Archive | November, 2014

Last Leg

30 Nov

TCU 48, Texas 10

Nov. 27, 2014 • DKR
 

One would think that THIS:

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would be the grossest thing I’d see this week. While shopping for frog legs, I came across these poor popsicles (or would that be HOPsicles?) in our local Asian market. I’ve spelled Texas with lots of things, but I draw the line at frozen whole frog. Ew.

I did summon the courage to take home these babies, though.

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I even cooked these frog legs myself (as opposed to watching friends grill them or buying them pre-cooked). The slimy guys were pretty nasty (and vein-y), but nothing prepared me for the really icky things we were to see Thursday night in DKR.

What an awful game.

It was just one gut-punch after another: dropped passes, bad play-calling, wrong routes, turnovers (holy COW, the turnovers!), rotten officiating, even a few defensive miscues. Yes, our D was again stellar for most of the game, and Swoopes (bless his heart), when he held onto the ball, managed a few really good plays. But even our good plays were followed by momentum-busting officials’ reviews or injuries. Ugh. The lowest moment came with 10 minutes to go when we faced 4th down at midfield. Losing by 17, it seemed like a given we’d go for it. But no. We punted—punted away any chance for getting back in this thing. Certainly, it would’ve been a long shot, but it was better than—oh, I don’t know—quitting with so much time left on the clock! Our coaches gave up, but TCU didn’t. The Frogs went on to score THREE MORE TOUCHDOWNS. Whadyaknow, it IS possible to score three times in 10 minutes. Hmmm…

Last year, I referenced Coach Royal’s famous “cockroach” quote when I spelled Texas. After this year’s game, I posted this to Facebook:

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My friend and I also took a postgame selfie to show how we felt about the outcome:

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Full disclosure: We had way too much fun trying to look mad for this photo! We laughed until we cried and our sides hurt. Delirium had definitely set in.

What a lame way to end this crazy, mixed bag of a season. We started with high hopes, settled in for a rebuilding year, then found ourselves on a three-game winning streak and bowl eligible. We went from “We’re going to be bad so let’s just ride it out” to “These guys are really starting to get it together.” I knew TCU was good this year, but I let myself believe that our guys could pull the upset.

Sure enough, here we are. Upset.

I’d hate for this roller coaster of a season to end this way. Here’s hoping that we can send off these seniors with a bowl win and spend the long, hot off-season relishing a victory instead of trying to forget another bitter defeat.

Scenes from the big tailgate, pregame, game and halftime:

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Stillwater Runs Deep

16 Nov

Texas 28, Oklahoma State 7

Nov. 15, 2014 • Stillwater, OK
 

I’ve only been there once, and that was during the summer, but Stillwater seems like it’d be a pretty cool place to see a game. If Eskimo Joe’s is part of your gameday, how bad could it be? Besides, it would be a trip to see (and hear!) those paddles hitting the sideline walls and watch the OSU fans do their one-armed waving thing. In honor of this town I hope to revisit, this week’s Texas is spelled with “still water.”

Too bad my return couldn’t be for this game, the “Bowl Eligibility Bowl.” Which team would get that all-important sixth win? I knew we could beat Okie State, looking vulnerable with their 5-4 record. Then again, we were at 5-5, so what did I know? Early on, though, we had this one. Our D was solid through most of it. (Darn those nine first downs and the score that blew the shutout!) Our offense, even with some missed kicks thrown in, managed to get those points on the board, mostly in the first half. And that pass to Foreman?

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SWOOOOOOOOOOOOPES!!!

The second half drop-off in production still puzzles me—What’s going on at halftime? Are other coaches THAT good at adjustments, or are we just that bad?—but we still put 9 on the board after halftime, including that sweet afore(man)mentioned TD pass. And whadyaknow, we’ve won three in a row. For this team that has struggled this season, raising questions of locker room buy-in and coaching quality, here we sit with six wins. And you know what that means:

BOWL ELIGIBLE, BABY.

But first, let’s not forget Turkey Day, when it’ll be OUR turn to be the cockroaches and mess up TCU’s title hopes. After the Frogs’ close call with Kansas, that upset may not be so far-fetched.

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My attention level during the first half (as imitated by Frisco)

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My attention level late in the game

Onward and Upward

10 Nov

Texas 33, West Virginia 16

Nov. 8, 2014 • DKR
 

Continuing last year’s mountain theme for the Mountaineers, this week we spelled Texas with Clif Bars. Thanks to my unfortunate lack of confidence, I thought the cliff-hanging climber on the package would be symbolic of this game: tough to watch and in danger of ending our season. But hey! We WON! And my tune changed from “We’re doomed” to “We never doubted!”

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This game had it all: goal-line stands, a safety, long runs, nice passes. The first half was just flat-out FUN. But even with a 21-point lead, I still wondered we could really beat the 23rd-ranked Mountaineers.

Sure enough, the ’Neers nearly came back, cutting our lead to 10 with lots of time left. Our offense was stone cold, and it just felt like this one was slipping away. But thanks to some killer D (not to mention the well-timed, momentum-shifting safety), our guys held onto the lead and the Tower was orange once again.

They say it’s easier to address problems after a win than after a loss. I hope that’s true because we still have mucho problemos. The flat offense and lack of production in the second half is especially concerning. Too many dropped passes, seemingly wrong routes run, dumb penalties… We need one more win to be bowl eligible, and those kinds of mistakes ain’t gonna cut it.

In spite of those issues, though, I’ll take the W! “Ol’ ugly is better than ol’ nothin’,” and this “ol’ ugly” was a sight for sore eyes. I’m proud of the way this suspension-depleted and injury-decimated team held on to win, and I was so very happy for these kids (and coaches) who pulled off the upset. You have to smile when you see this:

 

Tailgate, pregame, game and halftime highlights:

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Remember the Tortillas

3 Nov

Texas 34, Texas Tech 13

Nov. 1, 2014 • Lubbock
 

For each season’s Tech matchup, I keep going back to tortillas. This time around I was oh-so-close to using another Tech-related food to spell Texas, but tortillas are just too easy. One reason: A Tech friend was just talking about how students smuggle the contraband tortillas into their stadium (inside clothes and/or boots!). Another: They’re cheap and easy to cut into nearly any shape with scissors. And winning reason number 3: They’re plenty portable.

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Portability was important because this weekend found us back in our old haunt, San Antonio. Between band contests and Alamo Bowl games, we seem to end up in ol’ San Antone at least twice a year. Three years ago, Katie and I watched Ryan and the band in San Antonio on a Friday night, drove back to Austin that Saturday to see Texas beat Tech, and then returned to the Alamodome for the contest finals that night. Two years ago, I was in SA while the Horns played the Raiders in Lubbock and we won that one, too. Who am I to mess with a winning tradition? This time, though, the Texas tortillas were not photographed  at the tailgate or at a beaver’s feet but along the banks of the Riverwalk.

Because the band contest finals got underway about the same time as kickoff, I was in the Alamodome for much of the game. Armed with my trusty Fox Sports Go app, I was certain I’d be able to check out the game between bands’ performances. But have you ever tried to watch streaming video while inside a giant concrete box? Service was predictably terrible, so for the first quarter and a half, my only contact with the contest in LBB was via texts from my crazy friends. To go by their version of events, we’re the worst team in the history of teams ever ever ever with no offense and no (as usual) linebackers. When I took a break from the contest to grab a bite to eat, I was delighted to discover that in spite of our miscues, we are NOT, in fact, the worst team. Eventually the sky-is-falling texts quieted down, and I was able to see that lovely final score.

So I saw less of this game than any other in years. I DID see San Antonio, though, including the Cradle of Texas Liberty, which we are bound by (family) law to visit each time we’re in town.