So let’s just say your favorite university wants to broadcast all of its sports, with maybe a profile of an anthropology professor thrown in now and again to satisfy those silly academic types. Then let’s assume that a television network – say, ESPN, for instance – decides to write your university a check for $300 million so you can have your very own little TV network. And for conversation’s sake, let’s just call this little venture the Longhorn Network.
Granted, all of this is hypothetical, because surely money only falls from the sky like that in the movies… or in Eugene, Oregon.
Actually, that thud you heard was the sound of $300 million large landing at the feet of UT Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds. And since this dream is now very much a reality, we’ve decided to pass along some programming ideas for the inaugural season of the Longhorn Network.DeLoss, I hope you’re taking notes.We start the week of television viewing with Monday night’s first episode of CSI-Austin, with a behind-the-scenes view of the goings-on in the football autopsy room, where last year’s corpse of a season lays prone on a cold, burnt orange slab. There’s Mack Brown holding what appears to be an undersized running game in the palm of his hands and asking to no one in particular, “Ricky, where are you? Cedric? Jamaal?” There’s Will Muschamp tossing his blood-stained apron on the ground on his way out of the swinging door, saying over his shoulder, “Well, whatever you discover, it’s not bringing that mf-er back to life. I’m outta here…” There’s new strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie with a big chunk of blubber, shaking his head and muttering, “This just won’t do…”Our “Comedy Tuesday” fare includes America’s Funniest Home Videos, featuring some of the wackiest plays from last season. Watch Texas’ punt returners try and catch balls inside their own five yard-line (*insert laugh track here*)! Watch the Texas secondary turn quarterbacks from Iowa State, Kansas State and UCLA into Davey O’Brien candidates (*laugh track*)! Watch the Longhorns try and block Von Miller (*laugh track*)! Real funny stuff here.Wednesday’s lineup turns to other Texas sports and includes a unique made-for-television movie double feature: It’s A Wonderful Life followed by Friday the 13th. The first movie chronicles the Texas basketball team as it parades its way through the holiday season each year. The second flick commemorates the date each March when the Longhorns are eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.Thursday it is back to football with the premier of Two Men and a Baby, which follows the preseason routine of Bryan Harsin, Major Applewhite and their guidance and handling of freshman running back Malcolm Brown, upon whose shoulders perhaps the success or failure of the season rests. No pressure, Malcolm.On Friday, the Longhorn Network travels to College Station for the latest episode of Swamp People. Viewer discretion is advised.Saturday marks a return to the basketball court with the show, Deadliest Catch, which tells the roller-coaster saga of Rick Barnes, who routinely snares some of the best recruits in the country, only to have them bolt for the NBA after another early NCAA Tournament exit. That drama will be followed by Real World: Augie, which takes us behind the scenes in the day-to-day life of baseball coach Augie Garrido, who solves many of the world’s problems in a 45-minute visit to Whole Foods.Sunday’s programming is yet to be determined, but will include one final football show. Word on the street is that if the Longhorns struggle early in the season, this program is already “in the can”: Curb Your Enthusiasm.