Pre-Game North Texas

Confessions of a Prodigal Willie Earl

And a Few Season Opening Observations

My ambivalence about Longhorn Football started during the 2011 OU game. Suffering through the third humiliating blowout to OU during the Mack Brown era was the beginning of my breaking point with Mack Brown. The game itself would have been bad enough, but 2011 just happened to be the year that I brought one of my best friends—whom had known since I was 5-years old, whom I had regaled with descriptions of Texas-OU weekend for 35 years and who is a Notre Dame Graduate—to his first OU game, which made it downright embarrassing. The last-second win over Texas A&M later that year provided an Indian Summer for my Longhorn passion, but it was very brief.
The last game that in my heart I truly rooted for a Longhorn win was the 2012 West Virginia game in Austin. Texas should have won that game, but Mack Brown frittered it away in the second half by totally mismanaging a couple of offensive series. Starting that night—because my love for the Longhorns is all-consuming—I wanted the Mack Brown era to come to a close as quickly as possible. So there it is. I secretly rooted for the Longhorns to lose football games from October 13, 2012, through the Baylor game last year.

Now I’m back baby. Let’s put the boot to the ball.

More confessions and Some Season Opening Observations

Charlie Strong may not be the next “One” — but I am infatuated with him.

Last week I downloaded a couple of Cowsill songs to my iTunes Library.

I don’t understand David Ash’s decision to continue playing football.  Of course I hope it works out for him and that he plays great for the next two seasons, but I think he’s made a foolish decision. I wonder if anyone close to him besides his mother advised him to hang it up.  In my experience mothers are often the wisest advisers, even when it seems that their advice is skewed by motherhood its own self.

I got viscerally angry the other day trying to kill a fly in my kitchen.

For god’s sake somebody please tell me that Mack Brown didn’t recruit Kenny Hill as a defensive back.

I’m so vain you probably think this blog is about me.

Charlie Strong refers to Jonathan Gray as “J Gray.” Reminds me of a the Longhorn great, “Ray Clay.”  Anybody younger than 55 know who I’m talking about?

I went to my High School 40-year class reunion in July. Ever since then, I’ve been tossing and turning at night about how my life would have been changed if I hadn’t got cut from the J.V. Basketball team.

Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said don’t look back you can never look back.

Charlie Strong is direct and to the point, but he does have a sneaky sense of humor. I like that.

In the post-Darrell era, two Longhorn head coaches have had good first seasons. Fred Akers went 11-1 in 1977, and Mack Brown posted 9-3 in 1998. Akers had Earl Campbell. Brown had Ricky Williams. Charlie Strong has….? Reminds me of when Sonny said to Tom Hagen, “Pop had Genco, look what I got.” Sonny Corleone

On the other hand ,Charlie Strong has Cedric Reed, and he’s at least as valuable as Brad Shearer was to Fred Akers. Malcolm Brown—the d line variety—may turn out to be a superstar as well.

By the way, I’m not saying I don’t think Malcolm Brown the running back is good. I think he’s real good. I think he compares favorably to Cedric Benson.

I heard Joe Bergeron was dismissed from the team, because he went Blutarsky when Charlie Strong took away the smoothie bar.

I would like to have seen Charlie Strong’s reaction when he found out there was a smoothie bar in the locker room.

I have no idea why Kansas State. is projected to be a Big 12 Title contender this year. They were so bad last year that even we beat them….finally.

Baylor will lose at least three conference games this year.

Saying it the way my father would say it, “Do we really believe UCLA is the national contender they’re predicted to be?” Yeah, they were 10-3, last year but their three losses were to the only good teams they played, unless you consider Nebraska a good team.  Anyway, I’m not buying into UCLA’s emergence as a national title contender.  They’ll probably give us a tough game, but we’ll win.

This just in. Charlie Strong has suspended Jaxon Shipley for the North Texas game for failing to hold the chair for a female classmate when she sat down next to him in History class.

Time for Willie Earl’s preseason prediction of the Longhorns final regular season record. See where this is gong?


Put that in your tailgate beer cooler and drink it.

HooK eM,


Over/Under Contest

18 Comments to “Pre-Game North Texas”

  1. Great questions, as usual.
    Really enjoyed the read.
    Just out of curiosity — and for the record,
    who is the one loss?
    I got some doubts.

    • I can’t commit to which game we’ll lose. We may actually win them all.

  2. 11-1? Want some more orange Kool-Aid? Surely you mean that Texas will win the game against Texas Tech on 11/1 (Nov 1st) and not that Texas will only lose one regular season game.

    • Nope. 11-1 if not 12-0. Let’s have a beer in September.

  3. Now that the boys of summer have gone….what are you smoking, and are you sharing?

    • A hybrid. A cross, ah, of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff.

      I’ll always share with a SPE Brother.

      • gonna need some REALLY good shit to get through the rest of the year now, old buddy. I see 4 losses, easy….

  4. I like the Blackie Sherrod “scatter shooting” style. You just left out the “while wondering whatever happened to ________?”

  5. Damn it, Willie Earl!! Had I known you were pulling for the stinkin’ Sonners the past 2 years, we would’ve rolled in the Cotton Bowl parking lot. And how gay is putting the Cowsills on your ipod??? I have “I Love the Flower Girl” on mine….

    • Glad you didn’t know. I’m a good actor huh?

      I downloaded “Hair” and The Rain the Park and Other Things.” I’m downloading “I love the Flower Girl” now.

  6. WE:

    Can’t seem to get my winning predictions to send. Will email instead.


    11-1 Really?

    • Hey Greg and Everybody, we’re working on our technical difficulties. Standby.

      Everybody laughed at me when I predicted 11-1 before the 2008 season.

      Have faith in Willie Earl.

  7. meant to mention that I think M. Brown (the back) compares favorably to A.J. Jam Jones, not Cedric Benson so much. But, would love it if the alleged “new body” means more production and big gains.

  8. “Strong” start to the season W.E.

    Here’s to our TWENTIETH SEASON sitting together:

    • Thanks Dan ! Awesome Casablanca reference. It made me well up.

  9. Breakdown in Mack Brown trust began for me in 2009, when despite undefeated season, it was clear that McCoy, Shipley and a couple others were “willing it,” rather than any real institutional and programatic system greatness. Like your optimism, but seems likely this year’s Horns will slip at least once, get unlucky at least once, and or, have a bad kicking failure that leaves them 9-3. 10-2 is my upside.


    “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!”

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