Told ya: Time to Gloat a Little Orange

Every now and then, a sporting event actually lives up to its hype. Every now and then, you can actually tell that you’re watching something historic. Every now and then, there are games that folks will talk about for YEARS. That happened last night.
And if you missed it, I pity you.

I have no voice this morning. Yelled at the TV until about 1:30 am. Listened to sports radio this morning, and everyone is talking about this being…
… the greatest national championship game in history
… the greatest single performance by any player, in Vince Young.

My Longhorns are National Champions. And, like most of us Texas fans, we’ve been a little cautious about getting too excited until now. But, this morning, it’s time for a little gloating….

First personal-gloat of the day: The final score

I will refer you first to yesterday’s completely unedited post.

I will remind you that my prediction was:
Texas: 42
USC: 35

I will remind you that, if not for a missed Texas extra-point and an extra USC field goal, I would have nailed the score to the number. As it is, I came just about as close as you could possible come.

Second gloat of the day: Vince Young
Now, they (the national media) are all saying Vince Young should have won the Heisman. Now they are complaining that that voting comes before the bowl games. (I actually agree with this….) But, from a Texas perspective, the media is always an incredible bunch of second-guessers. I mean heck, yesterday on ESPN they were trying to compare the USC offense to great PRO teams of all-time. That’s when you know the hype’s gotten out of hand. (That’s when you know that USC is ready for a fall…)

Third gloat of the day: My three game keys
My three keys of the game were:
— The depth of both teams: I gave the edge to Texas
— The fact that both offenses were about even
— The fact that the Texas defense was better.

When you look at the game as whole, you have to say that all these things bore out. Texas had a deeper team. USC had Leinart and little else. Sure, LenDale White and that one receiver did OK.
But where was Reggie Bush?
Seriously. Where was he? Mr. Heisman? Hello….. 82 yards?
Puleeease…

The offenses WERE about even. And the Texas defense was clearly better than USC’s. “Better” means exactly what I told you yesterday it would mean: they would bend, but not break. When it counted, they held USC on that crucial fourth down play.

I actually did expect that we’d see more offense from the rest of the Longhorn team than we actually saw. Jamaal Charles showed a little brilliance, but fumbled twice. But the bottom line is that it really was the Vince Young show. A Rose Bowl record for a single game performance 467 total yards. And now, all the experts are calling him the best player in college football. Maybe the best ever.

Excuse me, but where were all yall when it was time to cast Heisman ballots a few weeks back? Reggie Bush has one amazing 500-yard game against a no-name team, and suddenly you give the trophy to him?!
Puleease…

All apologies, Mr. Young…
So, world, you all owe Vince Young a huge apology. Because Vince Young is capable of the kind of performance he turned in last night in EVERY game. You can’t even really write or speak about how he plays, which is part of why I think he lost the Heisman race. The statistics never quite tell you what you need to know about him. You have to actually SEE him do it to believe it. I believe that’s one of the huge reasons Vince didn’t win the HT…because not enough folks actually saw him play.

And everyone forgets this important factor: in almost half the games this year, Young was sitting on the sideline by the middle of the third quarter. His numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as the other finalists, because he didn’t get to work as much. USC was falling behind all season, and coming back in the second half. That meant that Leinart, Bush and Co. were bringing them back…they played almost every down of every game.

Vince Young effectively sat out almost a game and a half this year.

But this, and the fact that people just weren’t paying enough attention, meant that Young didn’t nearly get the press and acolades he richly deserves.

So, I’m telling you the truth here. For any non-Texas fans out there who just saw the guy for the first time yesterday: the dude does that every game. All of it. The running. The passing. The plays. The coming-from-behind. Welcome to Vince Young football.

World: Vince
Vince: World

You’re gonna like each other…

By the way, what was Pete Carroll thinking, going for it on fourth down with two minutes left?!!! At least make it a little challenging for Young. Make him drive eighty yards. I mean, Texas had already stopped them on 4th down once in this game. Everyone is defending his call this morning, but I think he lost USC the game in that moment because, again, he underestimated Vince Young. Everyone does.

Please come back, Vince!!! (I know you probably won’t…)
And now, the buzz this am is that he won’t come back for his senior year. That would be heartbreaking. But given last night’s performance, could his pro-stock ever be any higher? So, can you blame him for leaving? Can he afford to take the chance of playing next year? Or, can he skip out on the chance to repeat, and be an absolute football god/legend in the State of Texas?

Well, one consolation thought (and it’s a crazy one). If I were the Houston Texans, I seriously consider drafting him. Sound crazy? You kidding me? Hometown boy? State hero? He’d draw 20-30,000 fans each week just from that. That might make you feel a little better. Please, God, just don’t let him end up with the Saints, like Ricky….ugh…

Eric, quit thinking ahead….just enjoy this….”

You’re right. I do need to enjoy it. I am enjoying it.

Good Lord, what a game.
What an incredible game.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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