Thank You, Coach Brown

Tom Pennington

Break ups are hard, but let's thank the man who helped establish a winning precedent at Texas.

This is going to be a long three weeks. For someone who thrives on speculation and gossip, this dead period in college football is fascinating. A lot of what you'll see will be hearsay based on a small amount of fact. There will be truth to some rumors, and blatant falsities in most others. It's the nature of the beast. I know, I even partake in it most of the time. It's one of the weird aspects of college football that I find so amusing.

At the same time, you are going to see a lot of pieces on Mack Brown and his tenure at Texas. There will be articles and columns about why Mack Brown is not the man for the job anymore. They will say that Mack Brown has overstayed his welcome and should be sent out back, behind the Bellmont shed. I also know this because I've written some critical things. But, there is no reason to do it anymore. It's over. Let's make this nasty breakup a little more civil.

Some of you remember a period of college football that I can't even imagine. There were years, decades even, where Texas football was a laughing stock in the CFB community. I wasn't alive then, and that's good, because it pains me to see the Longhorns suck at football.

I have been a conscious football fan for 16 years, since I was five years old. Mack Brown has been the head football coach at Texas for fifteen years, since I was six years old. In 1996, I moved from North Carolina to Texas. In 1997, Mack Brown did the same. Though I didn't actually know him, our unique connection to the Tar Heel state was something I would always bring up with my friends in the lunchroom or at recess. For so long, Mack Brown and Texas Football were synonymous. They were interchangeable terms, like "Vince Young" and "4th and 5" or "Aggies" and "disappointment." Growing up, every year was pretty enjoyable, excluding, of course, the most recent ones.  For all of the damage that Mack Brown has done to the program, it will all be forgivable with time. Just like any nasty breakup, you'll need extensive separation before you reconvene. Maybe in a year or two we can start sending Mack Brown snapchats again, laugh with him, and remember the old times.

What Texas and Brown are about to go through will get pretty brutal. There will be whining and bitching about lack of performance and the destroying of a legacy. You will see posts with stats about the disappointing Mack Brown era and why he shouldn't come back. Fans will probably even boo him on his way out the door. But, it's over. Mack Brown is not coming back. As a Texas fan, you can hold a grudge or you can just move on. For me, as awful as the football has been the last four years, at least it's over. I hope the bowl season will be treated, not with vindication, but as preparation for the future and as a tribute to the man who has guided the program for fifteen years.

Anger is justifiable, bitterness is strange. Be angry that this team didn't perform well, be happy that it is over, and be excited for the future.

Thanks, Coach Brown. For the most part, it was fun.

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