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54b's Commentary - KU Road Trip Diary / Agronomy Final

Thought we could all use a temporary diversion from all the doom and gloom...

This is the true story of four Longhorns fans who decided to attend the November 15th UT-KU game in Lawrence, Kansas and have their life-expectancies significantly shortened. Find out what happens when four jackasses stop being sober and start getting real (drunk)...

The Real (Drunk) World - Lawrence

What do you say we meet the motley cast of B-Listers...

Name: Brad
Code Name: The Difuser
Superpower: Ability to guilt hostile fans of the home team into buying us drinks after they’ve told us to go fornicate with ourselves.
Kryptonite: Cougars, Vodka & Red Bull, and clowns with frowns
Mantra: “Hating me won’t make your team win or your dad love you.”

Name: Josh
Code Name: The Glove
Superpower: Parallel parking. In a car or in life, he just makes everything fit. If a bar is over-crowded, he’ll find a way to get your round ass in that square booth, guaranteed.
Kryptonite: Volcano Tacos, Goldschlager, and inconsiderateness
Mantra: “Just the tip is a half-ass way of doing things.”

Name: Shawn
Code Name: (Whatever he decides his name is going to be that night.)
Superpower: Convincing bartenders, waitresses and hostesses to give us the celebrity treatment at hoi polloi prices.
Kryptonite: Girls with moustaches, Jaeger bombs, and the truth
Mantra: “It’s only a lie if they don't believe it.”

Name: 54b
Code Name: The Senator
Superpower: Inspiring others to use their superpowers early and often (usually to save him).
Kryptonite: Occupied port-a-potties, anything with 2% alcohol by volume or greater, and expectations
Mantra: “If you set your expectations low enough, good things will happen.”

So that’s the crew in a nutty shell. I was going to try and give us a cool team name like, "The Four Whores-men" or "Purple Cobras," but that just wouldn't be our style. We're just four drunk Longhorns fans who went looking for a good time and here’s what we found...

Friday, Nov. 14

5:02pm  (Airport Bar next to Gate 35, Kansas City Airport) “Yes, we’ll have a round of Cuervo Gold margaritas, hold the margaritas.” Normally you don’t do tequila shots five minutes after deboarding the plane with an hour drive ahead of you, but what the hell, life is short, eat the lime first, right? Plus, Josh’s plane was delayed, so we elected him designated driver even though he said his name wasn’t on the ballot. Honestly, I don’t know “What’s The Matter With Kansas” because I think democracy is working just fine there.

5:50ish  Cruising down I-70 towards Lawrence lamenting the fact that we wouldn’t be able to get to the very popular Free State Brewery restaurant before the dinner rush hit...

“Dude, by the time we get there, it’ll be a two-hour wait.”
“Would it be a two-hour wait for the Senator?”

As the rest of us looked on in pure disbelief, abject horror, and contemptible admiration, Shawn proceeded to call the restaurant and inform the manager that the worthy Senator from Backwater, Texas would be arriving around 7pm, and would like a table at his renowned establishment. Oh, and the Senator and his “three nephews” would like to keep this on the down-low if possible.

Like that would ever work...

7:05pm  Sitting at a secluded 4-top on the second floor of Free State Brewery overlooking Mass Street after walking past a line of hungry patrons that extended around the block not more than five minutes after arrival, I thought to myself, “hmmm, maybe I am a Senator and just don’t know it.” Unbelievably, we didn’t even have to show the hostess an ID and the manager never even checked on us. By the way, if you're ever at the Free State, the Senator recommends the Butternut Squash Ravioli and the Ad Astra Ale.
8:47pm  After filling up on so much microbrew we could fart copper, we set out for some bar called "Brothers." Since our waitress said it was only five or six blocks away, we figured we’d just hoof it despite the sub-arctic temperatures. Little did we know that we had just entered the Iditarod minus the dogs, sleds, or provisions for a 2,000 mile journey. I’ve visited towns that are smaller than one city block in Lawrence. The distance between streets is so far, the addresses on the store fronts have decimal points.

9:21pm  The bad news is we walked ourselves sober. The good news is three longnecks and a mixed drink cost $10 at “Brothers” and that wasn’t even at drink special prices. It was like drinking in Mexico minus the heat. Add a Mariachi band and a DJ yelling “somebody scream” and you could change the name of the bar to “Hermanos.” In fact, it seemed like everything was cheaper in Lawrence. I don’t remember exchanging money at the airport, but the rate must have been one Texas dollar for two Kansas dollars.

10:43pm  Free State karma has now come back to bite us in the ass and I don't just mean the beer farts. We must have waited in a stagnant line freezing our asses off for the better part of an hour outside a popular bar called The Wheel (think Crown & Anchor at UT) just a few feet from all the warm and happy people inside who enjoyed waiving and laughing at us. Worse still, we noticed that there were all these hot chicks in the bar cavorting with old dudes. And before I could check my Lonely Planet Brothel Guide to Eastern Kansas, the bouncer informed us the Chi-Omega Sorority was having Father-Daughter Night in honor of Parents Weekend. Single Brad, who the married guys, um, made a “Top Gun” bet with, just shook his head and said, “it’s okay, I accept the challenge.”

12:03am  Now in the hub of The Wheel drinking $4 Long Island Ice Teas (the Senator sends his regards) asking the dad of the Chi-O Brad was hitting on why his daughter’s name is so prominently featured in the men’s restroom when what to my wandering eyes should appear, but the KU Band marching in with instruments and beer. Apparently, they play at all the local bars for free beer on Friday nights before home games and feature a play list that doubles as the soundtrack from Animal House. The place was so packed Shawn and I involuntarily got to play percussion after the Base Drummer decided to set up shop on top of us. Of course that ended real quick when I went Blue Man Group on him and spilled my drink on the drum sending projectile liquor all over the crowd with every thump. Yeah, now that's what I calling rocking the chalk.

2:Late  Even in morally righteous Kansas where the state is red and the laws are blue, they observe the time-honored 2am Taco Bell tradition and after six hours of drinking, you know damn well we weren't driving past that drive-thru cavalcade without partaking. If only we were rolling tape when we tried to use a very sober Josh as our Drunkese-to-English interpreter when making our order. Many thanks to Josh although he did refuse to translate my last question, “hey lady, will the Volcano Taco make my butt erupt?”

6:03am  (RING!!!) “Good morning, this is your friendly wake-up call. The time is 6 o’clock and the temperature is 24 degrees. Have a nice day.” Dear God, please tell me they use Celsius here. Three hours of restless sleep, freezing temps, and a headache only a morphine drip could subside. Only two things could get me out of bed right now, golf and Texas Football. Let's do this, it's...

Saturday, Nov. 15 - Game Day

6:50am  Considering my options at the complimentary Hampton Inn Breakfast Buffet when Josh arrives to help me with my my selection...

“Should I go with the cardboard biscuits or the unfortunately named Otis Spunkmeyer Blueberry Muffin?”
“Well that would be hard to say. They’re each outstanding in their own way.”
“True. True. Forget it, I think I’m just going to drink this apple juice after I unthaw it in the microwave.”
"Leave it, Shawn has like a gallon of Pedialyte in the car."
"My wife buys it for our 4-year old when he gets dehydrated. I thought it was a drink for little kids that can't pee."
"It is, but he says it's also a cure for hangovers."
"And to think this little miracle has been in my fridge all this time."

7:21am  While trying to locate the beer section at a local Dillon’s grocery store, the people of Lawrence, Kansas tried to steal the “Obnoxiously Nice Bedroom Community” title away from Lincoln, Nebraska as multiple patrons approached us to offer assistance. An elderly woman literally postponed her shopping trip and stranded her cart to lead us around the store even though she had no idea where the beer section was and probably hadn’t taken a hit off Grandpa’s cough syrup since Ike was in the Whitehouse. But we didn't want to be rude, so we followed her around for like 10 minutes anyway while Shawn muttered under his breath, “why don’t you ask her where the condoms and porn are too while you’re at it.”

8:02am  Just cruising around the stadium when we noticed a character of questionable integrity half frozen and holding a cardboard sign that read, "Parking $30" written in marker. So we inquired and not two minutes later found ourselves parking in some guy's backyard not more than 100 yards from the stadium. Our "Senator Special" parking place even came with its very own port-a-potty. So we had that going for us, which is nice.

11:13am  After consuming enough liquid courage to storm the Bastille, we headed for the stadium. The Jayhawks fans were pretty subdued for the most part and seemed to be resigned to the fact that this wasn't going to be their day. We received the occasional "F Texas" from a few rogue KU fans, but they were always running in the other direction and looked like they knew as much about football as they did about finding a cure for obscurity.

As for the stadium, if you’ve never been to Lawrence, this is a little bit hard to explain because most people figure Kansas is just one big, flat wheat field. But the KU campus actually resides on a rather large hill called Mount Oread. It’s sort of like the state grew a nipple and put their namesake institution of higher learning on top of it. How appropriate. Of course when the temp drops below freezing and the wind is blowing, watching a game in KU’s Memorial Stadium is like sitting in a freezer with a ceiling fan.

1st Quarter  Despite the cold, the stadium was filled to capacity by kick-off and the fans actually made some noise every time Texas was faced with a 3rd Down or the Jumbotron cut to Coach Mangino who appeared to be hibernating for most of the game. Texas 7, KU 0.

2nd Quarter  Towards the end of a pretty sloppy half of football, the Horns finally put some distance between them and the Jayhawks going up 14-0. Of course most of the KU fans didn’t see McCoy’s 5 yard TD scamper because leaving five minutes before the 2nd quarter ends for the hot chocolate lines is apparently a tradition born out of a century of on-field futility. “Making the cocoa run,” now there’s something I’d like to pass on to my son. 

Halftime  Walking around the inside of KU’s stadium noticing how the athletics department has adorned the pillars with giant posters commemorating previous Kansas bowl games. The only problem with this decorative theme is the fact that the Jayhawks haven’t actually been to that many bowl games and by the looks of things, haven’t won very many either. Seriously, I want you to imagine walking past a poster highlighting the ‘84 Cotton Bowl on your way to your seats at DKR. Might as well piss in your popcorn while you're at it.

3rd Quarter  Money time. The Horns did what they usually do against inferior competition and started scoring in waves. The Jayhawks fans did what they usually do against superior competition and started waiving good-bye. Watching all the KU Fans get up and leave was like watching a flock of birds suddenly fly south for the winter. It’s was almost instinctual, they just new when Texas went up 28-7, it was time to go.

4th Quarter  Let me paint you a truly surreal picture...there’s like 10 minutes left in the 4th and Texas is up 35-7. The stadium is practically empty except for 4,000 or so UT fans sitting in a section all by their lonesome next to one of the endzones. The Jayhawks Cheerleaders have now joined the Longhorns cheerleaders in front of us because they apparently prefer not to cheer in front of empty bleachers. And during a TV timeout, the two groups engage in some kind of “Bring It On” challenge in which the guy cheerleaders see who can hold their partner up in the air with one arm the longest. And with the UT fans whipped into a frothy lather, one of the UT guys bested them all. It was seriously the best thing I’d seen all day until Muschamp’s defense kept the Jawhawks out the endzone after like 8 plays inside the 5-yard line. I only wish the cheerleaders had competed in the "who can hold their team's head coach up the longest" contest. Pretty sure UT would have won that one too.  

4pm-ish  The post-game is pretty much a blur so I’ll try to sum it up. We went to some bar called The Hawk which was located cattycorner to The Wheel. It’s basically a dump but like that ever mattered when there are $3 rum and cokes to be had (don’t ask me why we switched to guns) and rumor has it I was using my Senator status to obtain free Goldschlager test tube shots as well. What the hell is that stuff made of anyway?

By about 7 or so, I had worked up a Mangino-size hunger and began dropping subtle hints like this one to the girl Brad was talking with: “Look, you’re fairly attractive, but we gotta go get a sandwich.” That apparently did the trick because 15 minutes later we were at some diner-looking place called Quinton’s. They’ve got awesome sandwiches though I’d recommend you don’t order the drunk Senator special which if you're me, comes open-face-down. Out like a light by 8pm, a new hall of shame record.

Sunday, Nov. 16

8:04am  Nothing like ten hours of sleep and an All-Star Special breakfast from the Waffle House to make you feel like a new man again. As the four of us were reliving what we could remember from the weekend that was in between bites of smothered-covered-buttered-syrupy goodness, Shawn made a few selections from the Music Machine. And as I signed our tab “Love, The Senator” and we got up to leave for the airport, blasting from the speakers came the perfect song for all Longhorns fans right now...

Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the BCS blues
Oh, the controversy never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

Don’t stop believin...

Next Game

Whoever would have thought in a year Texas beat OU, we’d still feel like the Sooners controlled UT’s fate. Unbelievable. And my head is way too tired to review potential BCS scenarios and question Mack’s non-conference scheduling philosophies. Like I’ve done all year, I’m simply not going to lose any sleep and wrap myself up in the “if it’s meant to be, it’ll be” blanket. Let’s just see how it all plays out and then worry about it. I would however like to point out what I think is the real BCS travesty going on before our eyes. A little latitude if you will...

Let’s face it, UT’s not playing against A&M this Thursday. They’re playing against the expectations of those who vote in the Coach’s and Harris polls each week. It should be just about trying to win a game against a fierce rival any way you can (hell, we’ve lost to the Aggies the last two years), but instead it’s about trying to humiliate them by running up the score so you can give the voters an excuse to put your name down one slot higher than the team who tried to humiliate them last week. Is that seriously what it’s come down to?

Don’t get me wrong, I have no real sympathy for the current state of the A&M Athletic program and I know they wouldn’t shed a tear for us nor show us any mercy if we were transitioning in a new coach. But I actually do hope Coach Brown stays true to his principles. And if the Horns should find themselves with an insurmountable lead in the 4th quarter, I hope Mack empties the bench sending in all the seniors, reserves, and walk-ons, what you’d expect to see him do in a blow-out. They deserve it and it’s the right thing to do.

All the coaches and Harris contributors are going to get a chance to watch Texas Thursday night because it’s the only game on. That’ll pretty much be the same deal with the OU/OSU game on Saturday night. And if the Horns and Sooners should prevail in their respective contests and those voters can’t tell the difference between a decisive victory and a team who is simply running up the score for style points, then screw them. Like Mack said, “we’ll just go where they tell us to go.” I’d rather do that than compromise our principles to win a friggin’ beauty contest that should have never been settled this way in the first place.

And while I’m on my soap box, I’d also like to hear all those school Presidents – the ones who eschew any type of play-off system in college football in the interest of preserving the integrity of the student athlete - explain how forcing teams to try and humiliate their opponents builds character and promotes sportsmanship. What a joke.

Speaking of jokes, it’s getting way too serious around here. Let’s hand it over to the always uncompromisingly sardonic...

Unpredictable Prediction

"The Thanksgiving Song" (If Adam Sandler were a Longhorn)

Love to beat Aggies. Love to beat A-a-a-gies!!!

Love to beat Aggies cause it's good,
love to beat Aggies like a good Horn should,
'cause they're Aggies....they rude

Aggies lost seven, just lost to BU,
Their offense stinks, so does the Wrecking Crew
Love to beat those Aggies from College Station,
Freshmen report to Fish camp for indoctrination.

Aggies like to stand all game long,
Texas is favored by 33-1/2, Vegas can't be wrong
Aggie-faggie foo and Aggie-faggie fat,
A&M once had an LB whose name is Dat.

Thanksgiving is a special night,
If you yell TEXAS, I'll yell FIGHT,
that's RIGHT.

Aggies have a coach, Sherman is his name,
Can't believe Mike said “no more burgers” for Javorskie Lane
Watching the game, drinking a Bud,
Can't believe Old Sarge looks like Elmer Fudd.

Offense, Defense, we just can't lose,
Some Aggie cheap shotted Colt and he got a bruise
Aggies on the run from dawn to early morn',
It'll never be over 'till Gabriel blows his horn.

Beat those Aggies - put 'em 6 feet deep,
Poor Aggies like to fornicate with their sheep,
A&M's uniforms are maroon and white,
Texas could go to a BCS bowl if they win outright.

Oh, Aggies in the corps are called the noble men of Kyle,
But they're about as close to real soldiers as Gomer Pyle
Gobble gobble goo and gobble gobble Gig'em,
I don't like those Aggies and I hope we beat'em

Oh, Texas loves to beat Aggies on Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Texas – 52
Poor Aggies - 10


The Senator