Playing Through

The No. 1 Longhorns are too good to ignore

Playing Through
Photo Courtesy of UT

Understand, I tried everything I could think of to avoid getting into Longhorn football. "Screw 'em," I kept thinking after UT's athletic department once again dissed the Chronicle on press credentials; there are other sports to write about.

First I tried interviewing Huston Street, the ace closer for the Oakland Athletics and former Longhorn, who on behalf of the American Heart Association was back in Austin, encouraging people to get their flu shots. The 2005 American League Rookie of the Year seemed like a genuinely decent guy lending his fame to an entirely worthy cause. Still, that's all I had to say about that: nice guy, commendable cause.


Well, next was the Gail Goestenkors fashion show I went to Friday. Now don't get me wrong. I really like Coach G and the UT women's basketball team. And just ask anyone, and they'll tell you that Tom Hackett is all about classy, comfortable, casual clothing for the active career woman. It's like a mission of mine. But the "first-ever women's apparel collection with design assistance from a Division I head coach"? I'm just not sure where to go with that, except to maybe investigate whether Christian Dior or Yves Saint Laurent ever did any Division I coaching in their days.

Try as I might, I'm afraid there's just no getting away from Texas football. Not when they're this good. Not when they're averaging more than 48 points a game. Not when they've got a Heisman Trophy shoo-in leading the team to a national championship.

Yeah, yeah. I got the memo: We're not supposed to get ahead of ourselves. We're supposed to take it one game at a time, knowing the Longhorns face undefeated Oklahoma State and Texas Tech the next two weekends. "We're a blue-collar team, and nobody takes things for granted," says Brian Orakpo, the Longhorn's fearsome defensive end. "You can throw that number one ranking out the window, and we have to go back to work."

"Actually, we don't like the number one ranking, because it's too much distraction," says cornerback Ryan Palmer.

Come on, guys. Who do you think you're kidding? The whole nation saw y'all give Missouri a serious spanking Saturday, in prime time. We saw quarterback Colt McCoy deliver a near-perfect game, completing 29 of 32 passes for 337 yards. We saw an underutilized backfield nevertheless rack up 207 rushing yards compared to the Tigers' 30. Even the things we didn't see were impressive. Like not a single turnover.

Why is it de rigueur for coaches and athletes to act all abashed about their obvious pre-eminence? What good does it really do? Why not do what Muhammad Ali always did, telling the world just how great you really are?

It's obnoxious and braggy, you say?

Yeah, well, get over it. Embrace your destiny.

I have.

Please write Mr. Hackett at

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key words: Huston Street, Gail Goestenkors, Brian Orakpo, Ryan Palmer, Colt McCoy

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