Game 11: @Texas

Every now and then, I get this funny feeling in my gut.

No, not gas. It’s this funny feeling that some underdog A&M team is going to win a game that no one gives them a shot of winning. It’s a feeling that doesn’t come very often, mind you. In fact, the last time I can remember feeling it was in 1998, prior to the Big XII championship game against #2 Kansas State—and any Aggie can tell you how that one went.

So here we were this year, 11-point ‘dogs to #5 Texas, and I’ve got that funny feeling again. Then comes the game. It’s 6-all just before the half with Texas sitting on the A&M 1-yard line ready to score the go-ahead TD when it happens—Texas QB Vince Young fumbles the ball trying to reach for the goal line, the ball bounces right into the hands of Aggie DB Jonte Buhl, and he’s off, 98 yards the other way to give Texas A&M a 13-6 lead going into halftime. Unbelievable.

But then comes the second half… Texas RB Cedric Benson runs roughshod over a tiring Aggie defense… the Longhorns’ defense repeatedly pierces the Aggies offensive line, running A&M QB Reggie McNeal ragged… Texas wins, 26-13.

So I guess it was just gas.

Texas A&M finishes the regular season at 7-4 (5-3 in Big XII play)—a stellar 3 1/2 game improvement over last season’s disaster—with a postseason bowl invite (Holiday?) soon to be coming.

November 18, 1999

It was Judgment Day in Aggieland
And tenseness filled the air;
All knew there was a trip at hand,
But not a soul knew where.

Assembled on the drill field
Was the world-renowned Twelfth Man,
The entire fighting Aggie team
And the famous Aggie Band.

And out in front with Royal Guard
The reviewing party stood;
St. Peter and his angel staff
Were choosing bad from good.

First he surveyed the Aggie team
And in terms of an angel swore,
“By Jove, I do believe I’ve seen
This gallant group before.

I’ve seen them play since way back when,
And they’ve always had the grit;
I’ve seen ’em lose and I’ve seen ’em win
But I’ve never seen ’em quit.

No need for us to tarry here
Deciding upon their fates;
Tis plain as the halo on my head
That they’ve opened Heaven’s gates.”

And when the Twelfth Man heard this,
They let out a mighty yell
That echoed clear to Heaven
And shook the gates of Hell.

“And what group is this upon the side,”
St. Peter asked his aide,
“That swelled as if to burst with pride
When we our judgment made?”

“Why, sir, that’s the Cadet Corps
That’s known both far and wide
For backing up their fighting team
Whether they won lost or tied.”

“Well, then,” said St. Peter,
“It’s very plain to me
That within the realms of Heaven
They should spend eternity.

And have the Texas Aggie Band
At once commence to play
For their fates too we must decide
Upon this crucial day.”

And the drum major so hearing
Slowly raised his hand
And said, “Boys, let’s play The Spirit
For the last time in Aggieland.”

And the band poured forth the anthem,
In notes both bright and clear
And ten thousand Aggie voices
Sang the song they hold so dear.

And when the band had finished,
St. Peter wiped his eyes
And said, “It’s not so hard to see
They’re meant for Paradise.”

And the colonel of the Cadet Corps said
As he stiffly took his stand,
“It’s just another Corps Trip, boys,
We’ll march in behind the band.”

“The Last Corps Trip” by P.H. DuVal, Jr. ’51

Game 10: Texas Tech

And once again, all is right with the world.

Final score: Texas A&M – 32, Texas Tech – 25 in OT.

It’s right because Aggie QB Reggie McNeal once again had another stellar day of total offense (309 yards).

It’s right because Aggie RB Courtney Lewis had another 100-yard rushing day (19 carries, 115 yards) and scored the game-winning TD in overtime on a dazzling 25-yard option pitch-and-carry from McNeal.

It’s right because A&M’s much-maligned pass defense held Tech QB Sonny Cumbie under 300 yards passing for the game, the first time Cumbie had failed to reach 300 yards in a game all season.

It’s right because the Aggies once again returned to their stingy ways, committing no turnovers while forcing three (all on interceptions) Tech turnovers.

But mostly it’s right because A&M ended a three-game losing streak to the Zorros, those pinheads desperately in search of someone who’ll truly call them a rival.

A&M is now 7-3 (5-2 in Big XII play). Next game: Friday, November 26th in the annual grudge match at Texas (you know—a real rival).

Gutless f*cking cowards

Un-f*cking-believable. (The choice of epithet is intentional—read on…)

In one of the more gutless and disingenuous moves of late, a number of ABC affiliates have decided not to show tonight’s uncut Veteran’s Day airing of Saving Private Ryan. One of those affiliates? Dallas’s own WFAA-TV, owned by Belo Corp. (Belo also owns a number of the other ABC affiliates who are not airing the movie.) According to Belo:

“Due to the intense adult language and graphic violence throughout the movie, Belo Corp. believes it is inappropriate to air this movie at a time when large numbers of young children are watching television […]”

It is violent, there’s no doubt about that—it’s probably the most realistic war movie ever made. But let’s be real here—it’s about the language (i.e., the word “f*ck”) and the fact that it might offend someone’s puritanical sensibilities:

Despite a grisly opening scene that, upon the movie’s release, caused some moviegoers to walk out, the movie isn’t being taken off the air solely for violence, Al Tompkins, a writer for media watchdog site Poynteronline.org wrote in a column posted Wednesday.

“It is the repeated use of the F-word that has TV stations backing off airing it,” Tompkins wrote. “Station groups tell me that they estimate the F-word is used more than a dozen times in the movie.”

(Still not convinced? Let me throw this out to think about: Should ABC, in the future, secure the broadcast rights to The Passion of the Christ, WFAA and Belo will practically be tripping over themselves to see how fast they can air it. After all, it’s a movie about Christ, and Christ sells in the Deep South—never mind that the movie’s also ultra-violent, almost grotesquely so. Just wait—it’ll happen, I guarantee it.)

Still think it’s about the poor children? Not even the decency watchdogs are buying into that:

But according to a story in the Charlotte Observer, even the Parents Television Council, which the Observer describes as one of the most aggressive lobbyists for broadcast decency, said it didn’t approve of stations pulling the movie. The Charlotte, N.C., ABC affiliate WSOC-TV also canceled the broadcast.

“Context is everything,” L. Brent Bozell, the organization’s president, said in an interview with the Observer.

But the truth lies in an article in today’s Dallas Morning News (somewhat ironic, as the DMN is also owned by Belo):

In the wake of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” many stations said they fear that the Federal Communications Commission would rule the film indecent and levy fines.

“The inconsistent manner in which the FCC is choosing to apply these rules puts TV stations like ours in a most difficult position,” Raymond H. Cole, president of WOI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa, said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

[…]

“We regret that we are not able to broadcast a patriotic, artistic tribute to our fighting forces like Saving Private Ryan.”

Granted, WOI is not a Belo station, but that’s all it is when it comes down to it. It’s all about Janet Jackson’s tit and saving a buck. It has nothing to do with how appropriate the airing of the movie is. (And what’s even more confusing is that ABC has already come out and said that they’d pay any fines that result from the airing of the movie.)

Look, we all know in advance that, yes, there’s going to be a whole lot of swearing and violence in the movie. To that I say: Big. F*cking. Deal. If you don’t feel it’s appropriate, change the f*cking channel. There’s your choice, and it’s completely within your rights and abilities. If you know what’s coming and you still expose your children to it, you have no—zero—right to be offended.

The wait is over

At long last, the 1.0 release of the Firefox browser is now available. Granted, the milestone builds leading up to the official 1.0 release have been running on my machines for god knows how long now, but some people just won’t touch software that’s still in beta.

That excuse is now gone. Get Firefox. Get it now. It’s fast, it’s safe, and it’s secure. (And unlike IE, you won’t have to wait til 2006 for the next version to come out…)