Posted: 4:00 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, 2013
By Jeffrey Haley
I feel like I’ve been out of this week. Feels really weird with the Horns playing on Thursday night when it isn't Thanksgiving.
-- kirk1005 (BON Game Thread).
Thursday night football is weird and problematic, particularly when it falls on the evening of your wedding anniversary dinner. Because of various other conflicts, we decided to go out for dinner on Thursday, rather than Wednesday, the actual day of our anniversary.
The trend of moving major conference football games to days other than Saturday is natural and obvious. It clearly creates value for the television networks, as it allows them to fill more hours during the week with valuable live content, replacing the filler programming that you might otherwise get on a fall Thursday night.
The problem is that football during the week is decidedly less appealing than football on Saturday afternoon. Many football fans have structured their life to enable football viewing on the weekends. But that is rather difficult to also manage on nights during the week, where the regular obligations and activities of life push football to the side. It becomes pretty easy for someone like me -- someone who I am sure qualifies as an "engaged" fan -- to kind of ignore the game. Which I did, for the most part.
This brings us to my dinner. We went downtown to a very nice restaurant that opened about a year ago. The food was outstanding, the cocktails were worthwhile, and the service left me with no complaints. The only downside was the two women at the adjacent table, who were hard to ignore.
I would peg this pair as being two friends in their mid-forties, out for a nice dinner. This is perfectly reasonable. Their dinner conversation was a little less reasonable. The women next to me talked loudly, subjecting her friend (and everyone else within a 10 foot radius) to an unrelenting bombardment of stream of consciousness prattle. It touched on many things, though most memorable was the ten minute blow-by-blow recount of a recent bout of food poisoning. My wife and I grinned as we split a salad and an octopus appetizer.
Sometime after placing our order, the game started. I was positioned in such a way that I could see into the restaurant bar, which contained a television screen showing the game. This wasn't by plan, it was simply an accident. Frankly, I hadn't wanted to burden a nice dinner out with the heavy weight of Texas' presently punchless offense and lukewarm D. But here it was. And hey, Texas was off to a good start.
To be honest, I didn't care. I just wanted to have a nice dinner with my wife.
I don't know why but I have a bad feeling about this game. Think the good guys win in the end, but a slow start/close game wouldn’t surprise me…
-- BurntOrangeForever (BON Game Thread).
We are going to try something different this week. In most weeks, we look out at the world, to see what others are saying about Texas football, by focusing on Twitter. This week we will be ignoring Twitter, and instead will feature comments from the Burnt Orange Nation Texas - Iowa State game thread. Twitter can get stale after a while. Next week, we will look back a Twitter and witness the terrifying hate bomb that typically accompanies the Red River Shootout.
On a related note, this week there will be no graph.
The game with Iowa State started off rather well for Texas, with the Texas defense stopping the Cyclones on their first three drives of the game, while Johnathan Gray hit a 45 yard touchdown run on the first Texas possession.
However, after a successful first drive, the Longhorns got away from the running game, and Texas fans were confused.
Stuck at work but following the play by play
Is Gray hurt?
I like how Gray gets a 45-yd TD run and then isn’t used at all in the next drive. WTF Major?
For most of the first half, Texas fans were upset and disappointed. And perhaps even a little embarrassed.
"hate that this is primetime, wish it was on lhn" --- NashvilleHorn
I am sure there is a Reggie Bush joke in this next one somewhere, but I am not smart enough to make it.
"KIM KARDASHIAN HAS MORE FOOTBALL SMARTS THEN THE TEXAS PLAYERS" --- super D
The game thread had become so dark and angry that people had trouble differentiating exasperation and sarcasm from a straightforward question:
"Sigh. What is happening." -- Sumedh Joshi
"Can't you see? Mack is turning the program around!" -- HornPossessed
"I just put the game on. What has been happening?" -- Sumedh Joshi
There was a little bit of fun in the first half. Case McCoy connected with John Harris for a 44 yard heave as time expired, putting Texas up 17-13.
"What a prayer. That mission work is paying off big time." -- WreckerTex
Half time is a time for fans to be a bit more reflective. In retrospect, one of the most insightful comments in the entire thread was this one.
"We are SO gonna need the 10 points they gifted us!" -- rktlaw
The second half of the game brought a similar mix of disaster, with just enough competence to keep the Longhorns in the game. The greatest tragedy occurred on Iowa State's second drive of the first quarter, when after an outstanding Anthony Fera punt, the Cyclones connected on a 97 yard touchdown pass.
Thomas got beat
But that happens. To give up a 97 yard score requires a massive failure from the safety position.
--- The Elusive Shadow
However, the Longhorns marched back down the field on the subsequent drive, making use of Major Applewhite's brand new pass interference offense. It would be one of Texas' best drives on the night. But it was soured by Mike Davis diving at the knees of an ISU defender far away from the action on the touchdown scoring run.
In retrospect, the rest of the game was a strange and slow catastrophe. It does little good to recount the staccato anger found in the game thread during the fourth quarter, but I will do a little bit of it anyway.
"President Powers better be dialing Mack's cell RIGHT NOW!! " -- pchorn
"Its so predictable at this point" -- busterhorns
At this point I guess I just want to watch the world burn
I don’t really want to accept Texas losing to the Iowa States of the world, but it’s the only way to ensure that the cigars decide to start the coaching search tomorrow.
We're not just a joke, now we're a dirty joke!
Our WR’s dive at knees after the play is over and the refs bamboozle themselves all over in our favor to close the game so it looks like they’re paid off!
What a joyous day!
One common sentiment after the game was that this win, while on its face close and exciting, was unsatisfying.
Unsatisfying wins are not, in and of themselves, a problem. There are unsatisfying wins in every season. To quote my father, an ugly win is better than an ugly loss. The problem isn't so much that Texas struggled on the road against a team that it should beat, gaining an unsatisfying win.
The problem is that this is an unsatisfying season. It is hard to envision a scenario in which Texas fans would have found the outcome of a Thursday night road game in Ames in the middle of a crappy season satisfying. If Texas wins this game by forty, people would focus on the plays that didn't go right, and point out that the Cyclones are not exactly the cream of the crop in the Big 12. If Texas loses, we get the predictable melt down.
In a way, this game was engineered to be unsatisfactory. It was unsatisfactory by design. The final score was irrelevant.
Oh yea, and #hookem, or something.