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Why Is This Texas Game Different From All Other Texas Games for the Mean Green?

A Jewish Mean Green fan’s Passover retrospection on UNT’s first game

Sarah Glenn

In the Jewish holiday of Passover, a family gathers around a table to recite the Passover Seder, or meal. One of the key components of this Passover Seder is the Four Questions, asked by the youngest member of the family, and which answer the question of "Why Is This (Passover) Night Different From All Other Nights?"

The Mean Green have played Texas nine times. A few of those games were close (pre-1980), but some of them weren't even remotely competitive. All nine games have been in Austin. Texas was favored in all of the games. Most of the time Texas was ranked in all those games.

So, as we gather around the television (or at Darrel K Royal Memorial Stadium) to watch the Mean Green (hopefully) pull off a historic upset that will send shock waves throughout the nation and relieve Rick Perry of the top news story in Texas for the forseeable future, let's answer the question that young Mean Green fan posed "Why is this Texas game different from all other Texas games?" featuring some ambiguous categories.

1. In all other games, fans (both Mean Green and Longhorn alike) never spoke of the word "upset", but in this game, upset talk is abound.

While North Texas played Texas close in 1976, 1988, and 1992 (as a non-FBS school), no one ever spoke about UNT knocking off the Longhorns in the pre-game chatter. In this go-around, there's actual chatter in both camps (albeit one of fear in the Texas camp) about an upset. While Darrel "Buick" Dickey tended to play for the nice check at the end of the game, North Texas coach Dan McCarney has his team thinking of a repeat of last year's Georgia game, at least until the third quarter.

2. In all other games there was no uncertainty on Texas's quarterback (at least post-1988) but this time, with David Ash's injury, there is.

Longhorn fans are so concerned about Ash that he actually had to issue a statement saying that if he was hit, he'd be ok. The Mean Green are known for their hard-hitting nature (see a 2012 hit on LSU QB Zach Mettenberger), so what happens if a hit from notorious Laramie Lee sends Ash to the bench?

3. In all other games, North Texas wasn't coming off of a bowl win. This time, they are.

Never underestimate the power of a bowl win. Over 38,000 mostly Mean Green fans (let's be honest, UNLV had about 15 people there) saw the Mean Green pummel the Rebels in Dallas on New Year's Day. Before the Baylor loss a few days later, the Mean Green were the most-talked about team in Texas. The Longhorns, on the other hand, got shellacked by the Oregon Nikes in Mack Brown's swan song. While Coach Charlie has laid down the "Strong" arm of the law in Austin and has the fanbase (except Red McCombs) jazzed about the upcoming season, will the big offseason momentum carry into Coach Strong's debut in the Forty Acres? If it does, this will be an interesting contest.

4. In all other games, the Mean Green didn't wear the Flying Eagle on their helmets. This time they are.

In what is akin to the religious right clamoring for a Rick Perry presidency, the Mean Green faithful have been begging the athletic department for years to feature the "new" UNT logo on the sides of the helmets, instead of the "North Texas" lettering. Last year, they experimented, with the Mean Green winning every game where the "SOW" ('son of worm' as the faithful call it) was on the helmets. Will the lucky trend continue?