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Double the Fun

30 Mar

TEXAS_kstate17

Texas 40, Kansas State 34 (2OT) 

Oct. 7, 2017 • DKR

In just his third start of his college career, true freshman Sam Ehlinger came through in a big way, leading our guys to this big double-overtime win under the lights at DKR.

Both teams scored in the first OT, but in the second, K State kept moving backwards thanks to holding penalties. Then their field goal attempt clunked off the upright, opening the door for the Horns.

Our young QB was a beast in this game, but the game-winning TD was a team effort. Chris Warren took the ball and looked like he was stopped 3 yards short of the goal, but our big ol’ O got behind him and pushed him across the line and into the win column.

Making this double OT doubly fun? Katie came home from Lubbock so she could accompany me to Austin, where we met up with Ryan for the game. In his time at Texas, Ryan saw enough bad games, and even when we played well, too often we would lose the close ones. It was fantastic that in his senior year, he could see the Horns FINISH.

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This was a first for us: enjoying UT’s mariachi band pregame!

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Love, love, love when I get to spend time with BOTH of my babies!

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Obligatory stadium selfie

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Great day for football

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TOUCHDOWN, TEXAS!

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Under the lights

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❤ Austin

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Celebratory Eyes

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Thrill of victory

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Isn’t she lovely?

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Magical fun at the Griz house

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Charlie loves Katie

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Texas Sports recap

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Never Doubt Pumpkin Power

15 Oct

TEXAS_ou13

Texas 36, ou 20

Oct. 12, 2013 • Red River Rivalry, Cotton Bowl, Dallas

 

Way back in 1995, the Horns played SMU in the Cotton Bowl during the State Fair of Texas. It was strange, being in the same setting as the annual Texas-ou game but without the crazy, hyped-up rivalry environment. It was at that game that Pumpkin Power came to be. My mom had packed us some of those Halloween candy pumpkins because (a) they’re tasty and (b) they’re orange! Whenever our guys needed a little extra mojo, we’d nibble on a pumpkin, and whadyaknow, it worked! Thus began the legend of “Pumpkin Power.” Once October rolls around, either my best football buddy or I will pick up a few candy pumpkins to pump up the power.

So Saturday, there we were in Fair Park, scared to death our two-loss team was going to get clobbered by the #12-ranked sooners. We checked off all our Texas-ou to-do’s: got there early, wore orange, saw Big Tex, ate Fletcher’s corny dogs for breakfast, bought our eight-ticket beer. What else could we do to help our team? Out came the Ziplock baggie with the candy gourds.

Man, those pumpkins must’ve been mighty powerful. How else can you explain this game? Not just one but two 100-yard rushers! A punt returned for a touchdown! A pick 6! The most bee-YOU-tiful over-the-shoulder TD reception! A backup QB looking every bit like the college football hero we dreamed he could be! Even Bevo was going nuts.

AWESOME SCENE.

AWESOME SCENE.

In many ways, this game reminded me of 1989. That year, we were also coming off a whew-worthy 31-30 win over an underdog (Rice), and no one picked us to beat the sooners. In that game, we took photos of the scoreboard in the first quarter, just because we didn’t expect to see our guys in the lead for very long. When we broke our four-game losing streak to ou that year, it felt like our half of the Cotton Bowl was going to explode with joy. Yes, we were thrilled to beat our arch rival, but more than that, we were SURPRISED.

Fast forward to 2013. A schedule conflict (and dad duties) kept one of our friends from attending the game for the first time in 27 years. Our other tailgating friends had stayed home, unwilling to sit through the beat down everyone could see coming. Turns out only the DFW locals in our group made it to the game. What a shame! About the only thing that could’ve made this day better would’ve been high-fiving our friends who had suffered through all those other losses with us.

Oh, and the weather. THAT could’ve been better. With temps in the high 80s and direct sunlight on us most of the game, we were melting out there. This was the hottest game we’ve seen all year since the others—even our August game—were in the evening with pleasant breezes.

But you know, even though we were sweating like crazy, we still got goosebumps. How could we not? Our guys were playing their guts out, making big play after big play on both sides of the ball. Was it better coaching? The determination of our seniors? Just a bad day for the Land Thieves? Maybe. But I wouldn’t discount the pumpkins!

Lots of photos this week: game pix with a Big Tex and a little Nutella thrown in. Be sure to scroll down past the slideshow for a couple of fun videos!

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From my phone:

 

 

From TexasSports.com:

 

A GIF of Chris Whaley’s rumbling pick-6 (which was the first time I’d ever heard of the internet sensation, “Fat Guy Touchdown”):

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And this goofy GIF of Daje’s punt return for a TD:

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For ISU and DKR

10 Nov

Texas 33, Iowa State 7

Nov. 10, 2012 • DKR

First there were the “rib-I’s” on the grill. Then we had “Eye-owa State.” But this year, it was time to use ISU’s mascot to spell Texas!

What’s that? They’re the Cyclones? Maybe so, but this guy is their on-field mascot:

It’s a bird! With a maniacal grin! And teeth! If I were a crazy grinning cardinal with teeth who’s supposed to represent a weather phenomenon, I’d be pretty angry.

Voila! It’s ANGRY BIRDS!

For this early game, Ryan and I didn’t make it to our tailgate spot, so we spelled Texas at another fitting locale:

Beneath the giant star at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Speaking of stars and history, we lost a true Texas icon earlier in the week. Darrell K Royal IS Texas football. Not only did he guide the Horns to three national championships, but he did much to establish the traditions we enjoy today. After Texas jerseys had varied from brighter to darker oranges, it was DKR who decided once and for all that burnt orange would be OURS. Even our familiar Longhorn logo owes its design to Coach Royal. So on this special Saturday, when 100,000+ people would remember Coach in the stadium that bears his name, I felt compelled to spell this:

Yes, it’s silly and trivial, but my motives were sincere. So much of what I love about my Horns I owe to Coach Royal’s influence.

In the first quarter, Coach Mack Brown honored DKR by using Royal’s much-loved wishbone formation on our first offensive play.

Royal was famous for his many sayings, including this one: “I’ve always felt that three things can happen when you throw the football, and two of them are bad.” Well, our play callers decided to double our chances of success by calling a double pass on this opening play!

Here’s video a fan (with much better seats that ours) shot:

Later, the Longhorn Band presented its traditional Veterans Day recognition before honoring Royal in the halftime show:

(Another video I didn’t shoot! Thank you, aramarie1!)

The game was filled with tributes to our legendary coach. Another example: Before the LHB played “Wabash Cannonball” (as it does at the beginning of every fourth quarter), it was explained that DKR loved this song! That’s why the band started playing it all those years ago.

Of course, the greatest tribute was that big ol’ W.

Other highlights:

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Far from a Fair-y Tale

13 Oct

ou 63, Texas 21

Oct. 13, 2012 • Cotton Bowl, State Fair of Texas

As the kids would say, “Oh. Em. Gee.”

What else can you say about a game that’s over in the first quarter, a catastrophe that results in not just a loss but also complete exposure of ineptitude? We were outcoached, outmanned, outplayed. (If I were a headline writer, I’d oh-so-cleverly capitalize the “ou” in each of those words, but I don’t capitalize “ou.” So there.) To add insult to injury—make that INJURY to injury—our star quarterback broke his left wrist before all was said and done. He’s out for at least one game.

This was not the game we thought we’d see when we pulled into the State Fair parking lot bright and early Saturday morning, our stomachs ready for corny dogs and our minds set on VICTORY. Although I was concerned our D would give up lots of points, I really thought our offense would be able to more than make up the difference. I thought our stud running backs would open up the passing game so we could amass yardage on the ground and in the air.

That’s what I get for thinking.

Speaking of “stinkin’ thinkin’,” I had a vision for how this week’s “Spell Texas” would go: I would find items around the fair that looked like the letters in Texas and put them together, all artistic-like. Riiiiiight. The result wasn’t quite what I’d hoped, but hey, you’ve got to try something new now and then, right? (Certainly would’ve been nice to try something new in our offensive plays, that’s for sure. Sideline passes and 5-yard routes on 3rd and 9? What, was this Iowa’s bye week? I would’ve sworn Greg Davis was back in that press box.)

For a more thorough review of what this loss means for us Horns, check out this great commentary from Barking Carnival. (Well, I hate to use the word “great” for anything related to this game, but anyway…)

It certainly seems like it’s time for a massive culture change at Texas. It may be time to give up my role as a Mack Brown apologist. I love Mack, but for goodness’ sake, I can’t stomach seeing so much talent wasted year after year. As the BC writer said, that second national championship is never going to happen if we stay the course. The ship is sinking. (Or should I be punny and say ’ship?)

I don’t have the answers, but this I know:

  • David Ash is a stud. Even in this loss, it’s easy to see he’s a great QB in spite of poor play-calling and a weak O-line. But what really got to me Saturday was when he left the field with a fractured wrist. Before I even knew he was injured, I heard the boos, a loud chorus from the ou side of the stadium. Then I noticed one of our guys walking past those fans with his Horns held high. The whole way to the tunnel, he hooked ’em. Only after he turned to go up the tunnel ramp did I realize that was Ash. Again, what a stud.
  • There’s nothing like seeing a player carted off the field to put things into perspective. We couldn’t see what was going on with our DT Brandon Moore, but the texts and tweets said he was motionless on the field before the trainers got him on a backboard and into an ambulance.  Scary stuff. By the time the game was over, we got word that he was moving his arms.
  • Fletcher’s corny dogs rock.
  • Shiner rocks, too. Especially when it comes in a wax cup.
  • I know he’s a steer, but Bevo is the man. Our mascot is just a thing of beauty. When the ou players first entered the field and took a knee in our endzone, Bevo promptly turned his back. Good call, dude.
  • I love my Longhorns, and I will support my team forever and ever. Several have asked if I stayed for the whole game. Well, DUH. The only way I’m leaving before “The Eyes” are sung at game’s end is on a stretcher.

I also know the answer to this question: Does ou still suck?

Even though there’s much about this game I’d like to forget, here are a few images from the day, including butter statues, a Lego Dirk Nowitzki and Yoda, the breakfast of champions, and more:

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Kiss the Aggies Goodbye

24 Nov

Texas 27, Texas A&M 25

Nov. 24, 2011 • College Station

With A&M leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, this game represented the end of the storied rivalry for the foreseeable future. At my in-laws’ for Thanksgiving dinner, I grabbed some chocolate from Nana’s candy dish to create one last aggy tribute, a goodbye (Hershey’s) kiss.

As for the game itself? The Horns certainly gave those ags a great send-off! For posterity’s sake, here’s how the game ended:

“And it’s goodbye to A&M…”