I wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend.
Lyrics to a song, yes; but they convey a plethora of meaning in relation to Texas athletics this season as well. We had our National Championship dreams taken away for the past year in numerous sporting events, and I'm not gonna lie to you...it takes its toll. From losing to LSU in Omaha, to choking away a 2-0 game lead against undefeated Penn State in Volleyball, to a freak accident in the BCS National Championship Game, and to watching our extremely talented basketball team implode on their impressive 17-0 run to start the season. Sure we have Men's Swimming and Diving to hang our hat on, and while its not exactly Women's Equestrian or Pork judging, its still not on a level as the Big Three.
And now, we have come to another road block. Our beloved Heart-Attack Horns of last year have resurfaced its ugly head, making our BP and BAC rise significantly in the hot summer months. For the first time all year, the Longhorn Baseball team has what we like to call, a "losing streak". I know this may be a new concept to the younger BON-ers out there, but it is true, and it is staring you back in the face.
So what are you going to do about it?
1.) First off, keep in mind folks, we've been here before. This is certainly not Augie's first rodeo to have to deal with a little bit of adversity. Take for instance the last time we dog-piled in Omaha, June of 2005. Prior to the Super-Regionals, we had lost 8 out of our last 17 games. Baylor beat us 4 times in the whole season, 3 from a series sweep, and then again in the Big 12 Championship. We lose our second game in the Austin Regional against a scrappy Arkansas due to errors, poor hitting performances, and great opposing pitching. Sound familiar? It should, because thats what usually loses ball games. What happens next? We come back to beat Arkansas twice in the next 2 days to win the Regional. So we move on to the Super-Regionals to Oxford, MI, home of the Rebels. We drop the first game, once again, due to a lack of fundamental execution and errors. What happens next, we come back and beat Mississippi twice in 2 days to win their Super-Regional.
Now we go to play at The University of Texas at Omaha in Rosenblatt Stadium for the 461st time, and guess who we face for the first game? Those pesky Bears from Baylor whom have beaten Texas all 4 times in the 2005 season. As we should know, adversity it Augie's bitch. Texas tops Baylor 5-1 behind a great pitching performance by Freshman Ace Adrian Alaniz. We then take on the best team in college baseball in Tulane, and defeat the Wave 5-0 by another great pitching performance by Kyle McCulloch. Well the Horns are 2-0 and back comes the Bears, angry from their last defeat and wanting revenge. They bring out their best pitcher to face Texas and all hell breaks loose, right? No? Well what happened? Chance Wheeless happened!
Texas beats Baylor 4-3 and the rest is history. The Horns moved on to the Championship Series and faced a great hitting Florida team, and shut them down in 2 games to win the NCAA Baseball National Championship.
2.) Secondly, and most importantly we must remember: This is Baseball. Anything can happen. There are countless historical empirical examples to observe and note. Probably none so important as the Fresno State Bulldogs of 2008. They started the year 8-12, and had alot of difficulty navigating through the fairly easy WAC schedule as they finished the season only winning 6 out of their last 16 games. They limped into the WAC tournament, and surprised everybody by winning it all, barely making it into the NCAA tournament. In fact, winning the WAC was the only way they could have possibly advanced to the NCAA's. Once there, they came together as a team and as a 4th seed in the Long Beach State Regionals, they went 3-1 and took the Regional. Then they went on to Tempe, AZ to face a very talented Sun Devil squad. They dropped the first game behind a masterful pitching performance by Leake (remember him?), but overcame great odds to take the next 2 games and they packed their bags for Omaha.
Once in Omaha, Fresno State took down Rice and North Carolina in their first 2 games. North Carolina then took out Rice, which set up a rematch with the Bulldogs. UNC took the second match 4-3, but lost the elimination game on the next day 6-1, propelling the Fresno State Bulldogs to the National Championship Series Showdown with Georgia. Yes, thats right. The team that struggled to have a winning record in the regular season in the weak WAC, was playing for the National Championship. Their fans may have been toeing the edge at the end of their regular season as well, but i can guarantee you that the players were not. So don't you think for one second that our players are giving up anytime soon. Yes, we have hit a road block, and yes, we will overcome it. Why you ask? Because We're Texas. That's why.
And yes, Fresno State did go on to win the National Championship that year.
Like I said above, this is baseball, ladies and gentlemen. Anything can happen. That is the beauty of the sport. This isn't like college football where high personal skill and talent levels will elevate the team the team to greatness. No, this is baseball, where success is best defined as a square table with 4 legs. The top of the table is represented as success, whereas the 4 legs are represented by good pitching, good hitting, sound defense, and most importantly...luck. If you knock out one of those legs, the table will fall as will the chances of success. If you feel the same as I do about Augie Garrido, then you will know that I believe him to be one of the best table repairmen in the business, if not the best. If one of our four legs start to crack, I have all the faith in the world that he will fix it.
So fear not Longhorn fans. All will be well by Regionals. Haveth faith in thy Augie. However, if you still feel squeamish about the possibility of an early exit in the post-season, I'll prescribe you this:
Take these 2 videos daily with a cold Shiner and repeat as necessary until symptoms have been relieved.
Its normal to be worried, but do not throw in the towel yet. We're Texas and don't forget it!