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C-BOG: Hurry Up and Wait

In his always off-beat commentary known as Conner’s Burnt Orange Glasses, Longhorn fan Jeff Conner recaps Texas’ fruitless search for coaches and, even with all the confusion, offers a little holiday hope.
Christmas used to drive me nuts as a kid. For the first eight years of my life, I

was an only child, and the blessed holiday that celebrates the birth of the

Lord came with a lesson in commercial avarice that would have made a Lehman

Brothers’ VP proud. In short, I

wanted toys and plenty of ‘em. Mom used to turn me loose with a

ball point pen on the toy and sporting goods sections of the Sears &

Roebuck Christmas catalogue. I’m a

little fuzzy about which gave out first – my greed or the ink in the pen, but I

circled every fancy photo that caught my eye: Hot Wheels tracks, electric

football sets, bright blue Baltimore Colts swag (I was a huge Johnny Unitas

fan), anything to do with dinosaurs, board games, cowboy and superhero action

figures and any cool-looking electronic gee-gaw with flashing lights and moving

parts that needed no fewer than 18 D batteries.

I

didn’t get everything I coveted, mind you, but, being the only child of a

middle class home, my batting average was better than Ted Williams’. In the immortal words of Freddie

Mercury, I wanted it all, and I wanted it now. The

only problem with Christmas was the “now” part. The week between school letting out and the tearing of the

wrapping paper seemed insanely long and tedious – like watching a Tim Tebow

interview while getting a root canal. Time dragged unmercifully, and by the arrival of Christmas morning, I

was more geeked up than a Pomeranian on meth. Those long nights were brutal, tossing and turning wide

awake in bed, listening to the ping of the metal in the heating duct expand as

the thermostat kicked on, moving to the warm spot of the electric blanket,

trying desperately to fall asleep so Christmas would get here faster, never

realizing that nothing keeps you up like desperately trying to fall asleep,

dreaming of how wonderful each of those toys would be, all fantastical and

forever new because they wouldn’t be shared with or broken by a younger

sibling.

Turns out the great Gainesville philosopher Tom Petty was

right: “The waiting is the hardest part.”

Unfortunately, the waiting has been

particularly brutal for Texas Longhorn fans this holiday season. After suffering the indignities of home

losses to UCLA, Iowa State and Baylor, we have been college football Jews –

escaping from the tyranny, slavery and pyramid building of Greg Davis’

rinky-dink bubble screen offense only to wind up wandering aimlessly in the

desert for forty days and forty nights. Even worse, at the beginning of our meanderings, our fearless leader –

the man appointed by God, excuse me, DeLoss Dodds to lead us, the guy who

parted the Red River, gave us the Law of Boom on stone tablets and uttered the

immortal words, “Let my people go, m***** f*****!”, the one we were sure was

going to take us to the Promised Land – left the faith and blasphemously

started worshipping Sobek, the Egyptian Alligator God.

No problem. It’s all good. Coach Muschamp left us standing at the

altar. It was a little

embarrassing explaining the absence of the groom to the guests noshing on

finger foods at the reception, but, like every other chick who ever tried on a

wedding dress, we had faith. We

could go forward. We would recover

from this disaster and be better people in the long run because of it. Somebody would want to be with us. Somebody handsome and athletic with a

nice smile and a good IRA. We’re

fun at parties. We have a lot to

offer, don’t we? We’re

good-looking, right? We’re Texas.

The Miami Hurricanes

unceremoniously dumped Randy Shannon like a putting out prom date, and it

appeared the former Defensive Coordinator was being courted for the same job at

Texas (Defensive Coordinator, that is, not skank). We thoroughly vetted Coach Shannon and his abilities as a

recruiter and generally gave him very positive marks. Then, for reasons as clear as mud, we rejected Coach Shannon

in favor of Urban Meyer’s former DC, Teryl Austin, a guy with tons of NFL

experience, but not so much as a college coordinator. We subsequently hired and unhired another Gator coach,

offensive line guru Steve Addazio, who is now head man at Bill Crosby’s alma

mater, the Temple Owls.

Our fruitless search for

replacement coaches has devolved into a drunken, back bedroom multi-partner,

Caligula-like gropefest, where we alternatively tease and get felt up by every

blotto, hammered available coach on the market. Problem is, the morning hangover is pounding away at the

front of our brains, and all we have left is shame, the taste of day-old

cigarettes, a missing pair of underwear, vomit and blood stains on our shirt

than may or may not be ours, the suspicion that we need a strong shot of

penicillin and the inability to recall large chunks of last evening’s

festivities.

And we still have no coaches.

Which brings us back to Santa

Claus. The magic and mystery of

the holidays is that we tell kids about a supernatural, kindly, loving,

munificent, gentle person who sacrifices for us and brings us good gifts. Justifiably confused, children wonder

if Santa is a Jewish carpenter, or if Jesus of Nazareth wears red with white

fringe and laughs out loud a lot for no apparent reason.

Our Longhorn Santa this year,

obviously, is Coach Mack Brown. Childlike, we trust him to bring us something good and not coal in our

stockings. We are confused by the

utter lack of information coming out of Bellmont, but as people of faith and

good cheer, we understand Santa likes nothing better than a big surprise on his

special day. Like the poor beggars

at the Feast of Stephen, we wait for Good King Wenceslas to shower us with

goodies, all the while singing a jaunty tune.

So here’s happy holiday wishes from

everyone at Inside Texas. May your

stockings and bellies be filled. May your days be merry and light. May your hurry up and wait be rewarded with some excellent coaching

hires. May we all get what we

need, and not what we want.

Hook ‘em.

Longhorn fan Jeff Conner is an attorney with a solo civil practice in Lubbock, Texas who graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1986. Conner’s regularly submitted commentary appears in InsideTexas.com and Inside Texas Magazine. The opinions presented do not necessarily reflect the views of the Inside Texas editorial staff.