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Weekly Conversation: The Perfect Day, Roosevelt's Fists, and the Longhorns

This week's installment of the Weekly Conversation discusses the perfect day, Theodore Roosevelt's fists, more on the silence of Texas Tech's football program and the Longhorns.

Photograph shows former President Theodore Roosevelt on the deck of the steamship Aidan, in New York harbor, after his expedition to South America.
Photograph shows former President Theodore Roosevelt on the deck of the steamship Aidan, in New York harbor, after his expedition to South America.
Library of Congress

Seth C: Well, you made it to the sideline and met a state trooper and you saw a team that was never into the game. Having no idea what you wrote about, I non-transcribed Mike Smith's comments from the Monday press conference and he said that some of the back-ups quit on the team.

The most frustrating thing about all of this, at least for me, is that I have no idea how the inner workings of a football team of 100 individuals work. I've been complete wrong about two football things this summer/spring. I was all but certain that the Cowboys were going to be terrible and this wasn't based off of anything other than just watching some preseason games and taking note that the Cowboys were on a virtual treadmill of 8-8 and it was just a matter of time before the Cowboys were the Oakland Raiders. I was wrong. I was also sure that Texas Tech would win 7 games. Probably willing to bet a chunk of change that this team could get that done. With that being said, I feel like I have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to football at this point.

From our friends at the Double-T Insider: Season 3, Episode 9, featuring Pete Robertson, Minta Spears, The Goin' Band from Raiderland, and Assistant Coach Kevin Curtis.

You wrote that there's a lifelessness about this team and it's on everyone to figure out that you have to be the coiled energy contained in Theodore Roosevelt's fists.

Travis: I hope everyone clicks on that Roosevelt link because the post is awesome. I never realized he walked around with balled fists, coiling all his energy all the time. The best pics are the ones with his fist in his pocket. It sort of reminds me of myself as a kid. My dad once told me that when I was little I never relaxed my hands and always had a tight fist, but that doesn't have anything to do with coiled energy. It just mainly proves that I was a weird, tense little kid that was afraid to go upstairs at my grandma's house because King Kong would easily be able to grab me from the 2nd story window.

But I digress. The lifelessness does bother me to a degree, but I really don't know what to make of it. When I'm in a situation that I know I'll write a story about I try to make a mental note of as much of my surroundings as possible. The "silence" part was something that really stuck out to me but it wasn't necessarily a negative thought in the beginning. It was more like those war movies when a bomb goes off and the star can't hear anything for a while. There's so much action going on around him, but he can't really hear anything. I'd see Smith or Kingsbury clapping or yelling, but couldn't really hear it. But some of the smaller things were easier to hear. A referee pulled a flag in front of me and threw it, and I swear I could hear it flying through the air. It was just an odd sensation that I was able to relate back to the team because at some point their lack of emotion was visible.

The "silence" part was something that really stuck out to me but it wasn't necessarily a negative thought in the beginning. It was more like those war movies when a bomb goes off and the star can't hear anything for a while. -Travis on the silence

We were at lunch the other day and a friend of mine came up with a funny question. But first, a bit of background: One of the guys I work with is just like Eeyor from the Winnie the Pooh cartoons. He's always in a bad mood and worried that the sky is falling. He calls himself "the black cloud." We asked him to describe his idea of the perfect day. He came up with sitting on a safe full of all his money (so his wife and kids couldn't spend it) watching ESPN, but not on a UT gameday because that's no fun (he's a Longhorn). And the funny thing is, I completely believe him.

So, with that setup, what is your idea of the perfect day?

Seth C: Gosh, I have no idea how to answer this honestly without getting myself in trouble. My perfect day would be somewhere in Colorado with my wife and TWO kids and two dogs, just walking around and being together and enjoying things. That would be perfect right now, having both kids here.

What about you?

I linked the Blazer's Edge article on Wednesday morning with the hope that it might pique your interest and sure enough, it did. I find the idea of an organization changing their views on credentialing another organization and having to build up some sort of trust, it's such a strange concept. You were credentialed based on the idea that you were with an organization, not necessarily because you had built up any sort of reputation.

Amazingly, you actually did what you were supposed to do and Popovich didn't kick you in the groin or anything like that. What do you think about the Portland Trailblazers' treatment to Blazer's Edge and is this a reason why maybe blogs should continue to be blogs and not try to obtain press passes or do you think that blogs should continue to strive to be treated in the same light as the more traditional media?

I'm going out on a limb here and I'm thinking that Davis Webb isn't going to play this week and I'm thinking that we're going to see Patrick Mahomes for the entire game. What's your game plan to make Mahomes the most successful quarterback on Saturday?

Travis: There are so many ways to answer that but I think the best way is to just try and keep it simple. Wake up early and rested, have some coffee on the porch in the mountains and spend a chilly day with the family. Nothing planned, just hanging out and getting along. No one that's married to me gets frustrated with me and the kids for the most part fix their own cereal and grab their own granola bars. Then they all give me a hug, and no two year olds tell me they don't like me. And when we go to bed there's no one to kick me in the head and/or pee on the pillow.

Yeah, that issue with Blazer's Edge is odd because they are one of the biggest independent blogs out there, regardless of sport. But, I can certainly see teams begin to take the stance more regularly and limit the amount of access they grant. Everybody wants their own media outlet these days because they can package their message and control it. The Spurs have their own video and print production and that's exactly how they want it. I really think that the entire concept of journalism is changing and will probably look completely different four or five years from now. While the new media and the old media fight to keep control of their turf, the organizations they cover are going to sneak in and take all the turf away before anyone realizes it. And this is happening across the board, not just in sports. The White House Press Corps has been battling for years over their loss of access and freedom. For someone that's a fan of journalism and reporting it's really kind of sad.

As far as Mahomes goes, I think you don't really change too much because he has shown to have a great arm and with a week's worth of preparation he will hopefully be ready to go. But you can also incorporate some more zone reads and even QB sneaks and draws and if I were Kingsbury I'd rely heavily on the run game. If Texas starts stacking the box then try to throw it over the top to Lauderdale or even Grant (nothing crossing, nothing mid-range-just go deep). I'd also run a ton of wheel routes because no one can stop the wheel route.

So I was thinking the other day about dreams, and two that are most common for me. 1) It's my last semester in college and I have to pass several classes but for some reason I skipped class all year. I'm on my way to the class room (after finding a parking spot by the football field) and walking through the cold, mad at myself for skipping so many classes. As soon as I sit down I wake up. 2) My old coach at New Deal H.S. calls me up and has a secret plan for this week's football (or sometimes basketball) game: He's gonna suit me up and have me play, hoping that no one notices how old I am. It's a very important game and they need me to ensure a win. I always get to warm-ups, just before kickoff/tip and I wake up.

The question is-do you have these dreams, and if so, why does this never end?

And lastly-what would you do this week to ensure a victory over the Longhorns?

Seth C: Not surprisingly, I'm not a dreamer. At all. No recurring dreams and no off-hand dreams that I can remotely remember. I don't remember dreaming about cool or good things, but I guess on the alternate side of things, I don't dream about bad things either.

"His heart-beat never changed." -Some guy working at a bungee jump on the Guadalupe River about how Seth has no emotion.

When I graduated from high school, me and some buddies went to New Braunsfels, to go float the river. One of the things that we had researched was there was this half-bridge over the river where you could bungee jump. We were all excited to do this and my two buddies went first and I went last. They were all pumped and excited and I thought I was too. The whole thing was also being video taped, this was back in the day of the VHS, and there was a microphone where the guy at the gate to let you jump could talk. The guy didn't say a word when my two friends jumped, but when I jumped, the guy mimicked a heart-beat with his finger. A slow and steady heart-beat for 10 seconds as I am bouncing and dangling over the Guadalupe River. I'm hollerin' and yellin' and trying to act really pumped.

The guy says, "His heart-beat never changed."

That's me in a nutshell. I don't get too high, I don't get too low. I don't have big dreams and I don't have big crashes. I'm not a risk-taker and even when I think I am being a risk-taker, internally, I pretty much remove any and all emotion from the situation, which, depending on your outlook on life, is incredibly stable or incredibly sad.

I'm exactly like you in the sense that this should be a pretty fun game if you love smash-mouth football because I would expect a fully dose of DeAndre Washington and it would make sense to see Mahomes rely a bit on Dylan Cantrell as they were high school classmates. Plus, with Cantrell being a bigger target, that would be fantastic. The problem that I think that Mahomes will have is that I think UT will blitz the heck out of him and not give him time to get deep. Mahomes will need to figure out how to move his feet without leaving the pocket and still looking down the field for open receivers. There will be receivers open because I think UT is going to sell out to stop the run and/or blitz Mahomes.

If I'm Mike Smith, I sell out to stop the run, much how I'd defend Mahomes. Keep Swoopes in the pocket and don't let him scramble and just shut down the running game. Don't let the Longhorns get rolling at all behind Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray. The problem with this concept is that this leaves the cornerbacks on an island and this is something that they've struggled with as quarterbacks have been able to just throw over the top without fear of an interception. The Texas Tech cornerbacks are still learning how to adjust and play against the pass.

Let's get some Kenny Powers up in here.