I love this website. The in-depth statistical analysis, play-by-play video review of recent on-field performances, player profiles, recruiting summaries and other "information-heavy" articles slake my thirst for Longhorn-specific information as well as my recent-but-growing interest in the myriad technical details of college football (I almost understand what a Fire Zone defense is).
My various contributions thus far have tended more toward the "observe and opine" end of the scale, and starting today, I'll be posting & hosting sort of a weekly commentary on some of the weekend's goings-on that, well, deserve comment. Consider this the the editorial equivalent of a junk drawer.
Come see what I mean after the jump.
First up - and this dovetails nicely with something I wrote a week or two back - is a quote from Kenny Vaccaro: [The Daily Texan, with a hat-tip to dimecoverage for pointing it out]
"I like without a doubt playing on the road better than playing at home," Vaccaro said. "It's way louder and gets me way [more excited]. No offense to our fans, but [DKR] is not loud.
"Kyle Field is loud, man." Vaccaro said. "Kyle Field gets wild."
Two weeks ago, in a post-game rant, I mentioned a few things about gameday at DKR that bug me. Among them were the new pregame intro video and the "Make Noise!" graphics on the stadium screens. I've now experienced the pre-game video twice, and I can say with a high degree of confidence that it has exactly the opposite of the intended effect on the crowd. Whereas the previous incarnation of the video (stampeding digital steers! minotaurs! lightning!) had the crowd clapping and cheering and pretty much ready to rumble when the team took the field, the new version has everybody (everybody around me, anyway) standing calmly, hands in pockets, admiring all of our past glory. By the time the team takes the field, we're all telling each other where we were when Dusty beat Michigan, Vince beat USC, and Justin beat Aggie, and generally reminiscing about the good old days.
On to the "Make Noise!" graphics. Can whoever is in charge of this please for the love of Pete pay attention to what is happening on the field? As far as I can tell, the "Make Noise!" person stumbled across Greg Davis's random screen generator and reprogrammed it with the "Make Noise!" graphic. We fumble. "Make Noise!" We jump offsides to extend an opponent's drive. "Make Noise!" They convert a third-and-nine with a 17-yard run. "Make Noise!" Guess when it doesn't appear? Opponent has a fourth-and-1 on our side of the field and decides to go for it. "Look - a guy dressed up like a slice of pizza!"
One last Godzillatron- and noise-related item before I move on: Can somebody please tell me why we've suddenly started putting the words to The Eyes of Texas up on the Godzillatron? Is that really necessary? It's not enough that we have to be reminded to Come Early, Be Loud, Stay Late, and Wear Orange - now we have to be told the words to the alma mater? What's next - origami-like instuctions for how to make the Hook 'em Horns sign?
Okay, moving on. While I do eventually intend to talk some actual football, before I get there I want to send a shout out to the folks over at Good Bull Hunting. This outfit is head-and-shoulders above the previous incarnation of the SB Nation Aggie sports blog and not nearly as delusional as this one (which does have the benefit of still being in existence). In particular, The Tailgate is high-quality stuff. Maybe outside of Big Brother's shadow these folks can grow into mature, upstanding-- nope, I guess not.
On to the actual football. In addition to everything else they do for our country, the Navy made a generous contribution to the psyche and overall well-being of the community of State College, PA Saturday. This needed to happen, and sooner rather than later. I am no fan of PSU; I am no fan of JoePa; and I certainly feel nothing but disgust for the actions of Jerry Sandusky and the others at PSU who actively covered up the crimes committed there in recent years. But none of that changes the fact that neither the current players (the ones who stayed, anyway) nor the school's fans had anything to do with any of that. They've suffered a bunch already, and they're going to suffer a bunch more before it's over. Frankly, I'm glad they got a little joy on Saturday.
In the interest of keeping this post slightly less than novel-length, I'm only going to touch on one other ballgame from this weekend. The 'Horns are finally starting to look like what I thought we'd look like in game 1 versus Wyoming. The tackling was, uh, less than stellar, but still we dominated an opponent from the opening kick to the final knee - which we haven't done in a long, long time. It seemed to me that everything we tried worked (except, again, tackling), and it's a nice change from the previous regime to see some of our "real plays" before the OU game. As much fun as I think it would be to suddenly and for one game only whip out a Wishbone offense for OU just to make them look stupid, I know that's unrealistic and I think putting as much stuff on film as possible for them to prepare for is a good alternative. If they've seen us do it, they have to prepare for it; the more the have to prepare for, the less time they have to prepare for each specific thing. I think Harsin/White and Diaz go into the OU game with chips on their shoulders after getting pantsed last year. Should be a fun game.
Agree? Disagree? Something else you want to discuss? I'm all ears.