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Ninth Stop on SWC Stadium Tour
Week 14 SWC Matchup
[Helmet matchup from 1984-93]
Classic SWC matchup for the last stop in the #SWCstadiumTour of 2019. Texas and Tech have been flipping wins for the last five years. Tech has had a few great wins this year, but Texas s coming off teh Baylor loss and is likely to put up a good effort at home for the seniors. If we can't have Texas and A&M playing on Thanksgiving, I am good with Texas and Tech the day after Thanksgiving. Expecting a great game, but Texas probably edges out Tech.
Eighth Stop on SWC Stadium Tour
Week 13 SWC Matchup
[Helmet matchup from 1972-76]
With the loss to OU, I thought tickets would be easier. But then this tweet hit my feed on Sunday. But... Monday the UT alum with season tickets came through, Baylor finally sent him the tickets. It's an ugly seat, and expensive so not likely to trade up. But I am in without the need of scrounging for a ticket. Will be my first time at the new stadium, should be a great game! Stop 8 on the #SWCstadiumTour - last three games of the year are all straight-up #SWCmatchups. Just two left, it has been exhausting. The record.
Seventh Stop on SWC Stadium Tour
20 Years after the Bonfire Collapse
Hard to believe it has been 20 years. Yet, at the same time, seems like forever ago. It deeply impacted me back then. A&M was still A&M in my eyes and they played Texas on Thanksgiving. The bonfire was always before that game - that game DEFINED Bonfire. Now everything is different (not just bonfire but the whole SEC thing). But the Bonfire collapse remains a piece of my life frozen in place - seemingly a completely different life now. Texas stood with Aggies in the aftermath (hard to imagine now). I will leave you with some lasting images and articles. Full field view of the Bonfire Ribbon. Aggies left their cherished rings at the site of the collapse. An oral history. A new movie "13th Man" is out. This year students recreated the Remember'99 tribute from 20 years ago.
Week 12 SWC Matchup
[Helmet matchup from 1967]
Special matchup this week. Making the trip to my alma mater for the 7th stop on the #SWCstadiumTour. First time since they remodeled the stadium. It could really go either way... The record.
Sixth Stop on SWC Stadium Tour
Week 11 SWC Matchup
[Helmet matchup from 1966]
The rivavlry means a little more this year as Baylor tries to stay undefeated*. Can you imagine tattooing your body just because you beat TCU? #Revivalry I guess. Oooooooops, but I say prank! Some history. And the record.
* It was a fumble!
Fifth Stop on SWC Stadium Tour
I figured Rice would be pretty much the same. When I played on the Houston Energy, that was out home stadium in the early 2000s. But it seems even Rice changes... The new athletic center was built about three years ago on the grass hill opposite the endzone with the tunnel (where the home locker rooms were). The players now enter the field through a winding ramp where the grass hill used to be. Felt a little less like Rice for sure. Rice has a very small student body so the crowd and tailgating is never very big. So plenty of room to spread out in just about any seat you want - which is always nice. The campus store was well worth the short walk - as they had a ton of old school and new school gear to pick from. The half shirt is definitely back - every stop so far has had them in the store!
LINKS and PHOTOS Coming Soon
Fourth Stop on SWC Stadium Tour
One of my favorite places to go see a football game. Nice size stadium, airy with nice breezes, and they got a great hype game (even when losing). I ended up spending a good bit of time in the student section (more on why later) and had a blast. They had the world's largest t-shirt toss during half time which was insane - including their standard t-shirt gatling gun which is run by the ROTC students. That thing is a-maz-ing! They also fired off confetti webbing out of home made CO2 cannons for touchdowns. And I even got to clip the All State field goal net in one time. No one seemed to mind my SMU hat either. In fact every staff I encountered was super nice and even wished me to have a great game. Not one person said a single ugly word to me. Now for the best part and why I was down in the student section. UH was trolling SMU pretty hard by honoring the 1989 Cougar team that set all kinds of records against SMU in their first season back from the death penalty. So the Heisman Trophy was behind the student section for picture taking. They announced it on the jumbo screen. But by the time I got down there in the 2nd quarter, trophy was gone... I was crushed. But as a super hospitality aimed school (er, except for the trolling thing I guess), an usher assured me it was coming back after the half time honoring. And in fact pointed out it was just down there sitting in the endzone and told me to go on down there and see it. So that is how I ended up in the student section. So I grabbed some snapshots and am watching the team hang out in the endzone and this guy comes down the aisle next to me trying to get someone's attention. And the Andre Ware starts walking over to us. Wait, what? Is this really about to happen? I patiently stand there while they are talking, take a blurry photo, and have absolutely no intention of letting him walk away before I shake his hand. As soon as it seemed their convo was ending, I stuck my hand straight out in between them with a big ole smile and said hi. Sadly that is all I said, I was a bit stunned. But I got a lovely smile back and a nice handshake! I stayed in the student section for the rest of the game, but up under the overhang which was super convenient when the rain hit and emptied the seats onto the concourse, and watched SMU pull off another win. 8-0! Ran into the same cheerleaders I talked to at the TCU game and then headed over to get that autograph from Sonny (yes, I actually had a sharpie in my posession when I met Andre and never even thought to whip it out). Once Sonny came out, I screamed "Sonny, I didn't forget my pen this time" and he came right over. I also showed him the ticket I had his dad sign a whole bunch of years ago. One curious bit of unhospitality was that the SMU band (who travelled and sat in the opposite endzone in the lower deck) was not allowed to perform at half time. Seriously though, that is one small band... But no time for them to perform, yet plenty of time for 1989 team to get honored. I think it was due to a bunch of soldiers getting sworn in - I hope it was anyway.
LINKS and PHOTOS Coming Soon
Week 9 SWC Matchup #2
[Helmet matchup from 1977-79]
I guess none of our SWC matchups this year will be classic looking games... I knew something was under wraps... but this is just stupid. Patterson said everyone under 25 likes it, everyone over 25 hates it. But at some point, bad design is just BAD DESIGN. I am not alone, by the way. The whole spitting blood thing is just dumb. Horny toads do that only when they are defenselss. But... they will be against Texas. So should be a lot of TCU blood left on the field! But no Horns Down! Series rundown here.
First Week 9 SWC Matchup
[Helmet matchup from 1979-86]
Thirty years ago Houston played SMU in the Astrodome in their first season after the death penalty. UofH with Andre Ware scored 95 points and racked up over 1000 yards. Two years ago I met Paul Smith at a Houston game and wrote about him here on my site - he holds the SWC record for most yards receiving in a single game. Jack Pardee did pull Ware out at the half, but SMU coach Forrest Gregg was still upset. SMU will wear the Dallas unis in support of the city in the wake of the tornado. Even though they pretty much said earlier in the year that they expected to wear them in Houston. Can SMU win two in a row?
Third Stop on SWC Stadium Tour
I had not been to SMU since it was Ownby Stadium I think. Same stadium, just made it look newer and added on some atheltic facilities. Another very nice stadium. Pretty much opposite fan base than at TCU. I mean, wow. At SMU they "Boulevard". Kind of a super odd place for tailgating, but works out well and I guess plenty of room because it goes down quite a ways from the stadium. Not many freebies/samples here though... just a bunch of food trucks for the non-tailgaters. Definitely a different scene. Very Dallas. As fo rthe game experince, the stadium staff does a great job of putting the content out there, peruna running across the field, fan cams and all that - but the seats are empty. 8-0 and the seats are empty. SMU only has 6000 students so part of that is understandable. But there should be a load of Dallas people with no SMU ties rolling up in that stadium to see a good football game. I guess the marketing stunt to become more of Dallas's team is probbaly more to get people caring about SMU and get their butts in the stands. Temple did not bring their band, but they usually sit in a prime area of course in the lower deck.
LINKS and PHOTOS Coming Soon
Texas is honoring the 1969 National Championship team this week with throwbacks. Nice touch setting the throwback uni on a 1969 photo. I like how they updated the 100 years of college football decal to be 150 since we have already worn the exact throwback before (in 2015 honoring Freddie Steinmark for the movie "My All American". With the exception of the 150 decal, it is pretty much the same uniform and pretty accurate. No player name on back, no TV numbers, no jicky longhorn on front, no block Texas, and black shoes. Only details missing: the proper socks and white shoelaces - let's see if they are present on game day. Also really, really love the setting of the photos - in an old school locker room. Wondering if that is the visiting locker room. Ted Koy and Bob McKay from the 1969 team attended practice to talk to the team.
It was a fumble!
Had it been called right, it would have Tech ball and at a minimum we would have won on a field goal. At least they admitted it. Baylor fans crying over this blurb - but it seems pretty accurate to me. But let's look forward. Fifth time in this decade Baylor starts 6-0. The last instance Baylor ended up 7-6. And I predict a similar fate this year. At best they end 9-3 and maybe 8-4 if they cannot beat WVU. I usually pull for all SWC teams, but right now I am wearing the #MakeBaylorSuckAgain hat. #Salty
Week 5 SWC Matchups
[Helmet matchup from 1970-71]
Three straight weeks of SWC matchups gives us Tech at Baylor with Baylor on a roll, but Tech coming off a big win against Okie State. But, flat out dead even. Best news of all... #SailorBear - on green this time! I am not seeing a lot of smack talk either... should be a good game. Probably would have been a really good one or the stadium tour, but... Texas OU.
And OU still sux!
OU will be riding some Texas talent... yet again. Don't be a Sooner! Great story on last year's game saving hero Dicker the Kicker. With the exception of two of 2011 and 2012, looks more like a bunch of "barely skated by" to me. Matchup history here.
What time is it?
Wow, SMU is 6-0!!!
What. An. Incredible. Comeback. Holy hell, what a game! I was praying for divine intervention on that Tulsa field goal kick. And what a toe drag catch that was! Wow! And did you know it turns out that SMU is ACTUALLY a P-5 school?
Week 5 SWC Matchup
[Helmet matchup from 1978]
Arkansas wearing those classic beauties for this game. They have a chance, Aggies are just not playing as good as they should. Tusk selfies never get old.
RIP E.J. Holub
We seem to be losing more SWC heros than normal this year. College Football Hall of Famer E.J. Holub died on the 21st. The Beast played both sides of the ball. He was the first Red Raider All-SWC player and he was the first Red Raider to get into the hall. He played for the AFL Dallas Texans and the NFL Dallas Cowboys splitting his time between the two leagues. He won Super Bowl VI with the Chiefs.
Transfer Portal Rant
Cougar High off to a bad start decides to call a mulligan on the season by redshirting star QB D'Eriq King and another senior so they can make a run next year. This is absolute bullshit. The NCAA needs to put a stop to this. He is even still practicing with the team. At least he will be making that run at UH instead of the immediately assumed OU when the news broke.
Stadium Tour Second Stop
You knew this one was a must! SMU always hangs in there only to lose in the end. Well, not this time! I had a great time at TCU. As with most of these trips, it has been decades since I have been to these stadiums. The Carter was impressive. Still has a small town vibe but it is a gem on the hill. They even have some permanent tailgating spots that you just drive up to and the grill is already there! Unfortunately the upper deck was still under construction - how do you not get that done prior to the season start? Well, it turns out no harm, no foul because TCU fans could care less. They have a great, high scoring, fast paced, entertaining product. But it seems the fans (who were a different demographic for sure) would mostly rather sit out at their tailgate and wath the game on tv... ??? Just bizarre. I had great seats close to the action and the TCU fans next to me could not wait to get back out to their tailgate - in an exciting game too (ncot a blowout at that point). As I find these stadium visits an excellent opportunity to pick up some cool old schools retro gear, I have been buying a shirt and a hat to root for the home team (until I go to a game that Tech is playing - will have to keep the cool retro gear in a sack for those). And I found some extremely awesome crusty old vintage horny toad graphics on some shirts at TCU. And also a signature white hat (these first games have been pretty hot). Decked out in my purple retro frog gear I confused nearby TCU fans because I was pulling for SMU. I mean, they literally just looked at me and gasped. They gasped more about that than actually losing... strange, strange fans. But I could not help it. I guess I am still scarred from from the Josh Doctson catch from a few years back. I was high fiving the SMU cheerleaders after the game (explaining to disregard the shirt and hat - it was a long complicated story...). It was pretty funny actually. #PonyUp
#VisitingBandWatch - I think we all know this unsportsmanlike trend started when DelConte was AD at TCU... upper corner.
SMU is 5-0!
And in posession of a certain skillet. An #IronSkillet. What a game! Some truly inspired ball playing. I have been waiting on this win for many years. SMU has breakfast covered this morning and is indeed cooking up something special! Sonny Dykes is my hero.
Week 4 SWC Matchups
[Helmet matchup from 1985]
Baylor is playing good this year - I am waiting for #MakeBaylorSuckAgain chants and tweets to start up again. Poor Rice - so close so many times this season. But winless. With Baylor being loss-less, this looks to be more of the same. Rice is donning a sharp, new helmet decal though.
[Helmet matchup from 1989-90]
The Iron Skillet. SMU is playing good, TCU seems to be on a down kick. So many years SMU gets so close. Thought Chad Morris was gonna get one, but as we see with Arkansas now, his slogans don't seem to be able to outlast a team and pull in the W. Series History here. We need more shenanigans like the old days...
Week 3 SWC Matchup
[Helmet matchup from 1976]
Starting off the season with "Why Rice plays Texas?". First meeting since 2015 and it has actually been 25 years since Rice beat Texas... I guess maybe the old addage is less realistic these days in the current world of college football. Power 5 versus the little guy... no, it can definitely still happen. So... I missed an opportunity to get this beauty just for buying a ticket to the game... I was a little busy with other Apollo 50th events and missed the tweet. I guess I should have used helmets from 1969, huh?
Merit Decals for Baylor
Merit Decals are back for Baylor. Historically they have worn green stars in the late seventies to mid eighties which complimented the helmet style back then (stripes) very well. Too bad it is that dumb new bear...
SMU Surprise Unis
SMU completely succeeded at hiding special new unis for over six months by keeping them boxed up and locked the doors with a chain while adding decals to helmets in the dark of the night. Unfortunately, I am not crazy about the whole campaign. While some of the design elements and nods to other teams in Dallas are neat, it is just a gimmicky uni. Trying to be Dallas's college football team - is that necessary? The uni tries to stay classic, but there is just not enough SMU. Don't get me wrong, they looked good - but now there is mention of wearing them at away games (two SWC matchups that I will be attending as part of my #SWCstadiumTour of 2019 (which makes zero sense and will not make me happy hoping for some nice SWC era threads for those games. I personally think the dallas skyline in the Peruna helmet decals was more effective at linking SMU to Dallas. Wearing "Dallas" on the front of the jersey just invites some bad ideas.
UPDATE: these unis may be more than an alternate... let's hope not.
Stadium Tour First Stop
I picked the Texas State game for Kyle Field - figured it would be less crowded and I would not have to deal with #SEC #SEC #SEC crap. Can I tell you I really didn't think I was in the right place. That campus looks nothing like it did. Hoenstly, I could have been at any campus in the country with all the new cookie cutter building and this stadium that really looked more like a baseball stadium to me. I am very bitter about the traditions A&M has tossed aside since I attended there due to chasing the football greed of SEC. Sure, get off my lawn. I am only 54, but I don't like what college football has become. All the merchandising and player transfers. To me college football has always been better than that. Loyalty to a team - a bigger bond, a passion that stays with you your whole life. It was hard to put all of that aside and just look at the stadium without the emotional baggage. But alas, they seem to miss their stadium too based on this year's Maroon Out shirt... ha ha.
#VisitingBandWatch - I am happy to report the visiting band is in field level seats!
#SWCstadiumTour of 2019
It has been 10 years since my dad died - he gave me my passion for the SWC. I have not attended many games at all since he died - hard to see me sitting in the Cotton Bowl at Texas-OU without him. I did attend the last two Texas-Texas A&M games before... well, you know. And a few years ago I finally broke my blackball of UH with the new stadium. The last time I had been there, UofH came from behind and delivered a shocking and unexpected defeat to my Red Raiders. I vowed never to go back - just like a similar experience at Floyd Casey in Waco. Maybe I was just itching to see some SWC football. Maybe I was intrigued by the new stadium. But Tech was coming to town and it was time. Robertson is a nice little stadium to go see a football game. Rice is too, if any of the old SWC rivals ever played there - usually ends up at NRG, bleh. All these big new stadiums, massive rennovations just kind of turn me off. I like my memories of those stadiums. But it is time. I will attend a game (preferably an SWC matchup if possible) at every old Southwest Conference school this year. That way I can see the new stadiums in all of their glory(?) and then decide if I ever want to go back or just watch games from home where I can be keyed into numerous games at one time.
RIP Cedric Benson
Damn... Only 36 years old and killed in a motorcycle crash at a dangerous Austin intersection. Thanks for the memories! Mack Brown comments here. Collection of comments at DMN article. Made the front page of the MRT. Wonderful personal story about his play at Midland Lee. Cedric Benson helmet decal for the rest of the year.
Arkansas Gets Grass
Natural grass for the Natural State. Artifical turf has been replaced with grass! The new grass field will mark the first time in a decade Arkansas football has played on grass at home. It is the fourth surface change since 1938 (which was of course grass). Cool timeline graphic here. Check out the new paint scheme and endzones on twitter - and oh, look at the comments regarding the stupid font!
Start Out with the Dumb
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So I am super happy Baylor is bringing back the brighter GREEN and YELLOW. However, I have to dog the whole "Baylor United" campaign. Stupid marketing stunt directed by a stupid uniform manufacturer. And that bear... really? We all know that is just so that Nike can copyright a piece of Baylor and get a cut. Stop it already. And now we have stupid notched Baylor trademarks to go with tired College Gameday notched numbers. They notched the interlocking BU for God's sake. Sigh... again, so Nike can get their cut. Still not green enough (I am sure Nike is incapable of making that color of fabric...), but we are getting closer to the way it should be. Gotta get some stripes back...