For nearly as long as I can remember, I believed. The pre-eminence of Longhorn Football was sealed with a few simple moments during my childhood…a Texas visor signed by all members of the team when Marty Akins was QB for my 10th birthday…Meeting Earl Campbell and his brothers Stephen and Timothy at their dorm…in awe as Earl’s massive hand swallowed my then 12-year old outstretched hand while he shook it saying "Hey there, little Longhorn"…playing catch with Earl on the Memorial Stadium field, thanks to my older brother. 36 years have passed and I remember those days and time on campus later like it was yesterday.
Despite disappointments, there has always been the "truth" that the Longhorn program was, quite simply, the foundation of football in our great State of Texas. A disappointing season was the same as an extended absence of rain…a period of adversity that builds character and demonstrates the resolve that makes us Texans. UT Football and being a Texan (for some of us) were almost synonymous. Read Michener’s "Texas" and you’ll get it.
Yet Texas football has been in parched executional drought since 2009. Not that it flourished consistently before 2009, but there were moments of goodness, if not greatness. But from 2010 onward, the truth about this program is finally seeing daylight. The truth is, this program is not that special. And while reasonably talented, our players are not effectively coached to extract any greatness that might reside within. Many are fast, and many have talent, but this is not a well coached unit. The coaching staff has been able to perpetuate a false expectation of greatness to attract good talent…and then squanders it.
The "man on your left, man on your right" motto sounded so inspiring. But there’s one problem: each player seems to looking left and right to find someone to cover their missed assignment.
For me, I still believe in the uniqueness of our State…of the pride of being a Texan. And my love of the Longhorns hasn’t been diminished. Yet, it’s because of my dedication to the Longhorns that I believe a significant change is needed. The arrogance and entitlement expectation of winning is embarrassing, and the administration that perpetuates the lie needs to be eradicated.
"You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."
- Morpheus, from The Matrix