Throughout human history, ballads and oral histories have played a vital role in maintaining the cultures of peoples across the globe.
The Iliad. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Beowulf. The Song of Roland. Soul Plane. Those who chronicled the important stories of their people strove to pass on the great deeds and epic conflicts that defined them. As myth passed into legend, singers and bards might dimly remember some facts and weave new elements into the telling, but the core purpose was always to provide their tribe with a reason to gather around the fire in celebration of great deeds.
And so it was on the night of the Texas-TCU game. An insidious combination of drink, distance, décolletage and deluge conspired to prevent the Carnival's chroniclers from a clear-eyed and comprehensive viewing of the events at hand, and furthermore to delay its recounting to an unacceptable degree. But now, with game threads and drive charts and box scores in hand, let us gather together to tell of valor, of moxie, of triumph.
Let us speak of Texas 30, TCU 7.
The Longhorn faithful had feared the prospects of flinging their might directly into the teeth of the Horned Frog defense, and in the game's early moments, those fears seemed well-founded. Man-ball Chucky Hunter and his line mates had greatly confounded the Longhorn run game on its own sacred soil in the prior season to cast a great pall over the Giving of Thanks. They did so again in the contest's early stages, surrendering but two yards for every carry in the opening drives. Johnathan Gray, that fleetest of Longhorn runners, had been dipped as a baby into the River Styx, leaving his ankles as the only means by which the enemy might bring him low. Yet even Gray's fleetness found no purchase against the wall which the great enemy Hunter had constructed, and the Longhorns were twice thrown back and forced to return the swineskin to their opponents.
As the Frogs offense took the ball, again were specters of past humiliations cast before the Longhorn faithful. Trevone Boykin, TCU's backup quarterback, had led a bludgeoning run game against Texas on that fateful Day of Thanksgiving. His own feet were not without the blessing of Mercury, and quarterbacks who ran the ball - even those with alabaster skin - had direly confounded Longhorn defenders this season. But TCU's Patterson was of subtle mind, and he took an unexpected tack in leaving Boykin alone in the backfield with five fleet wideouts, trusting in his QB's arm to drive the field.
Yet in this stratagem, Patterson showed not the wisdom of canny Odysseus. While Boykin's feet were swift, his processing was slow, and his offensive line had been laid low by injury and the white powders of Colombia. The Great Gerg, who had taken charge of the Longhorn defense when the schemings of Diaz had been found wanting, knew this well and swiftly unleashed his blitzers upon the land. Boykin did suffer a mighty blow as Adrian Phillips, so maligned in 2012 and so valuable this season, struck him and jarred loose the sacred swineskin for the Longhorns to fall upon.
Malcolm Brown, backfield mate of the the fleet Gray, had been left to nurse his wounds in Mack Brown's kennel through much of the prior season. But triumphant he had emerged in 2013, and swiftly set about to carving for himself a place in the Longhorn rushing attack. He plunged three yards for the game's opening score, and the Longhorns did revel in the first vertical displacement TCU defenders since sacred Ricky Williams was but a coltish frosh.
Seeing that Boykin had not the ability to baffle the canny Gerg, Patterson then summoned the prodigal Pachall to lead the Frogs. Pachall himself was no stranger to the white powders of Colombia, but he had in his right arm the ability to fling the swineskin in a manner that did not immediately evoke a fair catch signal. In this, he held great advantage over Boykin, and thus Patterson charged him to carry the Frogs to victory.
Pachall's early throws were cast wide of their mark, yet he struck with the accuracy of fabled Apollo on his next series. Next, Patterson employed a cunning of his own to deceive the canny Gerg, as one receiver threw to another and returned Josh Turner to his normal estate of confusion and tardy approach.
Now did the winged shadow of Fear pass over the gathered Longhorns. While the sturdy Brown battered against the man-ball Hunter, Patterson's fabled 4-2-5 look had studied the ancient scrolls to learn the fabled 'Case Rules'. Pressing the wideouts and denying the simple curls and comebacks that were the stork-like McCoy's meat and mead, the Frogs seemed like to choke the life from the Longhorn attack.
But lo! When the hour grew dark and the storm clouds gathered, the stork-like McCoy found within himself a welling of great strength. He released the swineskin from somewhere near his earhole and kicked his leg up in a fey motion that did not precisely betoken the legendary Marino. Yet, his throw arced true and landed in the hands of that fleetest freshman, Marcus Johnson, who sprinted up the battlefield's border for 65 yards to tally a score.
And apres moxie, le deluge.
The heavens opened. Zeus hurled his thunderbolts, and for nigh on three hours it seemed that Poseidon did pour the wine-dark sea itself upon the field of battle. Both teams huddled in their locker rooms, and muscles grew tight and tempers short as the interminable delay ground onward. But fortunate were the Longhorns in these events, for they had the Master of Sudden Change himself, Mack Brown, to give them guidance and bulwark their spirits.
It seemed that rosy-fingered Dawn would steal over the field of battle before the contest was resumed. Tales of the ear-biting son of Ares and the contests of westermen did fill the airwaves, but at long last the Horns and Frogs were summoned to resume their clash.
Here, events pass into the mists of legend. Strong drink was taken, and taken again, and sleep did steal over the eyes of many observers. Yet these are the great happenings reputed to have taken place as battle was rejoined.
The stork-like McCoy did again summon his strength to hit the speedy Johnson along the border, this time to the tune of 45 yards. Also was he accurate in sharing the swine amongst the magical Mike Davis and alabaster-hued Shipley. Yet, the gods did tempt McCoy with hubris and did fall into their trap. Twice in the contest's third stanza he did show a confidence in his arm unsupported by history, and twice did the swineskin fall softly into the enemy's hands. From his perch on high, flame-kissed Applewhite did subtly remove the game from the hands of McCoy and entrust it to his ground attack. They answered his call, and the humiliations of the last meeting were cast aside as the Longhorn front battled man-ball Hunter and his compatriots. The fleet Gray lifted his ever-vulnerable ankles form harm's way to scamper for multiple 10+ yard gallops, and the sturdy Brown again found pay dirt as oft-scorned Espinosa didst whip the ever-loving fuck out of a DT.
Late in the contest, flame-kissed Applewhite did pull the red shirt from fuzzy-cheeked Tyrone Swoopes and cast it into the fire. While some among the Longhorn faithful muttered of what ill portent this might bear for courageous David Ash, others were heartened that Swoopes had the opportunity to blood himself upon the field of battle. Naturally, he attempted zero passes, since a scant 15 seasons are but a blink of an eye to the Gods and far too short a span to learn lessons about the proper preparation of backup QBs.
The charges of canny Gerg acquitted themselves valiantly throughout the contest. Tight was the coverage on the Frog receivers, and when they did work free the swineskin ricocheted off their hands with a clangor that echoed off the empty bleachers. Jackson Jeffcoat and Cedric Reed were twin terrors upon the land, and both Brown and Whaley inside took Frog runners into their maw. The machinations of canny Gerg had slowly removed the head of Steve Edmond from his own backside, and he rewarded Gerg with competent gap fills and even an interception of his own. Pearly-hued Santos did also thwart the running of the Frogs, and the Longhorn faithful rubbed bleary eyes at the sight of competent linebacking.
Though the tale was late and muddled in its telling, we have at long last celebrated the mighty victory of Longhorn over Frog. All eyes turn forward to the stomping of many-chinned Weis, and after the contests where the fate of the Conference shall be decided.
So, uh, how did you guys see it?