Football

Blackwell: Addressing the BBs

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The BBs. Everyone in Austin – indeed, everyone who has ever hooked ’em – always talks about the BBs at the University of Texas, and how there is always a fundamental need to collect them, gather them, cradle them and “put them back in the box.”

Steve Sarkisian is now officially in charge of the BBs.

The BBs, of course, consist of UT’s football program, athletic department, administration, boosters and fans. It’s a lot of BBs.

And all of the BBs are together now, as we’ve all been informed, ad nauseum. Just as they were for Mack Brown. And Charlie Strong. And Tom Herman.

It all sounds great, and BB togetherness makes it much easier to “win” the press conference, and everyone is now singing Kumbaya.

Personally, the older I get the less I care about winning a press conference. Mack Brown won his first press conference – he got fired. So did Charlie Strong and Steve Patterson – remember them? Got fired. So did Tom Herman, who also said the right things at his presser – and he got fired.

My suggestion is that we win fewer press conference and win more games.

But I digress. Truthfully, Sarkisian (who is already being called “Coach Sark” by local press who of course will praise him profusely until he runs a play not to their liking, then they will turn on him like all of those bears who are adopted by people) is certainly a welcome breath of fresh air in what has been a program full of haze and uncertainty. But like the bears, the press will eventually get hungry.

Sarkisian’s presence is allowing everyone around the program to feel good about the change, and hopeful about what might become of the football team. And since, contrary to popular belief, there is no actual “winning” of a press conference, pretty much everyone can agree that he answered the questions pertaining to his style, The Eyes of Texas and his approach to relationships with players adeptly. Bravo.

But here’s the deal: coaches are constantly “winning” press conferences and later losing their jobs. All of the BBs know and recognize that the “winning” must take place on the field. And all of the BBs also know that the love for the coach is not unconditional. In fact, it’s extremely conditional: the love is conditioned upon winning on the field, and that winning needs to come to the tune of 10 games per year. Win eight games consistently, and you’ll get fired. Eight wins is only good for “We’re TCU” not “We’re Texas.” That’s truth.

Sarkisian is evidently an astute offensive mind. He’s a bit of a quarterback whisperer. Sarkisian fosters great relationships with players. He recruits well; he gets along well with other coaches.

He checks all of the boxes, but his final box as UT’s head coach will be left unchecked until next fall.

The restless BBs are restless to attain One Love status on the 40 Acres. A love that is conditioned upon winning on the field, now and always.