Members of the Union, it’s been awhile since I’ve taken the arson brigade out for a mission, but be assured, the time for vacation is over.
My boys and I are going to torch a unique hive of scum and villainy deep in the heart of Texas, a place so rancid that it caused major upheaval in college football, a place with the delusions of Alabama but not the accomplishments. That’s right, we’re going to Austin!
It’s impressive that Texas is the most arrogant state in a country that includes California and New York. Upon closer examination, however, it makes sense. The whole state is wild about trucks, guns, wrongful executions and of course its own cultural identity, which largely consists of yelling “I’M FROM TEXAS” while firing automatic weapons from a lifted coal-rolling truck with nothing in the bed.
Smack in the middle of this vast expanse of windswept plains, straight-up wastelands, and pockets of the 1980’s excesses that never really went away lies the city of Austin, which is easily the most pretentious city you’re not yet sick of. Somehow, in spite of the massive tech boom, the city has escaped the scrutiny of the original Silicon Valley, flying under the radar as a great place for tech bros to thrive on huge incomes without taking criticism for pricing San Franciscans out of their own city. “Keep Austin Weird” is the slogan adopted by preening Austinites, patting themselves on the back for being so hip and progressive in Texas of all places. Aren’t you impressed at how they’ve carved a millennial utopia out of a slice of conservative America?
Those on the outside marvel how Austin traffic makes the west side of the Houston Inner Loop or the High Five in Dallas look like a Sunday stroll through Amish country. Nevermind that the techie folks don’t drink a good beer like Shiner anymore because “Lone Star is for real Texans”. Don’t even mind the ones who mock folks piling in for good pho’, food trucks, and even standing in a August morning swamp for Aaron Franklin’s brisket.
Austinites try to pretend that they have this “secret” in the middle of the state that no one knows about. It could be because people in DFW, San Antonio, Houston, or even the burbanites just don’t care to be injected into the thrashes of downtown Austin. Remember, this is the same city that started the Meerkat “revolution”, only to see the rest of the world destroy it in less than a day with Periscope. BUT WE’RE TEXAS, they scream into the void.
But for those Austinites who aren’t obsessed with the Premier League (or real football as they’d call it), their patronage of the Longhorns unite them with the Texas culture they insist they’re not a part of. These millennials are killing everything. Except the Big 12. Texas is doing that.
Everything’s supposed to be bigger in Texas, including delusions of grandeur. From their former athletic director:
"We don't keep up with the Jones," Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds once famously said. "We are the Joneses."
Oh yeah? Then how do you guys let Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Auburn have bigger videoboards than your vaunted Godzillatron? Guess that’s why he’s not called DeWin Dodds.
Shouldn’t a school with your arrogance make sure you always have the biggest and best? You’re upgrading it this year, and it’s still going to say the same size!
Weak. Well, you’re going to need a new videoboard after I torch the damn thing.
You know what else has been weak recently? The performance of your vaunted football team, on and off the field.
You guys style yourselves and the biggest and most important program in the state of Texas, yet smaller crappier programs like Baylor, TCU, and Houston have been flat out better since you last won a natty. Really, that last point of relevance was when Colt McCoy left the national championship game with an injury, allowing Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide to run away with the game. That was okay though because every year, rumor has it that Saban will swoop in to save Texas and they won’t have to make up names for their quarterbacks anymore. Didn’t you once dominate the state of Texas? A&M beat Alabama, why couldn’t you? Are you not The Joneses? Landry Jones won all three of his starts against Texas; try keeping up with at least one Jones before running your mouths.
The Red River Rivalry is the most important game Texas plays. It’s their longstanding rivalry against the landlocked, plain-covered state of Oklahoma, which has little to offer in comparison with the abundance of resources in Texas. Yet the Sooners have won 11 of the last 17 games. The game was called the Red River Shootout prior to 2005. The name was changed not because the original name made college football fans want to engage in sustained firearms combat but because it’s not a shootout when Oklahoma blows the doors off of Texas five years in a row.
You took “dirk kicking Big 8 country” as one scribe described the region after ‘71 Nebraska/Oklahoma and did what you always do. Inject your large ego into the fray, pissed off the ones who matter, and scared the ones who don’t. There’s a reason that Nebraska left, and it wasn’t on the Football field. Granted, you got the good of Big Red on the field many times, only dropping the game in San Antonio to Eric Crouch. That being said, we can’t help that Bo Pelini decided that visiting the basement of that hotel was more important that thinking about you in 2010. We also can’t help that Ndamukong Suh almost single-handedly beat your team in Arlington, being saved by the grace of officials who COULDN’T possibly be on the payroll. Nah, we’ll just forget that. It was you wanted to be the badass with the bad ideas. Again. And it ended up losing not only one, but THREE schools out of the Conference. Two of those with eyes going to another part of the country, and money coming from it.
But, it’s worth it to bully the little tykes in Manhattan, Lawrence and Ames, isn’t it?
Also, let’s talk about television.
You guys are single-handedly responsible for the destruction of the once proud Big 12 conference. With the Big 12 trying to re-negotiate TV contracts in the wake of the Big Ten’s brilliance in launching the Big Ten Network, Texas, dissatisfied that the conference didn’t do as they demanded, took their ball and went home to throw money at their own channel. They cried tears of pure money until ESPN granted their wish. The Longhorn network is responsible for driving away Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and Texas A&M to the embrace of other, and quite frankly better conferences.
The Longhorn Network has virtually no carriage and it’s a complete failure. Even for compulsive butt-chuggers of burnt orange Kool-Aid, the novelty of having a channel playing the 2006 Rose Bowl on repeat at all times has worn off by now.
It’s not too late. Swallow some pride and re-brand to the Big 12 Network. Yes, Texas, I just recommended swallowing some pride. Perhaps somewhere on the J.J. Pickle Research Campus, someone’s working on deciphering the meaning of that turn of phrase. Also, I told you to stop making up names for things.
You guys let Mack Brown stick around for far too long and then thought bringing in Charlie Strong would help out. Then you lost to Kansas. Not Mark Mangino 12-win Kansas, but post-Turner-Gill-post-Charlie-Weis dumpster fire Kansas.
I must say, bringing in Tom Herman could be a good idea. For the third time in four years, Texas is BACK. But then again, like most recent Longhorn coaches, he’ll probably fall flat on his face and be fired.
I HATE YOU LONGHORNS AND MAY THE BURNINATION OF AUSTIN BE COMPLETE.
Next B1G Matchup for the Longhorns: Sept 7th, 2017 vs Maryland