A Troika of Losers: Two Cowboys and an Aggie Walk Into a Bar …

I was needlessly afraid of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. As John Razook revealed in his blog, I was among the Longhorn faithful who weren’t all that faithful. Who can blame us? After all, my nickname of the Horns of recent vintage had been the Wifebeaters. (“We promise we won’t lose to Oklahoma again this year, honey …” BAM!) But it’s time to face the facts: the Horns see themselves as winners, and that’s half the battle. To be surprised at this victory is to believe the timing of Saddam Hussein’s death sentence right before elections is a coincidence.

It’s clear Texas will finish the regular season undefeated in the Big 12. I’m still not convinced they’re National Champ material minus Vince Young, but they believe, dammit, they believe. Lifelong Horns fans like yours truly need only look at one gaudy stat: 21 straight conference wins. That matches 21 straight Southwest Conference victories during the last glory days of the program from ’68 to ’71. Gulp. These guys are for real. Bring on that Nebraska rematch. An Ohio State do-over? Crazier things have happened, and the Horns, with ultra-confident Colt McCoy cocked and loaded, might just pull it off if given the chance.

One look at OSU coach Mike Gundy was all it took to tell he didn’t believe. Doing his best Joey Tribbiani impersonation on the sidelines (“How you doin’?”), he twitched and preened and exuded all the confidence of a guy thoroughly in over his head. His QB Bobbie Reid is a stud, but not studly enough to stop Texas without better coaching.

And I’m sure Kansas State isn’t up to the task either. Texas A&M? Oh, you mean the team where the fans pull out the “down Horns” sign while playing Oklahoma? Coach Fran was looking more like the former Southwest Texas State coach who crumbled Jim Wacker’s dynasty on Saturday than the secret to the Farmers’ return to glory. Talk about a loser vs. a winner. Risk junkie Bob Stoops has his Sooners go for it needlessly on fourth down to seal the win. Fraidy-cat Franchione kicks two field goals to assure his one-point loss. Can you spot the (admitted reckless) winner in this lineup?

Which brings us to the Dallas Cowboys and Terrell Owens. It feels like just the other day I was begging for a training camp sideline pass at St. Edward’s to watch the Boys prep for the Super Bowl. Now Troy Aikman has to painfully watch a shell of his former team from the press box. Owens may be as skilled and quirky as Michael Irvin, but he’s not a winner. On Sunday, he took a snooze in the end zone to celebrate a TD (and earn a penalty), then napped again to drop the one gimme pass that could have spelled victory for the 4-4 Pokes. A better comparison would be to NBA oddity Dennis Rodman, who was never a team player, never a real winner. All show, no go. No matter how hard Coach Bill Parcells tries to convince these guys they're winners, that blocked field goal to give the game to a shocked fellow old warrior Joe Gibbs surely burst the bubble for good.

To quote the late, great king of positivity, Coach Wacker, “Unbelievable!”

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