Kirk Herbstreit regains consciousness in a haze. Symptoms of tinnitus ring through his cranium like a chorus of crystal glass players while his vision seems to have a thin layer of vaseline smeared across his retinas. Confused, Kirk coughs out a string of interrogatives.
“Wh… who are you? Where am I? Do I smell Raising Canes?”
“IT’S LAYNE'S, YOU LUDDITE!” exclaims one of his captors. “If you had any taste, you’d realize the herbs and spices you smell are VERY DIFFERENT from that Louisiana chain bullhonkey.”
Kirk’s vision begins to crystallize, and the chorus of glass players seems to have taken 5 for the moment. He notices several cameras pointed at a podium strategically placed in front of a green screen. It’s at this moment Kirk realized he is nude except for the loin cloth fashioned from a 12th Man towel. His body is also painted green.
“Sweet Jesus, the rumors are true. They have me.” Kirk mutters under his breath. For ages there have been rumors in the CFB media about an underground network of Aggie Twitter that seeks vengeance upon remarks from the media they perceive as unfair. He is in their underground. He is their captive.
“Herbie, you once proclaimed Texas A&M as the best student section in the nation. We know this because we played it ahead of literally any event the school hosted for over a decade. Why did you go on Instagram and say the fake news, Kirk? We were friends, but you crossed the line. We’ve taken Corso, and if you want him to be able to place a mascot head on his shoulders again, you’ll do as we say.”
Defeated, Herbie agrees. He steps in front of the cameras to notice that the image reflected on his monitor is a raucous Kyle Field tailgate with overalls superimposed over his green body. Herbie begins to blink the Morse Code for SOS, but just as he gets the dash in O past his eyelashes he is hit with the cattle prod.
"One more time and it's the end of Corso, his merkin, and your career." one maroon-masked captor threatened.
Herbstreit shakily stands up and approaches the podium, puts on his best College Gameday Presented by Home Depot face, and begins to read the teleprompter with vigor.
“I’m coming to you from literally the most intimidating place in the universe, Kyle Field.”
The Aggie Twitterati nods in agreement.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
It ain't football season unless we're good and pissed-off at some blowhard at ESPN, am I correct? This week's subject was an easy choice after his late-night InstaShenanigrams landed him in scalding water with the Ag online faithful. Fear not, for we have memed this poor dolt as lamely as anyone could ever hope to be memed. Howdy, Herbie.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Don't look now but the high temperature in College Station on Saturday is 71 degrees. BRRRRRRRR! Get out the UGG boots and hand warmers, ladies. As a pasty redhead from Colorado I would like to say, respectfully, that summer can shampoo my #swampcrotch. Goodbye, heat demons. Hello, football weather. Texans are independent, hardy, can-do hardasses with everything except for cold. Reckon your nipples might get a little chilled on Saturday, so bust out that 1990s Starter jacket that you wore when you drunkenly skied into a tree in Breckenridge. The front pocket can fit like five flasks! The relic of the Starter jackets harkens back to a time when Kyle Field was an automatic L for visitors and we got a return on our inve$tments in our players. You say probation, I say crafty hustle.
It's the 2:30 prime slot on CBS so you know what that means - we get Brad Nessler (pro) and Gary Dennis Danielson (pro bootlicker). Listen fondly as Gary regales us with the same Bama worship we've heard for the last 10 years. "Brad, when we talked with Nick earlier in the week he emphasized that extreme genital mutilation was going to be a part of the defense's gameplan. That's why they're the champs!"
Why does he call Coach Saban "Nick" like they're old fishin' buddies? Insufferable. You're not fooling me, Gary. That smug passive aggressiveness can make you easily mistakable for a southerner, but I know the truth. You're from Detroit and went to Purdue. That means you're apt to talk about barometric pressure at dinner parties and that you find ketchup (catsup in your nomenclature) spicy.
MORALIST OF VICTORS
You might have heard that another big college football is taking place in our fair state this week. Both Texas and Texas A&M are double-digit underdogs against Oklahoma (No. 6) and Alabama (No. 1) respectively. In betting parlance, I wouldn't exactly call either "live" underdogs. The Horns and the Ags are "kinda-happy-to-be-here" underdogs. What's most important is that if both lose, who looked better doing it? These non-rivals compete in everything* - recruiting battles, top revenue in college sports, brand power, CEOs - you name it. Right there in the mix is who looks better on their way to the Texas Bowl.
*Everything except football.
ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC...L-I-V-I-N
"Let me tell you about that covered wagon that rolls into the Cotton Bowl. El Tazón de Algodón, k? It's a Trojan Horse, man. Don't buy into the sub-ter-fuge. That schooner looks feeble. Wobbly. Those Grecian Okies are not your amigos, k? Listen to the soothsayers. The clair-voy-ants. Their parables will point thee to victory. You're not wooden horses, gentlemen. You're flesh bovines fixin' to have yourselves a corny dog. Hook thee."
WHAT I'M DRINKING THIS WEEK
Alabama just screws shit up. I’d prefer to be more charitable in my assessment, but just look at those god-awful haircuts preening over the eyes of a kid who was most likely rejected soundly from Vanderbilt. Or consider Coke. Look, we all pay players, but ripping Bear Bryant away from College Station by promising lucrative Coca-Cola stock options? That’s some next level crookery.
In repudiation of the Bear, the international crime syndicate better known as the Crimson Tide Foundation, and to that Coke bottle that sits on the podium at every awkward Nick Saban press conference just waiting to be knocked over by a rogue hand operated by the devil himself – I’m drinking Pepsi this week.
We will start the game with the classic one (1) part bourbon to three (3) parts Pepsi, but after a quarter of Gary Danielson, I would imagine we will reach the magical one (1) part bourbon and one (1) part Pepsi by the second quarter. Go Pepsi. Go Ags. Go passing out while the spread is still in play.
If you think coaches only earn their millskies on gameday, think again. Never, ever underestimate the sneakiest, deadliest opponent - BYE.
18-22 year old males are the most volatile, demented creatures on earth. Their visceral urges and primal cravings ultimately sunk the Roman Empire and have been known to get an athlete or three locked up in county for the weekend. A free weekend, heightened testosterone levels, and a belly full of hooch is a pipe bomb thrown into a barrel fire.
Any $7.5 million coach who keeps 100+ young men alive and out of the hole for a long weekend has earned his [does quick math] $150,000 bimonthly paycheck. What? You don't have $150 large direct deposited into your account every other week?
PLACE YOUR BETS
BEST CASE / BESTER CASE
We beat the number one team in the country at home. The 12th Man is earthquake inducing. I find a shiny penny. Herbstreit is found safe in the Garden section of a Beaumont Home Depot.
Let's not get greedy.