Every year about this time, I reflect back on 2008, the year I first started writing for Burnt Orange Nation and the first year that I became familiar with the old version of the magazine -- The Eyes of Texas.
I was working on a project in Houston for Shell Oil at the time and staying with a family friend. After a long day of work, I stopped at an H-E-B to buy the magazine and grabbed a 48-ounce Shiner for good measure. In holding the glossy magazine filled with 112 pages of Longhorns analysis, I felt like I had never posessed a greater key to understanding the upcoming football season.
I couldn't consume it fast enough, so I drank my Shiner and engulfed myself in knowledge. I probably spent three or four hours that night reading as much as I could, staying up far later than I should have with work looming again early in the morning.
So it's with great pleasure and without further ado that I introduce y'all to 2015 In the Huddle: Texas, the only Texas Longhorns football preview magazine of its kind. After contributing to the magazine starting in 2009, this is now my third year editing it and I consider myself tremendously lucky to be able to do so once again.
It's out on newstands now throughout the state of Texas and is also available on the Lindy's website.
We're extremely lucky to publish with a company like Lindy's that can provide the national expertise to lend even better opponent previews written by experts on those teams. Otherwise, it's largely the same magazine it's been over the years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
There's still over 100 pages of glossy material with big, beautiful pictures and graphics. There's still all the roster analysis and insight that readers have come to expect.
My personal favorite this year is probably the piece by Coleman Feeley on Charlie Strong's 30-Stack defense, an scheme that feel into disuse before Strong revived it, molded it in his own image, and used it to win two national championships at Florida, a Sugar Bowl at Louisville, and earn the Texas job. When he made the decision to run it after a winless first season at South Carolina, it was probably the most important single choice of his career.
For those who can't wait until the fall to watch the incredible story of Freddie Steinmark in "My All-American", the historical piece this year recounts his journey from a two-sport high school star to his role in leading the 1968 secondary to his gritty 1969 season in which he played on a leg held together by little more than muscle and determination. All these years later, Steinmark's dignified battle with cancer still stands as one of the greatest stories in Longhorns lore. In college football lore, even.
And, since it's the 10th-year anniversary, Jeff and Abram recounted the national championship season through the lenses of their own lives and where they were during that remarkable run. I'm positive that everyone among the burnt orange faithful can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing during the biggest moments of that season -- the throw to Limas Sweed against Ohio State, the third-quarter run by Vince Young down the sideline against Oklahoma State, and, of course, 4th and 5.
Pop in your DVD of the game, read the article, and transport yourself back in time to relive it all again.
Of course, there's also so much more in the magazine, so I sincerely hope that everyone will take a chance to pick it up. Even in such a digital age, there's something about the tradition of football preview annuals, picking them up at the supermarket or getting them in the mail, holding them in your hands, flipping through them, appreciating the glossy pictures.
So I hope you enjoy the tactile sensation of experiencing 2015 In the Huddle: Texas. It was written and put together with a lot of love for the Longhorns.
Thanks and Hook 'Em!