Seth C: Can you believe bears? Have you seen this mauling by a bear?
It's just inexcusable to have bears mauling human beings like this, right?
Travis (SARR): You know, bears are really the worst. If you take a look at the food chain where do they fit in? I mean all they do is eat people and affirmatively do things in the woods. What other purpose do they serve? We could easily replace bears with sharks or some sort of giant hybrid wolf, and no one would miss them at all. Plus on top of that, have you seen a bear trying to ride a bike? It’s embarrassing. Whenever you get lapped by some monkeys and a guy on a unicycle, you should really step back and question some things, particularly your own existence. And I feel sorry for that poor guy that bet big on the bear and lost. Honestly, I don’t know how bears sleep at night. Or all winter.
So I got the sense from the press conference on Monday (particularly from Amaro) that there might not be a lot of positive energy in the locker room right now. If we as fans feel deflated, imagine how those guys that have been busting their tails for the past six months must feel. They were really riding high after the West Virginia game but it has to be a huge punch in the gut to lose three in a row and know that you have a huge hill to climb this week. Put your v-neck back on and tell me what you would do to give this team an emotional lift this week if you were Kingsbury. I still contend that those guys won a few games because the chemistry was there (TCU and WVU). What would you do to grab some of it back?
Seth C: I am the last person to ask about how to get these guys excited. One of my biggest curses in life is that I rarely show emotion. It's not real cool if you're my wife and I don't appear to be happy about anything. I also don't appear to be sad or upset at anything either. I am making strides now that I have a kid, a kid that didn't understand what I was saying for the first 6 months of him being here and all he had was my facial expressions to know if I was happy or sad about something.
I do think that this team loses both games to WVU and TCU had the last coaching staff been here. It takes a bit of gile to win those games and I don't think this team believed in that prior coaching staff.
So how do I rectify the situation? I'm not sure. I'm working on this week's Iconography and I'm working on the charting matchups and I look like a complete non-homer because everything is so in favor of Baylor. I'm sure that I'm going to have people say that I don't believe, but you can't argue with the stats this late in the year.
What I would say is that no game is dependent on another game for the outcome. Every game is self-contained and the only reason you would ever let a game affect would be if you let it affect you. You can't afford to have any doubt because thinking what happened in any other game literally should have zero affect on the outcome of the game that you play on Sunday.
This all sounds totally logical and that's my problem. I'm not exactly a fire-and-brimstone sort of guy.
Have you seen how bears are becoming a menace to society?
So now we have bears, fully armed riding whales with penguins as henchmen. They just have to be stopped.
You're a successful guy that has some experience in waking up you children with water, how would you throw some cold water on the Baylor Bears?
Travis (SARR): There’s something even more sinister than that, and it’s drunk bears that get drunk and stumble around an elementary school.
I’m hoping that somehow Kingsbury figures out how to remove the cloud that has settled over the team and they just come out and play loose. This is probably the first game this season that they’re not sure they can win, so I hope that removes any inhibitions and they just go out and have fun with it. I would love to see us win the toss and defer. Line up, and kick it onsides to start the game. If, by chance, they recover, run a flea flicker on first down. Then throw it deep again. If they score, kick it onsides again.
Run a fake punt, go for it on 4th, fake field goals, just do everything you can. Sure, it could get completely out of hand, but what do you have to lose? Do whatever you can to punch them in the mouth early and see how they respond. They’re used to jumping out to huge leads and I don’t think they’ve trailed by more than a few points all season. It’s highly unlikely, but I’d love to force them to respond to a two touchdown deficit.
So do you think Briles will be able to adapt to the expectations and outside of football commitments when UT hires him at the end of the season?
Seth C: I honestly don't think that Briles is going anywhere. He's taken Baylor from laughingstock to world-beater and I just can't imagine that a coach at his age, 57 or so, is going to want to rebuild yet again. He's at the top. I guess this is sorta like Duke Basketball. Mike Krzyzewski made Duke basketball a destination and I guess I see the challenge of making that happen at Baylor rather than taking on a whole new set of challenges, with a new AD and a whole new set of politics that he's got to glad-hand and take care of if he goes to Texas. I think UT would be a fool not to offer him the world, but at the end of the day, I don't think he leaves Baylor. What about you? Do you think that he stays or he goes? More than anything else, I think that Briles needs to get a handle on bears exposing themselves so blatantly.
This is a bit off-topic, but that's what we do. Let's talk about bullying in sports and the whole Richie Incognito situation. I never experienced sports bullying, but my highest athletic achievement was making varsity basketball, but being told by the coach I wasn't going to play at all, so I quit and start power-lifting at the 135 weight-class. I was awful at football at 135 pounds. Anyway, have you ever experienced any sort of initiation and do you think that this sort of initiation has a place in sports?
Also, what's the line between bullying and initiation? I'm thinking that having to sing the school song or something really harmless, but maybe embarrassing is okay, but anything after that is too much. This probably makes me a wuss, but that's okay. I simply don't understand how a person has to earn a right to be able to play a game other than a coach deciding that you will or won't play at game.
Travis (SARR): I see your points about Briles and the reasons he might stay at Baylor, but I just picture UT throwing a ton of money at him and at some point ego kicks in. Here’s a little story from Uncle SARR to argue my point. Pull up a chair.
A friend of mine in Minneapolis is Joe Mauer’s cousin, so I’ve paid attention to him throughout his career with the Twins. He’s the only catcher in MLB history to win 3 batting titles and is a superhero in the Twin Cities. He’s a hometown boy, grew up rooting for the Twins, and basically has that entire state in the palm of his hand. On top of that, his extended family is there so he’s set for life. But here’s the deal. I asked her (Joe’s cousin) once if she thought there was ever a scenario where he’d leave the Twins and she said only if the Yankees wanted him. Why? Because it’s the Yankees.
UT is one of the top 2 or 3 coaching jobs in the country and it would be hard for him to turn down. If I remember correctly, he was set to leave Baylor and come to Tech if the money was right, so I don’t think he’s necessarily there for life. But maybe I’m off base, and you’re right about him really needing to get a handle on naked bears everywhere.
The whole Incognito drama is interesting. I really have no idea what was going on in Miami and I’m not interested in taking either side because I don’t know enough about it. But I will say this: I’ve seen people trying to compare this situation with bullying in the work place or kids bullying each other, and I just don’t think comparisons like that match up. There’s a new book out that I really want to get called "Slow Getting Up" by Nate Jackson.
He wasn’t a superstar, just one of the hundreds of hired mercenaries that bounce around the NFL for a few years, clawing to hang on. It’s books like this and also Hero of the Underground: A Memoir by Jason Peter about his life at Nebraska and his time in the NFL that paint a picture of the darker side of the game. I read the Peter book a few years ago and the life he led while in college and during his professional career is completely unreal.
The way most of these NFL guys live is not anything that any of us would recognize. They are in a completely different world, and don’t function the same way most of us do. Now I’m not bringing any of this up as a defense for Incognito, but I think its naïve to believe that this was an isolated incident in Miami. It’s a violent, violent life and I don’t think some guys know when (or how) to turn it off.
As far as me personally, I never really got into any sort of hazing or initiations, on either side (hazee or hazor). I remember a few times some of the meat heads on our team picking on some of the younger guys and I’d tell them to knock it off, but that’s about it. Then some of the guys in Ag would have to carry around wooden guns and anytime an upperclassman yelled "Air Raid" they’d all have to hit the ground and start shooting their fake guns and yell "Ratta tat tat, where them rabbits at?"
The funny thing is I tried to introduce that at the Jones during the early Leach years. Every time the Air Raid sirens would go off I’d try to get our section to yell "ratta tat tat, where them rabbits at?" But it never caught on. Maybe we could bring that back.
So is there anything else about how disgusting bears are that you would like to cover?
Seth C: The whole thing about the culture is so true. It's not something that you or I could really ever understand, just as much as being in a college locker room. I think that there is language that is used that would probably make most of us blush and because of the nature of the game, it's second hand nature to most football players and they don't blink at disparaging words or rude/crude comments.
Between when we last corresponded, Art Briles signed an extension to keep him in Waco until 2023, which means that he really gets to stay there as long as he wants. I do think there's definitely a lot of truth to guys going to the place that they really want and that if someone backs up the money-truck and dumps it in their front yard, they're as good as gone. It's the one that that we sorta hope never happens with Kingsbury, that there won't be a program that could give him enough money to leave Texas Tech. I certainly couldn't imagine that Kingsbury would do that with any Big 12 program, but maybe there's a national program that would pull him away. My head-in-the-sand thought is that he just won't leave because he's always said that this is where he wants to be. Then again, all coaches say that I suppose, even Todd Graham.
I get to put on my Gilbert hat all of the time, what about you. Do you think that there's a scenario where Kingsbury would ever leave or is he ours forever. And I'll lay off the bears.
Travis (SARR): I think the fact that Briles signed a contract extension on the same day we were discussing him leaving is proof that VTM is PrestigeWorldwide. No way that’s a coincidence. Those boys knew it was time to get serious.
The Kingsbury question is tough to answer. My heart says he’ll stay at Tech for as long as he can because it really is home to him. Outside forces (overbearing boosters, BOR, new Chancellor issues) would seem to be the only thing that could potentially drive him away at some point. My argument has always been that if he’s in a position in five or ten years that the really big time schools want him, then that means he’s been successful enough here to catapult us into one of the big time programs- similar to what Briles and Gundy have done. Ten years from now if Kliff is successful and Tech is a perennial top 10 program that competes for conference championships regularly, why would he want to leave? Again though, that’s my heart talking.
On the flip side, this is all assuming he’s a huge success. I think he’ll be given a longer leash than Tuberville ever was, but if we don’t get over that 7-5 hump and back into the territory where Leach was beginning to take us (9+ wins) in five years then we may start to hear rumblings. I don’t think that’s the case though. Underneath the swagger is an extremely good coach, and I’m glad he’s here.
Confetti flies! Viva Gilberto!