Bill Little's Rainy Day

Editor's Note: This writer is mean. He once hitchhiked to Will Rogers graveside to speak ill of him. He even shot a man just for snoring. But it's funny, so here you go. - SR

I have a confession to make. "Fake Ken Tremendous" is not my real name. I can't tell you what my real name is, but that's not it. I am part of an extensive network of spies working to counter Bellmont Hall's insidious campaign of propaganda. From now on, you will know me only by my Barking Carnival-issued codename, "Bushy Moustache." Just to clarify, that nickname has nothing to do with the bushy moustache I wear as a disguise. That's just a coincidence.

With that out of the way, let's move on to Bill Little's latest masterpiece.

Bill Little commentary: A point about yesterday

This title is a bit misleading. No Bill Little piece has a point. Not a single one. They are all just garbled piles of confusingly-written, sentimental nonsense. This article is no exception.

Missing a weekend of football may have been different, but it was not the most important thing Saturday. With the Gulf Coast in their thoughts, the Longhorns move forward to face Rice.

I'm trying to figure out what kind of thought process results in a sentence like first one, above. Does Bill Little spend time every evening running through the events of his day, considering whether or not they are "different" and, for each event he determines to be different, further asking whether that event was also the "most important thing?" I like to think he does, because that theory would explain a lot of things.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Will Rogers said it, and Mack Brown keeps it as one of his favorite quotations: "Never let yesterday use up too much of today."

I'm pretty sure that's actually the title of an Ian Fleming novel.

That said, the Texas Longhorns went back to work Sunday night following an unexpected trip to the "Twilight Zone" of football scheduling which saw their game with Arkansas postponed for two weeks.

Oooo... a weather-related postponement of a football game. That's just like some creepy episode of The Twilight Zone written after Rod Serling completely ran out of even halfway-decent ideas for plot lines.

At about 8 o'clock last Wednesday night, just as the assistant coaches were putting the finishing touches on a game plan for Arkansas and the players were mulling over their last full practice in preparation for the interstate rivalry, the world of college football in the state of Texas came to a screeching halt.

I'm not sure, but I think I just heard the world of context-appropriate metaphors come to a screeching halt. Or maybe that was just the crazy race car we call "logically consistent analogies" rotating on its axis and revolving around the Sun. It's hard to tell the difference.

Because of the threat to the Texas coast of Hurricane Ike,

Because of the overuse of prepositional phrases in the sentence above by the author of the article, it is awkward and painful to read.

...there would be no football in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. For the first time in recorded history, a scheduled game had been cancelled or postponed.

Okay, this may come off as a tad bit pedantic, but I think it's fair. This is NOT the "first time in recorded history [that] a scheduled game has been cancelled or postponed." That statement is not even close to being true. Bill has an annoying habit of laborious over-specification (see the first sentence, in which he types out the full, hyphenated name of the football stadium), and yet he decides that the right occasion to finally break out generic terminology is in making a claim that is only correct if specifically limited to the University of Texas football team. What the hell?

As it turned out, the city of Austin would escape the physical wrath of the storm, even avoiding predicted high winds and much needed showers.

Look, I know I'm not an exemplar of personal hygeine, but that's really out of line...
Oh, right. You meant rain showers. Well, that's true.

But as Mack Brown said last week, this never was about just a football game. This was about what was abundantly important for the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind.

Which is why Mack Brown shaved his head, slapped on some sandals and a red robe and spent the weekend talking to students in the West Mall about cosmic enlightenment through Bhakti Yoga.

This was about helping your neighbor, and standing together with hundreds of emergency personnel and safety officials and thousands of those whose road to safety led them to our city.

For the Longhorns, it was about teammates and their families whose homes were in harm's way. And for the University of Arkansas, it was about the safety of its players and its fans.

All of that was assured by the movement of the game to September 27, by happenstance an open date for both teams.

Yes. I think we can all agree that Deloss Dodds single-handedly saved the world from certain destruction by rescheduling the Texas-Arkansas game. Good point, Bill.

Now, it is back to the business of football, and while it will be odd a week from now to begin preparing for a team for which you have already prepared,

Who is Bill talking to? Me? Was I supposed to prepare for something?

now - more than ever - it is important to return to the tried and true cliché of all sports: "We are gonna take this one game at a time."

Okay, I'm starting to get confused as to where Bill wants us to be. Just a couple of sentences ago, he wanted us to go "back to the business of football." Now we're supposed to "return to the tried and true cliche of all sports." This return to a cliche is apparently very important - more important now, in fact, than it ever was.

And, furthermore, this is not the cliche of all sports. No swimmer would ever say "I had a rough game out there, but I am gonna take this swimming thing one game at a time." That would just be stupid. Almost as stupid as anonymously heckling Bill Little.

In a way, it is ironic that within days we are given reminders of reasons to reassess the values of life.

Things that are actually not ironic:

1. Rain on your wedding day
2. A free ride when you've already paid
3. Good advice that you just didn't take
4. Within days, being reminded of reasons to reassess the values of life

It is hard to believe that it has been seven years since that awful September 11 in 2001 when our world did, indeed, stop turning.

Our world has indeed stopped turning. Literally. Or, maybe I meant "figuratively." I can't remember. But one thing is certain: the planet Earth has indeed not seen a sunrise or sunset since September 11, 2001. Literally.

And with each passing year, we are more and more removed from that feeling of togetherness, the feeling of digging deep for what's important, that we felt that day. Our politicians bicker, and we lose our way in our search for meaning, our search for truth.

Politics - now that's topical. It's an election year. Go get 'em, Bill! Tell those politicians to stop bickering for a minute, so that we can find meaning and truth. Or, maybe sit down for a minute to talk about life and meaning with Mack Brown . I hear he's a Hare Krishna now.

That, of course, was a man-made tragedy.

Hurricane Ike, striking the Texas coast just a couple of days after the observance of the anniversary of the events of September 11 seven years ago,

Oh shit. I just remembered that today is just a single day prior to the observance of the anniversary of the events of a June ritual of the Christian tradition of the forming of the bonds of matrimony between a man and a wife eight years ago. She is going to kill me if I don't come home with flowers!

is an example of nature's fury at its worst. And it, like the falling of the Towers back then, gives us another chance to see the resilient spirit of a people.

We have a chance to see the resilient spirit of a people! That's neat! Oh wait, we're talking about the people of Galveston? Count me out.

This time, it again comes to a case of neighbors helping neighbors.

For most of Bill's readers, this is a confusing sentence. What exactly is the "it" that comes again to this case? And when have we previously experienced such a case, so that we may accurately say that "it again comes to" the case? My best guess is that "The Case of Neighbors Helping Neighbors" is the title of a Murder, She Wrote episode Bill caught on the Hallmark Channel last week, and that he assumed that we all watched it.

And that is why a football game seemed less important as we watched the power of the storm hammer the Texas coast. In that moment, as giant waves crumpled history and 100-mile an hour winds ripped out windows in skyscrapers, we are, at last, insignificant.

Whew! What a relief. Now that a higher authority has finally declared us all insignificant, I can stop walking around all cocky acting like a fucking bigshot. I don't have to pretend to be confident and important anymore. Thank you, Bill. But would you mind sending HenryJames a personal note to this effect? I don't believe he has gotten the message yet.

Then, and only then, does it become apparent that the only way a people can rise above the storm is with our minds, our hearts, and our hands.

Or with a boat.

And in the weeks and months that are to come, that will be important to remember.

That is certainly an ominous sentence. Is Bill Little threatening us?

Now, however, it is important to remember the words we started with…Will Rogers' philosophy of moving forward, and it is a marked difference between a philosophy of moving on and moving forward. The common thought behind "move on," often is one of "forget what's happened, and go on." There is some strength in that. But Rogers, the philosopher, was more bent on a philosophy that would have you learning from what has happened, and moving forward - taking with you the lessons of the past.

Oh, sweet Jesus. This reads like a Contemporary Moral Problems paper hacked out by a Red Bull-swilling fraternity douchebag at 1 AM on the back of a Cain & Abel's coaster.

That brings us full circle to this 2008 Longhorn football team.

We've come full circle? From where? Maybe you can help me out. I'm trying to piece together the components of the rhetorical merry-go-round Bill Little spun us through in this exhausting article. After much research, I think it goes something like this:

will rogers

Quite frankly, this article didn't make any sense at all until I plotted out that diagram. Now, it's all coming together.

The "sudden change," which Mack Brown has classified the rescheduling of the Arkansas game to be, is what it is. It serves no purpose to speculate whether it is a good thing or a bad thing.

You know what is a bad thing, Bill? Your writing. Seriously, what professional writer would ever consider publishing the first sentence above? You not only ended the sentence with a preposition, but you ended the comma-separated aside with a preposition as well. That's like two really awful sentences smashed into one really, really awful supersentence.

So we are back to "take 'em one at a time." Whichever one that is at a time. In this case, it is Rice.

Once again, we see Bill Little documenting his own ability to lose the plot. He first declares that the Longhorns need to take their games one at a time. Then he admits he has forgotten who the Longhorn's upcoming opponent is. After consulting his pocket football schedule, he determines that the next opponent is Rice, a spiffy little fact which he decided to relay to his agitated readership.

It will have been two weeks since they last played when the Longhorns host Rice Saturday, and it is time to begin again. That includes the team, and the 98,000 fans who can fill DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.

It is time to begin what again? Attending college football games? Okay, I think I can do that. I know it's going to be traumatic and it will bring back a lot of emotional memories of the UTEP and Florida Atlantic games that, frankly, I've been trying in vain to get past. It's so hard. It's so damned hard when you've given so much of your heart and your soul to the first two games of a college football season and then you have to go back in there and begin all over again with a third game coming right after an unscheduled bye week. But I'll give it a shot. I've been hurting for so, so long, Bill.

Two weeks, at least.

It's time to begin again.

It will be fun to see this young team at home again, and see how the time since the 42-13 victory over UTEP has seen them grow.

The part of college football that I most look forward to is the game-to-game charting of the players' personal growth.

In the midst of what has been billed as the toughest schedule in recent school history, the week off offered little to dispel that.

Bill's right. The bye weeks on this year's schedule are BRUTAL!

College football in 2008 is a wild ride, and the Longhorns are very much a part of what appears to be a volatile and intriguing season. Rice is the next step on that ladder,

What ladder?

which now will include nine straight weeks of football before a final break just before the last game of the season against Texas A&M.

Is it just me, or does this sentence remind you of those 8th grade term papers with minimum word count requirements? I never had anything to say, so I just wrote down a verbose, oft-redundant recitation of facts until I'd cobbled together a technically acceptable 500-word pile of textual nothingness. That's the Bill Little style. Does Belmont pay him by the word?

It is the challenge of the student athlete to multi-task. A football player must focus on his studies, and his football, and at the same time possess the right to be absolutely human. That is what Mack Brown likes most about this team.

This is actually true. Here's a snippet from Mack's Facebook bio:
Likes: football teams composed absolutely of humans.
Dislikes: football teams that include baboons, turtles, wolves, bacteria, werewolves, moths, robots, animal-human chimeras and/or other organisms not possessing the right to be absolutely human.

It is the character of the whole, an assembly of young people who are maturing as pieces of adults.

I inserted the underlining to demonstrate that this sentence reads like a MadLibs fragment filled out jointly by a new age spiritualist, a pedophile and a serial killer. As Bill says, it's all about multi-tasking.

And it is in that space

What space?

...that we understand that missing a weekend of football may have been different, but it was not the most important thing Saturday. There,

Where?

...caring is no longer about a win or a loss. It is about the value of a human soul, and all the bruises and battering it can survive. And that's what Mack and Will Rogers meant when they talk about today.

Okay, look. First of all, Will Rogers is dead. He's been dead for some time. He can't talk about today. For that matter, he can't talk about yesterday or tomorrow, either. He's dead. And that's fortunate for you, Bill, because I'm 100% certain that if Will Rogers was alive today, he'd tell you that he absolutely, unequivocally did not mean to say something so meaningless, so ridiculous, so confusingly absurd as "caring ... is about the value of a human soul, and all the bruises and battering it can survive."

Now, remind me, how in the hell did a piece about a weather-related bye week in a college football team's schedule turn into a discussion of the value of a human soul? Oh right - the piece was written by our god friend Bill Little.

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