Intifadah: To awaken from slumber.
Before the game began, pomp and circumstance were the leading culprits on the field. Wherever one looked, there were sad little people wearing costumes which were likely sewn by Lou-Ellen in 1963. Take this gentleman, as example, and the unfortunate reality of his long torso, as stuffed within his Cowboy Cartoon outfit. No doubt, on a regular day, he rocks his everyday clothes, and so it must be with great distress that he meets UT’s insistence to dress as Woody from Toy Story, rather than the Marlboro Man…from my dreams.
Alongside the band was a crew of UT students flopping around next to and beneath the State of Texas flag. Among the more memorable points of the evening was when a few of them were caught beneath the flag. Uncertain as to whether or not they would ultimately survive, I overheard one gentleman cry out ‘Oh ma Gawd, them kids is caught’eneath the flag. Fkn BIN LADEN!’
The audience watches as the team comes out on to the field, and as each player slaps the horns of a longhorn beefer hung on the wall. This ritual was not at all a surprise as I have learned from Friday Night Lights, each team has a very specific baptismal right of passage through which each player must enter and exit before hitting the field (e.g., before exiting the locker room, each Panther slaps the ‘P’ on the wall. PANTHERS SUCK! GO EAST DILLON!). What was wholly unexpected to me was the eruption from the fans; literally, as the images began to float across the Godzillatron, the audience erupted and kept erupting long past the point at which the entire team was on the field. I was so busy being shocked that I in fact missed the Longhorns’ run out on to the green.
Before the game began, the Longhorns had a little chat with Jesus, because no one – and I mean no one – pays more attention to Longhorns football games than Jesus Christ (peace be upon him). When it’s game night, there is no room for poverty or lepers, war, famine and disease for The Lord; no doubt, he changes from white robe to pumpkin orange robe on game day. (All snarky sarcasm aside, I think it’s all kinds of awesome that they say a prayer before the game; I really do. GO LONGHORNS! I’ll say a little prayer for you with Allah.)
For the first half of the game, it appeared as though the Longhorns defense were either asleep or drunk. Either way, I was surprised to watch them get their asses kicked all over the field by Denver (or Colorado). So much that I expected, as COACH ERIC TAYLOR (HI!) would have done on Friday Night Lights, Mack Brown to be Angry Hair Yelling at the team. But he was not; instead, he was mostly squatting and watching and secret-talking into his headset. For those of you who watch Longhorns football, you will have seen the Official Mack Brown Squat, which is him, legs bent, hands on knees, looking like he is ready to go for a poop in a Vietnamese bathroom. My guess is that somewhere behind his bum and atop his hamstrings is an invisible $3M cushion which makes this comfy – the $3M being his annual salary.
Luckily, the Longhorns made a serious and amazing comeback and went on to win the game. I will not bore you with the details of the game itself, as you can find them on line, though I will say I would make an excellent football commentator as I was filled with gems such as “The hell?” “What?” “Are they drunk?” “Is that Billy Riggins?” “Do you know Taylor Kitsch?” “Oh! They’re running really fast” “Is my hair ok?” & “Where can I buy a pretzel?”.
I won’t even tell you the final score since, honestly, I can’t remember. I will, however, tell you that for every touchdown, there were cowboys in the corner of the stadium who would fire a cannon…a Longhorns game is not for the faint of heart..after which, this gentleman would run out on to the field and wave the giant Longhorns flag, followed by five others with a flag each, spelling out T E X A S because subtlety is key.
Overall, the experience was amazing and I found myself yelling loudly and with serious pain and excitement and anxiety during the fourth quarter. I had become invested without even knowing it. It helped that I was surrounded by a wonderful group of folks, two of whom are Connie (HI!) and Tams (OLA!). Connie very diligently and awesomely sends me Longhorns updates almost post every game. As of today, the Longhorns have ten wins and zero losses. These boys may just go all the way this year with Mack Brown, making it the Longhorns’ second Championship under his coaching (he would only require one more to equal the championships under the leadership of Darrel Royal – whose son, incidentally, was named ‘Mack’). If this happens to be the case, I plan on taking all of the credit.
In closing, please enjoy the near-religious-fervor overcoming the crowd after the win; this is a video of the Longhorns fan singing the UT anthem…under my breath, I was singing MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This, in my small effort to sing-along.