule. That routine still gave me family time on those odd years. This annual schedule, though? For the birds (and I don’t mean turkeys). What I’d prefer? T+1 games. Give me those Friday games, and I would be there without complaint. Rumor has it that UT’s new athletic director may move the Thanksgiving game. Hey, I’d be satisfied if it just went back to every other year. But having a game EVERY Thanksgiving? No, thanks.

My best football buddies said just that this year. They both stayed home to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families. I did, too, but I ate and ran, leaving our lunch celebration after just 90 minutes to make the drive to Austin. I wasn’t thrilled to attend the game without my compadres, but I couldn’t stand the thought of missing this season’s last home game.

So imagine my joy when a friend offered me a seat with her, and not just any seat, but a place in a luxury suite. SWEET, indeed! Because of the holiday, she had extra tickets for her sister’s family suite, and she thought I’d enjoy sitting there for a change. The timing was perfect. And that’s how I was privileged to see my first game from a luxury suite.

And luxurious it was! Lots a great food and drink, an attendant/bartender, a private bathroom(!!!), comfy seats, two TVs, custom touches: It was all first-class. Compared to our usual seats, I had a great view of the field, too. It was a chilly evening, but being semi-indoors kept us from getting too cold. With the windows open, we could hear the crowd more than I thought we would. The only thing we couldn’t hear well was the PA announcer/Godzillatron. And I must say, I felt a tiny bit inhibited as the game progressed. I was far from silent, but there’s no doubt that this was the quietest I’ve ever been during a game.

I have watched 224 Longhorn football games in person, and this was by far the nicest environment I’ve ever experienced. But oh, how I wish my best buddies could’ve shared it with me! I missed the camaraderie, the griping, the cheering, the high-fiving. But since I knew they were with their families, I could just sit back and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime taste of the “suite life.”

Some suite and game pix:

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So that’s a wrap on the 2013 home season! It seems it was just a few days ago that our season tickets arrived in the mail, and now we’ve used the last one.

See ya next year, ol' pal!

See ya next year, ol’ pal!

But we’re not finished yet! Bring on Baylor and the bowl!

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The Musical Fruit

17 Nov

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Oklahoma State 38, Texas 13

Nov. 17, 2013 • DKR
 

As a kindergarten teacher, my mom organized all kinds of special events for her students. One particular occasion, as part of her Texas history unit, was her annual chuckwagon supper featuring “cowboy beans.” Now we all knew those beans came from Van Camp’s cans, but to her impressionable charges, they were straight from some cowboys’ “home on the range” campfire.

At our tailgate this week we enjoyed burgers, hot dogs, and yes, beans. With a ready supply of beans, I figured this Oklahoma State game would be a good time to pay tribute to my mom’s old classroom cowboy suppers. Nice homage, right? But the whole time we were spelling Texas, I was not thinking of my mother’s phenomenal teaching. All I could think of was the old rhyme: “Beans, beans, the musical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot!” Isn’t that lovely? Classy, even?

As it turns out, the game was about as stinky as flatulence. Early on, it looked like we’d be able to keep it close. Then came the three interceptions and several gosh-awful special teams plays. (Fielding a punt deep in your own territory when there’s a stiff wind that’s certain to push that ball into the endzone? Not smart.) Add to that some dropped passes and missed tackles, and you get a toot-worthy outcome. The Cowboys turned out to be silent but deadly. Blech.

So much for our undefeated Big 12 record. We can still share the conference title, but we’ll need some help. (We’ll also need a whole lot of luck against the Baylor buzzsaw we’ll be facing that first Saturday in December.)

The game itself was a big disappointment, but the day was far from a loss. Brett attended his second ever tailgate (also his second in three weeks), and Ryan tagged along, too. Add one of my dearest college friends, and it was a special pregame gathering. Early in the game we got word that our friend’s daughter will be heading to the state volleyball tournament with her high school team. We also were privileged to salute our veterans, giving them a well-deserved ovation.

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You know, after our first two losses, we knew this wouldn’t be our year. The six-game conference win streak, especially that huge victory over ou, gave us hope that this season could be salvaged. Now, not so much. Our push to win the Big 12? Gone with the (broken) wind. Our hopes for a successful season? Farted away.

Cliffhanger

10 Nov

TEXAS_wvu13Texas 47, West Virginia 40

Nov. 9, 2013 • Morgantown, WV
 

In honor of the Mountaineers, this week we feature “mountain” candy: Andes mints and Toblerone chocolate. Of course, West Virginians only WISH their mountains were as majestic as the ones in South America and Switzerland. In fact, WVa’s highest point, at 4,861 feet, is more pipsqueak than peak compared to Texas’ highest, Guadalupe Peak, at 8,751.

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Considering the small stature of West Virginia’s “mountains,” I probably should’ve used coconut Mounds instead. At least this candy gave me a chance to show off the bear hidden in the Toblerone mountain logo:

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How is that relevant? Take a wild guess what the state animal of West Virginia is!

Enough of the candy talk. What about the game? Once again, the TEXAS spelling was much sweeter than the on-field action. I’d much rather talk about mountain heights or hidden logo images than discuss this game. (Seriously. Have you ever really looked at the logo for FedEx? Amazon? Cisco? So cool to see the hidden stuff. But I digress.)

The return of our porous defense, not to mention more questionable play-calling on offense, made me queasy. Then we took a couple of gut-punches when we lost two team leaders to injury—Chris Whaley and Johnathan Gray. (And how creepy was it to see JGray’s calf quiver right before he went down? What in the world WAS that? He took a step and we could clearly see what looked like the world’s largest twitch in his leg. Sheesh.) 

In the fourth quarter, when the teams kept trading leads, my stomach was giving me fits. Then, as the Horns tied it up to force overtime, I thought my heart would give out before game’s end.

But fate smiled on us in OT. As a wise man once said, “Nobody ever covers the TE on the goal line.” Fortunately for Alex De La Torre, that was true. He was wide open for the game-winner.

So here we are, 6-0 in the Big 12 and finally horning into the Top 25. But really, I have to think we’re more rank than ranked. This game showed us that we’re not that far removed from the BYU and Ole Miss losses. If JGray and Whaley are out, we’ll need to see some of that depth Mack assures us is there. And we have got to see the ou Case and not the Kansas and West Virginia versions.

Still, just as I said last week, we have the capability to beat any of our remaining opponents. (OK, maybe not Baylor. Good grief, that one may get ugly.) But can we? Can our fearless Horns run the table and capture that elusive fourth Big 12 title? Will we summit or plummet?

Tune in next week.

Seedy Start

7 Nov

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Texas 35, Kansas 13

Nov. 2, 2013 • DKR
 

“Script Texas” remains one of my favorite Longhorn Band halftime shows, so it’s no wonder it shows up so often when it’s time to spell. Fortunately, sunflower seeds (representing Kansas, the Sunflower State) are pretty easy to “write” with. Unfortunately, our team’s slow start made us feel like we had a mouthful of those seeds: ready to SPIT.

It’s hard to know what’s going on with this team. We lost two non-conference games early, looking inept on both sides of the ball, but then we went on to win five straight, including a MASSIVE upset victory over the sooners, with a relentless running game and tough D. So what’s up with this struggle against Kansas, football’s 98-pound weakling? Really, until Chris Whaley rumbled into the endzone with another turnover-turned-touchdown, we weren’t feeling too comfortable.

But Whaley DID score that TD, and Malcolm Brown added four rushing scores, too. And just like that, our guys are 5-0 in Big 12 play! If I didn’t know better, I’d be tempted to think that maybe, just maybe, this could be the year we finally win another conference title. But then I look at our remaining sched: West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Tech, Baylor. Which team will show up for each of those contests, the BYU Horns or the ou Horns? Anything can happen, so of course, we’re holding out hope that the “anything” is WINNING.

This win was especially fun because my husband attended the game with me. The last time he saw the Horns play in DKR, we weren’t even married—and we’ve been married 19 years! It was extra special to share the whole tailgating, game and yes, spelling experience with my man.

Some highlights from the day:

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