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And Now... Texas. Elevating The Discourse

Honestly, there's not any Texas news, so we'll skip the Morning Coffee today. Instead, a post inspired by yesterday's promisory throwdown.

Yesterday's post was more or less a note about how I promise to be a more productive member of the general college blogosphere. That's good and well - biscuits for me and what not - but unlike Orson, I devote the lion's share of my attention to one team.

So what about Texas? It occurred to me that we ought to have a conversation on this site about how we intend to talk about the Longhorns this fall. Which bad habits do we intend to ditch? In what ways will we talk about the 2007 season in more productive fashion than we did the previous one?

Those are the questions. Here are five proposals to start the conversation:

1. I will not take Texas A&M for granted. This is a tricky one, because I do take for granted that a large swath of A&M fans will make for easy pickings this fall. But if we're just talking the game on the gridiron, then we really ought view A&M as a serious football team in 2007.

Here's why. The Aggies have what is arguably the best offensive line in the conference, Lane/Goodson is an exceptional backfield combination, and Stephen McGee is better than we credit him. Martellus Bennett may be a tool, but he's a talented tool.

If you're asking me, Texas A&M doesn't have the defense, coaching, or schedule to win the Big 12 this year, but they have enough to beat the Longhorns in November in College Station. The bottom line: it's not a gimme. I'm adjusting my mindset to take this game seriously.

2. I will do a better job of making separate my criticisms of coaches and my support of the players. It's easy to be critical of the team we follow most closely, and goodness knows there's always room for improvement.

While I'll never shy away from being appropriately critical of the team's weaknesses, I vow to do a better job of showing my support for the kids who are out there doing this stuff. We all want conference and national titles, and we all want to point out what went wrong when they don't come to pass... but I need to do a better job of noting my unadulterated support for the kids out there, win or lose.

I like to think I do a good job of this already, but there's room to improve. Without question.

3. I will qualify my criticisms of the coaches. This year, we should hold ourselves to the same high standards we hold our coaches. There's ample room for criticism, but the more specific and qualified we can be with our critiques, the better. If you think Greg Davis sucks, be prepared to prove it. If you think Greg Davis is great... prove it.

4. I will re-invest in the value of conference championships. You know, these things are relative. When you're in the midst of a 30+ year national title drought, a conference championship seems like a consolation prize.

It does.

Fortunately, we're not, and we ought to turn our eyes toward the conference title prize first and foremost. We can lustily eye that bigger prize as it becomes a possibility, but I know that I, for one, need to do a better job of focusing my attention on that accomplishment. This ties into #2, as well. Conference championships are something these kids will relish for a lifetime. It's high time that we fans cherish that goal as well.

5. I will be a fan who other college football fans - even rivals - can admire. We spend a lot of time on this site railing on the ridiculousness of others. Appropriately so, I'd say.

With that in mind, I need to work harder to root for my team in a way that leaves little opportunity for rival fanbases to ridicule me.

To wit: I will not be excessively defensive. I will acknowledge greatness in others. I will welcome dissenting opinions.  (Note: I'm mostly thinking of when Texas loses here. If we lose, I'll try not to do be a disgraceful sore loser. When we win... duck. I fully intend to celebrate wins like the raving lunatic that I am.)

And there's your five to get us started. Fill in the blanks... How can we be better Texas football fans in 2007?