I'm a foodie.
I know that sounds kinda... you know. But I didn't coin the term. If it were up to me, the term for people who are pathologically interested in food would just be "food person." Or "fat guy." Actually, one of the downsides of being a foodie, aside from the impact on the ol' pocket book, is that I have to work even harder to stay in reasonable shape than genetics would otherwise dictate. Anyway, before I lose you, allow me to get to the point.
There's a popular trend in the culinary world of deconstructing otherwise boringly common dishes in an effort to make them more intriguing. As you can imagine, its the process of recreating a dish by taking it apart into it's pieces and serving them on a plate in some creative fashion as a disassembled... whatever it's supposed to be.
At heart, any deconstructed dish should contain all the classic components found in the “original.” The difference is in the preparation. When creating a dish utilizing deconstructive techniques, the ingredients are essentially prepared and treated on their own. It is during the plating and presentation stages that everything is brought together.
Take for instance the deconstructed peanut butter and jelly sandwich I recently tried at Houston's Uchi. What landed on our table was an odd arrangement of some peanut butter powder, a neat little pile of bread crumbs, and some fruit compote, and I think maybe some sort of flavored foam. So, the idea is you either enjoy each element on it's own, or you basically reconstruct the dish by getting a little bit of each element on your spoon. Usually, the components are that you are unsure how it's going to taste like whatever it was before being "deconstructed," or even good. Sometimes you end up thinking, "I'd rather have just had cobbler than these slices of peach and this biscuit." Other times, like in the case of Uchi's deconstructed PB&J, the most adventurous and daring of the group takes his spoon and gathers a little bit of each element, then upon letting the bite congeal in his or her mouth says something like, "Holy shit! It really tastes like PB&J. Damn, that's good!" Then the rest of the group goes after it with intrigue to a chorus of "Wow", "F--- that's good!", and "That's ammmAAAAAAzzinnnnnng"
That's great, but what does all this foodie bullshit have to do with Texas Football?
The Longhorn faithful (Longhornies?) are in a state of dismay. Some of us were brave enough (masochistic enough?) to make the trek to the Metroplex area and risk being killed on what have to be the most dangerous highways this side of Bombay. These intrepid Longhorn fans risked not only their cars and lives to watch their favorite team play, they risked having a considerable financial investment in the form of travel expenses, corny dog induced medical bills, and inflated ticket prices become a total waste of money. Others, like me, were unable to attend or just refused to spend the money out of prescience of what was likely to transpire on the field. Although we didn't risk experiencing a pitiful emotional return on a financial investment, we did invest an unhealthy in amount of emotion in watching our favorite 18 and 19 year old athletes, as a lot you have strangely relished pointing out, compete for the golden hat. Now that we have seen what we would be offered in exchange for our investment, most of us feel as if we had just saved up for a fancy dinner at a Michelin rated restaurant, ponied up for the 10 course tasting menu, and got served plate after plate of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Ripped off is putting it lightly. So, where do we go from here? How do we watch another Longhorn football game this season with anything but passive indifference?
Longhorn Football Deconstructed
I had a revelation during my morning constitutional, as that seems to be the time during which revelations flourish, which led me to a decision to take a page of out of the book of latest culinary fads and deconstruct the Texas Longhorns. Since the team, when assembled as a whole on the football field, tastes a bit like moldy Mrs. Baird's with extra chunky Jif and grape jelly, I'm going to mentally deconstruct the team and just enjoy my favorite components of the team. If the final scoreboard ends up showing the Longhorns ahead of Baylor this weekend, I'll shrug my shoulders and utter something feigning appeasement, because I'll know that given the current state of the program it's a Pyrrhic victory. If on the other hand the game transpires in the way I anticipate, I'll ignore the scoreboard and just watch my favorite players do their best to make a fruit compote out of grape jelly. The players I'll focus my attention on will be David Ash, Daje Johnson, Johnathan Gray, DJ Monroe if he so much as garnishes the plate in this upcoming course, Kenny Vaccaro, Alex Okafor, Quandre Diggs, and hopefully Jordan Hicks. I'll watch the game with the box score refreshing on my laptop to check each of these players stat lines, and I'll celebrate every great play made by my favorite current Longhorns with no regard for what the scoreboard may happen to look like.
So what about you? What would your Texas Longhorns Deconstructed look like?