LHN game day has unintentionally entered the comedy zone. Don't I deserve more for my
pirated free feed hard-earned dollar? Actually, I don't. It's fantastic. I spent a decent portion of the Rice game cast belly laughing.
1. An ESPN executive decided the best place for an in-stadium studio show featuring Jack Russell terrier studio host Lowell Galindo and Longhorn legends Ricky Williams, David Thomas and Vince Young is near an area the Longhorn band occupies for substantial portions of the pregame and halftime. For what it's worth, Ricky and David are very insightful analysts and VY is....a legendary playmaker that we all love very much!
This brilliant staging decision certainly captures the game day feel as the band's play coincides with the moments when the analysts are being asked to analyze. It's like trying to do a conference call during a Too Live Crew concert. To the utter surprise of LHN producers, the studio show is consistently drowned out by a 386 member orgy of World of Warcraft guild members going apeshit on tubas and trombones and beating a drum the size of a Escalade. Who knew bands are loud? So most of the pregame and halftime commentary is actually shouted unintelligibly. Lowell Galindo shouts even when the band is completely silent, almost always for no good reason. GALINDO BRINGS ENERGY SAYS THE SUITS. THE STRAW THAT STIRS THE DRINK SAYS TODD IN MARKETING. HE'S A LIL BALL OF CALIENTE.
Ricky's frustration was so palpable at the battle of the bands being waged behind him that only the reassurance of a Balancing Butterfly yoga pose restored his shanti. And a discreetly nibbled hash brownie...
2. Meanwhile, in the booth, Ahmad Brooks is convinced that our new starting quarterback is named Gerard Heard. Is Gerard the name of a favorite childhood uncle? Or is this just his Abilene drawl at work? Let me be clear: I absolutely love Ahmad Brooks and he's one of my favorite Longhorns ever, but he should be called Ahmard Brooks until he nails this. Juh-rod. Juh-rod. Say this into a mirror ten times per day: "Hello JUH-rod, is your favorite era of the Mesozoic the JUH-rassic?"
3. At the beginning of the broadcast, the LHN play-by-play guy (I forget his name - fittingly, as you'll soon see) introduced color analysts Ahmad Brooks and Keith Moreland thusly: "Joining me tonight is former Longhorn safety Ahmad Brooks and to his right is.........Keith." That was it. Keith. He just trailed off and stared at Moreland. He'd completely forgotten his name, thus effectively introducing him as if he were Sting, Prince or Bono. No identifying features either. Like: this is Longhorn linebacker, two sport star and former Chicago Cub, Keith. Or dashing ginger, Keith. You may know him as the kindly but square white police officer in Season 4 of Sanford & Son, ittttttt'sssss Keeeith!
Nope. Just Keith.
Moreland looked at his colleague expectantly as if he might add his last name for the viewers, sort of traditional-like, but, no. The play-by-play man just plowed on after an uncomfortable three beat silence. No self-deprecating chuckle and admission that he'd blanked on Moreland's name. He had no idea who the red-haired gentleman was that he'd be sharing the booth with for the next four hours. Was it supposed to be a two man crew and Moreland just barged in, sauced out his mind? "I'm doing color tonight. I've had many drinks and I don't give a damn. Just introduce me as Keith. The goddamn fans will know."
And so that night Just Keith was born.
4. Sideline reporter Jane Slater is professional, attractive and capable. Galindo berates her when she wears heels around him. Soft, heelless slippers only, Jane! Match them with some smart capri pants! I'm not sure what you're trying to prove towering at 5'8"!
I made that up.
5. It's now halftime. Let me set the scene for you:
"Now we throw it to Lowell Galindo, David Thomas, Ricky Williams and VY! Fellas, Ahmad, Just Keith and I are really impressed by this scrappy Owl offense and the magnetic dynamism of Gerard Heard, what are you guys seeing down there?"
"THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU! BWAHHHHHHHHHHHH! ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY! BWAAAAAAHHHH!"
Uh oh. That pesky band is back! Just like before. They seem to do this every home game. Is it some...tradition?
"THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU! BWAAAAAAHHHHHHH! YOU CANNOT GET AWAY! BWAHHHHHHHHH!"
Lowell Galindo begins shouting over the tuba section's brassy flatulence. He's striking the table excitedly with an open palm, gesturing like Benito Mussolini. He's like a hummingbird with a cocaine suppository. I can't hear a word. I choose to subtitle my own dialogue. "Eeee-yippeee-wow! That's Texas football, pardna! Thunderous D'onta Foreman is the black Larry Csonka! Mommy don't pass the gravy just yet! We're still eating biscuits in the end zone! Who else sees a Doak Walker award in his future? Zim Wham Bammy Zow! Rock 'em sock 'em holy Wofforth Frenship - what do you say to that, Davey Thomas?"
If you've heard Galindo, that's fairly realistic dialogue.
Whenever Galindo throws to Thomas after one of his nonsensical shout-musings, David holds a look at the camera for an extra half second and releases a small inaudible sigh. His eyes gain a quiet steely resolve. David is very patient. His job is to correct Galindo's emotion-based chatterings and explain how football actually works. He seems to be making salient points but he's engulfed by the cacophony of scores of band members going nuts on their woodwinds and jumping up and down in unison immediately behind him. Ricky starts to shout to be heard, says screw it and just shakes his head. I can hear VY giggling uncontrollably off camera at how unbelievably stupid this all is. Lowell Galindo screams and waves his arms some more. He looks like he's trying to wave in a 747. I swear I hear vuvuzelas. Does the Longhorn band even have those?
I turn down the sound on my television and quietly marvel.