Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Bevo XIV Merges With The Infinite

The beloved mascot of the University of Texas, Bevo XIV, has passed.

The University of Texas has had a Longhorn Steer as its mascot for about 100 years, back when it was hilarious to bring a steer to a football game.  And, hey, it still is.

The name of "Bevo" is somewhat shrouded in legend and mystery, referring to a brand of near-beer popular in the early 20th Century, and there's a very complex story about Texas A&M kidnapping the steer back when he was named "Bo" and branding the score "13-0" on his side, which was changed to "BEvO".  I dunno.  It's possibly apocryphal, but I'm not one to fight the legend.

This Bevo has been around for a while.  I believe he was in place way back when we won the National Championship, but I'd have to check.  He's been a good steer.  And, unlike the first Bevo, we won't eat this one (Texas is a hard place, man).

Usually, Bevo hangs out in a sort of open pen on the sideline, drugged just enough (I assume) so he doesn't flip out when the Cowboys spirit group fire off "Old Smokey", the cannon that goes off every time we score.  Secretly, I always want to see Bevo rush the field and clear the whole area, but he's always pretty mellow.

Animal mascots don't last forever.  Texas A&M has Reveille, their cute little dog, and Baylor used to bring a baby bear to games in the 90's (I'm not sure if that's still something they do, but a bear lives on campus).  And A&M has taken exceedingly good care of all their Collie dogs.  But you need to have the character that bridges those generational, animal mascots and be a cartoon.  So, we also have Hook 'Em, which is what you call the character mascot who runs around in a costume whooping it up.  I like both.

We'll miss you, Bevo XIV, but we also know you lived literally the best life a longhorn steer is going to in this world or any other.  We appreciated your service.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sports Watch: Chicago Cubs and UT Longhorns

Well, this weekend and today have turned out to be just an amazing few days in sports-watching.

This is the first time I have seen Coach Strong smile in a calendar year.

Cubs Win!

I didn't grow up watching baseball.  I started watching it with Jamie's mom.  I think we started watching ball when Jamie was in the hospital and then just because, hey, baseball.  It wasn't my Old Man who taught me the rules of baseball, it was Jamie's mom when I was 20.  They were kind of the team I liked, anyway, because as a kid I'd watch them on WGN mostly because I thought Harry Caray was hilarious.  I was an adult before I found out - literally everyone thinks Harry Caray is hilarious.

Later, when the Cubs played the Diamondbacks when we lived in Phoenix, we'd always go to at least one game, and I really regret only ever making one Spring Training game, because it wasn't all that far from our house.  And, we did make it to a Cubs game or two at Minute Maid Park before the Astros changed leagues.  I'm still trying to plan a vaycay in Chicago next year to make it to a couple of games.  I've only been to Wrigley once, but it was incredible.  I like the new mega-stadiums, too, but seeing the Cubbies at Wrigley was just a blast.

Anyway, the Cubs have been just entirely terrible for most of the last 100 years.  The fanbase, as near as I can tell, has some weird, masochistic thing going on where you learn the virtues of patience and eternal hope, because you never know when this year might be your year.  And, for Cubs fans, it just never is.  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Univ. of Texas Longhorns Lose another heartbreaker (to Oklahoma State)

There's really no other way to say it.

This game was an exercise in frustration from all sides.  UT's offense was held to field goals and not much else.  The defense's secondary did much better than last week, eventually, and Vance Bedford's defensive squad also put two touchdowns on the board.

But the reffing was simply awful all around, impacting both teams, the mystery moving puzzle of last week's offense that seemed like the start of a bold new era was stopped at every turn by OSU's defense.  Jerrod Heard had some good plays, but the offensive line support he enjoyed last week seemed to evaporate and he showed he doesn't really see the defense all that well when he's in the pocket.

Nick Rose was actually really fine this week.  Did great.  Kudos to that kid for bouncing back when a lesser kicker would have been a mess.  Nope, that we left to our punter who, apparently, was thinking about a final, his date the night before, chicken nuggets, something, anything other than taking the snap on the 4th down and getting rid of the f'ing ball.

We'd been up for most of the game, a position no Texas fan really expected to find the team in, so the crappy way in which we lost the game was more than a smidge painful.  Especially as the refs called back two big TD plays on ticky-tacky penalties, called a nonsensical defensive holding call that impacted the 4th quarter play like no one's business (and was clearly offensive holding, you dumb zebra), called a penalty on Charlie Strong for protesting the shitty reffing.  Oh, and called a fumble for OSU when it was pretty clear that it was recovered by UT.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Heartbreak, thy Name is a Missed Extra Point - Cal beats Texas 45-44

This was a great game.  Go to hell, anyone who says otherwise, because for the first time in a long time I saw a Texas team that showed up all game long and didn't require crazy luck in order to win games.  No, we didn't win, and the defense gave up a lot of points, particularly going weak for some reason in the 3rd quarter.

But Texas put 44 points on the board against Cal, and if you'd asked me two weeks ago about the score for tonight's game, I don't know if I'd have put us past 24 points.  Amazing what a few coaching changes can do.  The offensive line seems (and this may be an optical illusion, but I'll take it) to be able to hold a bit longer, giving Heard more time in the pocket.  The offense also seems more confident, perhaps because the offense has been simplified, something I have no eye for, but I do notice when plays succeed far more often.  And, holy cow, does Jerrod Heard look fantastic.  Our redshirt Freshman quarterback was playing at a level we haven't seen in a long, long time, a level that, when I'd watch other teams and then watch UT, you were kind of forced to ask "now, why don't we have a quarterback that can do that?  How is that so?".

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rice at Texas Home Opener - UT wins 42-28

After last week's disastrous performance against Notre Dame in South Bend, Texas fans were wondering how Charlie Strong would answer the challenges facing the team with the tools he's got on hand.  The reality of it is that, once that first game starts, it's not like he can go get new players or coaches until the end of the season.  It's a sane situation made crazy by the magical thinking of the sports press who still act as if coaches are grown ups, we're all kids and they will somehow produce magical results to kiss away our fears.

Jerrod Heard freaks us all out by actually adjusting to the situation on the field

Look, UT won this game 42-28.  But, as much of an academic and scholarly powerhouse as Rice University might be, no one has ever accused Rice of being in contention of a national football title.  They're on the schedule out of habit on both sides, because UT needs a team to play to work out some kinks, and because Rice gets some TV dollars out of the deal.

For once, I really do think UT was able to use the Rice game to sort some things out and to get a better feel for where we need to do some work.  The Notre Dame game was only a chance to witness the obvious lesson of "you need to work on looking like a Division I team."

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Slaughter in South Bend: The Longhorns Go Down in Flames 38-3 to Notre Dame

UT Football has been having a rough patch the past few years.  It was bad enough two seasons ago that we saw the dismissal of Coach Mack Brown, the same Coach who took UT to two National Championship games, one of which we won!  It was a good night, I promise you.

We played our second National Championship game under Brown as recently as 2010, but that didn't go super well.  Alabama.  What are you gonna do?

But after that, the steam went out of the UT program, and even before the conclusion of the 2013-2014 season, it was clear Brown was on his way out.  We recruited Coach Charlie Strong from Louisville, a place where Strong - in 3 seasons - had found tremendous success.  Thus far, none of that has rubbed off on Texas football.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

SW Watches: A League of Their Own

There are going to be some short posts here, because there's not much to say about all of this, but I am going to document every movie I watch.

And that includes A League of Their Own, a movie that seems to run every Saturday on basic cable - somehow, somewhere.

As saccharine and formulaic as the movie is, it's also an important one.  It did a lot to discuss the transformation of women's roles in the US during World War II, and the strange way we deal with gender when it comes to sports (and it's pretty honest about the marketing of a League that wasn't what people were used to).

I'm not sure it's either the best performance by Geena Davis or Tom Hanks, but they're both pretty damn good and they go a long way to define the buddy-system that it never hurts to have at work (ask me about KP sometime.  She's pulled my bacon out of the fire for six years.).

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pat Summerall Merges with The Infinite


Pat Summerall, the calm voice of commentary on CBS and Fox football, has passed.

Summerall retired a few years ago (several years ago now, I guess), and he only popped up very occasionally.  But for folks my age, he and John Madden were a sort of omnipresent twosome on in the Fall, and a fixture of Thanksgiving games.  Really, John Madden is clearly legally insane, and it was always the calm voice of Summerall that made the games make any sense or have any cohesion.

He, Costas and Al Michaels have been some of my favorite sports broadcasters over the years and I'll miss him.

Summerall and Madden

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

end of football season 2012-13 (also, Brent Musberger)

I watched the BCS Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame, and - as you may have heard - Alabama destroyed Notre Dame, 42-14 (you can argue that last ND touchdown was someone from Alabama being nice).

I don't have feelings one way or another about either team.  It's cool to see Nick Saban earn his 3rd National title in 4 years, and I was glad Notre Dame was back as a serious contender in NCAA football.  But I think this absolute rout of The Fighting Irish will be putting some questions around Notre Dame's unique position as a team without a country/ conference, and that their schedule may be a wee bit lopsided as they milk their TV contract.

It was a fun year for football, and I wish I'd had a less hectic schedule and could have enjoyed more of it.  Even when UT is doing poorly (and we ended up with 9 wins, so as bad as it felt, it's still a decent season), it's something to do.  I still like watching Big 12 teams and a few, random other teams when I can.

Between you and me, I can't stand commentator Brent Musberger.  He certainly knows the sport, but he's still wishing it were 1975.  I like a little fake impartiality in my hosts, and Musberger chucked all that years ago.  Sometimes he's right, sometimes he's wrong.  But having had listened to his nonsense as he's called (and constantly dogged on) UT games over the years, I just sigh when I realize he and Herb are on commenting duties.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The 2012 Not-a-List Rundown

author's note:  2012 is a year I have been looking to put behind me for quite a while for any number of reasons.  Obviously the events in my personal life marked a very sad end to the year for us at our house.  Perhaps we should declare 2012 Annus Horribilis and move on.

With recent events weighing so heavily on me right now (and with this post started a long, long time ago), I'm going to stick to pop culture and the original, intended tone of the post - and this blog - and take a look back instead at...  yeah, I guess comics and whatnot.

here we go.

The 2012 Not-a-List Rundown

My Totem for Everything About my Pop Culture Hobbies in 2012

My relationship fundamentally changed with my hobbies and past-times, and superhero comics have begun to dip below the horizon to the same place Star Wars went circa 2002.  Because of travelling and the fact I was sick a lot this year, I also didn't really make it out to the movies very often.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Saw Louis CK and other Bits into the Weekend

Somehow we wound up with 6th row tickets to see Louis CK at the Moody Theater this evening.  Right on the center aisle.  Kind of crazy.  I insisted to our friends who had seats a bit further away that you could feel the comedy spraying across us from that close.

Louis's brand of comedy isn't for everyone, and certainly his show on FX isn't something I'd likely watch with my folks.  I do find his work challenging (the last bit this evening on 'Of Course' vs. 'But Maybe' isn't necessarily going to be for every audience and runs the risk of being misunderstood by some audiences).

If you know Louie (the oddly misspelled showname of Louis CK's FX program), you might like this. NSFW.  Sorry.


I didn't get to watch, but UT's Women's Volleyball team is once again headed for the National Championship!  We've got as good a chance at winning as not, and no matter what happens, it's been a great year for the squad.

But it'd still be amazing to see a National Championship.

Unfortunately, I never get to watch the games.  They broadcast on the controversial Longhorn Network that I don't have, and I travel so much, I never buy tickets, even though they play across the street.  I mostly keep up via articles online or asking one of our Sys Admins who goes all the time.

The Weekend

We're in San Antonio as of tomorrow as this is the weekend of the wedding I'm officiating.  No Hobbit for me this weekend, I guess.

Looking forward to the wedding.  Of course seeing Julia and Bill get hitched from the best seat in the house is a treat, but Matt & Nicole will be there, as well as other pals like Jonathan and Billie.  This is going to be all right.

After the wedding, I plan to come home, finish Christmas shopping, then lay very, very still before Dug and K arrive for the holidays.  I have a feeling that when my feet hit the ground at the start of January, work is going to be nuts.  I need to plan summer vacation now or its not going to happen.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

For some reason, Formula 1 Racing Came to Austin

About two and a half-years ago, Austinites woke up to find that some deal had been reached to bring Formula 1 racing to our city.  Mostly, the news was met with puzzled stares.  This is not a motorsports kind of town, and F1 is something that takes place in Monte Carlo, not in our berg.

If you do not know (I didn't), F1 is monstrously popular everywhere but the US, and despite astronomically high tickets prices, tends to draw hundreds of thousands of people to each city.  Rich people.  Who supposedly spend money.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Coach Darrell K. Royal Merges with The Infinite

Darrell K. Royal, icon of University of Texas football, has passed at 88.

I am sad to learn that former UT football coach, Darrell Royal, has gone on to his reward, but as I said to CoWorker Kristi - "It's kind of hard to imagine living a better life than that guy".

Longhorn Football fans know that Royal brought three championships to Texas and had a 167-47-5 record at UT.  Memorial Stadium is actually now Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, and has been for quite a while.

He remained active in UT Athletics and the University of Texas, and was on the field for a coin toss just a few weeks back.  He'll be missed, but in Austin, it is impossible to believe he'll be forgotten.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Longhorns get trounced: 63-21

The Red River Rivalry (or Shoot Out, depending on your generation) is a tradition more than a century old.  The UT Longhorns drive up to Dallas, the Oklahoma Sooners descend from Norman, and they face off at the Cotton Bowl in an elliptical stadium that, when full of fans, is colored half burnt orange and half red in team colors.

As important as the rivalry is (and, I hate to tell Ags, was probably the more important of the two), its also a marker that tells us how our team is really playing this year.  Every year this game seems to be a tipping point for the fortunes of the Longhorns - displaying exactly how well we might do against the conference play in the Big 12 and more or less setting bowl expectations.  OU is always a worthy opponent, and in neutral territory, they don't want to take the slow, painful bus ride home, either.  

more or less the story of the game

Flat out, OU outplayed UT in every conceivable way for about 58 of the 60 minutes of the game.  We couldn't even get the extra point after a fluke touchdown.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

UT craters at home v. West Virginia

As amazing as the Oklahoma win was over Texas Tech (I thought OU was doomed), and the unexpected win for Florida topping LSU....

UT lost to WV 48-45.  And I died a little inside.

Texas' loss to West Virginia, who managed to exploit UT's weaknesses by playing fairly solid football, was terribly frustrating.  I will say that this is the first time UT's defense has come to life this season, but it was in bits and spurts and it wasn't enough against the nigh-flawless Geno Smith.

David Ash, who has been on such an upward curve this year, fell back into old, bad habits when the pressure was on and failed to connect with his center during the turning point in the game, handed to him on a  silver platter.

Bergeron and others had a strong night (this Hills fellow was pretty terrific), and Jeffcoat really lit up, but it was a long, long night.


Can you tell I'm venting?

There's always next week.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

UT Football Begins

Normally I spend a lot of time after July reading up on UT football and watching and reading local sports news to get caught up in order to be ready for the season.  Not this year.  Work and other factors came into play, and I just didn't think about football too much until now, as we roll into the first week of NCAA football.

I am reminded of Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, who did not play the drums unless he was on tour or recording, and reportedly had to remember how to play every time The Who decided it was time to go back to work.  Also, he put explosives in his drums on The Smothers Brothers.  Hilarious.

Anyway, while I am not putting explosives anywhere (that you know about) I am also in need of my annual "oh, yeah.  Football." relearning of everything I usually know by week two or three of the previous year.  This year I didn't even get a chance to pick up my usual Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine and do some reading as we head toward hot dog roasting and a lot of excuse making for our running game.

Coach Brown sacrifices a freshman to appease the football gods in hopes of a winning season

I was talking to Jake, who is a huuuuuge Oregon Ducks fan, and realized...  man, I have no idea what's going on just at UT, but anywhere.  I really need to catch up.  BTW, I have high hopes for Jake's Ducks again this year, if USC isn't too much of a problem.

And, of course, everyone in the SEC (but TAMU) looks pretty spooky once again.

All that to say, I am thrilled it's once again time for College Football, and especially UT Football.

Tonight my mighty Longhorns go up against the Cowboys of Wyoming.  It's a bit rougher than a match-up against Rice or other teams we've played in the past, but it'll also tell us where we're at a whole lot earlier this year than in past seasons.

Looking at the UT depth chart puts a smile on my face as familiar names populate the starting line-up, and we have a chance to see what all three of our quarterbacks can do this year.  Jeffcoat and Okafor are back on defense, so that's always a good thing.

I can read.  I can try to catch up!  I CAN KNOW THINGS.

This year its pretty clear my team went to go see the Chris Nolan Batman flick, as our slogan this year is "Rise".

Also, I need a video this inspirational to watch about showing up for work at the library. It would certainly make it seems like pushing papers and making presentations was a lot more important.

Anyway, Longhorns...  get your horns up!  It's going to be a great year.

Now let's get out there and eat too many hotdogs.

Friday, August 24, 2012

On Lance Armstrong and Pyrrhic Victory

Well done, anti-doping agency.  

You know, its too bad if Lance Armsotrong did dope.  It certainly left a lot of questions around his 7 Tour victories.  But here's kind of what I think:

It's a bicycle race.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Maintenance: Jamie's Mom's Health, The Olympics

Between the Olympics, travel and now Judy's health issues, we haven't been making much time for movies, comics, Superman or the usual malarkey.  When I have sat down with my computer, we've not had the usual to write on.

We'll see what the next few days and weeks look like, but, you know... priorities.

Judy Update:

Jamie's mom is improving bit by bit.  She's eaten a few bites, said a few words, stood up for a few seconds...  all pretty good for someone who had brain surgery on Thursday.  She's, of course, exhausted.  And she still has a greatly impaired ability to communicate, so we kind of guess what to do and not do for her by giving her options and seeing if she indicates a preference in any way.  She's not glassy-eyed and uncomprehending, but between the original issue, the surgery, and the meds, we're just glad she's waking up on a regular basis.

Jamie's  family has really done a great job, to the point where I'm not in my usual role of bed-side guy helping out, and have been taking over roles like laundry and house maintenance and whatnot.  All necessary, but not quite the crisis-side of this that I'm used to dealing with.  My own family and our pals have been terrific.  So, thanks to everyone.

The Olympics:

Once again the US dominated, enough so that the narrative should be getting dull.  But it's a lot of fun watching our teams win in Track & Field events, Beach Volleyball, and other sports.  Heck, I even enjoyed the inevitable victory by the US Men's Basketball team.  Not as much as hearing about the US Women's Soccer Team winning in a storybook finale.

I'll miss team May-Walsh in Beach Volleyball.  By 2008, we were over the bikinis and focusing on the sport and by 2012, it was all about the amazing feat of three-peating in an incredibly difficult sport.  And not just winning, but only losing one set in 3 Olympics.  Absolutely astounding.

Someone at NBC got the memo, I might add, and the interviews with athletes never turned accusatory, whether athletes placed or not.  And most certainly nobody was asked if they were disappointed at getting a Bronze or Silver.  Now, if the guy covering wee women's gymnastics could learn to dial it down about 11 notches, he might make the sport a lot more tolerable to watch.  Ie: It's weird that you're a grown man and unironically a total fanboy of these weird little 16 year old girls who don't go to school so they can do cartwheels all day.  I would be terrified to see your apartment.

The closing ceremonies were fine.  The usual mish-mash of good and bad ideas.  I understand that part of the theme was the passing of the torch, but don't have recent bands come on and sing standards for absolutely enormous artists.  I don't want to see a teen heart-throb covering Pink Floyd or Johnny Rocker Random cover The Who.  Especially when you have the The Who.  Or half the Who.

Special note:  I keep reading that Daltry and Townsend were there and played, but I somehow missed that as part of the telecast or else I left the room when Daltry was not the one who started with "Pinball Wizard".  Whatever.

And if you're not going to deliver Bowie, stop playing his music.  Bush league.

Anyway, we'll be watching again in 18 months when the Winter Games show up in Mother Russia.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Let the Science Begin! Olympics. Mars. Tomorrow! This Moment in History

Let's get this party started!

Man.  It wasn't enough that I got to watch Usain Bolt win the 100m again, but UT alum Sonya Richards-Ross won the Gold in the Women's 400m.

I also watched a man with prosthetic limbs race in an Olympic foot race.

But after watching the Twitter Feed for the Mars Curiosity Rover the past couple of months, Curiosity came down successfully on the surface of our sister planet, Mars.

You guys, we live in the future.

I haven't gotten teary during the Olympics.  I've done my fair share of yelling and cheering and chanting "go go go go go go go" while watching races.

But I admit I got a little choked up watching the JPL crew high-fiving after the news that Curiosity had landed and we received the first images back from the rover.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

All I've Been Doing has been Watching the Olympics

No movies.  No comics.  Basically, I've got none of my usual stuff to cover.

I've really been enjoying watching Volleyball.  Men's.  Women's.  Beach.  Otherwise.  I love the pace and the athleticism, and, of course, watching May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings again has been a lot of fun.  The addition of Longhorn Destinee Hooker to the US Team has been just terrific.  It's great to see her get attention on such a huge stage.

I watched Little Girls' Gymnastics, and that was very sweet.  And seemingly not a headcase in the bunch.

Archery was pretty great this weekend, and this coming weekend I get to see Track & Field, the one time every four years when I watch those events, but I can't wait.