I'm heading to Dallas this Friday to attend one of the last tour stops for the incredible Oddball Comedy Festival. Like any computer monkey on a day pass from the office, I'm looking to make the most out of this three-day weekend. And like the degenerate fan I am, it usually involves a college football game.
But not this weekend.
I had the option of taking the relatively short trip up highway 77 to Denton and watch North Texas beat Nicholls State, but if I want to watch the Colonels I could have stayed in Louisiana. My other option was staying in town and watching a struggling SMU team get absolutely blasted by Texas A&M. To say this is unappetizing is an understatement, but that is not for a lack of SMU trying.
Getting rid of June Jones was a good start to making interesting football happen at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. (Aptly named for a Texas billionaire and not the only person to become president without being elected as either president or vice-president.) "But Jones resigned." No he didn't. Why would he resign when there is an established precedent in Texas for stealing millions while driving a once proud program into the ground?
Well this week SMU really made things interesting. They are putting on their shiniest hats and breaking out the good koozies for when the Aggies come to town.
SMU announces beer and wine sales at football games— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) September 15, 2014
Beer sales are the new hot trend for teams trying to figure out how to put asses in seats. It's a huge improvement over 2002's "lets match the carpet to the drapes."
But, wine too? Especially on a weekend with an incoming fanbase notorious for bringing dates to games? I guess it is appropriate that Aggie fans would want their teeth to match the color of their shirts, but I can't help but think SMU is asking for trouble. How long before some young lady is sitting on the floor of the Ford Stadium bathroom crying to her friends about Aiden not deleting his ex from his phone?
And even worse, if two of them do it the Aggies will call it a tradition. None of us will ever be able to urinate in peace again.
It would be dismissive of me to say each of these moves reeks of desperation. Nobody wants to dismiss a coach this early in the season, and adding alcohol has been an option lately for programs top to bottom. When your team is in trouble, you have to do something to salvage what's left. There is no shame in that.
There is shame in turning public discourse against the team you claim to love. Saying SMU should stop playing football is pretty ironic coming from a guy who was partially responsible for ending it the first time.
Will this last ditch, alcohol inspired Hail (Bloody?) Mary work for the Mustangs? I won't be there to find out. I don't think we can question the commitment of a program willing to pay a coach $2 million after a 5-7 season. I might question their decision making though.
SMU fans don't want to pay $8 for a glass of cheap cabernet to watch this game. A&M fans will though. And that's what this move was all about. Putting visiting asses in Hilltop seats.
Southern Methodist hasn't given up on their football team, but they have given up on their fans. They'll have to live with that too. The last time I was around that many Aggies, my clothes ended up smelling like bat guano and I had to burn them.