The ancient Greeks used to consider hysteria an actual disease that afflicted women; in that pre-pharmacological age, physicians' cured the "disease" by manually stimulating them until they climaxed. It wasn't until Sigmund Freud that we correctly identified hysteria as a psychological affliction -- unsurprisingly, Freud thought it was tied to sexual frustration. I find it interesting that despite not really understanding what women were suffering from, the Greeks figured out an effective cure. (It was thought that there was a direct connection between these physical pathologies localized in the female organs and certain nervous symptoms; thus, the origin of the term, from the Greek hystera, or womb/uterus.)
What could this possibly have to do with Texas football? I'm glad you asked. Many of us watching the team through two games have sensed something's been a bit off with the team in general, and with McCoy in particular. They appear healthy and strong in all the ways we thought, but something's seemed not quite right, and as armchair doctors, we've attempted to diagnose the malady in a number of ways -- the line is weak, the playcalling's off, etc.
Turns out the problem might just be a good old fashion case of hysteria, so to speak. Chip Brown, take it away:
As we reported from Laramie, Wyoming, on Saturday, Mack Brown said after the game he thought the team was pressing and not having fun. No one moreso than Colt McCoy, who has made mistakes he hasn't made since his 22 TD, 18 INT sophomore season in 2007.
On Monday, McCoy said he's gotten the message.
"I think the biggest thing for us as an offense is we just need to relax and be consistent," McCoy said. "We're pressing. We're trying too hard.
"He's trying to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders," Brown said, "and I had a long talk with him yesterday and told him, ‘You need to relax and go out and have fun.' He did that in the second half, he played great."
I asked Colt McCoy if he thought he needed to run more in the offense to make things go, and he said, "Maybe so."
"I do feel a little bit more in control of the game when I run a little bit because it helps our offense and we're moving the chains," said McCoy.
In retrospect, it seems obvious -- one of those things I wonder how I didn't pick up on my own. In some sense, though, we've all been suffering from a being a bit too emotionally wound up. We all know how good this team can/should be, and we're all pressing for perfection. Time, perhaps, for us to relax a bit and remember to have fun. Ditto Colt McCoy and the rest of the offense, who continue to be at their best when McCoy is making plays with his feet, creating offense where there is none.
Hopefully Mack Brown's diagnosis is the right one and, despite not being totally sure what's been off, stumbled into the right cure.
Go get you some, Colt.