Monday, October 26, 2009

Uh, waiter~~hold that order of Kool-Aid, please; I’ll take an Alka-Seltzer instead

You really just hate to see regression, but that’s what Arkansas Razorbacks fans observed Saturday.

It’s hard to single out any particular phase of the game as being more egregious than others---Ryan Mallett apparently determined that he needed to try to get the ball to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, several hundred miles south of Oxford, rather than to his receivers on the field.  Meanwhile, the receivers had their hands encased in concrete---or butter, take your pick.  The defense decided that, having taken the Florida game seriously, they’d just take the Ole Miss game off.  (Hey guys:  that McCluster fellow, you might want to consider blocking him.  You know he’s going to get the ball.  You know Houston Nutt has had propensities in the past to run the same back(s) over and over and over.  You couldn’t figure that out?

The most disappointing aspect of this weekend was this:  Bobby Petrino was outcoached by Houston Nutt.  Apparently, Bobby and his staff took a cue from the defense and mailed it in this week. 

Hey, Bob:  this is the SEC.  As Joe Kines once said, “they will slit your throat and drink your blood.”  You don’t GET a day off in the fall.  You make more in a month than I make in a year, so let’s not hear any whining.

This level of play will not be considered acceptable next year. 


I watched the Mississippi State/Florida game this weekend.  Once again, while State was finally put away, the officials “helped”.

Arkansas, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State (along with their fellow-traveler Vanderbilt, and maybe even Auburn) might as well give up their foolish ideas about becoming SEC champions.  That’s reserved for Florida, Alabama, LSU, sometimes Tennessee, sometimes Georgia.  The SEC is going to be sure of that.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Proud of the Hogs/A Public Apology/Love Them texass—er, SEC Refs!

Arkansas played #1 Florida in the Swamp today, and came as close to an upset as the Hogs have ever managed against the Gators (in the SEC era).  While Ryan Mallett still showed signs of nerves/jitters in the face of a top-notch defense, he mostly made plays when he needed to do so.

Arkansas’ offensive line played very well indeed.  The blocking up front gave Mallett the time he needed to make the plays. 

The receiving corps, likewise, did well, making some clutch catches (yes, they missed some, nobody’s perfect) they would have missed early in the season.

How bout that young Dennis Johnson!  Whoa, where did HE come from?  He certainly stepped up while Smith is out---and had some nice kick returns as well.  Ah, to be young again, and have that kind of stamina…

The Defense:  what can you say about these guys?  Worst to first!  They were trounced last year, and started out this year looking like “Second verse, same as the first!”  They’ve quietly improved, game after game, and today’s game---let’s just say the #1 Gators had all of the Arkansas defense they wanted and then some.

Ole Miss offense:  Be afraid.  Be very, very afraid.

I am very, very proud of the Hogs today---they stood toe-to-toe with Florida, with some of their best players on the sidelines, and won the game (with the exception noted a couple of sections below). 

Fearless prediction:  January 2, 2010, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas:  The SBC Cotton Bowl Classic, Arkansas vs. Oklahoma (or K-State, depending on how that shakes out).


A Public Apology:

Toward the first part of the year, in public and in private, I excoriated Willy Robinson, Arkansas’ Defensive Coordinator.  I publicly called for his head, stating that he obviously wouldn’t know Defense from a paper bag.

I was wrong.

Mr. Robinson, you have developed your players all year (something not seen at Arkansas for the past 10 years).  You’ve devised some very stout defenses against some very good offenses.  I am impressed.  I was wrong, and I publicly apologize.  Give ‘em Hell, Willy!


I watched the game today with Nathan and his fraternity brother and friend, Adam.  We were cautiously optimistic as the game began, but as it wore on and it became more and more likely that we might pull off the upset, we began to be very concerned with and interested in the game.  As the game wore on to the final quarter, Adam began twisting his hat, unconsciously running his fingers through his hair, and both he and Nathan started sitting on the edge of their seats.  I was sprawled back on the sofa.  At one point, Adam turned to me and said, “You look pretty relaxed for someone who professes to be nervous!” 

“Boys,” I said, “y’all are 26.  I’ve been living with the Arkansas Razorbacks for 52 years.  I’ll get excited when we get down to the last minute.”  (I was thinking of the scene in “Fried Green Tomatoes” when Kathy Bates slams her Ford into the young girls’ car, then says, “Face it, girls---I’m older and I’ve got better insurance!”).

They’re 26.  Full grown men with college degrees and homes and cars and careers and wife (one) and fiancĂ©e (other).  They were 9 years old when Arkansas played its last Southwest Conference game.  They vaguely remember us playing texass u (spit) and aTm and Baylor and SMU and TCU and Rice and Texas Tech and Houston; they’ve never been to Lubbock; Waco is someplace they’ve driven through going from Dallas to San Antonio; Austin is 6th Street (but not football); Texas Stadium is where the Cowboys used to play, and who was Amon Carter and where is Ft. Worth anyway?  They never owned a copy of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football (or the Arkansas version).  


Horton Nesrsta.

That name may not mean anything to young Razorback fans (see above) but it does to us old farts.

Arkansas was playing SMU at Texas Stadium; SMU was in full “Pony Express” mode with their bought and paid for players (Craig James you suck); when they got caught, that set in motion the demise of the Southwest Conference.

In any event, Horton Nesrsta was an official in that game.  He called Arkansas’ Nathan Jones for Pass Interference (which then was half the distance to the goal, period); this put the ball at the Arkansas 17 and SMU went on to win the game, which gave them the Conference Championship.  Except there was no Defensive Pass Interference.  It was obviously, positively, blatantly OFFENSIVE pass interference, should have resulted in a (drive-killing and probably game-losing) penalty for SMU, and everybody in the stadium and in the national TV audience saw it---except Nesrsta.  Even the SMU player later said he was play-acting, trying to convince Nesrsta that it was Jones interfering with him, when he knew he was guilty as original sin.

Out of all the hose jobs the Texas referees (for the young fan:  Arkansas refs could not referee an Arkansas game; the Texas schools were afraid we’d “cheat”.  So of course, ALL of OUR games were refereed by ALL-TEXAS refs---but hey, that was fair, right?) ever pulled on poor old Arkansas, that was by far the worst.

In fact, out of all the hose jobs EVER pulled on Arkansas in both the old Southwest Conference and the Southeastern Conference, that was the worst---until today.

THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE SHOULD DIE OF SHAME BECAUSE OF THE REFEREEING IN THE ARKANSAS-FLORIDA GAME TODAY.  Those referees (who likewise hosed Georgia in favour of LSU) should never be allowed to work another game in the SEC, if the SEC is to have ANY credibility whatsoever.  I have thought the refereeing in the SEC was bad, and I’ve heard the complaints of favouritism from other fans, but I’ve never witnessed anything like this hosing, except for dear old Horton Nestrsa.  What game were they watching? 

I’ll tell you what game they were watching:  they were watching the SEC’s bottom line, they were watching the fact that the SEC has the number 1 and number 2 ranked teams in the nation right now, and they were damned well intent on keeping Florida #1, even if they had to carry the ball across the goal line FOR St. Tebow and Co.

Normally, I am one who says, “Whining about the refs is for losers,” but in this case, it’s deserved. 

Look, when our team does something against the rules, fine.  There’s “holding” on every play in every football game; as long as it’s called evenly, that’s fine when we get popped.  Off sides, False Starts, 12 men on the field---we commit them all, and deserve to be penalized for it.

But when an Arkansas player is obviously going for the ball, does not push off, and otherwise just properly defends a pass into the endzone---and gets flagged for pass interference, when there clearly was none…when an Arkansas player gets called for blocking his man cleanly, with no other apparent issue—and gets flagged for it---both of which penalties result in keeping the Florida drive alive when it was sputtering---that’s just plain old bullshit.

Foul, Southeastern Conference, foul.  If Florida goes on to win the national championship (which I hope does not happen), it will be tainted as far as I’m concerned.  I hope St. Tebow and the Gators lose in the NC game.  I’ll sure be rooting for their opponent (for the first time since we joined the SEC in 1992), unless it’s texass u (spit).  If that’s the game, I just won’t watch it.  I don’t think my heart could take it. 

Monday, October 12, 2009

FOOBAW; or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the game

I had a little speed bump on the road of life Friday; spent the day getting checked out for “Chest Pain, nonspecific” at St. Luke’s.  (St. Luke’s is where some ol nobody doc named Denton Cooley made somewhat of a name for himself---I mean, if you’re going to have heart issues, Houston is the best place in the world to do it, no?). 

They checked me and found I was in no immediate danger (they figure it was “stress”), scheduled me for more tests (surprise!) and sent me home with instructions to not engage in any “heavy physical activity”.

I took this as an excuse to mean, “Don’t mow the yard; sit in the recliner all weekend and watch football.”

So I did.

I watched 6 games this weekend.


Hitting the outlet

---photo courtesy Mr.. James K. Pork

Well, THAT was fun, wasn’t it!?

You could make arguments that Texas A&M was not ready for primetime; that we really hadn’t played anyone; that we were still very suspect in a number of areas.

The Auburn game proved the contrary.  Arkansas dominated Auburn from one end of the football field to the other; yes, Auburn helped with giftwrapped turnovers, but upon second viewing a lot of those turnovers were Arkansas-induced.

I’ve seen the argument on the Auburn boards that “Arkansas gets up a lot more for us than we do for the; they consider us a MAJOR opponent while we consider them like (snif) one of the Mississippi schools.”  Uh, yeah, NO, not really.  I mean, the Auburn game is an SEC game, all right; it’s a “big” game in that they are all “big”, but in no way does Arkansas consider Auburn to be one of the SEC elite teams.  I’d say we’re right there together, Aubies.  Y’all haven’t “broken out” either.  If you disregard us every year, well, that’s just great, you keep on doing so---makes it easier for us to beat you on our way to beating “REAL” SEC teams like LSU and Alabama. 

Good seats

---photo courtesy Mr.. James K. Pork

The thing I liked about the Auburn game (well, I liked a LOT about the Auburn game) was the fact that the defense really does seem to be improving by leaps and bounds.  They were better against Auburn (a much better team) than they were against Texas A&M; better against A&M than they were against Alabama; better against Alabama (which is better than anybody gave them credit for being preseason) than they were against Georgia.  Had our defense played as well in the Georgia game as they played in the Auburn game, that would have been a win for us.

Receivers play is looking good, and we have a QB who can get the passes there.  He played 3 or 4 games for Michigan, otherwise, he’s effectively a FRESHMAN.  That’s the other thing you’ve got to love about these Hogs---they’re VERY YOUNG.  When they get some seasoning on them---well, let’s say I wouldn’t feel funny talking about Atlanta next year, especially considering Alabama loses a lot of that talent to the NFL next year. 

It’s like this, Aubies: 










And there was sadness in the valley of Oxford, and they were sore afraid, for the rest of the SEC schedule did not look promising, and it appeared their cousins from Arkansas were right; and this, surely, was the unkindest (bowl) cut of all.



Man, Baylah is a long, long way from the days of “I Believe” when Grant Teaff took us to the Promised Land. 

And there was sadness at Jerusalem on the Brazos, and the little light on top of Pat Neff Hall (where God lives!) was dark, and there was no green on Pat Neff Hall; and the natives cared not, for they were at George’s, snarfing down chicken fried steaks and Bud Lights, and trying to get into Betty Baylor’s (or, for that matter, Bobby Baylor’s) pants (without anybody finding out, since it IS Baylah….).



Well, the great shoot out that wasn’t.  Seemed to me both teams struggled mightily with each other throughout the game.  At the end, Florida proved that they’re just a bit bigger, badder, and stronger than LSU.  Tiger Bait, indeed.  More like Gator Bait.



Sigh.  What an exercise in futility.  Yes, we won (yaaaay!).  We managed (through the heroic individual effort of one player) to scrape by in overtime against one of the worst teams in the NFL.  Woo-Hoo!  Pardon me if I’m less than thrilled. 

As a head coach, Wade Phillips is a great defensive coordinator (whose defenses can’t seem to stop quarter-ending drives for game-winning TD’s).

As a quarterback, Tony Romo would be good holding somebody’s clipboard.  Yes, I’m ready to throw Tony under the bus.  Buh-bye.  Less celebrity dating.  Less nightclubbing.  More completed passes.

Bleah.  The whole experience was just foul.



Sigh.  Until the Texans get themselves an offensive line and a new QB (I’m not sold on Schaub at all), they’re never going to make the playoffs (much less win a game in the playoffs).  Kubiak’s last year in Houston.



Hey, it was a FOOBAW game!  Well, not much of one, and I could care less about either team, but it was foobaw!  Of course, it’s always fun to watch the Titans lose (and no, Titans, you CAN’T wear Oilers uniforms again!  There is a lot of bitterness in Houston about the way you left us in the lurch!  I personally hope you lose every game!).


And that was this weekend!  Whew!


Hogs have their work cut out for them in the Swamp next weekend.  Who knows?  It could happen!?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The cold, icy finger of dread/Roll, Tide!/Intergalactic ‘hoods

The cold, icy finger of dread is one of those things that afflicts those of us who are sports fans. 

We all start out new, fresh, rejuvenated when the team of our choice finally (FINALLY!) looks to be showing signs of life.  We feel that the glory days may once again visit us; that we are once again a “team of destiny”; that the pieces are falling into place once more for us to win the Mythical National Championship, the Tourney, the Supa Bow; that “one shining moment” will feature our team; that the confetti is going to rain down whilst the commish hands the coach the trophy.

This euphoria may last as much as a year or two.  Yeah, so we lost to the Bombers.  They’d better enjoy it now….  We can handle another year or two, knowing that we’re on the rebuild.  We are the Emperors, and we will be BACK, baby!

Then, there comes that game, that one particular moment in time, when the cold, icy finger of dread slithers down your spine.  There’s an interception run back for a TD, or your pitching just completely breaks down, or Barnacle State hammers you 111-60, and you think, “Oh, NO.  No, no no no no.  Not again.  Not now.  Not when we thought we had our breakout team in place.  No, no, NO!”

The first time I actually thought about the Cold, Icy Finger of Dread was in Waaaaar Memorial Stadium, Little Rock, Arkansas.  The previous season, after a great start and fun whupping of texass u (spit) in the Cotton Bowl, Arkansas had had an inexplicably poor outing in Lexington, which, along with several other subpar efforts had led us to the Las Vegas Bowl.  I went.  It was GREAT to be in Vegas again; I couldn’t get enough of the Bellagio; the Golden Nugget welcomed me like an old friend.  I knew we were in trouble that night before the game.  I couldn’t sleep (my buddy had the temp turned up to “Blast Furnace”), and it occurred to me as I flipped and flopped that I was in VEGAS, and I could just head downstairs for a little fun.  So, I arrived in the casino and was considering my options when, to my surprise, I observed 3 of our starting offensive linemen getting into a white stretch limo with three hookers---at 3:30 am.  “Uh oh,” I thought to myself.  Uh-oh, indeed.  But still, boys will be boys….  Of course, we lost miserably.  I figured, “Ok, it was the bowl game atmosphere, it’ll be better next season.”

The first game of the next season happened to be UNLV.  And the game went very badly, including some astonishing coaching moves by Hooty.  And I felt the Cold, Icy Finger of Dread go down my spine as I thought, “He’s clueless.  We’re screeewwwed!” (Lewis Black).

This last Sunday, watching the Cowboys’ haphazard, futile effort vs. a rebuilding Denver team, watching Tony Romo throw still more interceptions, and watching Wade Phillips’ headsets once again hit the Gatorade table, and watching Romo’s pass sail in and out of the hands of Hurd (Hurd?  Who’s Hurd?) (ok, the much-maligned Champ Bailey had a little to do with the pass being knocked down, but it was the GAME WINNING PASS IN THE ENDZONE!  And had it been thrown just a bit better, it would’ve resulted in a TOUCHDOWN.  The GAME-WINNING touchdown!)---and there were the matters of all those passes (to wide-open receivers) that were “Juuuust a bit high” (paraphrasing Bob Uecker, as Harry Doyle, Major League)---and there was the matter of the “deer in the headlights” look Romo had---the combination of all of these produced the COLD ICY FINGER OF DREAD down my spine. 

He ain’t it.  He’s cute, and he’s dashing, and he dated the Simpson skank, and he’s quite the kool kat around town, but on the football field he’s nervous and timid and it shows.  He’s got some big play potential, but he’s got some big downsides.

Wade Phillips…is a great Defensive Coordinator. The Head Coach is comfortably ensconced in the owner’s box, chatting with visiting royalty while consuming tasty snax and calling plays down to Jason Garrett.

Jason---may be Hooty Dale in disguise.  He makes some great calls, but he makes some really boneheaded ones.


I think I’ll adopt the Vikings.  THEY looked like they had it all together, and it’s fun to watch The Old Man take one more tour of the NFL.



You will not hear me say this often, so better listen up:  ROLLLLLLL, TIDE!!!! 

‘nuff said.  GO TO HELL, OLE MISS, GO TO HELL!!!



Houston, Texas is the largest city in the United States with no zoning laws whatsoever.  You can have a Target next to a dry cleaners next to a Stop-n-go next to a residential neighborhood next to a porno palace.  There’s no rhyme or reason to it.  (In fact, our local porno palace---Houston has them everywhere, and in the best areas---is located directly next to The Mattress Store.  One could say that has a certain ironic quality, but one doesn’t need to be TOO ironical…).

At first, you think, “Man, this is some kind of mess!” but the more you live here, the better you like it.  No zoning means there is an HEB/Central Market, a Kroger Signature, and a Randall’s Flagship within walking distance of my house (Ok, better drive to Randall’s).  There are Blockbusters, Walgreens, CVS, veterinarians, pawn shops, porn palaces, gas stations, and 50,000 restaurants within about a 2 mile radius---while in my neighborhood, you’d never know you lived in the city.  Why?

Houston has a huge proliferation of Neighborhood Associations.  These Hitler Youth Concerned and Involved Citizens mostly police the area, making sure you don’t forget to mow your grass to the specified height, or have a shrub out of place, or paint your mailbox a non-approved shade of beige. 

Lately, however, the Association has taken on new missions.  We have crime problems city-wide (Katrina “victims” + Great Recession = lots of people with too much time on their hands and no drug money available), and West Houston is no exception.  The Association has hired us an extra constable (look for those dues to climb next year…) and is in some ways not half bad.

In other ways, however, it’s more than half bad.  They recently tried to assess us all an extra $500.  We went to the big meeting they held (I’m sure they were surprised and dismayed at the size of the crowd).  They had no real plan (other than re-doing the pool and the kitchen at the clubhouse; Ms. Gotrocks decided she needed granite and Thermidor appliances in the clubhouse kitchen to match her own style; the neighbors and I determined that any granite and Thermidor appliances were going in our OWN houses, thanks much.  

We voted their assessment down.  They were apoplectic.

Imagine my surprise this afternoon to get a chirpy email from our chirpy Association Management Professional, advising us that we had joined the Briar Forest Super Neighborhood Council, consisting of Ashford Village (mine), Country Village, ShadowBriar, Walnut Bend, Briargrove Park, Rivercrest, Lakeside Place, April Village, Village West, Marlborough, and several others whose names I disremember.  We have several “stakeholders” (including, but not limited to, the Westchase District, the “Faith-Based” group (Ascension Episcopal, Grace Presbyterian), and a host of other organizations. 

Apparently this group’s function is to wield more “clout” at City Hall, to get “our issues” out there (Rivercrest tried an end-around; they attempted to get the City to close the public street through their neighborhood, to avoid the traffic from Westheimer trying to avoid the light at Westheimer and Beltway 8)---hey, if they get to usurp their public streets, we’re going gated, mmmkay? 

In any event, this is a more or less random observation, but here it is:

Nobody is happier than when they’re mind ANYBODY’S business except their own. 

It’s not enough that we have the Westchase District, which can levy taxes without sanction from voters OR City Hall; Southbriar (Ashford Village + ShadowBriar) Association and a host of other intrusive sorts---now we have to have the Briar Forest Super InterGalactic Neighborhood Council.  Hell, next thing you know, they’ll merge with other organizations and become a City!  Hey, we could name it after the Father of Texas, Sam Houston!!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Well, THAT was fun

Arkansas 47, aTm 19 has a nice ring to it!  Congrats, Hogs, on the victory.

See, kiddies, this is what the old SWC USED to be like---we’d win 1 of 4 from Texas, then pretty much beat the rest of the conference most years. 

aTm faced a Southeastern Conference team out there tonight.  Both teams are young; both programs trying to rise from the middle of the pack in their respective conferences.  aTm can complain because they have to play texass u (spit) and Chokelahoma every year.  We have to “get by” Alabama, LSU, and Auburn every year in our division.  Oh, and this year, on our SEC East rotation, we’ve got the #1 Florida Gators on the schedule; no biggie.

But hey, tonight the team won in the Taj MaJerry (thanks, fren, for that one!) and won convincingly.  The Defense seemed to find its way tonight after the Alabama defeat.  Mallett seemed to get his groove back, and even Broderick Green (for whom I’d given up all hope) played the best football he’s played at Arkansas.  Our offensive line is going to have to try to figure out how to open the kind of holes for the running game that they opened tonight for the rest of the season, not just against a Big 12 opponent. 

Once we get past Florida and Auburn, it looks a little easier.  I’m not convinced of some of the SEC teams.

Alabama looks pretty good to go all the way; that Alabama-LSU game in Baton Rouge this November ought to be a pretty watchable game.

LSU has been getting by on a wing and a prayer.  They aren’t all that and a bag of chips. 

Auburn is the real deal.  If they’re not ranked when the rankings come out, there is no justice.

(Tennessee sucks this year).

We get Ole Miss in Oxford (can’t wait to hand the Kernel the bitter pill of being beaten by his old team in his new home).  I feel pretty good about both Ole Miss and Mississippi State this year. 

South Carolina looks to be pretty even with us, imho.  That’s a tossup, but we do get them at home.


It’s hard to explain to non-football fans what the shouting’s about.  Nathan and Pam got a new 52 inch High Def LCD and went to AT&T Uverse.  They just got the thing set up, and it went out for a while this afternoon.  Pam opined that they’d have to bury Nathan and me if it didn’t get going in time for the game; I told her it wasn’t a problem for me:  their house is 15 minutes from mine, and I wasn’t going to miss the game.

Nathan (after a furious few minutes on the phone with AT&T) got the thing going again, and we enjoyed the game that way.  Pam was in her bedroom playing on her computer.  The dogs ran under the bed and hid when Mallett hit Joe Adams with 5:44 left to play in the first quarter; Nathan and I were shrieking and hollering and high-fiving, and again about a minute later when Green scored.  Pam came out and told us she was laughing at us.  We told her we didn’t care. ;-)


This “Southwest Classic” is good for both Arkansas and aTm.  Aside from that nice fat paycheck (and you’ve gotta love that), it gives both teams exposure in the DFW Metroplex, and indeed on national television.  It is a great showcase for both programs (see, kids, there ARE other SEC programs besides Alabama and LSU; there ARE other Big 12 programs besides Texas and Oklahoma.).  Dallas is the largest concentration of Razorback fans outside of the state of Arkansas, while it is the #2 market (after Houston) for aTm; both fanbases can enjoy the hoopla.  I understand from those who were there that the atmosphere was much like a bowl game.  That’s great for everybody involved.  From the television shots, it looked like Jerry enjoyed it too.

This game did what it is supposed to do for me:  it entertained.  This is all entertainment, right?

I had the opportunity to go today, but couldn’t make myself.  Too much money and too much windshield time.  5 years ago, neither would have made a difference.  Now, both do.

I’m truly getting old….

Good job, boys.  Good job, coaches.  Good job fans who went and cheered (we heard the Hog Call loud and clear, as well as the “SEC, SEC” chant.  Aggies, see ya next year, same bat-time, same bat-channel.  I’m going to be there next year.

But for now…


Friday, October 2, 2009

Hullaballoo, GO HOGS! GO HOGS!

My friend Trent over at The South Endzone got me going on the Arkansas-Texas A&M game this weekend.  Trent is a young fart (an old-fart-in-training, as it were); he was 10 the last time Arkansas played in the SWC.  Trent’s thesis:  he likes the game; likes the money (!), likes the prestige---doesn’t give a “hoot” about the “rivalry”.

I'm one of the old farts, so I remember playing (and beating) the Gagmes, and I've spent my time at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas (one of the old SWC's 3 -count 'em- 3 versions of Starkville---College Station, Waco, and Lubbock, specifically---listening to the "Yells" and all the rest.

The best-ever Aggie game, I’ve already described in my War Memorial Stadium post, since that’s where it occurred. 


…Arkansas was taking on the #2 ranked Texas A&M Aggies; it was the ABC College Football Game of the Week (hard to believe now, but you only got ONE).  The announcing team was headed by the immortal Keith Jackson (the real one, not the current color guy on Arkansas’ Radio broadcasts).  Anticipation was running high in the entire college football fan world on that game.

We Baylor Arkies proudly decked ourselves out in cardinal from head to toe (with Uncle Heavy’s natch) and proceeded to the TV room at Penland Hall (one TV per floor).  We taught those Baylor boys how to Call the Hogs that day.

ABC cut to a live shot from the Goodyear Blimp, while Keith Jackson did the voiceover:


The game was a bit lackluster until Scott Bull hit a streaking Teddy Barnes for the go-ahead touchdown (Frank Broyles, in his next-to-last season as Head Coach, called him “The Immortal Teddy Barnes”).  Arkansas went on to win the game; it was the last game of the season; A&M was unbeaten until then, with a probable National Championship in the making; Arkansas went on to beat Georgia in the Cotton Bowl (Frank Broyles’ last as Head Coach).  It was a GREAT MOMENT IN RAZORBACK HISTORY.


Actually, the Aggies are nice if eccentric folk. They have their share of drunk assholes, but so do we. They're fun to tweak (go stand on their "sacred grass" and see what kind of reaction you get from the nearest CT--that's "Corps Turd".

Herewith, for Trent, Nathan, and my other younger friends, is a partial listing of Aggie terminology:

neidermeyer2 CT:

Corps Turd.  Texas A&M used to be an all-male military school (until the 60’s, in fact).  Their traditions stem from all-male military school traditions, and  the keepers of the flame are the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets.  Their members are referred to (by us normal humans) as Corps Turds, CT’s.  (Privately, many of them refer to themselves this way).  Most of them are good ol boys and girls, trying to get along in the world, very conservative, frequently from small Texas towns.  There are a few, however, whose boots are just a bit shinier; uniforms just a little more snappy; voices pitched just a bit higher.  The best movie example of a CT (though not from A&M) was the character of Neidermeyer from “Animal House” (above).

The Aggie War Hymn:

There’s a great story about the Aggie War Hymn; supposedly written by an Aggie, in the trenches in World War I, thinking of his Aggie days.  The Aggies take the War Hymn seriously.  They all sing it, loudly, in 4 part harmony.  It is played by the…

Fightin’ Aggie Band:

The Texas A&M Aggie Band is my favourite band in college football.  They are everything a band should be.  They do not do a lot of showtunes.  Their members do not aspire to a career on Broadway, or Vegas, or Hollywood.   They march up and down the field in tight formations playing march music.  Their lines are crisp.  Their music is good.  They do not play “Salutes to 8-Track” or “Big Smith”, a la the Arkansas Band (what a joke…) or *Broadway!* like the Baylor Golden Wave (what a joke…).  They do one thing and they do it very, very well.

Here they are, doing the Aggie War Hymn at Kyle Field.

The 12th Man:

aggie love In the early days of Aggie football, coach Dana X. Bible was running short on players (this was in the leather helmet days, and broken bones were not uncommon in every game).  He grabbed a big student out of the crowd, dressed him in a borrowed uniform, and had him on the sidelines, ready to go into the game if needed.  He wasn’t, but now the entire Aggie student body stands during the entire game, symbolically ready to go into the action should the coach need them.  The 12th man, as it were.  Sometimes, their emotions just overcome them…

Yells, and Humping It:

aggie yell leaders humpit Aggies do not “cheer”.  They “Yell”.  They have this big, elaborate “Yell Practice” the night before games, where they rehearse the “Yells” for the next day.  Kyle Field (about 80,000) is half-full every night before a game for Yell Practice.  It’s a great excuse for a party, great excuse to get drunk and take the girl or guy (see above) of your choice to the Yell practice; you can guess where that leads…

Aggies “hump it”.  Not sure what this is about, but it involves standing with hands on knees.  Here are the Aggie Yell leaders and team “humping it”.  Let us hope they don’t mean poor….


The A&M Mascot is Reveille, usually a female collie dog.  Reveille is a General in the Corps of Cadets and is, in fact, the highest ranking officer; her collar has 5 diamonds signifying her rank.  Should she be in the barracks (where she lives) and selects a cadet’s bed on which to sleep, that cadet sleeps on the floor while she occupies the bed.  If she wanders into a classroom and barks, the class is instantly cancelled.  As a dog lover, I consider all of this to be just normal activity and as it should be.

Sacred Grass:

When I was a freshman at Baylah (Baylor and A&M have a “thing”---they used to be fierce rivals, Baylor’s #1 rival and A&M’s #2 rival, and violence was a frequent part of their games and the days leading up to them; Baylor has a tradition of the freshmen barricading and guarding the campus with axe handles the night before the A&M game; I had mine a long time---you put Baylah stickers all over it and shellac it, then frame it on your wall…), the game was at Kyle Field.  On the A&M campus, there is a statue of Sul Ross (first President) on a lawn of beautiful, perfect grass.  We strolled up to get a closer look at the statue.  We were immediately accosted by a CT (see illustrations above) screaming at us (remarkably similarly to Neidermeyer above) that we were infringing on “Sacred Grass” and that we needed to –effectively- get the HELL off it.  We didn’t know. It looked like grass to us.  (A side note:  I have no personal knowledge of how Sully’s nose got painted green.  Is that prosecutable after 30 years?  That’s another old Baylor/A&M tradition:  Sully’s nose gets painted green; Rufus C. Burleson (on the Baylor Campus) has his nose painted maroon and white.).

I’ll close this small glossary with the words of the Aggie War Hymn:

Hullabaloo, Caneck, Caneck

Hullabaloo, Caneck, Caneck

Good bye to texas university

So long to the orange and the white

Good luck to dear old Texas Aggies

They are the boys who show the real old fight

"the eyes of Texas are upon you"

That is the song they sing so well

Sounds Like Hell

So good bye to texas university

We're gonna beat you all to…

Chigaroogarem , Chigaroogarem

Rough, Tough, Real stuff, Texas A&M

Saw varsity's horns off

Saw varsity's horns off

Saw varsity's horns off

Short! A!

Varsity's horns are sawed off

Varsity's horns are sawed off

Varsity's horns are sawed off

Short! A!


Oh, one more:  “WHOOP!” 

Don’t know how that one got started, but the Aggies Whoop randomly and together as a group.  It’s similar to us screaming “WOO PIG!” at each other when we see each other.  I think.


But honestly, and speaking as an old fart: I'm right there with Trent. I used to miss the old SWC. Now I look back on it as a fond memory, but one I'm not keen to repeat. I'd much rather beat Auburn than A&M, Bama than texass u (spit), or even Vandy rather than Baylor (my own alma mater). The Hogs have been in the SEC a long time now. The SWC: RIP.

It's great to have a high-visibility game in Dallas, Texas on national television with an old foe, now a cross-conference thing. We've needed something like this and frankly, so has A&M. It's good for both schools in a metro area where texass u (spit) and chokela-u (spit) compete for recruits, and the second-pickings go to Texas Tech, SMU, TCU, and Baylor.

So, Hogs, go to Dallas, collect your paycheck, enjoy the fun of Big D, get us some good recruits, BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THE AGS…and then go home and get ready for the rest of the real season.