I wrote an essay after the Oklahoma game last year. You might call it my no-confidence vote. Google analytics tells me that it has had a revival in the last two weeks.
That piece could have been written a half dozen times since 2010. And it was in various piecemeal, inchoate forms. I think it still rings true. You tell me.
We're in the same place 11 months later as we were on October 15th, 2012. With our own false hopes presaged, the obligatory sacrificial lamb assistant foreshadowed...
When you write a piece like this, you write how the trends are "disturbing" and "unacceptable" and that "Mack Brown must seriously re-evaluate his blah blah blah..." Then you lay into the coordinators or a position coach. This is the hedge. Stopping just short of saying what needs to be done because the right assistants and players might just turn this thing around, because it has happened before....
Mack Brown has to go.
And I say it without vitriol. He has to go. Tomorrow. Next month. At the end of the season. Whenever. The dignity of a forced resignation at the conclusion of the season is fine by me. This season is going nowhere fast, anyway. But if he won't go - and I suspect he won't quietly because I don't think the average Longhorn fan can comprehend how insular his world is - then he has to be fired. And if DeLoss Dodds, various donor sycophants, or even just good men who are willing for Texas football to stink because they're more interested in life lessons imparted to 85 scholarship 20 year olds than BCS bowls, get in the way, then they need to be sufficiently motivated to act. Or find their own retirements or marginalization hastened.
I don't need to reiterate what's wrong at Texas. If you read the blog, you already know. On-field results have brutally hastened the usual lag in fan uptake between hope and reality. We don't have to tease out trends anymore when they're slapping us in the face. If you're a BC reader, you already knew exactly how we'd lose to Ole Miss. Our state of the program is so poor, the Longhorns have reduced a wildly unpredictable game played by 20 year olds that none of us can handicap properly into a science of projectable ineptitude (and Las Vegas had Texas favored by three points!?!). Get Caesar's a link to BC, post-haste.
Now I'm mainly interested in the interplay between legacy and inevitability.
Last year, I ended the piece with this:
It will take some time. There will be a ugly power struggle. Things will probably get nasty on the 40 Acres and I hope my contribution to that discussion is fair, amusing, and objective. Maybe Brown has a dead cat bounce and his enthusiasts pour out from the cracks for a while.
It doesn't matter. It's over.
This is no declaration of war on Mack Brown. It's a declaration of resignation.
So now we wait.
It's ugly. And will get uglier. We're still in that waiting game. But this matter has already been decided, even if the main players or their shills are unaware of it or emotionally unprepared to accept their failure.
It's over. But how the ending plays out matters.
The degree to which Mack Brown continues to resist inevitability will determine ten years from now whether we can look back upon him fondly as a healer and program rebuilder or if he'll be a permanent object of scorn and derision who chose to wear the martyr's mantle of "serving the kids" while selfishly seeking a delusional BCS-Bowl-Ride-Into-The-Sunset faerie tale ending to his own personal narrative. He can't fix this. He broke it.
Although Brown's future is no longer within his sphere of control - his legacy, like our failed football program, is in his hands, and in his hands alone. The buck stops there. All 5.4 million of them.
How, when, and why Mack Brown steps down (or is forced out) will determine whether he goes down as one of UT's great object lessons in hubris and self-delusion, or simply as a good man and vital program spark who gradually lost his way - as all of us have at one time or another. Let he who is without sin...
While the human story can be lost in far too many business decisions, it's the human story turned into a personality cult that overwhelmed our capacity to make the right business decision for far too long. The myth-making machine in Bellmont created that cult to its self-serving, eternal shame. They have never had much embarrassment in gorging at the trough while remaining contemptuous of the fans who provided their meal.
It never was Mack Brown Texas Football. It's Texas Football. And those are still work uniforms.
That last line, illustrative of the DKR mentality - from which an entire no-frills, hard-nosed program culture evolved - is so long forgotten in Austin, sometimes I think I'm reading about Camelot. We've replaced the blue-collar, tedious work of real archaeology - toothbrushes and chamois painstakingly unearthing and preserving the foundations of program culture - with lazy mythomania and false threads of connection.
Like trying to paint Mack Brown as DKR's cultural successor.
Aside from a shared solid ethical grounding, were there men ever more dissimilar as coaches? There is no Lady in Town Lake handing out swords. And real history tells us that most crowns are wrested from bloody scalps by dirty, sweat-covered hands. In the end, all kings depose themselves, whether by neglect or by choice.
Serve the program. Serve the players. Serve the fans. It's time.