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Football Gone Bad

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After thirty years of this shit, I’m admittedly jaded. My Longhorn Fandom has endured muffed punts, fluke injuries, and epic meltdowns that have cost the team national championships. Then there’s the Heisman-making Mackovic defenses that robbed me of much joy as a student.

Sure, the last decade has been more good than bad but needless to say I’ve got some battle scars and calluses that sometimes warp my ability to assess things objectively. So sometimes I need some help on that front.

"Daddy, short passes make the football bad."

That bit of unvarnished truth from a seven year old Barking Carnival reader was probably the highlight of the afternoon for me. Alas, the fact that my kid’s practically already reading Hemingway is a nice consolation prize to go along with the worst home loss in recent memory.

But the statement itself hit me like a ton of bricks. It wasn’t delivered with bias or vitriol. There wasn’t a hint of malice or even anger for that matter. It was simply a statement of fact. Short passes, well, you know, they make the football bad.

Like not getting cotton candy or a snow cone, or an $80 Colt McCoy replica jersey. Or is that Earl Thomas? The football is most certainly better with all of these things--viable passing game included.

So what else made the football bad yesterday?

Let’s start with a piped-in, pre-play musical montage of AC/DC, Moby, and various Euro-trash Trans music that was combination of minor league hockey meets random Greg Davis play-calling. Marching bands are college football, leave that two turn table and a microphone bullshit to glowstick infected raves and HenryJames wedding receptions.

Consider that with the alumni band we had two, yes, two fucking Longhorn bands at the game yesterday and I’m supposed to get pumped up as a fan with Lady GaGa playing in the background while some soccer mom lines up a 20 yard field goal during a TV timeout? They might as well hand out a adult jerseys, crocs, and jorts sponsored by Arby’s at the next game. Perhaps we can fly in Winger to do the Eyes of Texas against Florida Atlantic. Or maybe Deloss Dodds could go full Bill Veeck mode and have Patrick Nkwoparka go out for baseball Eddie Gaedel style. It was about as unbearable as the play on the field. Which leads me to the field...

We have a kid averaging a first down everytime he CARRIES THE BALL and you give him 1 carry in the last 120 minutes of play? The reason? DJ Monroe doesn’t impact the game, because, get this, Greg Davis claims we’re having a tough time finding ways to get him the ball. No shit, he really said that.

I’m just spit-balling here, but I’d start by getting him in the huddle, Greg. Since we refuse to simply hand it, toss it, or fumblerooskie to Monroe, perhaps he can talk Garrett Gilbert into audibling the ball to ole number 26. If DJ was truly industrious, he could jump the shot-gun snap and intercept it. Any of the listed scenarios is more plausible than the tripe Greg Davis has been citing. Kid’s averaging nearly 10 yards per tote. Fucking hand it to him 10 times a game or stop playing him. Anything else is madness.

More madness?

Darius White sulking/pouting 60 yards away from the team during the Eyes of Texas and then facebooking that he’s not happy with the direction of the program while implying he wants to transfer. On one hand, I’d tell a kid that hasn’t made a play all year to put it on the heel and toe all the way back to Dallas or STFU, but with the handling of DJ Monroe I’m not sure it matters if you make a play or not. This is where lack of accountability and mixed messages infect the psyche of your entire team. These kids pay attention and when your upperclassmen continually make the same mistakes and are rewarded with snaps and playing time, you’re sending the rest of the team the wrong message.

Speaking of rewarding incompetence, why is Aaron Williams still returning punts? Not catching the punt at the 20 cost the team 7 points and ultimately the game. He caught a punt inside the 5 against Nebraska and he’s made horrible decisions fielding punts throughout the season. Either you make the kid run until he pukes for the mistakes he’s made, or, if you’re afraid of alienating one of your best defensive players by punishing him on special teams, put in someone more "expendable" or "coachable" here. Forget that risking injury to one of your premier players is asinine on its face from the get-go, especially when you consider AJ gives you little upside returning punts, but these game changing mental rocks have to stop.

But yeah, about those short passes. In Greg Davis' Horizontal Hula passing game, it's the fans that get fucked. And when the football’s bad the fans leave. As people headed for the exits my son asked me, "Dad, what are they doing?"

I just told him, "Saying goodbye in their own way, son." Just as the Longhorn Band finished the Eyes of Texas. Playing outlawed tunes on outlawed pipes--followed by a Taco Bell commercial.