Ho Hum Holiday Bowl

Berkeley-Pre-Game

I was hanging out at the kitchen table with my parents who were having their after dinner coffee early on a Thursday evening in late May of 1968. My mother asked me if I was going to the ice cream social at my school, Vestal Hills Elementary. I told her I that I was thinking of not going. I was surprised when my father voiced a strong opinion on what seemed like a minor matter. He advised me that I should go and explained that skipping little activities here and there could become a habit that could lead to a slow withdrawal from an active and engaged life style. My Dad’s sales pitch for the ice cream social was convincing and while I was enjoying the company of my friends at the “Social,” especially that of Sue Lasky and Cindy Cable with whom I took turns chasing or being chased around the school yard, threatening or being threatened with the weapon of choice for the evening—an ice cream treat—I realized what sound advice my father had given me. It turns out that it was sound advice not only for a 12 year old but for everybody at every age. I’ve taken that solid advice into account countless times since it was delivered, more than 40 years ago, when I’ve been ambivalent about attending or taking part in some event or activity.

I don’t think my father would have had a strong opinion on whether or not I should make the trip to San Diego for The Holiday Bowl this year unless it was, “Don’t waste your time and money on that.” Evidently that is the prevailing attitude among Texas fans regarding Texas’ final game of the 2011 season. The Austin-American-Statesman reports that Texas didn’t come close to selling out its ticket allotment and in conversations at holiday gatherings I have been asked several times what day and time the game was. I was having trouble myself remembering whether the game was on the 29th or 30th. Turns out it’s actually the on the 28th. Which is tomorrow! So lets see if we can gin up some focus and enthusiasm for this Holiday Bowl game with Cal-Berkeley.

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The vibe I’ve been getting from the 40 acres the past couple of weeks is that this game is more about the extra practice for next year than it is about winning the game. Through one of my wife Helen’s teaching associates I met Wes this past September. Wes is a clear eyed, earnest, bright, twenty something Longhorn Football Geek and blog writer who has impressed me with his knowledge and insight about Texas Football. I talked with Wes at a McNeil High School teachers Christmas party and here are some of the things of note he told me.

1. He and others in and around the program still think David Ash can be a good quarterback. He told me that Ash was one of the premier pro-style Texas high school quarterbacks in 2010 and the reason he wasn’t more highly recruited was due to his early commitment to Texas. The Missouri game killed Ash’s confidence and Wes blames that on Bryan Harsin for calling all those deep fade routes that you may recall.

2. Case McCoy’s throwing mechanics and footwork are so bad that it’s hard to believe that his father was a football coach. Wes follows McCoy on Twitter and a couple of weeks ago McCoy tweeted that he was bored. Wes told me it took every fiber of his self restraint not to reply, “Why don’t you go work on your mechanics!” Wes and the people he talks to don’t take McCoy seriously as a possible long term U.T. quarterback.

3. Joe Bergeron wasn’t participating in contact drills in practice and Malcolm Brown was “limited” in his participation. This conversation did take place 12 days ago so we’ll see.

4. The Juco offensive lineman transfer that just signed with Texas—whatever his name is—will allow Trey Hopkins to move from right-tackle to his natural right-guard position thus vastly improving the offensive line next year. Again…we’ll see.

Wes is very optimistic about Texas Football for 2012. Wes is no sunshine pumper and I respect his opinions. I hope he’s right.

I am less optimistic than Wes for a couple of reasons.

1. The Texas program seems pretty self congratulatory over their 2012 recruiting class which, according to several recruiting services, ranks number one or two in the country. Big deal. We’ve heard it all before. It’s like they’re relived that the season is over and they don’t have to worry about wins and loses. Now they can bask in the glowing reviews of their recruiting class.

2. I keep hearing how much the new coaches like each other and how comfortable they’re getting here in Austin. Great, that’s all we need. A bunch of highly paid coaches who feel comfortable. I even read in the paper this morning that DeLoss Dodds wants Mack Brown to be comfortable so he’s working on a contract extension. Dodds and his group have the tinniest of tin ears and I really do wonder if they have their eyes on the same ball as we do. That is winning more than seven or eight games and eventually competing for a conference and dare I say a national championship again soon.

Given their current attitudes and priorities I will be pleasantly surprised if Texas comes out tomorrow night looking like they really want to win this game. Whether they do or they don’t we’ll always have………..

 

Willie Earl’s Over/Under Contest

Remember that the winner this week will be awarded double the points awarded for first place during the regular season. So this is for all the marbles…the whole enchilada…there is no tomorrow…it’s all on the line. So without further adieu…

[contact-form 1 “Holiday Bowl 2012”]

1 Comment to “Ho Hum Holiday Bowl”

  1. Thanks so much for the post.Thanks Again. Really Great.