When I was a kid, probably eight or nine years old, I had a boil on my back. I don’t remember much about it, and haven’t thought about it for years until I was ruminating on the West Virginia game this morning.
I can’t decide which is worse: my lack of surprise at the Cal-Berkley loss or the fact that getting pantsed by a team that was manhandled the previous week by San Diego State didn’t really bother me all that much.
Comedy and tragedy as two sides of the same coin: tragedy can lead to profound, hard-earned wisdom and joy, and comfort and satisfaction can spoil and destroy us and lead to ruin. Which leads us to the No. 11 Texas Longhorns. From unranked to number 11? Really? After the first game of the season? After beating an unproven Notre Dame at home in double-overtime?
It was a long, hard, hot summer in the Hill Country. We had almost two-dozen days of triple digit temperatures. The heat and humidity were unrelenting, like trying to breath through a steamy, hot washcloth. Before my daily morning run I’d look for some miniscule, easy-to-miss portent that summer’s death grip might break and fall would eventually arrive – a cool breeze, a smell in the air, anything. All I found was heat and sweat – dripping off my nose, stinging my eyes, baptizing the toes of my Asics.
Last Saturday’s steamroller win over the hated Oklahoma Sooners must have felt amazing for embattled Texas coach Charlie Strong. Having already been measured for his coffin (short nut wide in the shoulders, a.k.a. the “Mr. Incredible” Model), Strong was widely written off in social media and on Longhorn interwebs.
What the Longhorn nation wanted last Saturday was to see a slow, steady improvement from the Cal and Oklahoma State losses. We wanted something linear. What we got was frustration, confusion, finger-pointing, timidity, gross incompetence, a moon-shot punt snap, missed chip shots and a halftime tweet.
Let’s start with the obvious: we didn’t lose to the Cal Golden Commie Pinkos because of a missed extra point. We lost because we lost both starting safeties, one to injury and one to dumbassery, the 10 points we gave up while my wife left to pee just before halftime, the first two offensive turnovers of the year, a few inopportune Daje drops and two rushing first downs by a quarterback who is slower than Donald Trump’s arm bimbo.
Let’s play a game called “Which is the Most Annoying?” In the spirit of participation trophies and bolstering Little Johnny’s self-esteem, there are no right or wrong answers – there’s just the answer that’s best for you. Afterward, we’ll have a half-and-half pumpkin latte and talk about our feelings. Ready?
The older I get, the less certain I am of things. Brash, cocky, unyielding and in yo’ face has given way to subtle, nuanced, and contemplative. Black and white evolved into hundreds of shades of gray.