Howdy, folks. Sometimes we get something across our virtual desks that is so full of passion, spirit, and zeal that we’d be remiss to not share it with all. Today someone was inspired by one of the biggest bowl matchups that seems to be slipping through the cracks: the second-most elite team in the conference (also the only one we have not yet played since joining) and another school we are quite familiar with. It’s SEC vs. Big 12.
Take it away, Andy.
A LETTER TO GEORGIA
by Andy Sanders
I’m sorry you missed out on the College Football Playoffs. We all know you’re a top 4 team in the country, and when I say “we” that DOES include the CFP committee.
That’s water under the bridge, now. However, I’m a bit concerned for a let down after such a disappointment…and I just can’t allow you to be less than optimally motivated…mostly for selfish reasons.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but you’re playing the Texas Longhorns in what is still a marquee, “blue blood” match up. Now, before I continue, let me pull the curtain and reveal myself. I’m an Aggie. A Texas A&M Aggie. You and I don’t have any real bad blood between us yet and we haven’t come close to beating you guys either, so hopefully this can be a friendly chat. After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
This would also be a good time for me to apologize for my part in you not making the playoffs. You see I wanted you in this game and I put every conniving thought out into the universe I could think of until I believe I mind willed the committee to put you here. My reasoning is sound, and I think by the end of this article you’ll agree that while a chance at a national championship is great, you now have the opportunity to win a victory for the good of all mankind.
One of my favorite authors has a quote, “Sometimes you have to watch someone love something before you can love it, its as if they are showing you the way.” You know that feeling. It happens when you’ve overlooked something for a long time and then you watch someone passionately praise or enjoy the said thing and you think “this thing/cause/person sounds amazing. Maybe I should take a second look.”
Well, I’m hoping you’ll listen to my love of hating Texas, and want to love hating them too. It’s a worthy cause.
So, without further ado, my top reasons why you need to demoralize tu in this bowl game.
Texas fans, are like, the worst.
Several recent longhorn websites and chat rooms have been scoffing at A&M paying Jimbo Fisher 7.5 a year or spending money on facilities that we’ve spent recently. There’s lots of “they have to try and buy a championship” talk. Never mind that Texas, historically (and I don’t mean distant history) makes and spends either the most, or almost the most for and through athletics than any team in the country. They’re oblivious to this fact, however, and apparently think that their success hasn’t been money driven at all (cue the laugh score). It’s hard to reason with this kind of person, but this is the kind of obtuseness you must possess to be a longhorn fan.
Watching us (or anybody) have even a modicum of success while they struggle has turned them into judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to how and why a team should spend money. And why? B/c they’re Texas.
Texas fans honestly think it is their birthright to win. Part of what we all share in this great country is that we can remember when it was thin. A time when we were down on our luck and things weren’t going our way. Texas fans don’t seem to relate. They think they should compete for national championships for no other reason than they’re Texas. (This is not my opinion. Feel free to ask any longhorn fan) They often can’t tell you why this feeling that they should be winning every national championship exists or when it got placed in their subconscious. They don’t know understand that it’s misguided or entitled…but just that it’s part of fandom. As such they become truly horrible fans when the chips are down.
Texas fans are your boss’s 15 year old son who drives his new BMW and doesn’t realize how he got it and especially what it takes to get it. He thinks he’s just entitled to own it and he laughs at your Honda as he grabs your parking place. Texas fans are like uncle Rico talking about the old days...How they did it, and how they could still do it if they wanted. They’re the Jr High bully who can’t keep up in class or in conversation so they throw around verbal threats and remind you they’re bigger than you(all the while scared they might be insignificant). They’re the people who cut you off in traffic, then flip you off as if you did something wrong. The truth is that ANY pain, frustration, or injustice you feel in the world…that’s from Texas fans. (I can’t scientifically prove that but you’ll do well to believe it) I would be remiss here if I didn’t mention that I’m certain not all Texas fans are this way, and I’m certain a lot of the players are not. They’re probably good people caught up in a bad thing. However, your goal is to ignore that reality.
I’m certain there were many storm troopers who didn’t share the Evil Empire’s goal to rule the entire universe and kill anyone that got in their way…but it’s hard to tell those guys apart. Georgia, you must not see that you’re playing against any of those good people, just as Luke Skywalker couldn’t focus on the well being of every storm trooper. You’re up against an evil force, and every time you hit one of their players, even the nice guys, all the evil ones will feel it like an organization-wide-football-voodoo doll.
- The Longhorn Network. The high school recruiting plans. The conflicts of interest(these are still apparent everywhere you look). Ohhhh the money. There’s lots to be said about this, and if you don’t know enough about this awareness-deaf money and power grabbing move then I invite you to learn more, I’ll wait here. …………….See. You have to want to really hit guys like that in the mouth. (oooo you get to! Legally!)
- The gratification from another negative knee-jerk. When Texas lost to Maryland this year, all hope was lost. It was already another wasted year and rumors were swirling about firing another coach. This is Texas fandom. They don’t seem to exist in a world of growth or change. They are Texas. They constantly shift between disaster and ‘road to the national championship’ talk. (We’ll talk about this lunacy below) Every loss is a huge lighthouse revealing that they’re not, in fact, “back”. Every win is proof that they’ll be competing for a national championship next year. They ignore the mediocrity and spurn it as if it never happened..forgetting to celebrate small victories and college football as a whole. They are Texas. They are the New York Yankees of college football (without all the winning) and their fanbase is just as unsettled from year to year. ”Rebuild? We don’t, we’re Texas. Losing Season? We shouldn’t have to, we’re Texas. Growth pains, why? I’m done with this team. I’m done with this coach. We’re back. We’re the best.” I’ve never seen a more bipolar fanbase. Whatever happens in this game, tu fans will knee jerk, I promise you that. No nuance. No sense of their surroundings. Just raw reaction to what’s in front of them and amnesia for all else. I really want that knee-jerk to be one that I enjoy.
- The fallout. Texas hasn’t been relevant in a decade. The teams comprising the current Big 12, despite some posing, haven’t been very national championship-good for the last 40 years. Sound shocking? Maybe even wrong? If you take away Nebraska (a team no longer in that conference so it feels right to do so), the teams currently playing in the Big 12 have won 2 National Championships since it’s inception 1996. That’s 2 in 22 years. (Oklahoma 2000, Texas 2005) But if you want to go back further, you’ll find only 1 more championship added to that list all the way back to 1978. (Oklahoma 1985. Consequently that was an awesome team and fun to watch). So that’s 3 National Championships in 40 years from the programs currently comprising the Big 12. In conference speak, if you split the National Championships evenly between the Power 5 conferences, their “fair share” during those 40 years would be 8 championships or 20% of the time. Those programs, all together, win a championship 7.5% of the time in the last 40 years. Texas? 2.5%. Now I’m an Aggie so our % share of that is 0% in the last 40 years…but I act accordingly. To talk to a Texas fan, you’d never know they won 1 championship in the past 40 years. To throw more surprising stats on the fire, since its inception in 1996, Texas has been the Big 12 Champion 3 times. 3 in 22 years for a conference that statistically has shown it isn’t one of the nationally strongest during that time. They can’t even consistently win a weak conference! Now, once again, neither did we…but we don’t look down our noses as if we have.
The thing is, the hype is bigger than the thing itself. And now the Brand and the hype is a self sustaining engine that no longer needs success to run. The only fuel it needs now is talk. Talk about how good they are,(even if they’re not), or how good they used to be, and definitely talk about how they’re Texas, and it instantly becomes a marquee place to play and coach. That’s the power of perception ladies and gentleman.
Now, it’s to be noted that they’ve made a small comeback to notoriety this year compared to the last several, and that’s what’s so important about this game. It just so happens #1 and #2 in our conference are playing #1 and #2 in their conference in bowl games. And once again, perception has a chance to face reality.
A few years ago, after losing out on a top recruit’s commitment to a rival school, an OU coach took to twitter to spurn the young man’s decision as a stupid one, warning all young recruits to not waste their time with other schools when they should be coming to a program that will win national championships. (He meant OU) Perhaps it’s a sales pitch that works for them, but it shouldn’t. Sure, 2 championships in 40 years in nothing to scoff at! We’d sure take it and that’s still elite company. But if that was the only criteria in choosing one’s school, I can name you several schools to choose before you’d choose OU…many more before you choose Texas. 1 championship in the last 40 years is only 1 more than 0…it’s not as strong of a selling point as it should be. However, Texas still acts and believes that is the level they should be at (why I don’t know? look above again) and that is the thing that this program is still selling.
What I’d like, and what we’d all benefit from, is for you to beat (destroy) them. If you and Bama win these two matchups, it will be one step closer to this outcome…. The next time a tu coach walks in to a young man’s living room and says “come play at a national powerhouse and compete for a national championship” that kid can laugh. He can look that coach in the face and say “Given the last decade there are 40 schools who can sell that better than you. Sell me my education or how you’ll make me a better player. But don’t sell me the distant past or an orange cow anymore.”
BEAT THE HELL OUTTA TEXAS