Monday, June 14, 2010

One Big Holaday - "Get In The Batter's Box And Shut Up" Edition

"Saw Em Off" - T-Shirt Fan Of The Year

I have to share my experience with probably the funniest t-shirt fan I've experienced to date.

We set up our tailgate outside the left field foul pole, next to the Texas fans that are there every year. This year they were very friendly unlike last year's run in with Buck Nasty making fun of their Michael Torres softball chant.

The tailgate was solid, but it still felt like something was missing. Then the T-Shirt Gods sent a gift from T-Shirt heaven. Let me introduce you to "Rick".

Rick strolls up with a 12 pack of Bud Ice bottles, and a plastic sack with 2 newly purchased Longhorn T's. He then borrows a kitchen knife from the adjacent tailgate, and proceeds to "saw off" the sleeves of the T-Shirt. He changes into his new creation and is ready to rock. No doubt he probably has a bachelor's degree from lawn mowing U, but today he is here to support the orange and white.

After witnessing this and trying to not get caught laughing and snapping a quick photo, I decided I have to introduce myself. I talked to him for a while about beisbol, he knew nothing, so I offered him a chunk of vodka soaked watermelon. Instead of taking a piece like a normal human being, he picks up the Tupperware and takes a 10 second pull off of the potent vodka and watermelon juice.

7 innings, 2 more pulls, and 10 Bud Ices later he gets kicked "out" by UT staffers because he is dropping more f bombs than Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat. So essentially he got kicked out of a game that he didn't even pay to see, standing outside left field.

He left behind his back up t-shirt, so after the tailgate had wound almost completely down, we decided to tear the sleeves off, because that's the way Rick would want it. Another tailgate took this act the wrong way and started yelling at us for being classless. They proceed to call the cops on us because they are butt hurt about the loss. I explained that it wasn't what it looked like and told them about my new best t-shirt fan friend Rick, and convinced them to hang up the phone that was dialing 911. What a bunch of babies.

Rick, if you are out there somewhere, keep on keeping on.

Who's going to Omaha???

Kicking While Down.

Bryan Holaday (left) and Chance Ruffin.

Barely 18 hours later, and the Frogs' victory still tastes as good as it did yesterday when we were all fantasizing about being underneath that all-male dog pile in the middle of Disch-Falk Stadium. So what better way to continue the celebration than to kick Texas while they're down?

First though, a solemn note. The Big 12 - nee, 10 - it appears will live to fight another day, if you believe's Chip Brown. With aggy still trying to take their circus act of a fanbase eastward into the SEC, there's definitely not any certainty to this situation as a Big Nine would probably be far less desirable than a Pac 16, but one point he makes should definitely make things interesting this week. As we're all well aware, wherever Texas goes, anyone - including aggy - will follow and, as we're also well aware, Texas is the most financially successful athletics program in the country. But, even with their legion of hippy local fans, Texas is certainly not getting on board with the communistic trajectory our country seems to be taking and, even though they have enough money to fund the entirety of the remaining Big 12 North, they want more. So with that in mind, the fact that the Big 12 will allow member schools to pursue their own revenue streams, which includes individual TV networks, something not offered by the Pac 10, may end up saving the conference as we know it. Sure, the guaranteed gobs of money offered by a potential Pac 16 are nothing to turn your nose up at... but can you imagine the kinds of money the Longhorns would generate with their very own, UT network? Heck, I'd probably watch it, if only to catch their annual meltdown against the Kansas State's of the conference. This obviously wouldn't guarantee the other teams in the league a more even shake - something that has been a serious complaint ever since the merger - but still, Big 12 money is still more money than they'd get elsewhere. There's obviously no guarantees that the Big 12 will remain intact even with this development, but with all remaining schools other than aggy suggesting that their favored option is to keep the conference together, sadly, for now at least, it appears Baylor will still be able to tout themselves as a member of a BCS Conference.

But, as that's not really kicking "the more deserving team for Omaha" when they're down, I'll move on. So, I think it's safe to say that the most popular athlete from the University of Texas from our generation is Vince Young. Hands down. You can tout Colt McCoy and Kevin Durant all you want, but I don't think anyone even comes close to touching Vince. And while I admit that he was one of the most phenomenal athletes I've ever seen play any sport, I'm not going to lie to you and say that watching his self imposed mental destruction, otherwise known as his career with the Tennessee Titans, manifest itself hasn't been one of my more satisfying sports experiences of the new millenium. Seriously, his demons make Tommy Blake's look like angels by comparison.

As a refresher, during the 2008 season, young Vincent was having some serious struggles on the field and, after being booed by fans, showed his coddled, UT fragility by refusing to go back into the game. He then subsequently lost his job to Kerry Collins, went missing, apparently contemplated suicide, and then returned to ride the bench for the rest of the season. And while Young eventually replaced Collins this past season and apparently recaptured his mojo (read: rode Chris Johnson's coattails), it looks like his off the field struggles may continue plaguing him.

Football players and strip clubs have always been an oil and water type combination - apologies for the gut wrenching timeliness of that analogy- and it looks like Vince Young is continuing the trend. Breakdown: Vince Young goes to a strip club. Vince Young has too much sauce. Vince Young encounters a man who vocally expresses his dislike of the University of Texas. Vince Young follows man into an office at said club. Vince Young then assaults the man while shouting "Hook em, Horns." Vince Young gets a citation. Vince Young needs to realize that, as a millionaire athlete, he's going to be a target and to control his fucking temper, although would you expect anything besides this childish attitude from an ex-Longhorn?

You have to hand it to these ex UT players - they're passionate about where they came from. Ricky Williams smokes pot like he's still in Austin. Roy Williams, on the off chance that he gets into the end zone, throws up his Horns like he's still in Austin. Colt and Jordan still reverse cowgirl each other like they're in Austin. And apparently Vince Young will slap a ho for talking out of turn like he's still in Austin.

Honestly though, nothing will probably come of this. They'll sweep it under the rug and Vince will head back to Nashville and lose the AFC South once again. But you can't ignore the hilarity of Texas' most popular living ex-player acting like a complete imbecile during the same weekend that the "team more deserving of Omaha" was getting run out of their own stadium by the school that they refuse to play outside of their own terms. What goes around, comes around, Texas, and it looks like the bad karma generated by playing in Austin catches up to even the most seemingly untouchable of athletes.

But hey, at least football season is just around the corner, right? Enjoy the off-season, Longhorns.

Dalton on the cover of DCTF

I posted this over on the AD for Heisman site, but I don't think that runaway hype train has quite left the station yet, so I figured I'd put this over here, too. Obviously, we'd all rather see him on the cover without those other guys, put getting picky like that would only make TCU fans as whiny as our burnt orange-wearing neighbors down in Austin.

Morning Dump

Omaha Bound:

Long awaited dream finally comes true for TCU baseball Star-Telegram

TCU stuns Texas to grab ticket to Omaha Star-Telegram

TCU's relief ace kept the ball in the yard

Omaha bound! Frogs eliminate Texas, 4-1

TCU's Schultz goes from fill-in to super regional hero
Austin American-Statesman

UT baseball season ends with loss to TCU
Austin American-Statesman

Magic pitching well runs dry for UT untouchables
Austin American-Statesman

Kirk Bohls' 9 things and one crazy prediction
Austin American-Statesman

TCU, four others punch tickets to Omaha
Yahoo! Sports

Horned Frogs top Texas for first trip to Omaha
Omaha World

TCU basks in glory of first-ever CWS trip

Chazten Gonzales commits to TCU
News OK

Boise State will change more than just football
Laramie Boomerang

Money trumping tradition in conference realignment
Deseret News

Conference realignment to get political in Texas this week
Sports Illustrated

Change all about money, but also means playoff all the way
Dallas Morning News

"This is a historic day for TCU"

The quote above is from Coach Schlossnagle's press conference after the 4-1 win over Texas in Game 3 of the Super Regional series that sent the Horned Frogs to the College World Series for the first time ever. It's quite an accomplishment for a program that, until less than a decade ago, was playing at a field (the TCU Baseball Diamond) that most little leaguers would consider sub-standard.

When Lupton Stadium was built in 2003 (opening with a loss against UT-Arlington on an unusually warm Groundhog Day that year), I wondered aloud to a friend of mine if it might be the first step toward the Frogs playing in Omaha. It seemed like a pretty far-fetched concept, we both agreed, but today it's a reality.

And as much bitching as there was about the NCAA seeding process and that TCU shouldn't have to face Texas in this round, would you really want it any other way now? Even Saturday's 14-1 loss seems alright now, because it fits nicely into the storyline of the whole weekend: when the Longhorns exploited the TCU mistakes in that game, UT fans were all but certain that the series was theirs because "TCU is out of pitching" (an actual comment to me by a UT fan via email after that game) and that there's no way a lowly MWC school could rise up off the mat to pin their invincible team.

But then Kyle Winkler just kept squashing UT threat after UT threat, continuing to toss 0's onto the Disch-Falk Field scoreboard inning after inning...and his high school teammate Tyler Lockwood to close it out. Out of pitching, my ass! And then there was the mammoth, euphoria-enducing home run off the bat of 5'8" Aaron Schultz that served as a collective kick to the crotch of every smug, entitled UT fan...even those that actually attended the school. Is there a better image than the one I posted above to capture the "David slays Goliath" feel of this game? The most beautiful moment of poetic justice, though, was Bryan Holaday being told to "get in the batter's box and shut the hell up" by a UT fan sitting next to the crowd mic...and then smashing another home run over the left field wall for an insurance run off of UT's "unhittable" closer.

As fun as it was to deny Augie Garrido's "lion" from feeding again, especially in the midst of giant schools like UT working to re-structure the college sports landscape to further alienate schools like TCU, there is plenty of work yet to be done. Getting to Omaha? Great. But this team's better than just happy to be making the trip. They're good enough to win the whole damn thing, and I for one think they're going to pull it off.

Go Frogs.