Hello! I missed you like Lake Travis missed the rain. Let's play catch-up on what discussions we've missed in the relative doldrum days of sports.
Stay safe, Houstonians.
The struggle is real and the rebuild will take time. Texas is on a three year plan with a 6 month fanbase. The Plan can come together early if Texas finds some measure of play from the QB and OL, but absent a Haven't-Cha-Heard summer blossoming, we're in for some more regrettable acts of offense. And no matter how fantastic our coaching on defense - and it really is awesome after reviewing some of our film last year - our talent and experience is taking a small dip before beginning an inexorable rise.
The Big Picture? I hope Strong succeeds because I like what he represents as a general human being and as a counterweight to some of the Being-A-Dipshit is cool sensibilities in the culture, but if he fails, the larder will be left stocked, the football culture de-pussified and the predictable oversteer to a head coach X&O offensive nerd will probably yield a double digit win total in Year 1. Highlighted by home game wins in Qatar, Lagos and Port Moresby, New Guinea. Patterson, you splendid son of a gun. How have you not landed a TED talk yet? Raising ticket prices while the product is in decline and the game atmosphere a disjointed infomercial? Only a true visionary sees and acts aggressively on those conditions. Conventional clown that I am, I probably would have lowered prices and apologized to the fans for the product.
As always, the finest summer preview on the market will break down our build up a couple of months from now. There's hope.
Shaaaaaka! We're fine.
I love Augie. I love all he represents. Even when his offensive strategies defy mathematics. He's Miyamoto Musashi in cleats. And it's time. It was time two years ago. The improbable late season run to a Big 12 Tourney Title was probably detrimental to the medium term interests of the program. That written, if there's a coach that has earned the right to pick his time, it's Augie. In a non-revenue sport, that is. Football and basketball can't be afforded that luxury.
Speaking of revenue, if you were gullible enough to pay money for another Mayweather fight, much less one against another fighter five years past his prime, you probably watch Searching for Bigfoot shows expecting to see a nine foot hominid strapped to the top of a Range Rover during the closing credits while awkward dorky guys can't fully connect on their celebratory high fives. There is no Bigfoot. There is no enjoyable Mayweather fight. Unless you're simply a dedicated fanboy. Oh wait - or a SUPER SOPHISTICATED BOXING OBSERVER who sees subtleties that none of us can detect as Floyd slips another exchange and lightly patters someone's gloves and forearms with some portion of his glove touching forehead (score it!) while in stylish disengagement.
Mayweather's genius in the ring is only eclipsed by his marketing acumen - particularly in an environment where the UFC is putting on amazing free cards on Fox (The Rockhold-Machida card a few weeks back was absolutely incredible) and quality PPVs of their own. Or when HBO is showing Canelo Alvarez-James Kirkland. Or you can just pull up Greatest Subway Knockouts on WorldStar HipHop's Youtube channel. Maybe just wrestle with your dog.
I'll readily concede that Mayweather is an extraordinary technical boxer and athlete - the most gifted negator of pugilistic offense in recent memory - but the so-called boxing purists who start to condescend to the rabble when they complain about his inability to finish also fail to acknowledge that an eternally retreating, back foot counter-puncher is basically doing nothing to advance the match. Or boxing in general. Pure negation isn't particularly entertaining. Nor is the total abandonment of risk. If Mayweather fought himself, we could watch in a hammock with a cup of hot chocolate on our chests. Naps are healthy.
The Greatest of All Time? Let's tap the brakes. Hard. I'd love to see Mayweather thrown into the Leonard, Hearns, Hagler, Duran dog fight of the 80s. Hell, even face the next tier dudes from that time like Wilfredo Benitez and Donald Curry. Failing that, we're left with media history beginning sometime in 2007 and people who don't understand opponent quality as the true determinant of greatness.
Mayweather's claim to greatness is the same as Rocky Marciano's. Unblemished. Undefeated. Untested.
Sugar Shane Mosley went 1-3-1 after losing to Mayweather. Pacquaio was in clear decline (and, it seems, injured) and had been knocked out viciously by Marquez. Floyd beat De La Hoya during a stretch where Oscar had lost three of his last five and was seeking paydays over victory. In the end, Mayweather's greatest evasions happened outside the ring, timing his battles with his highest level peers at the most opportune times. It wasn't always Floyd's fault, but it is his legacy.
If you don't like the Warriors, you're a 1) Houston fan or 2) hate America, labrador retrievers and chicken fried steak.
I pronounce us caught up. What else should we discuss?