Got Caught Up in Longhorn Fever Last Night

As a non-Austin native, I will come clean and admit it — I hadn’t really watched many of the Texas Longhorn football games this season. In fact, I looked forward to those weekends when there was a game because that meant that the campus area would be clear of people and that you could shop at the Hancock H-E-B in relative peace because the majority of people in town would either be at the game or watching the game. Ah, the peace. I-35 even remained relatively calm when the Longhorns were on the field.

Then came the daily Austin American-Statesman dispatch–pages upon pages; no, sections; no entire newspapers– filled with story upon story speculating on what Mack Brown ate for breakfast, on what the team had been reading and what video games they had been playing in order to get ready for the game.

But the national media had veered in entirely the opposite direction leading up to last night’s Rose Bowl game. You couldn’t pass a sports channel without commentators lauding Reggie Bush and calling the ‘SC team the greatest that had ever played. And that got my goat. It was about R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I got the same feelings about the New England Patriots or the Dallas Cowboys in the early 90s. The pundits are so eager to crown a Dynasty and to canonize these players (and what’s with all “The Greatest of All Time” hyperbole we get with everything nowadays?) that I get mad. Over disrespect of a team that I avoided all season like the plague. Imagine that. I had crossed over and gotten caught up in the Longhorns mania just like famous Texas Exes Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger.

But mostly I wanted to see the Longhorns to wipe those self-satisfied smiles off of Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush’s faces. After a superhuman flip into the end zone that netted the Trojans the lead, the sideline camera flashed on Bush, and he said “There’s a lot more where that came from!” That was it for me. I wanted UT to serve that cocky bastard a slice of humble pie. Go Vince! Take out that arrogant prick (who wasn’t even running as well as his teammate LenDale White).

After that point, moments became elongated as Young and his teammates gave the pre-ordained champions a feeling some of them had never experienced in their entire college careers. The agony of defeat. In sports as in life, you never know when your luck is going to run out. You may be on top one moment and down the next. Mack Brown knows what it means to lose the big game, and I’m sure that knowledge is helping him to enjoy this moment even more. Lord knows that this fair weather fan appreciated the colossal VY performance I witnessed last night. Now I’m off to buy my I *heart* Vince Young t-shirt .

But I’m not feeling any sympathy for Reggie Bush. I’m sure he will be going on to even greater glory in the NFL next year. Plus, he has previous national championships and a grey statuette as consolation prizes.

4 Comments so far

  1. inky (unregistered) on January 5th, 2006 @ 8:24 pm

    How ’bout that comment from Matt Leinhart? Something like “yes, they won, but I still think we’re a better team!” I guess he hasn’t had any practice at losing — can be tough to keep your dignity.
    I was glad to see precious little of Matthew McConaughey. Was he the reason they banned celebrities from the sidelines?

  2. Julio (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 9:31 am

    “…Young and his teammates singlehandedly gave the pre-ordained champions…” So they both used the same set of hands to defeat USC? Impressive.

  3. omit (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 10:51 am

    Good catch, Julio. Fixed.

  4. K (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 10:56 am

    Leinhart and Bush showed themselves to be a couple of whiny, sore losers and I was never so happy to see that self-satisfied smirk wiped off Reggie Bush’s face. He and Leinhart are great players and USC is a great team but, the shear lack of respect they showed their opponent really got under my skin. I’d seen a glimmer of that agrrogance in previous games they’ve played.

    I am a longhorn fan though I don’t follow all the games but USC’s smugness had gotten to me for a while. Apparently they haven’t read the rules of combat. One being to never underestimate your opponent.

    What a couple of babies. I thought Leinhart was going to cry in the post-game interview. He was all but pouting! And watching Reggie giving the first blow to the Trojans with that STUPID lateral was priceless!

    Humility in greatness. Never get too full of yourself, underestimate your opponent or believe in your own immortality.

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