Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hate Manifesto Intro: The Dark Cloud Descends on Fort Worth

This guy looks familiar

I am admittedly one of the preeminent UT conspiracy theorists in the entire country… a person who looks at the tough USC penalties coming at the same time UT is talking about moving to the Pac 10 not as coincidence, but as the product of some NCAA official being given mineral rights in Midland compliments of a big UT donor trying to sabotage a future conference rival. Let’s just say the décor of my bunker has a lot of aluminum foil to safely house my physical inventory of game film showing the officiating breaks UT has been entitled to over the years. The 2009 Neb/UT game is my non-comedic version of the Zapruder film…and before anyone starts in on how they got the call right (or how JFK was a good president)- yes upon review it looked like there might’ve been a second left on the clock, however, the NCAA rule states that only ‘egregious’ clock errors can be reviewed, and unlike basketball, football officials don’t review the last few seconds to see if the shot clock light turned red, instead the clock operator keeps time and only when there is an EGREGIOUS error do they review….it’s not situational….a second or two isn’t egregious…in fact a second or two normally ticks off on incomplete passes and is never reviewed and it didn’t happen for FSU/MIA or right before halftime of ATM’s bowl game last year, and the only way 1-second is egregious is if you’re UT and the Big 12 looking to get ‘your’ team into the NC game…which I hope after all this conference realignment talk it is abundantly clear to everyone that UT and the Big 12 are really 1 in the same. [wipe sweat from brow, breath]

These are the types of ‘conspiracy theories’ that rattle around in my head. UT always has to have an edge- be it money, politics, or moving a conference HQ and championship game to its own backyard. As soon as conference realignment talk geared up- I could hear the black helicopters circling, so I immediately built a database of all 30 (1 was vacant) state senators. 7 had attended UT Austin…and a good chunk of them were efffff-ing attorneys (not including 2 more that attended UT System schools). The next closest school was ATM w/ 4. TCU only counted 2. Not good. I crossed reference the education committee, the finance committee, and then did the same high level review of the state House…if the government can hide aliens from us for decades, what can a strategically evil institution with government ties/funding hell bent on college football domination pull off?

Well, let's see…..UT flirts with the Pac 10 forcing the Pac 10 to take Colorado early so they can head off the Texas political engine that might force the Pac 10 to take Baylor instead of CU. UT, terrified of ATM going to the SEC and opening up Texas to the likes of Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and an in state SEC presence in ATM, ultimately decides to stay put and create the UT Sponsored Big 12 Band Aide Conference consisting of UT and the 9 Wittle Brothers (ed note: even though ATM and OU are suppose to be getting equal money on this TV contract nobody has yet seen- that is public perception). This sets off the chain of events that sends Utah to the Pac 10 so they can have 12 teams and a championship game thereby screwing us.

You’re probably asking yourself where I’m going with this…rehashing old news, telling you my conspiracy theories, etc. Well the reason is simple- you need some context…context to appreciate the seriousness of THIS. Read it. No seriously click the link and read it. UT is setting up a sleeper cell in Fort Worth. Yes- UT IS SETTING UP A T-SHIRT TRAINING CAMP IN OUR BACKYARD. I don’t know if there’s anything we can do to stop this, but we need to start brainstorming doubt bad vampires Mack and DeLoss are plotting something diabolical. Put any ideas in the comments- so far everything I can come up with involves Tannerite.

Boise May Not "Get" Fort Worth on Gameday...

Pretty funny slap-fight between our brand new, shiny Conference Rival Boise State and their old, weather-worn in-state WAC Rival the Idaho Vandals. Apparently as backwoods redneck as we imagine Boise's finest to be, their pals down in Moscow are that much more so because the powers that be in Bronco-land don't much care for traveling to their rivals' place every other year and may want to discontinue the rivalry altogether because of the "inebriated" culture at the University of Idaho. I'm really starting to wonder how their fans felt when our party bus, blasting "Party in the USA," pulled up in the middle of their RV section in Arizona and deposited half a hundred drunk Frog Fans of all ages, some having trouble staying upright, most immediately making their presence felt on the "public urination" scene.

Now, I understand that frat drunk probably doesn't even begin to remotely compare to Idaho drunk, but, other than Provo, UT, I'd imagine most of the gameday scenes in the MWC are pretty rowdy by most standards. CSU serves beer inside the stadium, the UNLV environment goes without saying, and as San Diego State has the academic and moral standards of Texas Tech, I'd imagine it gets a little wheels off from time to time as well. I can't wait until Boise rolls into Laramie and sees the guy wearing nothing but a barrel.

Recruiting update

Recruiting update

Football Season starts TODAY!

Patterson-Bots in their imperfect, pre-season form.

If you’re like me, you’ve been struggling daily to find a way to convince yourself that football season is truly right around the corner. So realizing that MWC Media Days are going on as we speak and that our radio team would be broadcasting live last night was a straw a knew I had to grasp. Which is why I was the guy on the treadmill at the gym last night listening to the stream on his phone and stopping every 30 seconds to reboot because Dallas was getting blasted by a curious summer storm and it was destroying my reception. And while it was certainly a bunch of PC coach/playerspeak and there really wasn’t anything of substance mentioned, the fact that it was football related and it was happening live made the decision to leave work early and schedule my workout around listening was a no brainer. So while you may look at the calendar and see that it’s officially 38 days until Jerryworld, what you should really be doing is heeding GP and AD’s words last night from Vegas suggesting that, as soon as they’re out of the door at media days this afternoon and heading back to Fort Worth, football season has officially begun. Like, today.

The main purpose of media days – other than a school sponsored trip to Vegas, that is – is for the media to announce their pre-season conference accolades and for Commission Craig Thompson to give his state of the conference address. In regards to the awards, we’re all pretty well aware of how that played out by now, but just in case, a refresher: TCU received all 31 first place votes to win the conference and Andy Dalton, Tank Carder and Jeremy Kerley swept the pre-season player of the year awards. Jake Kirkpatrick, Marcus Cannon, Wayne Daniels, Cory Grant, Tank Carder, Ross Evans and Jeremy Kerley (special teams) were all named to the All-Conference squad. Really, as John Denton pointed out several times, the only major snub was Tejay Johnson, and it’s a little surprising that no offensive skill players not named Dalton were selected, but he pointed out that the media heavily reiles on stat sheets when compiling their lists, and our offensive is so balanced and given great field position by our defense that no one is going to jump off the page. So while UNLV gets a receiver on the list over Young or Kerley, I’ll take a second consecutive undefeated season over that bullshit any day. They’re all paper tigers at this point anyway, right?

Regarding Thompson, he sat down for an interview during the session and, while he didn’t necessarily deliver any earth shattering news, just the way he talks makes it sound like we should gear up for more conference realignment in the near future. I was also unaware that BCS Coordinator John Swofford recently mentioned that they are viewing the BCS in its current form as holding steady, “until 2040.” This did not sit well with Thompson, who decried the obvious bullshit standard required of schools hoping to attain BCS status versus those who penciled themselves in from the beginning, deservedly or not. The man may not make ends meet as far as our television contract is concerned, but after listening to him I have no doubts that he’s working his ass off to get the MWC as much respect as possible and is filled with just as much rage as we are about not being included as an auto qualifier. There is also NO love lost between the Conference and Utah for their defection into the Pac 12, citing the MWC’s membership policy which has no exit penalty because, “If you don’t want to be here, we don’t want you here.” I admire his moxie, but methinks perhaps they should amend that rule to make it more of a financial burden to jump ship. Unless we get a Big 12 invite. Then it's totally cool.

As for the TCU interviews, like I said earlier, there wasn’t really much said. As a four year starter, Andy Dalton has this media thing down pat and even though he was in the comfort zone of a school sponsored radio broadcast, he never wavered from strict modesty. That being said, even through a choppy radio signal, he was downright giddy about next year’s prospects on offense. Aside from the obvious Jimmy Young and Jeremy Kerley praise, he was extremely fired up about our returning backfield. It goes without saying that having a solid run game aids a team like TCU who specializes in keeping the other team’s offense off the field and controlling time of possession, but it’s obvious that for Dalton it means a whole lot more than that. Knowing that if he comes out a little rusty he can rely on the ground game to grind out a few first downs while he regroups is a serious confidence booster. Not that Andy should lack for confidence this year, but I think we’re going to see a Rooster that we may not have even known existed as the season progresses. I’m sure there will be skepticism as to where his mind will be as he enters the season as the reigning offensive player of the year and the undisputed favorite for that award this year, but just listening to how grounded he was last night gives me a lot of confidence.

And, just because clearly we aren’t excited enough about the offense going forward, when asked who fans should really look out for to have a “breakout” season, Andy only hesistated slightly to praise the entire offense before singling out Skye Dawson and Josh Boyce. While he didn’t give anything away, it really sounds like those guys are going to play some pretty significant roles this season. With Kerley, Young, Antoine Hicks, Bart Johnson and Curtis Clay sure to get their catches this year, plus the backfield getting in on it, plus Andy suggesting the tight ends may be more involved this year – and bestowing high praise on Walker Dille especially – this tells us one of two things: either we’re going to have the most well-balanced passing attack in all of college football and will consistently have 10+ guys with a reception in each game, or that Dawson and Boyce have come on so strong that guys not named Kerley, Young or Hicks better watch their backs on the depth chart. I’m still trying to wrap my head around TCU as an offense first football team, but regardless, I’ll drink to that.

Tejay Johnson also appeared on the show last night, but my feed was cutting out big time during his session and I missed a handful of his comments, so fill us in on what I missed in the comments. But, I don’t know that there was a whole lot he COULD say, which is mostly a product of our defense: it is what it is. It’s fast. It’s hard hitting. It may be an intricate piece of machinery, but it’s well oiled and driven by a speed maniac who is never satisfied. GP could find flaws in the Hope Diamond. Therefore, no matter what positive thoughts Tejay may have offered, GP would’ve immediately refuted them afterwards. It’s like he told Mr and Mrs. WWHD – you’ve always got to keep them on their toes. And this is what makes him great. He’s not a big dumb and lovable teddy bear like Wade Phillips and the like; he’s a fearless leader who at once both terrifies and inspires his troops. So while Tejay offered up the usual, “Well, you can’t replace Jerry Hughes and Daryl Washington, but we’ve got some very talented guys filling their spots this year,” you could also tell that the specter of GP was hanging over his shoulder, waiting to pounce as soon as he went overboard with his praise. The radio crew tried to rile him up a bit by mentioning his All-Conference team snub, but he knew better. However, before the fear caught up to him, he did offer some pretty glowing praise on Braylon Broughton along the same lines as what we all know about him – dude is scary athletic and even scarier large and, assuming he completes his transformation from football player to Patterson-Bot, he could be the best defensive end TCU has produced to date in the GP era. Not saying that it’s going to happen, but I think Broughton definitely emerges from two-a-days as the opening day starter, ready to eat some Beaver. Sorry, had to do it.

So after laying that borderline homo-erotic, cringe-incuding groundwork, the man himself made an appearance on the show and, wouldn’t you know it, he didn’t dish out any juicy pre-season nuggets or offer any insight into the pending murder investigation BYU has opened on behalf of Max Hall. I always enjoy hearing GP sit down for interviews with interviewers he has a rapport with because he is audibly relaxed and even cracks a radio smile from time to time. He even got slightly embarrassed and was all false modest when they kept referring to him as the Dean of the Mountain West coaches. Football coaches. They’re just like us!

If you’ve gobbled up all the Dale Hansen interviews from the off-season as I have, then this was basically just déjà vu. Lots of talk of, “We just want to win ballgames” and “We gotta grow some guys up.” One silly question that ended the interview was, “Do you think last year was basically all of your luck falling into place or a result of what you’ve built over your career” which is up there with that woman asking Mike Singletary if he’d spoken with Bill Walsh recently despite Walsh being dead as far as dumb interview questions go. I expect more out of those guys. They should know better by now.

However, he DID offer some insight into the situation at safety, suggesting Tyler Luttrell may have been the team MVP last year, so it’s hard to imagine him not getting the opening day nod. The biggest thing to take away from the interview, though, was that GP, even more than us, is absolutely, 100% ready for gameday and is going to burn holes in the carpet as he hustles out of the media room today and back to Fort Worth. I sometimes feel like we as fans care about the team’s success as much as anyone directly associated with the program, but I don’t think our passion compares to GP. I honestly think he treats a spring drill the same way he’d treat a 4th and goal situation with time running out in Salt Lake City. He knows he has to make the media rounds, but you can tell there’s no place he’d rather be than on the sidelines reaming out a linebacker for drifting out of his gap. May God have mercy on the souls of our players on the first day of practice next week. Go Frogs.

Blazer of the Century

Imagine flaunting this fine sports coat on a briskly cool October gameday with your sbkoozie. Here's how.

Morning Dump

TCU selected to repeat as MWC champions Star-Telegram

TCU's Andy Dalton hopes praise continues into December

Frogs sweep preseason MWC awards
TCU picked to win 2010 MWC title
Gary Patterson has TCU program where he wants it Deseret News

Glance around MWC: No one disputes TCU as favorites
Las Vegas Sun

Calhoun: Mountain West is better this year
Colorado Springs Gazette


Nederland's Sonnier commits to TCU
Beaumont Enterprise


Ten special coaches make their marks
Yahoo! Sports


Phillips looking to prove himself
Baltimore Sun

Picture courtesy of SpitPurple's mother

Huge Frog sticker on a random car in a Knoxville, TN grocery store parking lot. The Frog realm is growing.