“Why does Rice play Texas?” — JFK once famously posited this question in a speech on a balmy September afternoon, imploring ‘Merican astronauts to make the moon a reality by 69 (nice). These were things done “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” The latter portion of that quote was reused as a justification for a different American achievement, much to Arthur Miller’s chagrin. During the original quote, Kennedy was standing in a Rice Stadium giving the speech as a thanks to Rice University for donating the initial land used for the space program. Longhorn-loving LBJ presumably helped him craft the joke, a tame pot-shot not quite in the same league as his take on Gerald Ford’s economic policies (“worst thing that’s happened to this country since pantyhose ruined finger-[...stuff]”).
We are now celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Definitely Real Moon Landing™, and Rice is celebrating their 25th anniversary of beating Texas (the only one since man stepped on something resembling the moon’s surface).
— Massive cramp strikes —
Sorry guys, I guess I was getting a little too real there as the cramps have started. Speaking of Rice getting intimately involved with our country’s government: Rice challenged The US Army a few weeks ago, which gives me crazy Jade Helm vibes — someone let Lifetime Longhorn Greg Abbot know. Luckily the patriots on South Main had the decency to come to their senses and #supportthetroops, unlike those globalists in Michigan, who debated whether they should let the troops win well into overtime before ultimately performing the equivalent of anthem kneeling.
Both teams are looking to end a losing streak, with Rice entering 0-2 after losing to a socially-aware landform (Woke Forest), and Texas losing to Defensive Coordinator Todd Orlando. The winner of this one gets not only old-school SWC braggin’ rights, but also the newly minted Calvin Anderson Bowl trophy (which is just a Rubik’s cube).
And we can’t forget the Herman thread, waiting to be gently unspooled in this pulitzer prose. Tommy boy was the Owls’ OC/QB coach from 2007-2008, building one of the most prolific offenses in Rice history (top 10 nationally in passing, scoring, and total offense). After two seasons, Tom moved on to the left cheek of El Assico (can we all lament that Tathan Martell never got to play in that game? That’s the real ass my dude), but not without leaving such a shine on the program that it drew in all-world transfer talent before the Transfer Portal was even a thing. In a way, it was really Herman that ushered in the Sam McGuffie era.
You’d think that after two consecutive weeks, we would be tired of referencing the state of Louisiana. But you can’t really look at this rivalry without looking where the real action took place — the Pregame Program (honestly maybe the spiritual precursor to this very Pregamer).
During the most competitive stretch in this rivalry: 1950 (the year Rice built their new stadium) - 1965 (the last Rice win in DKR), Rice was a respectable 6-9-1! For comparison they have beat Texas once in the ensuing 54 years.
Besides a dedication to tough defense and the running game, the teams shared one other weapon during this stretch...John Churchill Chase. A New Orleans native, Chase began doing Sugar Bowl Programs in 1938 before his alma mater asked him to design them for Tulane games in 1945. After a few successful seasons, the Owls came calling in 1950, and by 1953 the Horns were on board and he was doing covers for both schools!
He had some legendary Aggie, Baylor, SMU, TCU, and OU Programers, but we’ll focus this week on the Rice/Texas variety.
The late 60s saw Chase move to the small screen and do editorial cartoons for WDSU, the New Orleans NBC station. Both schools attempted to bring in other illustrators for a few years, but none captured the magic or imagination the same.
Paying homage to Chase’s legacy and some historical anniversaries, Rice released a commemorative poster for this week’s game.
What do we have here?— Rice Athletics (@RiceAthletics) July 23, 2019
If you guessed a @RiceFootball vs @TexasFootball poster for people that purchase tickets THIS WEEK, then you are correct!
» https://t.co/J4yQBLRSeu#GoOwls x #Apollo50 pic.twitter.com/bIY8jRGrY1
BKAR — Data
Because “The Texas” of Texas is playing “the Harvard of the South,” we had to get smart this week. Their hashtag is 100% no joke “#intellectualbrutality.” Therefore, Data! Where else but the Rice Owls are you gonna find a team that features:
- 2 Austins, 1 Aston
- New-fangled names (Ayden, August, Blaine, Blaze, Shea, Parker, Zane)
- BYU-levels of caucasity (2 Dylans, 2 Garretts, 3 Hunters)
- 2 Jacobs, 1 Jake, and 1 Jaeger!!
- Nashville chops (Brandt, Rhett, and 2 Charlies)
- An Ari and an Antonio
- An Isaiah and Izeya
- JaVante, JaQuez, Jawan, JaShon, Jason, Tre’shon, Treshawn, Trey
- (How many of you pronounced that middle one “Jay-Sahn”)
- A Matthew, Luke, John...no Mark
- 2 Miles, 1 Myles
- And of course: 1 Reagan and 1 Regan
Better Know a Roster
!!!! Jaeger Bull (TE, R-So.) !!!! - Continuing the Greek tradition of Champion Warfare, this is the gentleman in the fraternity who sleeps mostly on the porch, attends about 3 classes per semester, but is put forth at 11:30 when the party really needs to pop off by downing three of his signature ‘Inverse Jaeger Bombs’ (glass of the good stuff with a shot of the bull). Also goes by the name of Fratimus Maximus Areullius. Every frat has a Jaeger Bull.
Miles Adams (DE, Fr.), Myles Adams (DL, Sr.) - These are definitely different humans as Miles with an “i” is from Strake Jesuit and Myles with a “y” is from Arlington. If we follow DKR’s Ham/Lam/Jam Jones naming convention, this would mean they would be known as “Strake” Adams and “Hell” Adams, respectively.
Charlie Booker (RB, Gr.) - I really hope this game is way more San Junipero than Playtest/Shut up and Dance.
Campbell Riddle (DS, So.) Regan Riddle (OG, Fr.) - Naturally Rice has two players named Riddle...Campbell from Arizona and OF COURSE Reagan is from Highland Park. The Reagan Riddle: how some people still think Reaganomics isn’t the worst economic policy imaginable.
Garrett Grammer (LB/LS, Jr.) - 64 year old Kelsey Grammer is as legendarily prodigious as any Jets defensive back, with 7 kids spanning 33 years apart (the youngest is 2!). Unfortunately this is not one of them.
Brian Chaffin (C, Gr.), Clay Servin (OL, Rs.) - Again, this could be that we’re playing a team named after a food, but can you hear these two names and NOT picture a Southern man discussing the nuances of his catering spread for an Aggie tailgate “This ‘un here is the Chaffin dish. This guy here now, this is the Servin dish.”
Blaze Alldredge (LB, Jr.) - Disappointed defensive coordinator: Oh, it’s Blaze, huh? You doing a lotta Blaze-in down there in Celebration, Florida? Well that’s just DANDY. You’re gonna have plenty of time to celebrate when you’re Blazin’ in a VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER.
Rhett Cardwell, (WR, Sr.) - Saw this guy open for Wade Bowen at the Blue Light last year before the Tech game. Dude is LEGIT.
Myron Morrison, (LB, Fr.) - My parents saw this guy open at the Apollo Theater for James Brown. Dude is Superfly.
Chris Boudreaux (WR, R-So.) - 1) I’m so tired of playing Boudreaux the past two weeks, of course there’s one at Rice! And who’s surprised the cajun guy chose a school named “rice.”
Hunter “Hearst” Henry (S, Fr.) Hunter “Hearst” Hanley (DL, Fr.) - Vince McMahon already scouting for future superstars/sons-in-law.
Ayden Noriega (RB, Fr.) - The rare combo of named after a Latin American dictator and a gross American fetishization of “culture” in any way it can be consumed.
Prudy Calderon (DB, So.) - No jokes, this is one of my favorite names of this season.
Hans Straub, Strength & Conditioning - There is no chance he hasn’t played a villian in a Bruce Willis or Sly Stallone flick at some point in his career.
Jerry Pickle (Asst. AD, Football Ops), Jerry Mack (OC) - This Jerry, Rice collection has nothing to do with the greatest receiver of all time. No, when looking at the Owls Jerrys, you get “Pickle Mack Rice,” which sounds like a failed Kraft food campaign from the 90s.
- Jerry Rice
- Arroz con pollo
- Rice University Academics
- The kind inside a sushi roll
- Red Beans and
- Glen Rice’s Sarah Palin story
- The rice from a halal cart bowl
- Jollof rice
- Forbidden rice
- That fried rice you used to get from the asian restaurant on the drag at 26th in front of the 7/11 — 2 whole college kid meals for $5.
- That burnt part at the bottom of Persian rice
- Grantland Rice
- Loco moco
- Rice cooker
- Soju at a Korean karaoke bar
- Anne Rice
- Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat
- Rice pudding
- Remember Simeon Rice?
49. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
50. Rice football
9673. Throwing rice at a wedding
9674. Ray Rice
If an owl is so wise, why can’t they remember anyone’s name?
- Owl Memes. These are fantastic across the board
- Archimedes, solely for this memable laugh
- Owl Pacino
- Hedwig from Harry Potter — dude was a great friend. A more tear-jerking end than Dumbledore.
- Frost Bank Tower — beholden to one of the most oft-repeated urban myths about a Rice architect that has been debunked multiple times over.
- The How Many Licks Owl from the Tootsie Pop (lol, 3 licks. Ownd)
- Mama Owl from Fox and the Hound
- The OVO Owl
- Bubo, from Clash of the Titans (note the callback to past Pregamers)
- Bohemian Grove, the owl-worshiping Illuminati secret society that Richard Nixon had an...interesting way of describing and Alex Jones infiltrated.
- That Zelda Owl
- The Owl from Winney the Pooh, who is kind of a know it all
- Mr. Roger’s X-the Owl, but mainly because I can’t find any video of him. It’s all Daniel Tiger these days.
- The Great Owl from The Secret of NIMH - why was I allowed to watch that as a kid, he was terrifying!!
- The DuoLingo Owl
Now! That’s What I Call Moo-zik — Vol. 3
- ”Country Grammar (Hot Sh*t)” - Nelly - While the idea of Texas trolling LSU with some HVAC shenanigans is funny, the fact that LSU made it up to defend its theatrical play is downright hysterical. Keep cramping, Tigers. See y’all next year.
- ”Stand By Your Man” - Tammy Wynette - Michelle Herman is a ride or die. We’ve known this. She isn’t afraid to lay down the Twitter justice on unsuspecting fools who come at the program or her man. But while they’re playing checkers, Michelle’s out here playing chess. Nothing but respect for The Queen of the 40.
- ”Neon Moon --> Blow The Whistle” Remix by Fat Tony - You know what they say: “Fat Tony walked so Lil Nas X could fly.” Houston-based rapper and producer Fat Tony lives by the crossover mantra of “howdy i’m hyphy.” It perfectly embodies the personality an iconic Texas team’s got to have. I like to imagine VY vibing to this remix with the big uglies Kasey and Lyle before popping off for 51 against these Rice Owls back in ‘05. Here’s hoping we channel that into Saturday’s game.
- ”I Choose You” - Tobe Nwigwe - Houston’s Tobe Nwigwe is an icon in the making. “I Choose You” chronicles Tobe’s love journey with his wife, Fat. Through sickness and in health, they vow to stay together. And that’s how we Texas fans must look at these two weeks. Last week is sickness. A thorough whooping this weekend will get us back to health before conference play.
- ”Int’ l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” (feat. OutKast) - UGK - Taking a class from Professor Bun B is one of the very few reasons I’m jealous of a Rice education (their on-campus dining halls are quite lovely). But Bun’s verse here amongst a faculty of top-tier MCs is a masterclass on how to shine bright no matter the circumstances. Expect The Horns to do the same this weekend.
- ”Bonnie And Clyde 03” - Beyonce & Jay-Z - Oh, y’all thought Michelle was done?? Nah, she’s got time for it. And ultimately, she did time for it. After calling out some straight-up racist LSU fans, she got thrown in Twitter jail for putting their number on blast. But she did her time, she’s back out, and she’s ready to rock, like a woke Martha Stewart.
- ”Misunderstood” - Parker McCollum - It’s not that our DBs have been playing poorly, we’ve just misunderstood their motives. It makes sense. Put the lousy film on tape, lull upcoming offenses into a false sense of security, and unleash the beasts we got roaming back there.
- ”Walk” - Pantera - It’s been two games and Parker Braun hasn’t so much asked for respect to be put on his name as much as he’s served it up in a grand slam stack of pancakes. Dude mauls. Respect. Walk.
- ”Seek & Destroy” - Metallica - After getting shelled in back-to-back games, this DB(U) crew will pin their ears back and get after that Texas Ivy attack. Enough fun and games. Forecast: pain.
- ”Biscuits” - Kacey Musgraves - Coach O lying to the nation about the locker room conditions last weekend at DKR was an awful bummer. But like Kacey says, “Taking down your neighbor won’t take you any higher.” Damn shame for a grown-ass man to set that kind of example for his team. Bless his little heart.
Kyle Carpenter: Roses are red, my takes are piquant, LSU fans, can gargle my balls if they want. Texas by 56.
VY Pump Fake: The Horns fought valiantly last week and showed they can compete with anyone. Texas w/ rice: 10/10. Horns by 50 A/C spreadsheets.
Intern Eli: Gonna be ugly. Gonna be beautiful. Texas 63, Rice 7.
It’s been years since this publication was sponsored. Thanks to The Tavern, with the best air conditioning in Austin (cc: Ed O)
Get ready for halftime [gulp]