While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. One of the worst and least memorable Super Bowls ever except for the sensational Bruno Mars halftime show. Seattle’s entire defense should have been named MVP for shutting out Denver’s No. 1-ranked offense for almost 45 minutes. Couldn’t believe Broncos punted on plus-side of 50 midway through the third period, trailing 29-0. My favorite three commercials were Jerry Ricecake touting the NFL draft, Audi/wild dog spot and Tim Tebow’s self-deprecating ad, with Pistachios a close fourth.
2. To set the record straight for those who don’t see nuance, Texas athletic director Steve Patterson did not say he was going to try to schedule a football game in Mexico City. He said he would explore playing football and basketball games at foreign sites, and I see zero problem in that. I just wish he’d renew the A&M-Texas football series, even if it’s in neutral-site Taylor. Even new Longhorn defensive coordinator Vance Bedford is on board, having tweeted: “Texas vs the Aggies in the future. Great rivalry game. Fsu vs UF. S Carolina vs Clemson. Why not.” Why not, indeed? When I asked Patterson about reaching out to the Aggies to play a future football game, he said, “I’m not focused on it.” Very political. I’m guessing no more than 10 percent of either Texas or A&M fans want the rivalry to return. But I say to the other 90 percent: Would you also care if we saw other rivalries like Michigan-Ohio State, Alabama-Auburn, USC-Notre Dame all go away? We’ve already lost OU-Nebraska. It’s a tragedy to lose these rivalries. They are the essence of sports.
3. Plus, I think Texas should stop playing Thanksgiving games against TCU and Texas Tech. Those games will never match the intensity of the Aggies-Longhorns. Nor will they grab the national attention of viewers, not with NFL tripleheaders and not with A&M-LSU crowding onto the scene when the Aggies host that game. If you don’t think trying to compete with the NFL is futile, consider these numbers from last year’s Thanksgiving TV fare: Texas-Texas Tech couldn’t even outdraw Ole Miss-Mississippi State, which had 1.6 million viewers on ESPN to the Austin game’s 1 million on Fox Sports 1. It gets worse. Pittsburgh-Baltimore drew a paltry 21.1 million viewers on NBC, Green Bay-Detroit lured 28.3 million to the living room and that Cowboys-Raiders game that meant absolutely nothing to Oakland fans had 31.7 million watching. Play on Friday or Saturday, Texas. Say uncle.
4. Tweet of the Week came from former Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who wrote @sonofbum, “Hope my job this year isn’t ‘Welcome to our store.’ ” I’ll second that. He’s one of the best defensive minds in the business.
5. Rick Barnes began the season trying to save his job. He is doing that so far and, with the win over No. 6 Kansas, also making a strong case that he should be Big 12 — and maybe even national — Coach of the Year. Heck, the Texas basketball coach might even get an extension on his contract that goes through 2017 at this rate.
6. Kudos to Texas for honoring the late pitcher/quarterback legend James Street by painting “JS 16” in center field at Disch-Falk Field at what should be Gustafson Stadium. This year’s players will also wear a JS decal on their caps all season. One of his five sons, Huston, said Texas “gave the family everything it has. To see the University of Texas honor my father the way it has and honor our family, it means a lot to all of us; it means a lot to him individually. He cared for me and my brothers, and it’s a very big deal.” Huston said he was looking forward to “escaping” to baseball as he enters his 10th major-league season and third with the Padres and tries to add to his 234 career saves and find some normalcy since his beloved dad died on Sept. 30. Need to give a much belated shoutout to his firstborn son, Ryan, whose mother, Shanny, was married to James for six years before he wed Janie. Shanny and James, I’m told, twice took up Elvis Presley’s personal invitation and visited him at his Las Vegas shows. James was all about the music.
7. Count Michael Huff among those who think the racial aspects of Texas’ hire of its first African-American coach for football are overblown. Asked if it meant anything to him, the Broncos defensive back and former Longhorn Thorpe Award winner said: “Nothing really. At this point, race and gender are not important. It’s about winning and what you bring to a university. As long as you win 10, 11 games, no one will mention race at all.” Huff said seeing Mack Brown leave “was definitely tough, but the last few years haven’t been to our standard, so you knew it was coming. Texas is in transition right now. Texas gets the best athletes in the country. The athletes are still there.”
8. I’m a big Steve Young fan because he’s smart and outspoken. He said he wants more balance in the game and more help for the defense. With so much protection for offensive players, Young said, “The game will be hurt by that. It needs to be more fair a fight.” … Young also suggested moving extra-point kicks to the 30-yard line. I like it.
9. Loved “Nebraska” in all its black-and-white glory and its original story line. Bruce Dern was so real, I wondered if he was even acting. This is a reminder that all families are dysfunctional at some level. Gave it 8 ducks.
10. Crazy prediction: Gregg Popovich will retire after next season and become a television sideline reporter.