Passing Mustard

18 Oct

ou 31, Texas 26

Oct. 11, 2014 • Cotton Bowl, State Fair of Texas
 

There’s nothing like Texas-ou. Nothing! On what other day can you eat Fletcher’s corny dogs for breakfast, chase them down with 8-ticket Shiner, all while basking in the presence of Big Tex? This year we combined two out of three of those for our Spell Texas pic.

Years ago we spelled Texas with corny dogs (Fletcher’s, of course–the ONLY State Fair corny dogs, truly),

texas-cornydogs

but this year, we went with the dog-as-canvas approach. One of those delightful mustard-ketchup stations with the red and yellow striped canopies provided the “paint.” After a little creative squirting, Texas was spelled.

For the first half of this game, it seemed like Texas had cast a spell on ou. Our D was solid as usual, giving up just 3 points. (Stupid kickoff return and pick-6 accounted for the other 14 the sooners scored.) Meanwhile, our sputtering offense came to life, scoring 13 in that first half. And the stats were oh-so-lopsided:

16_halftimestats

Then ou roared back in the second half, breaking the game open and taking a 31-13 lead. It looked like we were in for another spanking, but then it was the Horns’ turn to come to life. With just under 5 minutes to play, we pulled to within 5. Our tenacious D was all over the sooners’ offense, but they managed to convert two third-down plays on the way to running out the clock. In spite of all our mistakes, even though we killed ourselves with poor clock management and penalties, we were just one third-d0wn stop away from getting the ball with plenty of time for another TD.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. None of the numbers matter except the score at the end, so here we are, encouraged by the team’s improvement but bummed with the results. With our 2-4 record, we’re off to our worst start in my lifetime. Funny thing, though: It doesn’t feel that bad. We all know we’re short-staffed thanks to Coach Strong’s newer, tougher standards for players. We all know that injuries have hit us pretty hard. We all know (oh, how we know) how much losing sucks. But we see improvement. Our defense has faced some powerhouse offenses and held its ground, and our new quarterback is coming into his own. And as we saw Saturday, these guys keep fighting, keep hustling.

That’s a big reason why so many of us cheered our losing team after the game. A spontaneous stadium yell (Texas! Fight!) broke out as soon as the team assembled in front of the band for “The Eyes.”

The atmosphere is always amped up for Texas-ou, but this felt different. Even though we lost, we were celebrating that Texas fight, that grit that brought us back from 18 down to within 5. That postgame ovation was our way of saying that we’re here for the losses because they’ll make the victories even sweeter. And we believe those victories are coming! I love that the team seems to have noticed our energy. Coaches Strong and Bedford both mentioned fan support in their Monday press conferences. They know we’ve got their backs. We believe!

We also know that win or lose, ou still sucks.

Some highlights:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sidenote about the Big Tex corny dog photo at the top:

I posted that picture to Instagram and to the Fletcher’s Facebook page, and then something funny happened. Fletcher’s shared my picture with its fans, who seemed to dig the shot. More than 200 people liked the photo, and 36 of them shared it on their own FB timelines. Crazy! My little off-center, too-dark photo was making the rounds.

The University Co-op took notice, too. I tagged the photo with #CoopGameDay to enter the Co-op’s weekly photo contest and was delighted to find this on Monday:

24_winner

$300 to spend at the Co-op? As Tex would say, “Howdy, folks!” Now if I can just find $300 worth of merchandise there that I don’t already own… Thanks so much, Co-op!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: