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Friday, December 03, 2004

INsite: The Pregame Tailgate (December 2004) 

(The December INsite hits stand this week.)

The Pregame Tailgate
By Andrew Fox

The holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time for my yearly Christmas list – no, not for me, of course. This list targets what I’d like to give to my favorite (and least favorite) sports personalities and entities.

The Texas Longhorns and Houston Astros: My sincerest appreciation. In a lifetime of following these two teams, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a given year where the ups outweighed the downs as much as they did in 2004. From dancing in the end zone after watching Texas beat Arkansas to dancing in my living room after Jeff Kent’s walk-off homer in Game Five of the NLCS, thanks for the memories!

Mack Brown: A poisoned banana. I’ve had my issues with Coach Brown in the past, but he stepped things up this season. Still, he has an OU monkey on his back that he just can’t shake. Perhaps a cyanide-laced Chiquita might do the trick.

Jeff Bagwell: A new shoulder. It pains me to watch Baggy play through his arthritic shoulder, though not nearly as much as it pains him. He intends to adjust his swing this offseason to lessen its affect, but then he still can’t throw twenty feet. Five-hundred homers isn’t the lock that is once was, but as long as Bags thinks he can play, I’m behind him.

Craig Biggio: A Fountain of Youth. Bidge might not be an everyday player in 2005, but he’s still King Astro to me, and I think he can duplicate the renewed vigor he showed last season. Here’s to one more year in the sun, Craig!

Andy Pettitte: Increased powers of persuasion. You brought us The Rocket last season. Think maybe you can convince him to stick around for one more run?

Baseball’s Hall of Fame: A Houston phone directory. You’ll need it in about six or seven years.

Cedric Benson and Derrick Johnson: Newly tailored suits. This dynamic burnt orange duo will need new duds for when they hear their name called early in April’s NFL Draft.

Utah: A Fiesta Bowl ass-kicking. It won’t come, of course, because the Utes will get to play some pathetic pretender like Pittsburgh or Syracuse, but if any team needs a rude introduction to big-time college football, it’s Utah.

Greg Davis: A promotion. Don’t want to fire someone? Move them out by moving them up. The strategy worked for Elaine Benes during her tenure at the helm of the J. Peterman catalogue. Special Assistant to the AD sounds like a winner.

Greg Robinson: Keys to the city of Austin. Seriously, take whatever you want. The Texas defense this season was infinitely better than it has been in recent years. You deserve whatever you want this Holiday season. A new car? Red McCombs has you covered. A new pad? Mack Brown’s wife Sally can handle it. Booze and women? I’m sure DeLoss Dodds still has Gary Barnett’s number on file.

LaMarcus Aldridge: GNC Weight Gainer 2200. As soon as Aldridge puts on twenty pounds, this guy may as well set up a cot in the lane at the Erwin Center, because he’s going to make it his home.

The NCAA: Congressional hearings. Isn’t it about time that someone came forward and investigated the level of corruption in this organization?

Detroit: A lifetime supply of O’Douls. You people obviously can’t hold your alcohol.

Anheuser-Busch and Miller: Increased advertising budgets. Just when Miller’s referee ad campaign had started to become stale, Budweiser started in with their spoof ads. Keep it going guys, so that America has a reason to watch the Super Bowl.

Dallas Cowboys fans: Patience. I get the feeling that things are going to get worse before they start to get better, but this team will eventually re-emerge among the NFL’s elite.

Terrell Owens: A scorching case of gonorrhea. Maybe that’s not harsh enough. Isn’t syphilis fatal?

Vince Young: Reinforced shoulder pads. It’s your team now, Vince. The weight of the Longhorn world is on your shoulders. Keep making us proud.

Texas Ranger fans: A top starting pitcher. Y’all had a fun team to watch this past season, and I’d love to see you get a real ace, just so I don’t have to hear the tired complaints from Rangers detractors.

David Carr: An apology. I scoffed when the Texans took the Fresno State signal-caller a few years ago, but I was wrong. Carr might not be the best QB in the NFL, but he’s one of the toughest. I like his fire and his poise, and I’d take on my team any day.

The INsite crew and all of the TPT Readers: A great big hug. I’m now entering year number five on the INsite staff, and I hope y’all enjoy reading the TPT as much as I enjoy writing it. God bless and have a Happy Holiday season!
Email TPT at drewfox@alumni.utexas.net


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