Monday, August 15, 2011

Gig this

Farewell Nebraska.

So long, Colorado.

Get outta here, A&M. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

All dressed up and nowhere to go for Texas A&M. Nice move, Aggies. All ready to go to the prom with SEC, only one big problem: your date, the SEC, doesn’t want you.

Gig that.

Talk about your Aggie joke. I have an idea for all the Big 12 conference big dogs—Dump A&M.

It’s obvious Texas A&M doesn’t want to be in the conference. Be proactive! Kick them out.

Go with nine teams, or bring in BYU and Air Force in the north and TCU or Houston in the south.

That will put the conference back to 12 teams and will also give the conference the playoff game once again.

But that is something to be worried about later. The first thing the Big 12 needs to do is to stop fretting over A&M. The Aggies don’t want to be in the conference so make it happen.

Don’t wait for A&M to leave…do it for them.

Personally, I like the way the conference is set up now with nine teams so everybody plays everybody. I was never a big fan of the mix-and-match scheduling as it always gave somebody an advantage.

Eight teams works pretty well. I seem to recall the Big 8 had some pretty good runs. That would give all the conference schools seven conference games and plenty of non-conference games to play all the directional schools and pick up some wins and revenue from home games.

Dumping A&M won’t happen, of course. But it should. Think how happy TCU, Houston, Air Force or Tulsa would be to join the Big 12.

And what would the conference lose? A so-so football team, good basketball and baseball, along with an awesome band.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tough games await state schools

Aside from the heat, most of the conversations around the state have turned to football.

Most of the talk has been about the start of preseason camps and that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are both ranked in the Top 10 and rightly so.

Another topic has been Tulsa’s early schedule. The Hurricanes open with OU and OSU and finish out the month by playing Boise.

That means TU is playing three teams ranked among the 10 best in September. Nice scheduling.

Coach Bill Blankenship and his players say they like the schedule and the challenges.

Sure. I bet they like the 115 degree temperature, also.

As a smaller program, TU has to schedule games like this to keep the program going and hopefully generate some excitement. Don’t expect the players, coaches or fans to be all that nervous.

This is the same group, for the most part, which went to Notre Dame last year and came away with one of the biggest wins in school history.

I don’t expect the Hurricanes to win any of these three games. But don’t be surprised if at least a couple of the games are close, especially the one with OSU. That game will be held at Chapman Stadium, following the opener at OU and a road game at Tulane.

After the first month, we should also be able to decide whether Blankenship was right when he said his quarterback was the best in the state.

Or, we will wonder what the new coach was, uh, doing to make him issue that statement.

The Hurricanes are not the only state college with a difficult schedule. OU also plays three teams in the Top 10 in Florida State, OSU and Texas A&M. Two of those games are on the road (FSU and OSU) and those two games are the major stumbling blocks in the path of the Sooners once again playing for a national championship.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

OU, Texas fans off to early start

Hey guys and gals!

Let’s put on a shirt for our favorite college athletic team and go out and fight a fan from another school!

Wear that Oklahoma shirt (nothing wrong with that) deep into the heart of Texas and let’s get involved in an argument that might evolve into fisticuffs and maybe more.

Sounds fun, huh? Just to make it better, let’s take a knife to inflict even more damage.

Yeah, sure beats staying home and watching whatever crud is on television.

Okay, that probably wasn’t planned, and if it was, whoever thought this is how an adult should spend an evening needs to be locked up at the nearest nut house. How about it, Vinita? Got any beds open?

That is what happened in a San Antonio Applebee’s where a Sooner and Longhorn got the Red River Rivalry going approximately two months early.

The two men started arguing about college football. It escalated to something more. My bet is a Brutus or two was involved.

Not content to merely discuss college football, a fight broke out. The OU fan reportedly pulled a knife (way to represent!) and both men wound up stabbed from the fight and visited a local hospital.

According to the report, neither man has been charged.


Please do, however, Texas police officers and district attorney. Charge them, throw the book at them. Maybe this will teach some nut out there a lesson

This is even worse than the OU fan who got into it in Oklahoma City a few years ago and damaged a Texas fan’s genital region.

I am all for supporting your favorite team. Wear the attire, shout at the television when things go bad. Maybe even write bad stuff about your rivals on a forum.

But that is where it needs to stop. Don’t try to knife somebody because they support a different school. Never grab another guy’s baggage and squeeze until something pops that should not pop over who you think has a better football team.

This is a sport, a little diversion from the rest of life. Who wins a football game really has no impact on your life. If your team wins, great. If they don’t, move on. There is always next week or next year.

I know, football is considered a religion in these parts. Fine. But don’t let those feelings make you resemble the people involved in terrorism or shooting another person because their belief is different than your own.

Even if there is football involved.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Let the countdown begin

August is officially here and many of us are looking forward to the 2011 football season.

It is only 32 days to the official start of the high-school football season and 33 until the colleges start.

As we endure the worst heat wave in recent memory, I remember the summer before my senior year.

It was 1980 and that was the worst summer I remember prior to the current one.

Just like many players of today, we worked out in the heat and many of us had summer jobs out in the heat.

Most of us were in pretty good shape and a lot more used to the heat than many of today’s players. Some of us had spent the summer working in the pastures hauling hay while others worked in other jobs. We didn't have the game controllers, computers or texting to distract us.

I worked for the county road department that summer in my first real job.

It is amazing how much has changed over the years. We had two-a-day practices early in the morning and in the evening. Both practices were long and we closed the practices by running.

As the school season started, our practices were after school. Most of the practices lasted some three hours. As soon as we could, we put on the pads and started hitting.

We had live blocking and tackling drills and when we practiced, we hit. Full speed. None of the form tackling and short practices like is common now.

But fortunately our coaches did allow us to take water breaks, unlike many coaches did back a few years earlier. A water break was seen as a weakness by the old coaches, not as a preventive measure to keep players from having a heat stroke.

We did not have the summers like the players do now. There weren’t team camps or 7-on-7 leagues.

Prior to my junior year, two teammates and I attended the Barry Switzer Football Camp at OU. I was so pumped, thinking we would get coached by the best coach in college football.

Switzer showed up twice. The first was when the players arrived and the last was for the pictures. His assistants did the coaching. And we quickly figured out while we were getting some valuable instructions, the main purpose of the camp was to find out who could play for OU.

Buster Rhymes, who was a standout at OU later, was at the camp. He came from Miami, as in Florida, and was truly a man among boys. His high school coach was also there. Hmmm.

Bobby Proctor, former secondary coach at OU, was my favorite.

He was hard but could also make you laugh although I thought he was going to get me killed. He had me go up against Rhymes and I saw my life flash in front of me. There weren’t any 6-4, 200 plus pound players who were chiseled and could run a 4.4 in Heavener or on our schedule.

Some of the other assistants were not as enjoyable. Instead of teaching, they screamed. A lot.
Aside from some technical skills I learned at the camp, the major lesson I learned was that my dreams of playing at OU were not going to happen.