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Bill Little R.I.S.E.s to the Occasion

NEW YORK NY - FEBRUARY 17:  Figure skaters Dorothy Hamill, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Peggy Fleming owe their success to R.I.S.E.: rest, ice rinks, skating/spinning, and estrogen.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK NY - FEBRUARY 17: Figure skaters Dorothy Hamill, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Peggy Fleming owe their success to R.I.S.E.: rest, ice rinks, skating/spinning, and estrogen. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
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Football is around the corner which means Bill's here to write about it. I think. Honestly, I can’t figure out what in the hell he wrote about this week, but I think it's some combination of Texas football, the 2012 team theme, Olympic basketball, and meteorology. See if you can puzzle it out.

I'm late to the party. Others have already brilliantly torn Bill a new one. But I had already dictated this to my Nepalese sherpa, Oblong, during a vision quest on Mt. Bonnell, and would hate to see all of our hard work go to waste. So, I'm publishing this anyway.

Oh, and one more thing before I begin. This satire is dedicated to the memory of Oblong, my loyal companion and trustworthy spirit guide. Cruel fate dealt him the short straw when our trail mix ran out earlier this week. You will be missed, dear friend.

Bill Little commentary: The "R" word

Yes! I love the "R" word. And, of course, I'm talking about "Resbians."

Bill did get Scooby Doo to ghostwrite this week's column, right?

If you are to be relentless, it means you never stop. The sea, the wind, the summer heat - all are relentless.

Aug. 13, 2012

Bill Little, Texas Media Relations

Little could they have known, these football Longhorns of 2012,...

Really, Bill? This is like Yoda reading Charles Dickens.

...that even as they were about to be challenged to fulfill its meaning, the word represented by the first letter of their theme for the year would be played out by a fellow Longhorn on the planet's biggest stage half a world away.

With a little less than three weeks remaining before the start of the 2012 season, the theme of "RISE," is now being put to the test. The team picked it - each letter of the word as part of an acronym with a powerful message. The "E" is emotion. The "S" represents sacrifice that translates to swagger.

It’s called swagrifice. That's when you give, give, and give some more. And then, when you’re done giving, you strut your fucking stuff. That's how Mother Theresa rolled.

The "I" is for intensity. But it is the "R" - representing the word relentless - that will initially determine how it all plays out.

Ah. I see what you’re getting at, Bill. You're answering your own rhetorical question: "Which word of the football team’s unwieldy, hokey acronym-theme will solely determine the the course of the Longhorn football season?" It’s a fine question. A fine, ridiculously stupid question.

Webster tells us that the word "relent" means to slacken, to soften, to become more mild, and finally "to yield."

Yeah, but what does Emmanuel Lewis know?

Relentless simply means "incapable of relenting."

No shit?

Now, it is time to prove that the word isn't simply lip-service...

Fucking Emmanuel Lewis! Dude's such a blowhard.

...It's a chance to show that they mean it.

Who mean what?

...On the practice field, day after day and sometimes twice a day, the Longhorns drill and drill and drill. The hot summer takes its toll, the aches and strains can challenge the day,

One time, I saw a leg cramp slap a fortnight right across the face, impugn its manhood, and demand satisfaction by pistols.

...and it tests a person in a simple way: You have to love this game to play it. Coaches drive hard, it is their charge. On the field and in the meeting rooms, there is little room for error if you mean it when you say your goal is to "Rise."

If you've ever seen Jeff Madden attempt to escape from a standard school desk, you'd understand exactly what Bill is talking about.

If you are to be relentless, it means you never stop...

No. It means you never slacken, soften, become more mild, or yield. See, e.g., Bill Little, This Pointless Article, supra.

...The sea, the wind, the summer heat - all are relentless. And in London, in the basketball game...

SCREEEEECH!!! That's the sound of your brain fishtailing into reflexive WTF?!?! mode. Don't worry. It's perfectly natural. You’ve just been treated to a classic Bill Little mid-paragraph bait-and-switch. "Football, football, football. Football. Gridiron. More football. The ocean. And, as I was saying, basketball!"

Anyway, let's try that again. Your brain is prepared for it this time. And, to mix things up a little, I suggest reading the transitional clause in the voice of the narrator from the 1980's Superfriends cartoon. Try it, you’ll like it.

And in London, in the basketball game for the Olympic Gold Medal, the United States men had to keep coming. Near the end of the third quarter of a game that seemed always in doubt, the American men's team, led by the greatest players in the game, had actually trailed a twice-beaten team from Spain.

Do you mean these basketball Spaniards of 2012?

...The score was tied, 80-80, with 1:39 left in the period. That was when Longhorn-ex Kevin Durant took a pass in the right corner and in seemingly one motion drilled a three-point shot to put the Stars and Stripes ahead, 83-80. America would never trail again, winning the game and the gold, 107-100.

Durant scored a game-high 30 points and ripped down nine rebounds, and at the end he was part of an all-star cast of super heroes who deflected personal credit in deference to the goal of the team.

In the theme of the Longhorn team, each letter carries significant weight.

"So, as I was saying about Olympic basketball, letters of the alphabet are important to Texas football." SCREEEEECH!!!

...Each plays on the other. When former Longhorn Dusty Renfro spoke to the seniors at a dinner prior to the start of practice, he suggested you could tie the first two letters together and make it read "relentless intensity."

Balderdash, I say!

...There is strength in that. Certainly it is appropriate not to discount the importance of intensity. But the power of relentless is that it means you never stop coming.

Ouch. Dusty Renfro just found himself on the receiving end of a patronizing pat on the head from Bill Little. Think about that for a minute.

Think, for example, of the sea.

Or think about the sea, for some reason.

...The waves come, over and over again. Sometimes bigger and with awesome power. And sometimes less, but always, always, rolling in. The wind has its moments as well, but from the storm's force or the gentle breeze, you always know it is there. And undeniably, that is always the case with the Texas heat.

The Texas heat never leaves. Even when it's not hot. Like in January.

Anyway, back to the article. Hey Bill, would you do me a favor? I'd really appreciate it if you could string together an incongruent jumble of unconnected half-thoughts lacking any point or connection to the paper-thin theme of this piece.

Relentless on the football field means your opponent always knows you are there, and that you are a force to be reckoned with.

That is why this weekend is significant to this Longhorn team. The players picked their theme, and committed to the words. It is easy to be pumped at the start of practice, and when game week comes in a little over ten days, you expect the normal excitement.

Perfect. Thanks!

It will be in the grind of the days of August, when the calendar serves no purpose and time is measured only on where you are to be and when the true character of relentless will come.

This is so true. Every holiday season, I stroll into the local shopping mall and buy a new "Cat Lovers’ Purr-recious Cat-endar" to hang on my cubicle wall for the upcoming year. The moment my Diner’s Club card is approved, I rip the calendar right out of the feeble store clerk's shaking, sweaty hands, flip to August, tear the corresponding pages out, and toss them on the floor right there in Karen's Hallmark.

I have no use for an August calendar. No one does! Those pages are a waste of paper, a waste of ink, and a waste of the cute, cuddly, photogenic cats who gave their lives in vain.

They do kill those cats, right?

Just a week into practice, the Longhorns will soon hold their first scrimmage and begin to get a gauge of how things are progressing. The players understand that the team goal is to achieve an excellence where a lot of players will play, and Mack Brown has challenged each person to find something that they can do to help this team win. When you have a lot of good players, success is determined by playing a lot of good players, and the coaching staff is committed to finding a way to do that.

It is significant that Kevin Durant's shot put the U.S. ahead,


...but it took great plays by a lot of great players to win the game. When the defense focused on Durant in the fourth quarter, other all-world players stepped up to seal the victory.

They won, and they won for one simple reason. They kept coming. Even when things were not going well, even when they were behind. They found a way to win. They defended, they shot, they rebounded, they drove and they scored. And Spain always knew they were there.

The Spanish basketball team always knew its opponent was there because, you know, the players are neither blind nor deaf.

They were, after all, relentless.

Well that’s certainly a nice wrap-up. And those of you with access to Webster will actually be able to understand it.