Archive for July, 2013

Texas Longhorns Football Season Ticket Sales in Decline

Posted by    |    July 31st, 2013 at 2:01 pm

20120331_jel_al2_035

Saw this on public boards, but I believe the original source is Chip Brown at Orangebloods. So props to him. You can try them free for 30 days with a Rivals30 entry code.

Texas Season Ticket Sales:

1998 … 38,100
1999 … 48,400
2000 … 53,600
2001 … 54,100
2002 … 62,500
2003 … 66,600
2004 … 66,400
2005 … 66,400
2006 … 74,400 (an increase of 8,000)
2007 … 69,700 (a drop of 4,700)
2008 … 83,000 (an increase of 13,300)
2009 … 83,900
2010 … 84,500 (all-time high)
2011 … 81,600 (a drop of 2,900)
2012 … 78,800 (a drop of 2,800)
x-2013 … 76,300 (a drop of 2,500)

If you want Bellmont to take notice, the bottom line is the only way that they receive information. Obviously season ticket sales are highly variable and there are macro-economic factors at play, but a severe economic downturn in 2008-2009 matched to season ticket sales doesn’t jibe with that narrative.

Don’t Expect to See the LHN on Time Warner Anytime Soon

Posted by    |    July 30th, 2013 at 4:27 pm

123699011

UT is dropping its local agreement with Time Warner and Texas-based Grande Communications is now the official cable & internet provider for Longhorn Sports.

I guess negotiations with Time Warner and ESPN over the Longhorn Network must be going swimmingly.

Grande, based out of San Marcos will provide services to all Longhorn athletic facilities and will be the official sponsor of the Neighborhood Longhorns Program, which provides additional help and educational opportunities for Austin middle-schoolers. They will also have signage rights in UT athletic venues.

This points to a couple of things:

Grande was the first local provider to pick up the LHN. Time Warner, the largest cable provider in Texas, has been a holdout from the start. ESPN reportedly is asked for for the LHN to be on the basic cable tier and to get 40 cents per subscriber.

Secondly, Texas is trading in a national provider – with over 14 million subscribers, including 2 million in Texas, for a regional company that has approximately 200,000 subscribers in Texas.

I’m guessing the rights fee check Grande Communications cut isn’t quite as big as the one Time Warner wrote.

Grande has partial coverage in 9 Texas communities.

Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Midland/Odessa, Waco and San Marcos.

The Tragedy of Johnny F@ck-All

Posted by    |    July 30th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

20130717_jla_sg8_007

He has already reached so high that the only story we know how to tell about Johhny Manziel, now, is how he fell.

Here we wait, three-act screenplay structure in hand, waiting for the big screw up. We need for the hero to reward our bloodlust by failing. And, when he does, he’ll be played by Enver Gjokaj on the Lifetime™ channel. Yes, aren’t I the terrible T-Sip, tearing down the A&M quarterback, out of jealousy no doubt, using a British expression in my title, no less. Right?

No. I don’t need to see the man torn down. If I did, I could just watch his LSU lowlights all over again. Instead, I think the poor guy is a victim of circumstance, doomed from the start.

Texas fans, sober and informed ones anyway, don’t see Manziel as the great could-have-been for Texas, because we know that Texas wanted to turn him into the next Blake Gideon. That, along with Manziel’s exquisite timing in becoming the all-everything QB in another conference, and it’s been easy for Texas fans to sit back and watch the man play some damned good football.

So, when folks started tut-tutting the man, and not in a good way, for washing out of the Manning camp for whatever it was, I can truly say that I just didn’t get it. All these sports fans suddenly clutching their pearls over a college student, partying. Sure: laugh if you want, but don’t strike a pose like the comfort waistband warriors, waxing tedious about “leadership,” which I guess they read about in Time Life Books, or something. It’s the offseason. Professional sportswriters needed column inches, and internet infallibilities wanted new cathedrae (from which to ex) since the old ones were making their overflowing asses sore.

Not since Shae Morenz tore up his knee bearing some bint down the stairs have I smelled such calumnious beer-belching bullshit. And it’s all beside the point.

The great tragedy of Johnny Manziel, it appears, is not that Texas didn’t get him. It’s that Manziel didn’t get to come to Texas. Yes, you know he wanted to come here, but it’s deeper than that. There’s a reason he wanted to come to Texas, and it’s why he doesn’t fit at A&M. He doesn’t just love Texas, he’s a rich kid. (Hey, didn’t you know all us Texas guys were frat daddies? I know, weird, right? I don’t remember pledging or paddling or any of their other homoerotic traditions.) He went to highschool in the hill country, not the malarial Brazos bottom, coming of age in one of Austin’s satellite cultural playgrounds. That’s why Manziel was already sick of College Station before he tweeted about it, to judge from the explanations given in his defense. There is a very specific culture that goes with aggie. Some are able to convert to it, but so many are born to it. Manziel fits in about as well as I would have, which is why he wants to be in Austin, every chance he gets. But Texas looked right through him, and took David Ash.

At Texas A&M, Manziel wound up with a better offense, a better O-line, and a better coach, in a better conference, and it’s still not enough for him. You, Orangeblood: imagine that, shunned by the 40 Acres, your path to glory ran through College Station.

I’ll wait right here while you go vomit.

And it gets worse. Imagine, not just being marooned in College Station, but watching the calendar, waiting for your third year, second on the field. And waiting for it to be over, already. You’ve already won the highest individual award your sport offers … at your level. Just one more season, and you can declare for the NFL draft. If you can avoid running a dog-fighting ring, the way before you is clear. Yes, you come from money, but now you can earn fame and fortune with your own muscle, a clear shot at fame few will ever have, though so many dream of it. And you’ve already tasted it, been feted, telecast. Hell, on Google, “Johnny …” brings up “Manziel” even before “Johnny Depp.”

But wait, O Texas A&M Tantalus. Tick tock! You can clear the aggiean stables and climb Olympus. But not just now. No. You are marooned, both in space (College Station) and in time (RS soph), in a limbo so profound that Rush should write a song about you.

In a few weeks’ time, things could happen, on an actual football field, that will make all of this wink into an asterisk and drop into a file somewhere, only for you to stumble across it years later, then feel suddenly old. The very words you’re reading will be dust. Johnny Manziel is not just able, but likely to do things shortly that will sweep away the fever swamp of the football-less summer with ever-higher statistics, the roar of the crowd, and the soggy blattings of that obsolete marching band.

But soon is not enough. Young people are all about right now, and right now, Manziel can’t seem to forget Austin, the way Karen Lynn Gorney still pined for John Travolta even after she wound up in the back seat with those two mooks, poor girl.

Like me, you are probably something of an authority on beer cans. That one that Manziel almost caught with his right ear? Wasn’t exactly empty, was it? You can tell from the sound. His shirt is soaked, too. Not in a sweat pattern. Looks like someone gave him a Budweiser baptism.

Is that any way to treat someone who’s carrying a torch for you?

I’m not saying that his boozing and brawling are cries for help, I’m saying that they’re utterly unremarkable, as any drive through West Campus on a Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Parents’ Day night will plainly show. If Manziel had gotten what he wanted, Ash’s job, those would be our Fulmer Cup points. The world would still turn, the beer at Scholtz’s would still be cold, and the young women crossing at 24th St. and Guadalupe would still cause traffic accidents.

If you want to hate him: fine. Johnny Manziel joined the Boys in Merlot. Despise him, therefore. Content yourself with the fact that the only burnt orange he will ever wear is what he can buy for himself. He can buy a lot of it, but it will never be enough. And that’s why Johnny F@ck-All is having a little trouble giving a shit right now, OK?

Punch your ticket and go to the NFL. And godspeed, you poor bastard.

We Wrote A 2013 Texas Football Season Preview

Posted by    |    July 29th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

20121018_ter_sh2_028

We meaning Scott (aka Longhorn Scott), Jason (aka nobis60), and yours truly (Paul, aka Scipio). We’ve just spent the last few weeks slavishly putting the final touches on what we believe will serve as the definitive 2013 Guide to Texas Longhorn Football.

We will be updating the status here frequently.

You may have a few questions:

What’s it called?

2013 Longhorn Football Prospectus: Thinking Texas Football.

Why did you write this?

Frankly, we were frustrated by the offerings available to us and suspect that many Longhorn (and college football) fans are as well. With all due respect to national publishers, we realized we knew more about Texas, the Big 12 – and in many cases – football in general, than they do. And can string a sentence together better, too.

Local media vary widely in talent and are often reduced to formulae that fits neatly in a 800 word column. Unless they’re in Bellmont disfavor, in which case they just write anti-Texas pot-stirring articles.

And then there are the previews where every route is crisp, every practice spirited and physical…

The internet has several fantastic Texas resources – public and pay – but they (and we on Barking Carnival) offer a different conduit of information distribution. I read daily news, but I still also read books. They’re complementary resources.

So it’s a preview?

A season companion. The book is written so that it will act as both a preview and a resource for the entire season. You will find yourself opening it and referencing it throughout the Fall. And in 2014. It’ll be evergreen and as valid in late November as in early August. It also becomes “a living document” in combination with the blog.

When?

Available in early August. TBD. We’ll let you know.

Why now?

We waited after the June/early July preview glut because it allowed us to incorporate significant off-season developments into our analysis (Connor Brewer and Cayleb Jones departure, medical redshirts, Desmond Harrison admittance, significant off-season intel) and we noticed that most preview guides, because of publishing schedules, are written immediately post-Spring.

A lot happened between April and August.

Where?

In your preferred e-reader. It will be an e-book. We’re working out the distribution now, but certainly Amazon, at minimum. We’ll update you very soon.

I want a hard cover book!

Understood. But if you own any computer, a Kindle, an e-reader, an iPad, or a mobile phone, it will be easily readable, referenced, and available to you in a beautiful format. If you must have a hard magazine, too, this one is pretty cool.

I want a hard cover book!

For $10,000, we’ll come to your Longhorn game-watching party and act out the entire preview in Kabuki.

What’s in it?

We dissect the Longhorns from every angle imaginable, offering realistic assessments of personnel, scheme, challenges, schedule, program foundation, and advantages. We also break down the league race, preview every Longhorn opponent, and help you understand the current direction of college football in unique and fresh ways. And yeah, we talk about the defense. And the new offense.

But we’re a little different in our approach. For example, when writing about Texas personnel, we don’t just talk about their abilities in some vacuum, we talk about fit to system, likely use, competing interests, implications for that unit, and what tradeoffs/advantages they offer.

Is it over my head? I just love watching games. I don’t want homework.

The book is written for an intelligent football layperson. And it’s entertaining. We won’t insult you by writing down to the lowest common denominator nor will we try to impress you with technical babble. If we can’t explain it, it’s not worth mentioning. We want to give you tools that make watching Texas more enjoyable, conveyed in an approachable format.

Is the book pro-Longhorn?

Unapologetically so. It was written by three Texas graduates who love Texas with all of their hearts, but, like most Texas fans, are also cursed/blessed with analytical minds and a suspicion of groupthink. Which is what makes Texas fans slightly different from your average football school. Our primary objective is to convey balance, not snark. But we will try to make you chuckle.

If that sounds like you, buy it. It’s a good gift for friends and family, too.

Cost?

$10.

Is it just prose?

No way. It’s stocked with charts, tables, diagrams, film stills, and gorgeous action photos. Many of those photos are of Longhorn players, and not just intimate squirrel portraits.

How big is it?

Just right.

Will you cover the Big 12?

Yes. Every team has a capsule. As do our non-conference opponents. We offer a lot of useful information to help understand the league from a macro and team level perspective. We predict the conference race and explain our thought process. If you’re a general Big 12 or college football fan, you’ll find value.

I like Barking Carnival. I’ve been a reader since (insert date here)….

Thanks! We like you back. You know how we’ve never charged you for all of the thousands of informative articles you’ve read, laughs we’ve shared, and the camaraderie of community you’ve experienced?

Well…

What are you saying?

Do I have to spell it out?

Please.

Buy it. Buy several. Give ’em to your friends and family.

Oh, yeah, of course. I thought you were going to ask to borrow my car.

Can we?!

BOOMER & SOONER: THE OKLAHOMA HORSE-PIGS

Posted by    |    July 28th, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Sooners

Jake Trotter and Max Olson polled a number of Big 12 players on myriad subjects at Big 12 media days (Could Charlie Weis’ boxer-briefs clothe an entire Burundian village? Best Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy? Is our reality merely a patchwork construct of perspectivist cave shadows or was Plato probably just a fat Greek pedophile?) but by far the best responses were yielded by this inquiry:

Who has the worst mascot?

The players resoundingly chose Iowa State. Yeah. We tried to address this three years ago.

Concept1b_medium

You’re welcome.

But the other runner-up responses yielded the most amusing things to ever come out of any Big 12 media day, at least since Art Briles accepted his male pattern baldness and stopped wearing a transvestite wig.

Runner up for worst mascot: the Oklahoma Sooners. Why?

“OU – they got those horse-pig things.”

He’s referring to a pony. A Big 12 player just dismissed the lovable, rotund little prancing Sooner ponies as “horse-pigs.” HORSE-PIG. I’m not letting this meme die. I swear it on all that is holy.

In the same vein, I’d like to propose that we call a cooing newborn baby a “baldass-poopy-monkey thing”, a playful polar bear cub an “albino-labrador-rat”, and describe a stunning ocean sunset as “dayglo-over-some-salty-fish-piss.”

The comedy continues.

Runner up for worst mascot: the irritating Kansas Jayhawk. Why?

“KU. It’s a mythical bird. Why wouldn’t you go with a blue jay or something that is known to be aggressive?”

“….something that is known to be aggressive.” Not only does this answer demonstrate a highly cultivated sense of irony, but also a surprising grasp of ornithology, for the blue jay is a plucky and determined defender of its young. But we probably want to explore hawk, falcon, or eagle for aggression and majesty before thinking “blue jay.”

I like to imagine that it was Texas guard Trey Hopkins who said this while kitted up like a 19th century English naturalist: blousey-white shirt tucked into smart pantaloons, waistcoat, floppy straw hat; peering distractedly through a single lens telescope, butterfly net tucked into his belt.

I’d like to conclude by saying: Oklahoma horse-pigs.