Monday, November 23, 2009

UT vs. Aggies

The Longhorn vs. Aggie rivalry is a strong one in the great state of Texas. For many years it was played on Thanksgiving Day. It then moved to Friday after Thanksgiving but thankfully it is back on Thanksgiving Day. This game is one of those that it does not matter what each of the school's record is, the teams should be prepared.

When I was growing up, it was a fairly lopsided series with the Longhorns being the one that usually won. We had some great friends that were Aggies. They always went to the game from Austin when it was played in Aggieland. One year my family along with another couple of families went in and decorated the Aggie family yard like it was a graveyard. UT, of course, won and our friends got to come home to the decorated yard. I think it added to their misery.

Ten years ago, the rivalry went a bit out of the game when both schools mourned the victims of bonfire at A&M. I was proud to be a Longhorn as there was a memorial at UT for the victims. I do think now that it has been 10 years, the rivalry is back and it will be a fun game this Turkey Day! Hook 'Em!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tomball Holiday Parade

Well, we are very excited as tomorrow is the 44th annual Tomball Holiday Parade. I am very fortunate to have worked on this for the last 8 years. I am the person that coordinates the Dignitary Breakfast and handles the dignitaries at the Review Stand. We will have, if the weather is good, about 40,000 people come out and watch. There are over 180 entries and the parade lasts for about 2 miles on Main Street. Come on out and get in the holiday spirit. The theme this year is Holidays around the World. Roads close at 9:15. Hope to see you there.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Development of a UT Football Fanatic - Final

On December 6th, the final score of the UT vs. Arkansas game was 15-14 and UT won in the final minutes. We were screaming and jumping up and down. Our family friend Bob that was over to watch had sat in this one chair for the whole game. We had Mexican tile in the family room and he had jumped up so much that he had worn the stain of the Mexican tile with the chair.

Later that day, my parents took me down to the drag (Guadalupe Street in front of the university)to celebrate with all of the other fans. It was madhouse of people of all walks of life. You have to remember this was 1969. The smell of pot was around and someone even offered my dad a joint. He did of course turn it down. It was a blast to be down there with everyone. The tower was lit up in solid orange with a white "#1" on all four sides.

Sunday the team came home and my parents took me out to the airport to meet the team. It was just so exciting. The team loved the crowd. It was an awesome weekend. Texas went on on New Year's Day to beat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl. UT was the national champions in all of the polls.

There was a down spot right after the Shootout in Arkansas. One of the team members, Freddie Steinmark, found out that he had a bone tumor in his leg. He had his leg amputated six days after the shootout. If you want to read an outstanding book, read about his journey from football player to having his leg amputated. It is a great book and is called "I Play to Win". Freddie passed away in June of 1971.

From the 1969 season I became a die hard UT football fanatic.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Development of a UT Football Fanatic, Part 3

December 6th, 1969 was an exciting day that I eagerly awaited all week. That morning I put on my UT James Street jersey and believe it or not, I had burnt orange jeans. I was ready for the game. It was played in Fayettville, Arkansas to a packed house. The Razorback fans all had their hog hats on and there were a good amount of Longhorn loyals there as was the Longhorn Band (Showband of the Southwest).

We had some family friends over to watch the game and plenty of food. We all watched intently on the game. At the end of 3 quarters, the game was not going well for the Longhorns as they were down 0-14. UT scored on the first play of the fourth quarter and then went for 2 and the game was now 8-14. Time was down to less than 5 minutes in the fourth and Texas made an unbelievable play. It was 4th and 3 on the 43. Texas called a timeout and Street went over to talk to Coach Royal. Royal called a pass play that they had only run 4 times all season and none had worked. The receiver chosen was not even the most dependable receiver.

Street goes back into the huddle and calls the play to pass to Peschel. Royal called the play based on what the Arkansas defense had been doing all game on big 3rd down plays. Royal played a hunch and guess what, it worked. Street threw a perfect pass, Peschel caught it and brought the ball to the 13 yard line. 2 plays later Bertelsen scored to tie it 14-14. Happy Feller kicked the extra point to make it 15-14 with 3:58 to play. Come back to hear the rest of the story.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Development of a UT Football Fanatic - Part 2

The week leading to the UT vs Arkansas Shootout was a blast. My parents allowed me to answer the phone differently that week. I was normally supposed to answer the phone "Prentice residence, Camille speaking". That week I got to change the way I answered the phone and I used "Beat Arkansas, Camille speaking". My parents also took me to the UT Pep Rally. There were so many people there in Memorial Stadium or at least it seemed like it to a 9 year old. The spirits were high, the team was pumped and everyone was ready to beat the Razorbacks. By then I knew the words to the "Eyes of Texas" and the "Texas Fight Song". I had a blast that night.

As we were leaving the stadium and walking on the track, Darrell Royal came up behind me and patted me on my favorite UT windbreaker. You have to realize that by this time I knew he was my hero. He was the coach at the time for the Longhorns and is still a legend there today as well in all of college football. After that pat on the back, I would not let my mother wash the jacket for a very long time. I was in heaven.

The rest of the week was full of anticipation. We prepared food for the watching party and waited for Saturday to arrive. Come back for the next posting to hear about the game.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Development of a UT Football Fanatic

I became a Longhorn fanatic in 1969 when I was 9. My dad started teaching me that fall about the game of football. I watched the UT games and the Cowboy games with him. The fall of 1969 was a special season. The Longhorns were poised for greatness that year. They played as a team. The Horns were led by quarterback James Street who was undefeated as the starting quarterback for the Longhorns. The Longhorns ran the wishbone. They defeated Oklahoma that year 27-17. They were off to a great start.

The Horns marched through the rest of the schedule to the Shootout with Arkansas. It was to be played in Fayetteville, Arkansas with a lot of attention as the game had been moved to the last weekend of the season for the celebration of the centennial of college football. Many were considering this the Game of the Century. It was so exciting to be in Austin leading up to the game. Come back and read the rest of the story.