What's sad about this Texas loss is Nick Rose is gonna have to stay off social media pretty much until there's no such thing as social media— Ethan Thompson (@swigzine) September 20, 2015
There are a lot of different ways to lose a football game. Some ways are tougher than others.
Texas lost to Cal on Saturday night when kicker Nick Rose missed a game tying extra point. That is a tough way to go.
But on the spectrum of tough losses, this one doesn't register very far to the right. And this is simply because such little was at stake. Texas fan response after the game was largely positive (except when it came to Nick Rose, but we will get to that in a minute), as most fans can put a loss like this in perspective; no one expects that this is a championship team. This year, fans just want to feel a pulse.
This wasn't a truly devastating loss, as it doesn't impact the future prospects for this team in a significant way. And truly devastating losses frequently have their own Wikipedia page.
It had been another eventful week for Texas athletics. Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know that the charming Steve Patterson, formerly the athletic director of The University of Texas, was sacked.
Patterson taped leaving the 40 pic.twitter.com/7p4P74P0i3— Mike (@MBHORNSFAN) September 16, 2015
Steve Patterson must be exceptionally efficient at pissing people off to get fired so quickly. There have been very few people connected with Texas athletics expressing sadness that Patterson is leaving. While Tom Hicks attributed Patterson's problems to being a poor communicator, I think the problems may be more straightforward.
Fundamentally, the most important job of the athletic director is to manage the athletic department. One cannot read articles like this one from ESPN, or some of the accounts of his time in Portland, and come away thinking that Patterson would be someone for whom you would want to work.
For purposes of brevity, I sometimes refer to people who act in this way towards their subordinates as assholes. Certainly, there are some fairly successful managers and executives that are assholes. But they tend to be rare. Being an asshole is an unsustainable career decision. The first time you slip up, or get a new boss, you won't have the relationships to pull you through; no one has your back when you are an asshole. Guys like Steve Patterson eventually get fired.
And so here we are. As Longhorns, Inc. prepares to look for a permanent director, I will offer a little unsolicited advice to the Texas administration. One does not need to be a brilliant visionary to manage Texas athletics. Basic competence, the ability to keep up with email, relevant experience in an academic administrative environment, and organizational and people skills are the key requirements for this job. Steve Patterson had fairly limited academic administrative experience and was kind of a hard guy to like. Next time, find someone who gets along with people and has a lot more experience running a university athletic department.
Could it be that the Texas Longhorns have found a quarterback?
Jerrod Heard carried the team on his back tonight. He's earned his spot as starting QB. #Longhorns #HookEm— April (@ReignOfApril) September 20, 2015
For the better part of the last 12 months, the Texas offense has been broken. Some combination of three factors has been holding the Longhorns back: offensive line play, quarterback play, and scheme/playcalling.
With a new quarterback and a new man in charge of the offense, two of these three factors have been changed, and the performance of the Texas offense has improved substantially as a result. Offensive line play remains a problem, and this problem is of the sort that is hard to fix quickly.
So much of the difficulty of Texas football since 2009 has been tied to the quarterback. After Colt McCoy finished his eligibility, the Longhorns struggled to find a suitable successor. Perhaps David Ash came the closest, but his career was sadly derailed by his struggles with concussion symptoms.
But if Texas has finally found a quarterback, then things are about to get a whole lot better.
With any young player, people immediately look for comparisons to previous athletes. While there were many tortured comparisons between Heard and Vince Young, there was one I found far more interesting.
Despite the brutal loss, Jerrod Heard was Charlie Ward-esque. Big step forward for the offense.— Jake G (@DreamWeaver331) September 20, 2015
At least in terms of size and potential playing style, Charlie Ward is an interesting comparison. Obviously, one can only hope that Heard eventually becomes as good of a player as Ward was.
And for the benefits of Shaka Smart the obvious question becomes, can Jerrod Heard hoop like Charlie Ward? Ward remains, to my knowledge, the only Heisman Trophy winner who lasted for close to a decade in the NBA. (He was also a late round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers, and was apparently a pretty good tennis player as well. Some people are just good at everything.)
The next tweet comes from a man who probably should seek the help of an endocrinologist.
Jerrod Heard got some of my Burnt Orange juices flowing that have been dormant since 2009. Theres a light at the end of this tunnel, I think— Ryan Haddox (@MrHaddox) September 20, 2015
Heard played well enough that he earned the respect of fans of Texas' opponent.
For reals, Jerrod Heard is a bad dude. Obviously still developing as a passer but I'm already terrified at the idea of facing him next yr.— bearswithfangs (@bearswithfangs) September 20, 2015
Twitter and Nick Rose: a match made in the pits of hell
please don't send nick rose hate...— evan kawaoka (@jester4D4) September 20, 2015
Here is the problem. There are very few things that Twitter does better than hate. Twitter is a expertly constructed hate machine.
No, not like that. Like this.
Nick Rose has joined Blake Gideon on the list of #TexasLonghorns who are officially dead to me. #neverforget— Lisa Pirtle (@lisapirtletx) September 20, 2015
Ah, poor Blake Gideon. Now there is an example of honking a play that really mattered. But some things just weren't meant to be.
There were a lot of people on Twitter wishing that really terrible things would happen to the Texas kicker. I won't print any of that here. Much of it is despicable.
Others, like Mike Hancock, took a more moderate path, wishing instead that Rose would be minorly inconvenienced.
I hope Nick Rose gets stuck in so much unnecessary traffic, all next week #HookEm— Mike Hancock (@NotTheFakeMikeH) September 20, 2015
Some fans were more charitable. Charity is not a Twitter virtue, or at least not in the way that mob behavior is, but occasionally you see rays of light.
In Heard we trust. Nick Rose, ah, not so much. But I'll bet we see Rose save us in a game later this year. It's just how this world works.— William Barnes (@longhornforlife) September 20, 2015
While others used the missed kick as a teachable moment.
Hate that Nick Rose's pic is getting out there. But let this be a lesson to youngsters...intentionally bad hair styles make things worse.— Trey Elling (@courtesywave) September 20, 2015
As always, a fraction of fans were just incomprehensible.
Nick Rose be like pic.twitter.com/KOPHeQRxQT— Emily Couture (@iamrealcouture) September 20, 2015
The Final Word
Jerrod Heard to Jane Slater postgame, visibly upset & looking like he was fighting back tears, says he could've done more. This kid is . — Ande Wall (@AndeWall) September 20, 2015