This is one group of people that I can easily tell exactly what they want.
Some are more demanding than others, but that is an issue of style and aggression, not the deeply felt need we all eventually express. I see those title-room eyes. There is really no substitute for our desire.
Right now this time is more sensitive than most years because we got punched in the face, kicked in the ass and wound up bleeding in the bar ditch with all sorts of tire tracks mangling our ego and what little was left of our confidence. For a considerable period we rehabilitated ourselves, reconsidered our future and goals, blaming many bitterly, often parsing that with a more 'reasonable' approach and tried - dammit, we did try - to keep our eyes on the future, sometimes even the long, long view where there might be just a little more assurance of success. But you know, August is only four hot damn months away and as soon as she starts shimmying and sashaying in our presence, all those well-considered promises will fly out the damn door. Yeah, we're demented but we like it like that.
What do we want? There's only one thing - and then there's everything else, which soon disappears.
You know, we're a monster to deal with. On January 11, 2011, we were ready to declare a new era the day after the college football season had finally lurched to a somehow fantasy ending...that is, Oregon and Auburn ended the season (but I didn't feel that things had ended for them).
Be that as it may, we had to face our stark future that day. Was it a new era beginning 01.11.11, one where we hold all the aces, or was 2010 a collapse from which Mack would not recover despite his powerful efforts, one that would live in infamy for our particularly brooding herd? Yesterday GHG90 asked that question and no one even touched it. Yes, it scares the living hell out of us because we don't know.
Sunday won't give us the answers for that either. We've seen a lot of things in the Orange-White game and we were made a lot of promises...most of those were never fulfilled or flew bye-the-bye within a couple of games. Some here need a lot of reassurance that what we see will actually be the implementation of an overall plan because of the past teasers. We may have a soft heart for the Horns, but we're a hard sell in many ways.
Mack said this after Wednesday's practice concerning what Harsinwhite have done:
I do think there have been some tweaks from what they did at Boise [State] that fits our personnel and fits us, but at the same time, I'm really excited about what Bryan's brought to us and what I'm seeing with our offense. I think the fans will love it.
The first sentence tells us there is some integration of the two offenses, which I expected. Y'all can speculate on what we'll keep and why and what we will discard. Second, he projects our consideration but frankly, we love what we love and that doesn't mean we'll love it at all. I think he needed a better descriptor, but we'll see...we don't need any hype to be interested.
This will be new after Saturday's light practice in shorts. I like the idea of re-integrating this years team with the tradition of the past.
We'll have 150 or so lettermen coming back. They'll watch practice with their positions. What we will do is at the end of practice let them break down with our team and when we break up into individual groups each one of them will meet the players that play their position. It's the first time we've done this in our 13 years, and I think it will be really special.
However, there was also this caveat when he first starting talking about where the Horns are right now:
We'll definitely be a work in progress on both sides of the ball and even in the kicking game because we've changed a lot of things in the kicking game. That's why we've got to have a good game on Sunday. We've got to come back and have a tremendous summer in the weight room and running to get stronger because we're not strong enough as a team. Then we still need to work on our mental toughness.
Mack and his staff is pushing this team as hard as they can, so it seems. The summer has become an important foundation for the fall.
So, this game on Sunday will provide a serious glimpse into where we are. I am so curious to know the format and the structure. Mack has said he would like to have 80K in the stands...I doubt that will happen this year. You have to have a lot more than curiosity going for your team to do that. They haven't even put the finish paint job on this model yet nor is it the sleek, powerful finely-tuned machine that will make everyone droll at first sight.
Maybe next year but not Sunday. Hopefully it will better than a dozen Rube Goldberg's tinkering in the garage. I can take the primer paint and unfinished look if the structure and engine are running just fine. But don't sell me next year and show me this year. But, if you try and you try, sometimes you do get what you need. And I hope we do.