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Holiday Bowl - 2000

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is showing on ESPN Classic. We're all pretty much starved for Texas football right now, right?

I've never seen it on TV since this is the one out of state Texas game I chose to attend. This should be fun.

Pick it up just after Oregon goes 80 yards to score on their opening drive (only the third team that season to do so according to Lee Corso).

Chris Simms opens the 2nd drive with two completions, both to true freshman Roy Williams. The first one was basically one handed, like a big brother keeping a toy away from his little brother who is practically climbing on him. Roy is a big dude.

INT to end the drive. Underthrown deep ball to Brandon Healy.

Oregon runs a pick for a speedy back out of the backfield being covered by a linebacker. This would be fine if it weren't the start of any kind of trend.

Rod Babers ends the drive on another sprint out. There may not be a more underrated player than him. No INTs so he never got huge attention, but he could play like a motherfucker.

BJ Johnson quick fumble on a tunnel screen. He instantly ran into 2 guys when the ball got to him. This play was like the federal government, it stopped being effective after 1999. Thank you, thank you.

Oregon scores on their first play on the throwback to the quarterback, 14-0. Harrington celebrates by pulling a piano out of his sock and performing a Billy Joel song.

Roy Williams is nicked up and not in the game. He'll outgrow this.

3rd and 3 and there is a fullback on the field. Oregon currently is playing a 2-2-7. First down on a curl pattern.

Hodges Mitchell jukes 2 guys and gain .2 yards. The Time Nunez era, everyone!

Another first down, this time on a rollout toss to the tight end. No, that's Brandon Healy.

Hodges Mitchell bursts outside for a nice 15 yard gain down inside the 5. He was so fast, but not great in traffic, so naturally they used him as an I back.

Easy TD on the next play. 14-7. We got this, as long as BJ Johnson doesn't drop any more balls, I am thinking.

Texas got the ball back somehow. I guess they are skipping the boring stuff. Still 6 shots of Mack clapping.

Another big gain on a seam route (remember when teams had linebackers? That was a weird era), 38 on the catch and 15 more on a weak late hit call. 13 year old Colt McCoy formulates an idea.

10-15 for 146 so far for Simms. 5 more feet on a long sideline route and he's on his way to an MVP award.

Our (real) TE gets a false start penalty and I don't recognize him. Stevens? He looks like a fullback. It's weird, watching this game now, knowing that none of these players, fans, or coaches know about the Kennedy assassination yet.

Chad Stevens, apparently, makes a 3 yards reception by catching the ball the way you'd reach at a cactus falling off your mantle.

The running game this year was whatever yardage Mitchell could get behind the push of Leonard Davis and Mike Williams.

Simms dives in head first for the score! If that were Colt McCoy there would be twirling involved. Alas. 14-14. We might win 42-14.

Beau Trahan. Tell me you wouldn't give 5 scholarships to have that guy back.

Shaun Rodgers crushes Harrington after a bad throw. Tell me you wouldn't give 40 scholarships to have him back.

Corso posits that Rodgers problem is durability. I guess getting chopped by an OL is related to desire or conditioning or something.

Harrington gifts Greg "Brady" Brown an easy TD on a pick 6 forced by a good pass rush (what!?). 15 yard penalty for taunting but fuck that, we might win by 60.

Don't we miss this XP and end up losing by 1? Isn't that how this happens? . . . no, 21-14. Shows what I know.

They skip ahead to the 2nd half after Oregon's 60-something yard screen pass for a TD. Perils of running man all the time. 21-21 in the Oregon red zone.

Victor Ike makes his first appearance as far as I know. He was so fast, but not great in traffic, so naturally they used him as an I back.

Simms badly overthrows Healy for INT #2. Healy ran a seam and Simms threw a slant. I think his spleen was aching.

INT #3, actually. Forgot about that one on at the end of the half. The booth talks about how he'll stop throwing so many INTs as he matures and learns to not make mistakes . . . yeah.

He's really living proof of how playing great 97% of the time doesn't mean anything. That other 3% can kill you. I say this as a huge Simms fan, but the kid never quite outgrew the killer mistake.

2nd and 13 on their own 7, loud crowd, no momentum, no problem. Another sprint out another first down. Harrington finally breaks a sweat thinking about playing for the Lions in 6 months.

Harrington is sacked as all 4 Texas linemen end up having a chance at hitting him. Looking back at this team, there was a shit ton of talent on the defense. Lots of NFL guys out there carrying a bad system. At least we haven't seen mugging yet.

Harrington connects on a loooong out for a first down. He's basically dropping back, closing his eyes, counting to three, and throwing to the place he picked out before the snap. Carl Reese looks like he is thinking about changing up the coverage, but is really just trying to decide what kind of fishing reel he's going to buy for the offseason.

Oregon gets a few yards after the WR catches a pass with his knee ont he ground but gets up and runs. The officials fail to go to replay for some reason.

Some random black guy that runs like a white guy (you know the look) gains about 30 yards on a simple misdirection play. It's a trick play in 2000, now it's everybody's staple running play.

Oregon scores on a simple QB draw. 28-21. Nice call, considering Rodgers was stunting outside at the time. DD Lewis blows and arm tackle on a 180 pound white kid. He's also the best MLB of Mack's tenure here. Don't think about that if you want to sleep tonight.

Victor Ike breaks the curse and returns the first kickoff for a TD in something like 800 years. I was at this game with a girl and showed more interest in this piece of trivia than her. Yeah, nothing happened. 28-28.

Popped down a channel to watch Al Haynesworth injure Tom Brady. That was fun. What happens the first time Haynesworth dogs it in a game against the Eagles? I hope a rape stand is involved.

Cory Redding was basically a fast DT. Really good against the run.

Joey Harrington runs the option, and it works. All you need to do is distract the end. Unless you're Stephen McGee, who needs to get clocked then talk shit afterward.

Playaction tight end drag route gets Oregon inside the ten. I wonder if Rick Neuheisal was watching this?

The Maddog conditioning routine is really showing up in glorious effect here. I think Marcus Tubbs has a lung hanging out.

Another black guy who runs like a white guy scores on a jet sweep. This is like the time I found my years old iPod in storage. So cool and new, once.

35-28 and I have a feeling that Texas will pull this out. In fact, based on matchups and my own expertise, I feel BJ Johnson can get open on a slant in the middle of the damn endzone with nobody within 5 yards of him. I feel this.

It's 10:30 on a Friday night and I stayed in to do this.

Another seam route, another big gain. Then Simms pulls a Vince move and jukes a LB into jumping with a pump fake. Nice.

2nd and 1 turns to 3rd and 1 as the clock ticks under 5 minutes. Didn't run behind the big guys.

Did that time, but some dude runs in untouched to stop the play for a yard loss. 4th and 2. Matt Tressel's contribution to the proceeding

Curl to Sloan Thomas gets the first. I wonder if Texas' phonebook-sized playbook was just filled with cake recipes or something.

Roy Williams is interfered with on the game winning pass. He's back, apparently. Good PI for the defense, even at the time. Easy 6 otherwise.

BJ Johnson. Couldn't have been thrown any better. 5 or 6 years later Simms' one run into the playoffs will end in the much the same manner. Tough breaks for that guy.

BJ Johnson makes up for the dropped TD by dropping a sure first down. He's on fire. 4th and ten and I feel actual pity for Johnson. At least his drops only ruined the Holiday Bowl.

Why am I watching this game? I am going to a bad place.

This game is "#14" on the "marathon." I am not sure what they're counting down, but the 1986 game was on last night so I assume it's best Holiday Bowls. I need the Washington game here soon. Or the Best Rose Bowls. Or for the season to start.

Roy Williams drops a TD. Forgot about that one. I think I had already kicked the baby and been tossed. On my way out I warn them about voting to not raise property taxes, which will hopefully limit the damage of their inevitable budget crises in the late 2000s. Nobody listens. You got what you deserved, California!

And Texas loses 35-30 after another INT and a safety taken on purpose. A false start and int. grounding call end the game for good. Tim Nunez, everyone!

A meaningless game from 9 years ago and it's still upsetting. Championship Wrestling from 1986 is the follow up, so maybe this is a count down of Worst Moments of my Life.