Texas Football and The Five Stages of Grief

I hate football. Okay, that’s a little dramatic, so let’s make that I hate watching football with my husband. Specifically, any game that features the University of Texas. Good Lord, it’s like experiencing the five stages of grief over four quarters.

I thought I had seen the worst of it when KU beat Texas last year for the first time since 1938, but that had nothing on the Thanksgiving weekend loss to Texas Tech. It got so bad I left the family room and went upstairs to do my daughter’s FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid that all the colleges make you complete before they’ll offer up any scholarship bounty.)

That’s right people I would rather fill out an invasive, pain in the butt government form, that tells you your password is incorrect when you know for a fact that it is not since you took a screen shot of your password five minutes earlier, than endure another agonizing second of my husband moaning about the Longhorns.

It starts out with denial. My husband, who has watched this alma mater lose for, I don’t know, a decade is always stunned that they’re losing – again. It begins with the lowly whimper of how can a team that has the financial backing and clout of THE University of Texas be this bad? How can they not recruit better? Why are all the best players at OU? And on and on.

This is followed by an anger usually directed at Mack Brown. Apparently, all roads lead back to the former coach leaving the “cupboard bare” before he left in 2013. Never mind that it happened almost five years, an entire team and two coaches ago, it’s still Brown’s fault or, as of a month ago, the current offensive coordinator.

Then we enter the blame phrase or as I like to call it crazy town. How a grown man can think the fact that I threw away (I’m going with misplaced) his “good luck” Longhorn stuffed animal is the reason his team is losing is insane.

The worst is when the depression sets in followed by my husband vowing that he’s “done with UT football.” This is when I roll my eyes while muttering, “Yeah, until next week.”

And just because I’m so over all the angst I feel duty bound to play the role of Mary Sunshine by announcing, “Sure, the Longhorns lost to Tech at home, but let’s think of the positive. Before the game there was speculation that the Tech coach might lose his job. That Texas win will probably keep him employed for another year. In the grand scheme of things that’s a W.”

I’ll admit that cheery look at the game was not taken well, but I was just trying to offer up some perspective.

Many times, as I have set in the stands or on the couch watching my husband, watch the Longhorns I have pondered what it must feel like to care so deeply about a sports team. I just don’t get it. I want to get it, but I don’t.

My football philosophy is I came for the snacks and stayed for the halftime show. If I have any ultimate football devotion, it’s for the brisket nachos that I ate one fine fall day seven years ago outside the UT stadium. They were my everything. Spicy and sweet with a hint of heat and unlike my husband’s football team they didn’t disappoint.

The good news for my husband is that with a 6 and 6 record UT will be playing in a low tier bowl game. The bad news is I’ll have to endure it.