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12 Steps To Getting Through The Offseason

It's February, which means the tremors have begun and we're all starting to dread the onset of Longhorn Football Fan Purgatory. As is annual tradition, 54b is here to save us with 12 steps to surviving the offseason. It's much like last year, though updated from the '06 happenings. Enjoy.

Alamo Bowl Champs!

That sounds nice, doesn't it? Well, maybe if your name is Davy Crockett or Danielle Boone it does, but if you're a card-carrying member of us Burnt Orange Elitists, it feels about as good as the time you bought $10 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets and won $2.

Don't get me wrong, losing to the Iowa Hawkeyes would have made our lives infinitely more miserable, but it's still hard to take a lot of satisfaction out of beating a 6-6 team who had just as good of a chance to win the game as the 9-3 Horns did. Oh well, as always, a win's a win, and we'll take the momentum heading into next season. But for now, it's time we hunker down for the off-season or what I affectionately call...

LONGHORN FAN PURGATORY

Although part of me will always know that absence makes the heart grow fonder (and abstinence makes the liver grow sober), if college football were played year-round, I probably wouldn't love it as much (and I'd be dead from Cirrhosis). But that doesn't make the eight long months between football seasons any less heartbreaking, nor does it make the time go by any quicker.

It's not even a month removed from another Longhorn football season, and I'm already exhibiting symptoms of Early-Onset College Footballzheimer's Disease - Is today Saturday? Is Gameday on? Where is my Bevo plush toy beer Koozie and "Eyes of Texas" singing bottle opener? - Most days I just wake up hoping Chip Brown from the Dallas Morning News will send me another newsletter with answers to hard hitting Longhorn football questions like "Why do they call it the red zone" and "How far up Mack Brown's ass can you stick your nose?" But alas, it's merely January, I guess I'll just go back to suffering in silence...or will I?

Are you like me? Does it burn when you pee? Whoops, I mean are you addicted to Texas Longhorns Football too? Do you cry yourself to sleep every night burying your face in a DKR seat cushion? Did you make inappropriate advances at the postman when your Longhorn foundation donation solicitation arrived? Or do you ever find yourself dressing up like one of Bevo's handlers and giving your dog bovine tranquilizers? If so, apologize to all Texas fans (and your dog) no more my Mack Brown disciples, because you are not alone. For I have come up with a tried and untrue 12-step program to help all of us Texas football addicts survive the bitter college football off-season.

For purposes of anonymity and to avoid getting sued by AA or A&M, who apparently copyrighted the number 12 and is currently suing Sesame Street for using it as the number of the day, I have chosen to call my program...

54B'S FOOTBALLOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

(Step 1) Around the end of January when the tremors start, admit that you are powerless over college football and give every penny from your IRS tax return to the Longhorn Foundation so that you can keep your same season football tickets next year. Sure, it's legalized extortion, but it is tax deductible and Deloss says, Women's Greco-Roman Mud Wrestling really does need your love, people."

(Step 2) As Ash Wednesday approaches, come to believe that a power greater than college football will restore you to sanity. Of course if God's too busy helping some 5-star recruit decide what college to attend, you can always do what I do and grab your Day Planner or whatever handheld gadget you use and fill in next season's Longhorn Football schedule. Try it, I think you'll find it quite therapeutic. Ooh, Arkansas State, might want to circle that one.

(Step 3) On April 1st, make a decision to attend the spring game but not get so drunk that you miss Easter Vigil. I know the Orange/White game looks like a burnt orange oasis in the vast desert known as baseball season. But it's not, it's just a mirage. Sure, you may get a few player's signatures on your Kelly T-Bar Plastic Pop Warner helmet, but think how empty you'll feel inside when you're forced to sell it on ebay so you can afford your meds.

(Step 4) Spring cleaning time is almost over, so make an inventory of all your Longhorn paraphernalia. I know you have the "Nike Coin Toss Game Day Coaches Shirt" in both home and away colors. You may even own the "Nike Quick Count Mock T" with wicking agent. But do you have the "Nike Cover-2 Jock Strap" or "Nike Dri-Fit Thong" or even the "Nike Two-Minute Drill Throat Slash Ascot?" If not, better get on over to Longhorns Limited and get your burnt orange on today. Because remember, if you don't merchandize, you can't accessorize.

(Step 5) Admit to Greg Davis that you wronged him and humbly ask forgiveness for purchasing the domain name: www.felch-greg.com

(Step 6) Memorial Day is a good drinking holiday even if there are no good sports to watch on TV. Regardless, stay focused. When the new season ticket order form arrives, make sure you remove all hope from your wife's mind that she'll be getting that new kitchen dinette set by spending all your discretionary income and savings on home and away game tickets. Maybe the kids do need braces, but you've got needs too. And you know what? Achieving Super Double Platinum status with the Flying Longhorns isn't exactly cheap either. We all have to make sacrifices, I'm sure your kids will understand. Just tell them their path to a future career working in the carnival has virtually been assured.

(Step 7) Summer is here, it's time to start getting serious. Go to the break room at work and tape a note to the water cooler that reads, "Anyone who wants to beat OU, meet me at the Corner Tap for dollar longnecks at lunch." HR may write you up and order you to take a psych evaluation, but at least you'll know who's serious. And as we all know, winning is 10% perspiration, 90% inebriation. Don't sweat the technique.

(Step 8) Make a list of all the people you hurt and offended at last year's tailgate parties, make every attempt you can to contact them, and when you locate them, tell them to buy a ticket, because don't you know your driving the pain train right back to Austin. Oh yeah, if they can't take the heat, maybe they shouldn't stand so close to the grill next time. Hey, anyone could mistake the lighter fluid for the bottle of KC Masterpiece. It happens, and I'm pretty sure eyebrows grow back too.

(Step 9) Still two months out and you're feeling all alone. That's okay. Just find a cheerleader who misses football season almost as much as you do and ask her not to drop your Spirit Stick. If you can't find a cheerleader, call 1-800-SWEATER MONKEY, and for $4.99 a minute, one will be appointed for you.

(Step 10) On our nation's birthday, continue to take personal inventory and when you forget to do something really important like ordering Seatbacks for home games, admit it. Nobody is judging you here. If you want to feel better, do what I do and sing the seatback song while you're ordering...

"Ode To The Might Seatback" (Think Coors Light Wingman Commercial)

This chick's scootin' her butt into seat 3, row 4.
Her ass is like an anchor.
You can't outflank her
She's takin' up her seat and half of yours.

Noooooooooooo,

So you buy the chair,
Because fair is fair: Mighty Seatback

It's taking one for the team,
so your butt can live the dream:

Seatbaaaaaaack!!!

(Step 11) Two-a-days have arrived and I'm not talking about double fisting down at the Corner Tap. Football season is finally upon us. It's 120 degrees in the shade, USC is still losing to Texas on ESPN Classic and Jerry Scarborough is emailing you a True Orange Update about the awesome 8th grader that Mack just got a verbal commitment from. Congratulations, you're almost there. Celebrate a return to anxiety-ridden weeks of nervous anticipation by shitting your brain outs. You can use an issue of Athlon's or Phil Steele's College Football Preview Guide if you need inspiration.

(Step 12) Having received deliverance as the result of the previous 11 steps (and learning how to freebase Prozac), I implore you to share this message with others so that they too may get through yet another long, tumultuous off-season without incident, or an insanity plea.

See you in September.

Hook'em,
54b