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Saturday, January 01, 2005

INsite: The Pregame Tailgate (January 2005) 

The Pregame Tailgate

by Andrew Fox

What can we expect from 2005? The official TPT crystal ball sees all.

Jan. 4- Oklahoma crushes USC in the Orange Bowl, leaving the Pac-10 winless in its two bowl contests against Big 12 teams. Pac-10 officials, in an attempt to boost their conference’s strength, approach the Big 12 about acquiring Texas Tech and Baylor in a trade for Cal, Stanford and a lifetime supply of premium California Pinot Noir. The deal falls apart when Cal coach Jeff Tedford balks at the thought of having to beat real competition in the regular season.

Jan. 21- Sportswriters across the country lambaste Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido after Garrido fails to emerge from the clubhouse to congratulate the winning side in the Horns’ first preseason intrasquad scrimmage.

Feb. 16- Jambalaya sales in Austin skyrocket when Louisiana blue chip QB Ryan Perriloux officially signs his letter of intent to play at Texas. Hornfans.Com crashes minutes later following the first of many “Young v. Perriloux” debates.

March 25- Sixty-six thousand Texas fans – many dressed in commemorative Rose Bowl gear – flock to DKR-Memorial Stadium for the Texas spring football game. Though the exhilaration of Texas’ blowout win over Michigan has yet to subside on the Forty Acres, many still boo after Vince Young throws an interception on the game’s first play. The boos grow louder when the Orange team punts several plays later, and by the end of the game, offensive coordinator Greg Davis needs a police escort back to the locker room. One fan burns his season tickets on San Jacinto after the game, screaming the Rose Bowl win was nice, but “it’s not metal for the war chest.”

April 3- Texas’ second trip to the Final Four in three seasons ends in defeat when Daniel Gibson’s last-second shot misses by the smallest of margins. The excitement of the moment causes Dick Vitale to have a seizure.

April 23- Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells trades both of Dallas’ first round draft picks to the New York Jets for Curtis Martin and two fourth round picks in 2006.

May 1- An entire Chicago Cubs home stand is cancelled due to Sammy Sosa’s excessive crying about a lack of playing time.

July 12- Astros’ OF Carlos Beltran wins MVP honors at the Major League All-Star game. Beltran blasts two home runs and makes a diving catch to rob a triple, helping the NL to earn home field advantage for the World Series.

July 30- At the trade deadline, New York owner George Steinbrenner offers Houston’s Drayton McLane his penthouse apartment and the deed to Yankee Stadium, for Carlos Beltran. McLane’s pot-sweetening request for an additional $100M proves to be too much money for even Big Stein. Steinbrenner tries to raise the money by selling his soul to Satan, but it turns out that he already did that 23 years ago. Beltran remains an Astro.

Aug 2- On the eve of training camp, Dallas QB Vinny Testaverde dies of extreme old age. Owner Jerry Jones and coach Bill Parcells scramble to fill the hole and end up coaxing Phil Simms out of retirement. Meanwhile, in California, former NFL star Ricky Williams issues a statement questioning why the media isn’t so quick to criticize Testaverde for “abandoning his teammates.”

Oct. 10- Mack Brown’s Texas Longhorns beat Oklahoma for the first time since 1999. Dallas-area bars lose millions when stunned Texas fans remain in their Cotton Bowl seats until the late hours, not knowing how to react.

Oct. 25- Disgruntled with his lack of playing time, Drew Henson leaves the Dallas Cowboys and signs with the World Champion San Antonio Spurs, hoping to become the first athlete to be a total bust at three professional sports.

Nov. 1- Roger Clemens outduels Randy Johnson in Game Seven of the World Series to give Houston its first world title in baseball. The win is bittersweet as it proves to be the final baseball game for both pitchers, as well as Astros legends Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, whose shoulder falls off during a sixth inning at-bat.

Dec. 6- Texas hammers Colorado to win the Big 12 Championship Game, clinching the Horns’ second consecutive Rose Bowl appearance. Texas draws fellow unbeaten Miami as its BCS Title opponent, thus denying the Pac-10 and Big Ten of their traditional match-up for yet another season. Among the most outspoken critics are Cal fans, who blame Texas for their 3-8 record.

Dec. 13- Texas QB Vince Young wins the school’s third Heisman Trophy. Hornfans.Com shuts its doors forever when fans bombard the site with posts that no matter what the media says, Ryan Perriloux should start over Young, and that offensive coordinator Greg Davis should be fired.

Dec. 25- Texas coach Mack Brown receives a raise and a 25-year contract extension. Angry Texas fans firebomb campus.


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