54Brunch

No doubt PB's cerebral cortex finally blew a fuse after juggling the BON, the Preview Guide, Law School, and his latest exploitation, BON Groupies & eHarmony.com (apparently Web Masters are straight pimpin' now, who knew).

So I figured I'd chime in with a little Morning Coffee starter kit of my own...I call it "54Brunch." It's not quite breakfast, it's not quite lunch, but you get a piece of burnt orange cantaloupe. So pull up a chair, grab a danish, some crispy bacon, and a side of new potatoes, and enjoy another football-less Saturday, if you can...

  • Sticking with the Java theme, Longhorn baseball fans will be interested to know that Taylor Teagarden's having a cup of coffee with the Texas Rangers this weekend on the road up in Minnesota. He started at catcher last night filling in for an ailing Jarrod Saltalamacchia, going 0-3 with two SO's. Not exactly an historic start, but then again, it looks like all the Rangers' big bats left their offense at the All-Star game getting blanked 6-0 by the Twins.

If you want to watch him in action, Teagarden should start tonight and tomorrow before getting sent back down to the minors.

He was also named to the U.S. Olympic team this week, so he's got that going for him, which is nice.

[UPDATE]: Teagarden leads Rangers to 1-0 victory over the Twins with his first Major League homerun (and hit), a solo shot in the 6th off Scott Baker who was working on a perfect game up to that point.

  • And the big story from yesterday was the announcement that UT will in fact be retiring the numbers of several Longhorn greats including football legends Bobby Layne (22), Tommy Nobis (60), and the incomparable, Vince Young (10). For basketball, it'll be Kevin Durant (35) and a real blast from the past, Slater Martin (20), who led the 'Horns to their highest NCAA finish ever (3rd) in 1947. Baseball will retire four greats...Burt Hooton (20), Greg Swindell (21), Scott Bryant (23), and Brooks Kieschnick (25).

Normally, the retiring of numbers isn't that unexpected, but considering Texas has only retired four numbers total, from any sport, in its 100+ year existence - Earl Campbell (20), Ricky Williams (34), T.J. Ford (11), and Roger Clemens (also 21) - this is big news.

When asked, "why now," Deloss Dodds simply said that there was no real reason and it's simply something they've been kicking around for quite some time.

Personally, I think the pressure to retire VY's and Durant's numbers probably served as the real catalyst (more on that below) and they realized there'd be an outcry if they didn't pay homage to some of the other greats as well.

And unless UT is announcing stars from the womens sports separately, noticeably absent from this list is softball pitching great, Cat Osterman (who is also my unrequited sports crush...Cat, call me). 

NOTE: If you've got some personal memories to share about any of the greats mentioned above, particularly the ones from way back, please share in the comments section below. I still remember Brooks Kieschnick basically willing the Longhorns to victory as both a power pitcher and power hitter. He was truly a man amongst boys.

  • Lastly a little commentary...there's a nice debate that's begun over in the comments section and while we've certainly covered the VY vs. Durant legacy debate before on the BON, I think it's worth revisiting given the latest developments.

BON'ers still seem to be somewhat divided over Kevin Durant's Longhorn legacy, especially when compared with VY's. There is no question Durant has the numbers and the hardware to make a case for retiring his number. Plus, he's just an outstanding individual off the court on top of it. But I can still imagine having this conversation in five years with someone not familiar with Texas basketball...

"Dude, did you see Durant go for 40 and 20 last night for the Sonics?"

"Yeah, he's unreal. Hard to believe he was once a Longhorn."

"No shit, he played for the 'Horns?"

"Oh yeah, he put up some sick numbers...one of the best years ever by a college basketball player."

"No doubt. So how far did you guys go in the Big Dance?"

"Not so good. Ousted in the second round."

"That's unlucky. But I'm sure Durant helped UT win the conference title..."

"Well, Texas had a chance, but Durant twisted his ankle in the Phog and we blew a big lead."

"What about the conference tourney?"

"Um, yeah, not so much there either. The Horns blew another big lead against KU in the title game. Durant had a shot to win it in regulation, but missed, and then disappeared in OT."

"But I'm sure there were some huge regular season wins where he just went off."

"Well, he did help UT beat the Aggies in Double-OT."

"The Aggies? Do they even have a basketball team?"

"Hard to believe, but yeah, they were pretty good that year."

"So what do you remember about Durant at UT?"

"Well he did win the Naismith and every other POY Award."

"Wow, your man Vince Young didn't even win the Heisman."

"No, but in my mind, VY won the trophies that mattered."

Burnt Orange People love their Longhorn heroes, but in the end, it's still the W that counts.

Agree, disagree, agree to disagree, coffee getting cold...let's read it from ya.

54b

Bonus: A little more food for thought...Dodds mentioned that the group that nominated the most recent players to have their numbers retired is also trying to come up with criteria to use for considering other players in the future. So what should the criteria be?

  • National POY Award Winner
  • Led the Longhorns to a National Championship
  • Represented the 'Horns on and off the field
  • Spent a minimum number of years at Texas or earned a diploma
  • Did exceedingly well in the professional ranks

When looking at the players whose numbers are being retired, I couldn't really identify one thing they all had in common other than they contributed significantly to their team's success.

Should there even be certain criteria in place or should a player's worthiness simply be decided on a case by case basis?   

 

 

 

 

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