54b's Weekly Longhorn Commentary

When I'm feeling depressed, nothing turns my frown upside down (and my colon inside out) quite like take-out from the Magic Wok. I'm a big connoisseur of MSG and a big believer in Eastern Philosophy. According to my latest self-help book, General Tso's Chicken For The Soul, the secret to happiness is to always exceed expectations. Because if you set your expectations low enough, good things are bound to happen.

And while that masterful bit of fortune cookie wisdom probably explains why I still enjoy the Magic Wok with blissful abandon, it could also explain why the majority of Longhorn Nation is currently popping Prozac like it just got pulled by the FDA and chasing it with a Zoloft/Red Bull 8-Ball. Needless to say, after multiple 10-win seasons and a recent title, few other fan bases heap the kind of extreme expectations on their football team that Longhorns fans do. And unfortunately for Mack and the boys, even when they win it can still be interpreted as a loss in the eyes of Texas fans.

For the record, the #4 ranked Texas Longhorns did in fact best the unranked (and, according to the national punditry, unwashed) Arkansas State TBD’s (Mascot pending politically correct replacement) 21-13 in an ugly affair last Saturday night in Austin. But despite the win, the majority of Texas fans walked out of Royal Memorial feeling like they’d just been handed a winning lottery ticket that could only be cashed in Iraq. Truly, the road to depression is lined with the Satillo souls of discontented Longhorns fans. (I don’t know what that means, but it sounds deep, so I’m going with it. If I don't make a good point soon, just read longer.)

Certainly many critics (read: haters) have accused Texas fans of never being satisfied and always looking at their glass of beer half empty, but what they don’t understand is that we never stopped drinking long enough to look at the glass in the first place. After all, "We’re Texas." And if we’re to purport ourselves as the biggest and the baddest, we better damn well act like it. That goes for our houses and cars, our women’s hair and their boobs, and, especially, our football team. So rather than ask Orangebloods to lower their expectations and BAC levels, let’s all embrace the fact that we’re AP Bi-Poll-ar, because if we can’t be ranked #1, we might as well be dead last. Ricky Bobby taught me that.

Anyway if you’re still questioning whether you’re a manic depressive Longhorn fan, you can always self-diagnose yourself with my...

TOP 10 SIGNS YOU’RE TAKING THE WIN OVER ARKIE STATE A LITTLE "TOO" HARD

  1. You crashed a Michigan Wolverine support group.
  1. Instead of redeeming your ticket stub for a free Taco Bell Taco, you actually made a run for the real border.
  1. When you discovered that the pine air-freshener hanging from your rearview mirror was a "gift" from the car wash, you turned yourself into the NCAA and volunteered to skip the next three games.
  1. You blamed UT’s lethargic play on global warming, the BCS, and your emotionally unavailable father.
  1. You wore tap shoes into a Minneapolis airport bathroom. (Whoops, that’s a sign you were taking something else too hard.)
  1. When Arkansas State voted to change their insensitive-to-Native Americans nickname from Indians to Dreamcatchers, you voted to change it to Dream Killers.
  1. You were so distraught over the thought that Orakpo’s injury was season-ending, you took revenge by throwing an illegal chop block on a Cigar Store Indian.
  1. Your wife had to coax you out of bed Sunday morning with a sock puppet and a pretend apology from Mack Brown. (Sorry, maybe that one was just me.)
  1. You went back to work on Labor Day.

And the #1 sign you’re taking the win over Arkie State a little "too" hard...

  1. You actually considered dropping "Long" and adding "Frogs."

Speaking of TCU, isn't it about time we quit crying over spilt Milk of Magnesia and concentrated on the...

NEXT GAME
Before the 1999 Longhorn Football Season began, Texas fans were riding high on the heels of Mack Brown’s triumphant first year at Texas, which included several wins over Top 25 teams, a thorough trouncing of Jackie Sherrill’s Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Cotton Bowl, and the belief that Longhorn football was back.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon ended shortly after the first game of the season with an inexplicable 23-20 loss to an average NC State team that returned two blocked punts for TD’s in the 4th quarter while an inept Texas offense, that played well in the first two quarters, only managed a field goal the entire second half.

One week later, a disconsolate crowd of Longhorns fans bared witness as a much maligned Texas team erupted and absolutely destroyed a decent Stanford Cardinal team 69-17.

Ah, now I'm going to make a good point (pay attention, it'll probably be the last time)...after a narrow victory over Arkie State that featured many of the same offensive and defensive deficiencies exhibited without resolution last season, I don’t blame Longhorns fans for being concerned about, or at least a little dubious of, UT’s chances for the remainder of this season. But because one poor performance doesn't make a season, I’m still willing to suspend judgment for a while longer and freely choose to believe in the Longhorns ability to win as I did one week ago. Until further evidence to the contrary has been presented, consider my orange-colored glasses afixed with ankle tape and my faith in Mack firmly in tact.

No doubt TCU poses a formidable threat to UT’s streak of wins over Mid-Major conference schools and I’m sure you’ve heard musings about their vicious defense and Coach Gary Paterson’s ability to get the most out of his players. The Horned Frogs have averaged several 9+ win seasons under Paterson including a huge win over OU in Norman two years ago, a win against Texas Tech a year ago in which they held the much heralded Red Raider offense to a measly fieldgoal, and just last week, a win over Baylor in which they held the Bears scoreless in a 27-0 thumping. TCU is for real, and if UT plays like they did last week...yeah, the Horns will get beat. But "We're Still Texas" damn it and nobody, I mean nobody, comes into our house and pushes our stool in. Thank you, Rudy.

Horns vs. Horned Frogs, who will be the horniest? For that capricious prognostication, it’s time once again for the...

UNPREDICTABLE PREDICTION
Longhorns 38
Genetically Altered Tadpoles 17

--54b--

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