Since Tuscaloosa, I've stayed quiet. I've watched. But Now...
This is the MOMENT.
At the end of 2013, Wheemers wrote an amazing post. It was prophecy of sports. It was called, "Into A Long and Painful Night," and it was true. Very true. Texas was about to embark on almost a decade of gut wrenching horror.
The firing of Mack Brown at the end of an era, and the ushering in of Charlie Strong destroyed the guts of the Texas program. It ripped everything apart. A new AD destroyed the gameday experience. On some level, everything that had been true about Texas disappeared over two seasons. In 2016 we had an extraordinary offense and no defense under a supposedly defensive Head Coach. After three seasons of culture change we were left with a broken team once again, for the second time in three seasons. Lots of fireworks but precious little to show for it all on the field. A HC was fired and then an AD went down too.
A program in disarray, a fanbase divided, and a laughingstock across college football because some media guy screamed "Texas is back" at the end of the what we thought was a "big win" over Notre Dame.
Then old Tom Herman came along. He wasn't bad. In fact, in some ways he was very, very good. But he was also kinda NOT. He was the Power Smashings - see my old fanpost. Thin skinned, (not good for Texas) and a bit player in a super hero comic strip kinda coach. Plus he loved all the guys. But whatever, you can't put skim milk in a cappuccino - it doesn't make sense. That's what he kept trying to do. It caught up with him ultimately. To his credit - you've got to accept that he got snakebite by Covid-19 and the "Eyes" controversy - truly not much he could do about it.
But then, something changed. A shift in the atmosphere. We got somebody with the right combination of focus, fire, and freaky to make it work in Austin. Mack had it for a while, once he fully bought into VY but then he lost it. He put it all on autopilot. You can't do that for more than a year or two before it catches up with you. He did it for about three years straight and he paid for it. CS had the fire and the freaky but not the focus. TH had the focus and the fire but not the freaky. Austin is full of weird cats man...you've got to have the strange to make this place work at full throttle. DKR figured that out with the wishbone. Even Mackovick's greatest moment was a testament to the weird - "Roll Left" in Kansas City with James Brown to Derek Lewis.
Now we got Sark: He's got the Saban Focus, the Pete Carrol Fire, and just enough of the Freaky (throws TD's to DLineman, and psycho trick plays every game, along with a special teams coach that had some crazy news story about his and hers monkey biting people on Halloween). Suddenly Austin works again! That's this place: it's beautiful. You've got God and Country salt of the earth Cowboys right off the back 40, alongside buttoned up business professionals, with hippie alien worshippers all mixing together to make Austin, Texas, the weirdest place on earth. Good food, nice people, and a beat-you-up Football team is what makes it all come together.
I held off all season to see if it would come together, and on a Saturday morning in December I watched it all mesh with beauty and precision with an utter dismantling of Mike Gundy's worldview. Suddenly Okie State got reminded that it was really just Okie State all along. And the University of Texas is still the University of Texas. It's funny when the Big Boys decided they've had enough and remind everybody why they are the big boys. The air shifts quietly, and everyone readjusts to what is, and what should always be.
So, in contrast to the "Long and Painful Night" post that I wrote just over a decade ago, may I congratulate this fanbase on the fact that we are walking "Into A Beautiful Sunrise!"
The ghosts of 2010-2021 are gone. Sark has got it all running. Sark has it all figured out.
Long May He Reign.
Warning: Wheemers is back too.