Ketch's 10 Thoughts From the Weekend (Orangbloods is the modern American family ...)

Jim DeLoach

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On Tuesday afternoon, just a few miles away from the San Francisco airport at a restaurant called Mokutanya, I sat eye to eye with my father, just the two of us, for the first time in my life.

And he got real, telling me over the course of an hour the following:

* Wished I had been aborted and still feels that way today.
* Views me as one of the three worst mistakes of his life (we didn't discuss the other two).
* There will never be a future relationship because it's too much trouble for him and he wouldn't want to have to try to explain me to his friends.
* Basically doesn't view me as his son and certainly not someone he would claim as family.

There was actually a lot more, but I'm sure you'll get the point after those four small examples. Honestly, it was a lot to absorb, especially with nothing but time on my hands in the 8 hours that it took to get back to Austin. It was quite humbling.
Ketch, that is just stunning and I am sorry you had to hear such brutal and cruel words. There is a sad but very true reality to this conversation and it goes the opposite direction to the man you're talking about: Being a "biological father" does not make a Dad. "Dad" is a coveted title that must be earned by every man, just as you are doing with your twins. Unfortunately, there are too many men on planet earth who, for whatever reason, fail to earn this distinction. Clearly, the man you're referring to is one of them.

I attended a funeral on Saturday in which the two surviving kids of a man who died unexpectedly at 52 referred to him as their best friend. When you look at yourself in the mirror every day and you can say your wife loves you, your kids love you and you have other family members who care for you (and, yes, OB is a family), then you've got everything you need. The point is you're making something of your life and that is all that matters. We are all dealt different cards in this game of life, and it is up to us to make the most of what we're dealt. The real tragedy would lie with making someone else's failure in life an excuse to fail ourselves. The good news is that person is diametrically 180 degrees on the opposite end of the scale from you.

God bless you.
 

duqu

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behind you
Even if some of you are like the uncle we all want to hide in another room away from the family at Thanksgiving dinner, you're still my family. I started this section with a movie reference and I'm going to end it with one.
Is that is all I am to you..... ;)

Well said @Ketchum. I’ll be sitting at the kid’s table, making relationships with the younger crowd who will have my walker ready and a diaper change when I’m much older.
 
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Dave26

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That was easily one of your best! Your birth father is the loser and will always be. He was your biological father and you see how it's not supposed to be, you go out and be the Best "Daddy" you can be to your family. Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a daddy and you are on the way!
 

HorntoWin

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You and your mother must be extraordinarily proud. You both made the best of your lives under most difficult circumstances. Your birth father (he’s not a real father) clearly has some mental issues/illness causing him to want to be so hurtful to a proud, successful man and father who was once his abandoned little boy. There is no rational explanation for his behavior.

It’s wrong you have to cope with such continuing cruelty, but may God let it trigger gratitude for your blessings, rather than anger and sadness. You deserve emancipation and peace...
 
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golfpr3145

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Good stuff Ketch. I feel for you in reading about the relationship with your father. Some people won't try to understand both sides of what happened with your mother. Obviously your father only has feelings for himself.
As for the comparison of QB's with OU, OU most certainly an advantage because their system they run has been in place a lot longer than the one Texas runs. I kind of feel like our defense has an edge over OU and that could make a difference in the long run. Again thanks for the good stuff you do.
 

JMill

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@Ketchum

I’ve “known” you from the days of cooldaddy and you sniffing around Austin360. I remember when you created the site Heisman something and joined it. And so on.

It’s been a journey.

Over all that time I’ve always been fond of you. Always been something honest about you.

I would say I was supprised how personal, heartfelt, well written, on point, and in some ways a perfect mix of the stories of the last few months that have hurt our community your column was. But really I wasn’t.

I kinda expect that from you.

Real.

I’m proud that my strange obsession over recruiting teenagers to play a game has kept me here and a part of the OB family so long.

As far as your dad goes.....proud of you for showing him what it means to be a man......proud of you for allowing yourself to feel hurt and pain and sharing that and being able to move on.......and...**** him.

I went and read the two posts by @hornsfan65 after you mentioned them in your column. I had seen them both when he posted them but didn’t click on them. I read each and every post and it was tough.

When his wife (Mary) posted for the first time I lost it. I wanted to reach through the web and give her a giant hug.

I have seen those kinda of things up close many many times. Moments after they have occurred. It’s amazingly tough.

I hope hornsfan65 has found peace. Thank you for your service and I’m sorry that we as a country don’t do enough for our military when they come home.

I’ve seen this up close as many of the guys who have worked for me where freaking stud heroes and would have very hard times coming back. And would fall out sometimes when things got tough. They would ask me to forgive them for their failure and I would tell them “you couldn’t fail me in any way ever”

I want to thank everybody who tried on those threads to be there. Thank you to @echeese for starting the fund and thanks to all who have donated.

It’s a funny thing this new world we live in. “DIGITAL” communities have formed and now often have as much meaning and impact as “real world” communities do.

I haven’t cried in a good long time. But this old retired Fire Captain who looks like some tatted up hippy who spends why too much time doing kettle bells and riding his bike ....well...he had a good long cry.

For you. For hornsfan65. For Christian. For Turdfrog. For Mary and her son.

Thanks for the community. Thanks ketch for being a really really good dude.
 
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txcuernolargo

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Ketch, that was some great writing on your behalf and that of OB.

A wise old man from Ft. Worth once told me that, "Some people are born with two a**holes." I am saddened to see that your biological father is one of those that he speaks.

Hang in there, and if there is a time when you should meet again, ask him if he would like to contribute to the twins 529 college savings plans. Give the man something to think about, maybe, just maybe he might have a change of heart.

Praying that he has the change of heart.
 

HllCountryHorn

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Didn't some folks on here say they had talked to hf65 in the past about his problems?
 

lgaines

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God bless you ketch. You’re a bigger man than me. That was a tough read my man. This has been a tough month for the OrangeBlood family. I hope God answers all of y'alls prayers. Hook Em’


Ketch, God bless you.... I've been following you for years and your strong support of women and being so outspoken when women have been abused is such a great testement to your great charcter...
 
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Michael Stivik

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Tough to read about your dad. I can’t imagine what that feels like. God bless.
 

henric4

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Your father has failed you. But despite that, “cooldaddy” from KENS has buIlt the No. 1 online site for Longhorn sports, married a beautiful woman, given birth and is loving with all his heart two beautiful children, and has shown himself to be a man of integrity, wisdom, hard-work, great heart, kindness, and humility.

That stranger in CA is blind to the best thing that ever happened to him, his arrogance & self-centeredness has warped him into a selfish bastard. Maybe God wanted you away from that dark soul so his poison wouldn’t infect you.

I’d be damn proud to be your father. Thank you for this site and making my life, and this whole freakin’ world, better, Ketch.
Ditto This plus 1000
 

PhillipDeezNuts

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That was a tough read. I have been through different handles on this board, but started following Ketch back to the Garvin days. Ketch and this site have been a part of my life for over 18 years now and I have to say that was one of the most emotional things I have read before on this site. As a father of two boys, it just breaks my heart to read what Ketch had to endure with something I have no way to comprehend. How a father could do something like that...., I just cannot understand. AllI can say is that knowing the kind of man and father Ketch is now, puts things into perspective. Just an unbelievable read and what unbelievable courage to put something like that out in the public. You are a good man, Charlie Brown!
 

mulligan30

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The description of the meeting with your dad is gut wrenching. It is somewhat similar to my dad’s relationship with his father. My dad was able to go on and raise a very stable family(well maybe except for me) and was always there for every big event we ever participated in. My dad wasn’t gonna let his dad determine how his life went.

Ketch, you have a great family and a lot to be proud of. I hope you can find peace with your relationship with your dad.
 

thewaveydave

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Kathleen Kelly: You know, I don't really think that HE could be your nephew.

Joe Fox: No, no, no, it's true. Annabelle is my - *aunt*. Isn't that right, Aunt Annabelle?

Annabelle Fox: Uh-huh, and Matt is his...

Kathleen Kelly: Oh wait, wait, wait, let me guess. Are you his uncle?

Matthew Fox: No.

Kathleen Kelly: His grandfather?

[Matt giggles, as he shakes his head]

Kathleen Kelly: His great-grandfather?

Matthew Fox: [laughing] I'm his brother!

Joe Fox: [answering Kathleen's very confused look] Matthew is my father's son, Annabelle is my *grandfather's* daughter. We are... an American family.



On Tuesday afternoon, just a few miles away from the San Francisco airport at a restaurant called Mokutanya, I sat eye to eye with my father, just the two of us, for the first time in my life.

Some of you will know this about me, but many of you will not - I have a complicated relationship with my biological father. He was about to graduate from Baylor in 1975 when he went on a few dates with my mom, who was a junior in high school at Waco Reicher at the time. Somewhere along the way inside of those dates, yours truly was created. While my mom decided to raise me on her own as an 18-year-old high school senior, my dad went off to California and started a new life that was different from anything he'd every known in Texas, eventually emerging as one of the most successful men in the entire high tech world over the last 30 years.

Over the course of the first 37+ years of my life, we'd never met, despite the fact that he paid child support until I was 18 and helped with a year of my college tuition when I was at Texas. While I used to spend weekends with his parents when I was a child, he just never had an interest in really having a relationship with me. Obviously.

All of that changed when my twins arrived in 2014, as we met a few weeks after they were born and he visited them the next day while they were in the NICU. That was followed up with another luncheon with Heather (my wife), Hendrix and Haven roughly two years later . Although we weren't on steady speaking terms, I was under the impression that our relationship was one that was growing, albeit at a very slow burn.

That impression changed in July when my grandfather, who I had spent the last few years redeveloping a relationship with, died in Lakeway about 15 minutes from my house in Cedar Park. Even though my dad had apparently been in town for almost two weeks, he never called me. No one did. Feeling that my grandfather would have wanted me at the funeral, but knowing that every person at the funeral wouldn't have wanted me there, my wife and I sat in our car for nearly two hours on the day of his funeral at his grave-site until everyone left so that we could pay our respects.

In an effort to cut this "Dear Diary" moment as short as possible for you guys reading this, I ended up requesting/demanding a meeting after a series of insulting emails from him that I'm sure weren't meant to be insulting but couldn't be anything but. Anywhere, any place ... just tell me and I'd fly to him for a one-on-one. He suggested we talk on the phone. I told him I deserved an in-person conversation.

So, there I was in San Francisco at a Japanese restaurant that he said had five-star reviews online. Face to face.

It didn't take a rocket scientist to know that the things he was going to say to me were going to be rough, but damnit, I felt like it was time to stop pussyfooting with the situation and just be real with each other for one time in our lives.

And he got real, telling me over the course of an hour the following:

* Wished I had been aborted and still feels that way today.
* Views me as one of the three worst mistakes of his life (we didn't discuss the other two).
* There will never be a future relationship because it's too much trouble for him and he wouldn't want to have to try to explain me to his friends.
* Basically doesn't view me as his son and certainly not someone he would claim as family.

There was actually a lot more, but I'm sure you'll get the point after those four small examples. Honestly, it was a lot to absorb, especially with nothing but time on my hands in the 8 hours that it took to get back to Austin. It was quite humbling.

Thankfully, I had Orangebloods to lean on and whether I was discussing Longhorn football, Emmitt Smith's place as the best running back of all-time or arguing whether Sadio Mane was a more productive player than Eden Hazard over the last three years in the Premier League, I had our big, crazy dysfunctional crazy-town to lean on as a distraction. Even if I hadn't told anyone I needed the company, the Orangebloods family was there for me in that exact moment of needed companionship.

That truth hit home for me the following day when I was driving down South Lamar past Post South Lamar, which is where our Orangebloods brother Christian Meroney had been murdered earlier this month. When I looked over towards the building as I drove by, I just dropped into a sunken place. It had just been a couple of days before when we all learned that another Orangebloods family member John Ballard McDonald (Orange Turdfrog) had passed away and I felt the full weight of losing them in that moment.

Between the two of them, they'd been on the site with me for more than two decades. That's a long damn time. Believe me, I know what that means in so many ways. There's a lot of life equity on this board. The thing that I love about this wildly chaotic family of ours the most is that when urgent matters call for it, the Orangebloods family responds like a boss every time. EVERY TIME. I might have argued with Christian about the most unimportant things on a daily basis, but if I was ever in need, I feel like there's no question he'd be there. I know I would have been there for him. Numbers greater than we can count would have.

It dawned on me while I was at a stoplight on South Lamar, pushed to the brink of tears, that Orangebloods is the modern-day American family. It doesn't make sense that this community has emerged into something bigger than a mere message board, but my Orangebloods family has been there for me in ways that my "real family" has never and will never be there.

Over the course of the last two decades, this family of ours has changed the scope of my entire life. I met my wife on the eve of the 2005 Big 12 title game because of this place. People who stood next to me at my wedding were introduced through this place. Hell, my son's name came from a post I made asking for suggestions.

All of this leads me to this morning when I woke up to see a thread posted by @hornsfan65 called "Adios." Inside of that thread, an Orangebloods family member seemed to be leaving a bit of a suicide note. Overwhelmed with all of the loss in his life, the indications were given that he was going to take is life and he wanted to thank the Orangebloods family for being there for him. In a panic, I did what I could to help and just hoped that the pleading from the members of the board would lead him to give it just one more day. I prayed that he'd let us lift him up like so many others have been lifted up over the last two decades, myself included.

The pleading and the prayers failed, as it was confirmed by his wife on Sunday morning that Bryce had taken his life. Alone in his car, his last words were directed towards the Orangebloods family that he loved and appreciated. Left behind is a wife and an 11-year old son that will never have their husband and father again, respectively.

It's just devastating in so many ways. It's as this point that I'm kind of out of words because I don't know what to say.

We've lost three Orangebloods family members in the last month and we can't get so much as another hour with any of them, which is haunting. More than anything, I just want to let anyone else on this site that is feeling the types of pressure that @hornfan65 was feeling to know that we're all here for each other. I'm here for you. Your Orangebloods family is for you.

I've known all of this before, but it hit home hard in the last few days.

In a week when the definitions of what is and isn't family in my life have been firmly defined, I want to express by undying gratitude to my Orangebloods family. I don't know what I'd ever do without you.

Even if some of you are like the uncle we all want to hide in another room away from the family at Thanksgiving dinner, you're still my family. I started this section with a movie reference and I'm going to end it with one.


No. 2 - Three Biggest Takeaways From The First Three Days ...

* This true freshman class is going to make a much bigger impact this season than most people are probably expecting, and that includes myself. In addition to Caden Sterns (more on him in a bit), Brennan Eagles is working with the second-team offense, Junior Angilau has made a bigger first impression than any other first-year lineman in the program thus far (yes, that includes Calvin Anderson) and Ayodele Adeoye continues to look like a guy that will be starting sooner than later in his career. Every dude that was recruited in the 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes better understand that it's now or never... or risk getting passed by a younger player. Talented freshmen are everywhere and they are going to play, new rule that allows every freshman four games to play with or not.

* Texas doesn't have five good offensive linemen yet, so Herb Hand is giving everyone a chance to make a case for themselves. In an ideal world, you're not shuffling guys all over the place across first-team and second-team roles in August, but the status quo from last season (and even this spring) just isn't good enough. It's possible that we need to throw away any predispositions we might have had about the make-up of the starting line going into the season in the trash can because it sure seems like Hand has.

* Sam Ehlinger will have to have a really poor camp to lose the starting quarterback job. When Herman announced that Ehlinger had earned the right to take the first reps with the first-team offense, he was telling us that separation on the scoreboard has taken place. What I find fascinating about the job security at the position is that it might be a little like the job security Tyrone Swoopes had going into the 2016 season. Bottom line - Sam better player well in the first half against Maryland. If he does that, he might just run away from everyone for the next few seasons. If he doesn't, Herman will almost certainly play another option. When you have four guys and they can all play without consequence, a head coach's patience will only last so long.

No. 3 - "I JOG FASTER THAN CALVIN ANDERSON AND I HAD MY KNEE REPLACED SIX MONTHS AGO!!"...

If you missed it in Alex's notes from Sunday, this was a quote from Herb Hand at practice while the offensive line was jogging from one section of the practice fields to another.

Subtle. I like it. Sounds like Calvin needs to pick up his pace.

Quote of the Year at this point.

No. 4 - My possible big dose of hyperbole in the column ...

Caden Sterns might be the best player in this program before we get to December.

I've spent all weekend thinking about it and I can't remember the last time a true freshman started the first game of the season in the secondary, let alone took the very first rep in August with the first-team defense. I ran every name I could think of through my brain and couldn't think of anyone. So, I looked it up.

Didn't happen last year, obviously. Or 2016. Or 2015. Or 2014. Or 2013. Or 2012. Or 2011. Or 2010. Or 2009.

While I thought I might go into the last century, it turns out the last defensive back to start a game as a true freshman was Blake Gideon. I totally forgot that. No one else has done it this century. I stopped looking at some point in the Mackovic years, with the point being that it doesn't happen very often firmly established.

The metrics from the last decade suggest that Sterns entered college with anywhere between a 65-75 percent chance of one day emerging as a player that will be drafted by an NFL team. Unless injuries occur, he looks like a guy that will start every game of his career and emerge as a legit awards candidate in very short time.

Sterns is what it looks like when a five-star player goes boom and you can't have enough of them.

No. 5 - Riddle me this...

I penned a small story for @TicketCity this week detailing the top 5 rivalries in the Big 12 going into the season.

Man, once you get beyond Texas/OU and Bedlam, it's pretty slim pickings - Baylor vs TCU, Texas vs. Texas Tech and Kansas vs. Kansas State were the other three I selected.

It's a pretty gross list if you think about it for more than three seconds. Can anyone argue for another Big 12 rivalry that warrants bumping one of those three out?

No. 6 - Story-time with Uncle Ketch...
story-time.png


Sometimes we can all use a reminder that the players on the Texas football team are all a bunch of kids. Oh, maybe some of them are young adults by the time they leave, but at the age of 42, they all look like a bunch of kids to me.

Don't ask me why this story stands out in my head after all of these years, but there are so many small lessons inside of it.

It was the summer of 2002 and one of the young players on the Texas roster called me to ask if I knew someone that would want to buy his Big 12 Championship ring. I told him that I didn't know of anyone that was into that kind of thing and that even if I did, I wouldn't tell him because I thought it was a huge mistake. Still, the player argued with me that he had financial issues and he needed the money.

Then he said something I've never forgotten.

"What's the big deal? It's just a Big 12 South ring," he told me. "I'll replace it next year with a conference championship ring."

So, he sold the ring for $150. Twelve months later, he was no longer in the program and he never played another down of major college football. As it turns out, that ring was the only ring he ever earned as a college athlete.

The big financial issue that he sold his ring over?

He had to pay his cell phone bill.

No. 7 – Buy or Sell …
BUY-SELL.gif


BUY or SELL: By the bowl game, the best QB on the roster will be a freshman?

(Sell) I'm buying stock in Ehlinger very quietly right now.

BUY or SELL: Sam finishes the year with a higher QB rating than Kyler?

(Sell) I believe in Lincoln Riley's offense more at the moment than I do Tom Herman's. If forced to give one unproven side a little more benefit of the doubt, I have to give it to the guy without identity issues with his offensive unit.

BUY or SELL: There will be plenty of college coaches/programs who will still care too much about winning, therefor this Urban Meyer scandal won’t be near the last one we see?

(Buy) This is what the sausage looks like when it's being made. I stopped believing that nice guys in this sport is possible when the supposedly super-character guy Chris Peterson covered for Art Briles when the Baylor scandal was really taking off. The coaches in the profession are more Silk Road than Main Street in Maybarry.

BUY or SELL: Buy or Sell: With the Longhorns being ranked in the Top 25 to start the season, being ranked in the Top 10 at some point this season is a real possibility?

(Buy) I think a 3-0 start will have them just on the cusp of the Top 10.

BUY or SELL: if Texas Defense improves from last years play and has no major injuries and on offense we manage 210 rushing and 240 passing per game we have a shot at 10 wins?

(Buy) You just described a Big 12 championship team.

BUY or SELL: It’s the fall of 2006, Colt is not on the team, but all 4 current scholarship QBs are (in their current stage of development). You would start Buechele on that team?

(Sell) I start the better, more dynamic option, which at the moment is Sam Ehlinger.

BUY or SELL: We suck until we don't?

(Buy) Hold the rope, fellas.

BUY or SELL: As tragic as it would be, Meyer's PR group and blame machine has done enough to keep him at tOSU?

(Sell) This story is going to be a slow, incredibly messy drip. He's a liar and the answers to so many questions simply won't allow it.

BUY or SELL: at pressers, Austin media and sports media will keep raising the issue of Zach Smith and what Herman and his tOSU assistants knew about the situation until they answer the questions straight on?

(Sell) Not unless a reason for those questions develops. It seems to me that Herman has been given a pass on this subject for the most part.I haven't heard that it's been asked about in the last two media sessions that he has participated in from the weekend.

BUY or SELL: Liverpool win the EPL this season?
tenor.gif



No. 8 – Eternal Randomness of the Spotty Sports Mind …

... I'm trying to charge my NFL jets, but I just can't seem to shake the cobwebs. I need to set up my fantasy league this year. Just doing one. I'll do my best to be an A-plus commish.

... I had no desire to watch Ray Lewis' 33-minute HOF speech. No thanks.

... Cody Garbrandt needs to move along and forget that he ever tried to cross T.J. Dillashaw. That beef is officially settled.

... I'm still trying top process Mighty Mouse losing. It was a close fight, but I thought the judges got it right.

... Can we just see the Red Sox and Astros play a best of 11 series in October, please?

... I really can't explain my Phillies and how they are in first place. Five in a row and just cruising along at 15 games over .500. No way did I think this was a 90-win team... assuming it gets there.

... The Astros have a 141 run edge over the Athletics in run-differential, but only have a 4.5 game lead in the standings. Baseball can be so weird.

... Consider me Team LeBron forever after watching him unveil his new school for at-risk youth this week.

... There's a part of me that thinks Jalen Hurts is starting at Texas next year.

... Liverpool is going to win the EPL title. Man City is going to play in the Champions League Final.

... Josef Martinez has 26 goals in 24 games for Atlanta United in the MLS. I'm curious to see what happens to the 25-year old Venezuelan from here on out because I'd argue the MLS needs him to succeed in Europe moving forward more than it needs him to be the league's best player.

No. 9 - The List: Top 10 Cover Songs That Are Better than The Original ...

10. Al Green - How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?
9. Sinead o'Connor - Nothing Compares to You
8. Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee
7. The Beatles - Twist and Shout
6. Ike and Tina Turner - Proud Mary
5. Johnny Cash - Hurt
4. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
3. Jimi Hendrix - All Along The watch Tower
2. Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
1. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

No. 10 – And Finally ...

Rest in peace, @hornsfan65
19308.jpg
Ketch
Very moving article. I’ll pray for you to find peace.
I don’t post very much, but you inspired me to participate. Hopefully I can help someone . . . you never know.
 

welfarr

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Kathleen Kelly: You know, I don't really think that HE could be your nephew.

Joe Fox: No, no, no, it's true. Annabelle is my - *aunt*. Isn't that right, Aunt Annabelle?

Annabelle Fox: Uh-huh, and Matt is his...

Kathleen Kelly: Oh wait, wait, wait, let me guess. Are you his uncle?

Matthew Fox: No.

Kathleen Kelly: His grandfather?

[Matt giggles, as he shakes his head]

Kathleen Kelly: His great-grandfather?

Matthew Fox: [laughing] I'm his brother!

Joe Fox: [answering Kathleen's very confused look] Matthew is my father's son, Annabelle is my *grandfather's* daughter. We are... an American family.



On Tuesday afternoon, just a few miles away from the San Francisco airport at a restaurant called Mokutanya, I sat eye to eye with my father, just the two of us, for the first time in my life.

Some of you will know this about me, but many of you will not - I have a complicated relationship with my biological father. He was about to graduate from Baylor in 1975 when he went on a few dates with my mom, who was a junior in high school at Waco Reicher at the time. Somewhere along the way inside of those dates, yours truly was created. While my mom decided to raise me on her own as an 18-year-old high school senior, my dad went off to California and started a new life that was different from anything he'd every known in Texas, eventually emerging as one of the most successful men in the entire high tech world over the last 30 years.

Over the course of the first 37+ years of my life, we'd never met, despite the fact that he paid child support until I was 18 and helped with a year of my college tuition when I was at Texas. While I used to spend weekends with his parents when I was a child, he just never had an interest in really having a relationship with me. Obviously.

All of that changed when my twins arrived in 2014, as we met a few weeks after they were born and he visited them the next day while they were in the NICU. That was followed up with another luncheon with Heather (my wife), Hendrix and Haven roughly two years later . Although we weren't on steady speaking terms, I was under the impression that our relationship was one that was growing, albeit at a very slow burn.

That impression changed in July when my grandfather, who I had spent the last few years redeveloping a relationship with, died in Lakeway about 15 minutes from my house in Cedar Park. Even though my dad had apparently been in town for almost two weeks, he never called me. No one did. Feeling that my grandfather would have wanted me at the funeral, but knowing that every person at the funeral wouldn't have wanted me there, my wife and I sat in our car for nearly two hours on the day of his funeral at his grave-site until everyone left so that we could pay our respects.

In an effort to cut this "Dear Diary" moment as short as possible for you guys reading this, I ended up requesting/demanding a meeting after a series of insulting emails from him that I'm sure weren't meant to be insulting but couldn't be anything but. Anywhere, any place ... just tell me and I'd fly to him for a one-on-one. He suggested we talk on the phone. I told him I deserved an in-person conversation.

So, there I was in San Francisco at a Japanese restaurant that he said had five-star reviews online. Face to face.

It didn't take a rocket scientist to know that the things he was going to say to me were going to be rough, but damnit, I felt like it was time to stop pussyfooting with the situation and just be real with each other for one time in our lives.

And he got real, telling me over the course of an hour the following:

* Wished I had been aborted and still feels that way today.
* Views me as one of the three worst mistakes of his life (we didn't discuss the other two).
* There will never be a future relationship because it's too much trouble for him and he wouldn't want to have to try to explain me to his friends.
* Basically doesn't view me as his son and certainly not someone he would claim as family.

There was actually a lot more, but I'm sure you'll get the point after those four small examples. Honestly, it was a lot to absorb, especially with nothing but time on my hands in the 8 hours that it took to get back to Austin. It was quite humbling.

Thankfully, I had Orangebloods to lean on and whether I was discussing Longhorn football, Emmitt Smith's place as the best running back of all-time or arguing whether Sadio Mane was a more productive player than Eden Hazard over the last three years in the Premier League, I had our big, crazy dysfunctional crazy-town to lean on as a distraction. Even if I hadn't told anyone I needed the company, the Orangebloods family was there for me in that exact moment of needed companionship.

That truth hit home for me the following day when I was driving down South Lamar past Post South Lamar, which is where our Orangebloods brother Christian Meroney had been murdered earlier this month. When I looked over towards the building as I drove by, I just dropped into a sunken place. It had just been a couple of days before when we all learned that another Orangebloods family member John Ballard McDonald (Orange Turdfrog) had passed away and I felt the full weight of losing them in that moment.

Between the two of them, they'd been on the site with me for more than two decades. That's a long damn time. Believe me, I know what that means in so many ways. There's a lot of life equity on this board. The thing that I love about this wildly chaotic family of ours the most is that when urgent matters call for it, the Orangebloods family responds like a boss every time. EVERY TIME. I might have argued with Christian about the most unimportant things on a daily basis, but if I was ever in need, I feel like there's no question he'd be there. I know I would have been there for him. Numbers greater than we can count would have.

It dawned on me while I was at a stoplight on South Lamar, pushed to the brink of tears, that Orangebloods is the modern-day American family. It doesn't make sense that this community has emerged into something bigger than a mere message board, but my Orangebloods family has been there for me in ways that my "real family" has never and will never be there.

Over the course of the last two decades, this family of ours has changed the scope of my entire life. I met my wife on the eve of the 2005 Big 12 title game because of this place. People who stood next to me at my wedding were introduced through this place. Hell, my son's name came from a post I made asking for suggestions.

All of this leads me to this morning when I woke up to see a thread posted by @hornsfan65 called "Adios." Inside of that thread, an Orangebloods family member seemed to be leaving a bit of a suicide note. Overwhelmed with all of the loss in his life, the indications were given that he was going to take is life and he wanted to thank the Orangebloods family for being there for him. In a panic, I did what I could to help and just hoped that the pleading from the members of the board would lead him to give it just one more day. I prayed that he'd let us lift him up like so many others have been lifted up over the last two decades, myself included.

The pleading and the prayers failed, as it was confirmed by his wife on Sunday morning that Bryce had taken his life. Alone in his car, his last words were directed towards the Orangebloods family that he loved and appreciated. Left behind is a wife and an 11-year old son that will never have their husband and father again, respectively.

It's just devastating in so many ways. It's as this point that I'm kind of out of words because I don't know what to say.

We've lost three Orangebloods family members in the last month and we can't get so much as another hour with any of them, which is haunting. More than anything, I just want to let anyone else on this site that is feeling the types of pressure that @hornfan65 was feeling to know that we're all here for each other. I'm here for you. Your Orangebloods family is for you.

I've known all of this before, but it hit home hard in the last few days.

In a week when the definitions of what is and isn't family in my life have been firmly defined, I want to express by undying gratitude to my Orangebloods family. I don't know what I'd ever do without you.

Even if some of you are like the uncle we all want to hide in another room away from the family at Thanksgiving dinner, you're still my family. I started this section with a movie reference and I'm going to end it with one.


No. 2 - Three Biggest Takeaways From The First Three Days ...

* This true freshman class is going to make a much bigger impact this season than most people are probably expecting, and that includes myself. In addition to Caden Sterns (more on him in a bit), Brennan Eagles is working with the second-team offense, Junior Angilau has made a bigger first impression than any other first-year lineman in the program thus far (yes, that includes Calvin Anderson) and Ayodele Adeoye continues to look like a guy that will be starting sooner than later in his career. Every dude that was recruited in the 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes better understand that it's now or never... or risk getting passed by a younger player. Talented freshmen are everywhere and they are going to play, new rule that allows every freshman four games to play with or not.

* Texas doesn't have five good offensive linemen yet, so Herb Hand is giving everyone a chance to make a case for themselves. In an ideal world, you're not shuffling guys all over the place across first-team and second-team roles in August, but the status quo from last season (and even this spring) just isn't good enough. It's possible that we need to throw away any predispositions we might have had about the make-up of the starting line going into the season in the trash can because it sure seems like Hand has.

* Sam Ehlinger will have to have a really poor camp to lose the starting quarterback job. When Herman announced that Ehlinger had earned the right to take the first reps with the first-team offense, he was telling us that separation on the scoreboard has taken place. What I find fascinating about the job security at the position is that it might be a little like the job security Tyrone Swoopes had going into the 2016 season. Bottom line - Sam better player well in the first half against Maryland. If he does that, he might just run away from everyone for the next few seasons. If he doesn't, Herman will almost certainly play another option. When you have four guys and they can all play without consequence, a head coach's patience will only last so long.

No. 3 - "I JOG FASTER THAN CALVIN ANDERSON AND I HAD MY KNEE REPLACED SIX MONTHS AGO!!"...

If you missed it in Alex's notes from Sunday, this was a quote from Herb Hand at practice while the offensive line was jogging from one section of the practice fields to another.

Subtle. I like it. Sounds like Calvin needs to pick up his pace.

Quote of the Year at this point.

No. 4 - My possible big dose of hyperbole in the column ...

Caden Sterns might be the best player in this program before we get to December.

I've spent all weekend thinking about it and I can't remember the last time a true freshman started the first game of the season in the secondary, let alone took the very first rep in August with the first-team defense. I ran every name I could think of through my brain and couldn't think of anyone. So, I looked it up.

Didn't happen last year, obviously. Or 2016. Or 2015. Or 2014. Or 2013. Or 2012. Or 2011. Or 2010. Or 2009.

While I thought I might go into the last century, it turns out the last defensive back to start a game as a true freshman was Blake Gideon. I totally forgot that. No one else has done it this century. I stopped looking at some point in the Mackovic years, with the point being that it doesn't happen very often firmly established.

The metrics from the last decade suggest that Sterns entered college with anywhere between a 65-75 percent chance of one day emerging as a player that will be drafted by an NFL team. Unless injuries occur, he looks like a guy that will start every game of his career and emerge as a legit awards candidate in very short time.

Sterns is what it looks like when a five-star player goes boom and you can't have enough of them.

No. 5 - Riddle me this...

I penned a small story for @TicketCity this week detailing the top 5 rivalries in the Big 12 going into the season.

Man, once you get beyond Texas/OU and Bedlam, it's pretty slim pickings - Baylor vs TCU, Texas vs. Texas Tech and Kansas vs. Kansas State were the other three I selected.

It's a pretty gross list if you think about it for more than three seconds. Can anyone argue for another Big 12 rivalry that warrants bumping one of those three out?

No. 6 - Story-time with Uncle Ketch...
story-time.png


Sometimes we can all use a reminder that the players on the Texas football team are all a bunch of kids. Oh, maybe some of them are young adults by the time they leave, but at the age of 42, they all look like a bunch of kids to me.

Don't ask me why this story stands out in my head after all of these years, but there are so many small lessons inside of it.

It was the summer of 2002 and one of the young players on the Texas roster called me to ask if I knew someone that would want to buy his Big 12 Championship ring. I told him that I didn't know of anyone that was into that kind of thing and that even if I did, I wouldn't tell him because I thought it was a huge mistake. Still, the player argued with me that he had financial issues and he needed the money.

Then he said something I've never forgotten.

"What's the big deal? It's just a Big 12 South ring," he told me. "I'll replace it next year with a conference championship ring."

So, he sold the ring for $150. Twelve months later, he was no longer in the program and he never played another down of major college football. As it turns out, that ring was the only ring he ever earned as a college athlete.

The big financial issue that he sold his ring over?

He had to pay his cell phone bill.

No. 7 – Buy or Sell …
BUY-SELL.gif


BUY or SELL: By the bowl game, the best QB on the roster will be a freshman?

(Sell) I'm buying stock in Ehlinger very quietly right now.

BUY or SELL: Sam finishes the year with a higher QB rating than Kyler?

(Sell) I believe in Lincoln Riley's offense more at the moment than I do Tom Herman's. If forced to give one unproven side a little more benefit of the doubt, I have to give it to the guy without identity issues with his offensive unit.

BUY or SELL: There will be plenty of college coaches/programs who will still care too much about winning, therefor this Urban Meyer scandal won’t be near the last one we see?

(Buy) This is what the sausage looks like when it's being made. I stopped believing that nice guys in this sport is possible when the supposedly super-character guy Chris Peterson covered for Art Briles when the Baylor scandal was really taking off. The coaches in the profession are more Silk Road than Main Street in Maybarry.

BUY or SELL: Buy or Sell: With the Longhorns being ranked in the Top 25 to start the season, being ranked in the Top 10 at some point this season is a real possibility?

(Buy) I think a 3-0 start will have them just on the cusp of the Top 10.

BUY or SELL: if Texas Defense improves from last years play and has no major injuries and on offense we manage 210 rushing and 240 passing per game we have a shot at 10 wins?

(Buy) You just described a Big 12 championship team.

BUY or SELL: It’s the fall of 2006, Colt is not on the team, but all 4 current scholarship QBs are (in their current stage of development). You would start Buechele on that team?

(Sell) I start the better, more dynamic option, which at the moment is Sam Ehlinger.

BUY or SELL: We suck until we don't?

(Buy) Hold the rope, fellas.

BUY or SELL: As tragic as it would be, Meyer's PR group and blame machine has done enough to keep him at tOSU?

(Sell) This story is going to be a slow, incredibly messy drip. He's a liar and the answers to so many questions simply won't allow it.

BUY or SELL: at pressers, Austin media and sports media will keep raising the issue of Zach Smith and what Herman and his tOSU assistants knew about the situation until they answer the questions straight on?

(Sell) Not unless a reason for those questions develops. It seems to me that Herman has been given a pass on this subject for the most part.I haven't heard that it's been asked about in the last two media sessions that he has participated in from the weekend.

BUY or SELL: Liverpool win the EPL this season?
tenor.gif



No. 8 – Eternal Randomness of the Spotty Sports Mind …

... I'm trying to charge my NFL jets, but I just can't seem to shake the cobwebs. I need to set up my fantasy league this year. Just doing one. I'll do my best to be an A-plus commish.

... I had no desire to watch Ray Lewis' 33-minute HOF speech. No thanks.

... Cody Garbrandt needs to move along and forget that he ever tried to cross T.J. Dillashaw. That beef is officially settled.

... I'm still trying top process Mighty Mouse losing. It was a close fight, but I thought the judges got it right.

... Can we just see the Red Sox and Astros play a best of 11 series in October, please?

... I really can't explain my Phillies and how they are in first place. Five in a row and just cruising along at 15 games over .500. No way did I think this was a 90-win team... assuming it gets there.

... The Astros have a 141 run edge over the Athletics in run-differential, but only have a 4.5 game lead in the standings. Baseball can be so weird.

... Consider me Team LeBron forever after watching him unveil his new school for at-risk youth this week.

... There's a part of me that thinks Jalen Hurts is starting at Texas next year.

... Liverpool is going to win the EPL title. Man City is going to play in the Champions League Final.

... Josef Martinez has 26 goals in 24 games for Atlanta United in the MLS. I'm curious to see what happens to the 25-year old Venezuelan from here on out because I'd argue the MLS needs him to succeed in Europe moving forward more than it needs him to be the league's best player.

No. 9 - The List: Top 10 Cover Songs That Are Better than The Original ...

10. Al Green - How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?
9. Sinead o'Connor - Nothing Compares to You
8. Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee
7. The Beatles - Twist and Shout
6. Ike and Tina Turner - Proud Mary
5. Johnny Cash - Hurt
4. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
3. Jimi Hendrix - All Along The watch Tower
2. Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
1. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

No. 10 – And Finally ...

Rest in peace, @hornsfan65
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Sorry to hear the story of the father /son meeting in SF; sad to hear that.
On a lighter note; a little too much Liverpool hype this year winning the EPL title. 3 way dogfight between Man U, pool, and city. Spurs 4th. I feel this season will be decided in the last week or so and will be close. Unless Pogba leaves, United will be better than most think.
 
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Ketchum

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May 29, 2001
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Sorry to hear the story of the father /son meeting in SF; sad to hear that.
On a lighter note; a little too much Liverpool hype this year winning the EPL title. 3 way dogfight between Man U, pool, and city. Spurs 4th. I feel this season will be decided in the last week or so and will be close. Unless Pogba leaves, United will be better than most think.
Liverpool is going to F people up all season.

Our additions are perfectly suited for this team. Keita is going to be a star.
 

horns82

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May 9, 2004
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I have been on this site for about 20 years now. I believe that is the best column I have read on this site.

My dad was a real peach as well. My mom and I would have starved to death if it wasn't for my aunt. God rest her soul.

Thank you Ketch.

The greatest gift we have as a human being, I believe, are our children. What your dad did, Ketch, and continues to do reflects on his selfishness. I was moved by your story, and can relate to parts of it.

I too was an 'accident', but I didn't even know it till I was 18 and my drunk, alcoholic mother called me at 4 in the morning to inform me that the only dad I had known was not my biological dad. I found out I was born out of wedlock, and later adopted by this man at age 2.

I haven't been around my mother since I was 10 when she lost custody of me and my six year younger sister because she was shacked up with a man for a week in a hotel room. My 'step' father went to court and won custody. He was a damaged individual too...lived depressed all his life, thought sports was a waste of time...had an 8th grade education only...never attended any sporting event I participated in till I received a free ride at UT, and was blessed to play on the incredible national championship teams of 69''70.

I've witnessed so many brutal beatings, knifings, and experienced verbal and physical abuse before the age of ten that no kid should ever have to live with.

The good Lord blessed me with athletic ability, and fortunately I had the love of junior high & high school coaches that sensed things were 'off', and gave me guidance and attention. If I had not been blessed athletically, I honestly don't know what would have happened to me.

As I got older, and before my mother passed away in her 70's, I asked her about who my real dad was. Her answer? "I don't want to talk about it". So I never found out anything.

I believe we have two options in life when presented with situations like I was in...one, you can grow up and treat others as you were treated because that's all you know...or...two, you can do just the opposite and love on your kids every day and let them know you are there to love and support them. I chose #2.

I have been blessed with two caring, beautiful daughters who are now in their 30's.

Ketch, you made the best of a very difficult situation, and that's exactly what you should have done. Hang in there and know you took the high road, and what your dad chooses to do will one day haunt him. Karma is a real beeotch!

Thanks for sharing that amazing story...my admiration has grown substantially.
 

es1943

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Sep 29, 2011
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a. It's hard to say. I don't know that it deteriorated. I thought inroads towards a better relationship had been made, but that is completely controlled by the whims of my father and when he volunteered to make himself available recently. He's very detached from everyone he knows in Texas, including his sister. He basically told me the only thing that makes her family is the blood, not any relationship that they have.

I'm the black sheep of my dad's family. I don't even know how many people know about me. I've never met my dad's wife or my half-sisters.

As my dad said on Tuesday, "I didn't call you because I didn't think to and I surely didn't want that to be your coming out party."

The funeral story is wild. It could have been 3,000 words by itself.
Regarding your biological father and you: I can only quote a wise person who told me this about others who hurt you: The hardest but best way to move on is to have the grace to: Accept an apology that ha never been offered, and then move on
 

es1943

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Sep 29, 2011
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Kathleen Kelly: You know, I don't really think that HE could be your nephew.

Joe Fox: No, no, no, it's true. Annabelle is my - *aunt*. Isn't that right, Aunt Annabelle?

Annabelle Fox: Uh-huh, and Matt is his...

Kathleen Kelly: Oh wait, wait, wait, let me guess. Are you his uncle?

Matthew Fox: No.

Kathleen Kelly: His grandfather?

[Matt giggles, as he shakes his head]

Kathleen Kelly: His great-grandfather?

Matthew Fox: [laughing] I'm his brother!

Joe Fox: [answering Kathleen's very confused look] Matthew is my father's son, Annabelle is my *grandfather's* daughter. We are... an American family.



On Tuesday afternoon, just a few miles away from the San Francisco airport at a restaurant called Mokutanya, I sat eye to eye with my father, just the two of us, for the first time in my life.

Some of you will know this about me, but many of you will not - I have a complicated relationship with my biological father. He was about to graduate from Baylor in 1975 when he went on a few dates with my mom, who was a junior in high school at Waco Reicher at the time. Somewhere along the way inside of those dates, yours truly was created. While my mom decided to raise me on her own as an 18-year-old high school senior, my dad went off to California and started a new life that was different from anything he'd every known in Texas, eventually emerging as one of the most successful men in the entire high tech world over the last 30 years.

Over the course of the first 37+ years of my life, we'd never met, despite the fact that he paid child support until I was 18 and helped with a year of my college tuition when I was at Texas. While I used to spend weekends with his parents when I was a child, he just never had an interest in really having a relationship with me. Obviously.

All of that changed when my twins arrived in 2014, as we met a few weeks after they were born and he visited them the next day while they were in the NICU. That was followed up with another luncheon with Heather (my wife), Hendrix and Haven roughly two years later . Although we weren't on steady speaking terms, I was under the impression that our relationship was one that was growing, albeit at a very slow burn.

That impression changed in July when my grandfather, who I had spent the last few years redeveloping a relationship with, died in Lakeway about 15 minutes from my house in Cedar Park. Even though my dad had apparently been in town for almost two weeks, he never called me. No one did. Feeling that my grandfather would have wanted me at the funeral, but knowing that every person at the funeral wouldn't have wanted me there, my wife and I sat in our car for nearly two hours on the day of his funeral at his grave-site until everyone left so that we could pay our respects.

In an effort to cut this "Dear Diary" moment as short as possible for you guys reading this, I ended up requesting/demanding a meeting after a series of insulting emails from him that I'm sure weren't meant to be insulting but couldn't be anything but. Anywhere, any place ... just tell me and I'd fly to him for a one-on-one. He suggested we talk on the phone. I told him I deserved an in-person conversation.

So, there I was in San Francisco at a Japanese restaurant that he said had five-star reviews online. Face to face.

It didn't take a rocket scientist to know that the things he was going to say to me were going to be rough, but damnit, I felt like it was time to stop pussyfooting with the situation and just be real with each other for one time in our lives.

And he got real, telling me over the course of an hour the following:

* Wished I had been aborted and still feels that way today.
* Views me as one of the three worst mistakes of his life (we didn't discuss the other two).
* There will never be a future relationship because it's too much trouble for him and he wouldn't want to have to try to explain me to his friends.
* Basically doesn't view me as his son and certainly not someone he would claim as family.

There was actually a lot more, but I'm sure you'll get the point after those four small examples. Honestly, it was a lot to absorb, especially with nothing but time on my hands in the 8 hours that it took to get back to Austin. It was quite humbling.

Thankfully, I had Orangebloods to lean on and whether I was discussing Longhorn football, Emmitt Smith's place as the best running back of all-time or arguing whether Sadio Mane was a more productive player than Eden Hazard over the last three years in the Premier League, I had our big, crazy dysfunctional crazy-town to lean on as a distraction. Even if I hadn't told anyone I needed the company, the Orangebloods family was there for me in that exact moment of needed companionship.

That truth hit home for me the following day when I was driving down South Lamar past Post South Lamar, which is where our Orangebloods brother Christian Meroney had been murdered earlier this month. When I looked over towards the building as I drove by, I just dropped into a sunken place. It had just been a couple of days before when we all learned that another Orangebloods family member John Ballard McDonald (Orange Turdfrog) had passed away and I felt the full weight of losing them in that moment.

Between the two of them, they'd been on the site with me for more than two decades. That's a long damn time. Believe me, I know what that means in so many ways. There's a lot of life equity on this board. The thing that I love about this wildly chaotic family of ours the most is that when urgent matters call for it, the Orangebloods family responds like a boss every time. EVERY TIME. I might have argued with Christian about the most unimportant things on a daily basis, but if I was ever in need, I feel like there's no question he'd be there. I know I would have been there for him. Numbers greater than we can count would have.

It dawned on me while I was at a stoplight on South Lamar, pushed to the brink of tears, that Orangebloods is the modern-day American family. It doesn't make sense that this community has emerged into something bigger than a mere message board, but my Orangebloods family has been there for me in ways that my "real family" has never and will never be there.

Over the course of the last two decades, this family of ours has changed the scope of my entire life. I met my wife on the eve of the 2005 Big 12 title game because of this place. People who stood next to me at my wedding were introduced through this place. Hell, my son's name came from a post I made asking for suggestions.

All of this leads me to this morning when I woke up to see a thread posted by @hornsfan65 called "Adios." Inside of that thread, an Orangebloods family member seemed to be leaving a bit of a suicide note. Overwhelmed with all of the loss in his life, the indications were given that he was going to take is life and he wanted to thank the Orangebloods family for being there for him. In a panic, I did what I could to help and just hoped that the pleading from the members of the board would lead him to give it just one more day. I prayed that he'd let us lift him up like so many others have been lifted up over the last two decades, myself included.

The pleading and the prayers failed, as it was confirmed by his wife on Sunday morning that Bryce had taken his life. Alone in his car, his last words were directed towards the Orangebloods family that he loved and appreciated. Left behind is a wife and an 11-year old son that will never have their husband and father again, respectively.

It's just devastating in so many ways. It's as this point that I'm kind of out of words because I don't know what to say.

We've lost three Orangebloods family members in the last month and we can't get so much as another hour with any of them, which is haunting. More than anything, I just want to let anyone else on this site that is feeling the types of pressure that @hornfan65 was feeling to know that we're all here for each other. I'm here for you. Your Orangebloods family is for you.

I've known all of this before, but it hit home hard in the last few days.

In a week when the definitions of what is and isn't family in my life have been firmly defined, I want to express by undying gratitude to my Orangebloods family. I don't know what I'd ever do without you.

Even if some of you are like the uncle we all want to hide in another room away from the family at Thanksgiving dinner, you're still my family. I started this section with a movie reference and I'm going to end it with one.


No. 2 - Three Biggest Takeaways From The First Three Days ...

* This true freshman class is going to make a much bigger impact this season than most people are probably expecting, and that includes myself. In addition to Caden Sterns (more on him in a bit), Brennan Eagles is working with the second-team offense, Junior Angilau has made a bigger first impression than any other first-year lineman in the program thus far (yes, that includes Calvin Anderson) and Ayodele Adeoye continues to look like a guy that will be starting sooner than later in his career. Every dude that was recruited in the 2016 and 2017 recruiting classes better understand that it's now or never... or risk getting passed by a younger player. Talented freshmen are everywhere and they are going to play, new rule that allows every freshman four games to play with or not.

* Texas doesn't have five good offensive linemen yet, so Herb Hand is giving everyone a chance to make a case for themselves. In an ideal world, you're not shuffling guys all over the place across first-team and second-team roles in August, but the status quo from last season (and even this spring) just isn't good enough. It's possible that we need to throw away any predispositions we might have had about the make-up of the starting line going into the season in the trash can because it sure seems like Hand has.

* Sam Ehlinger will have to have a really poor camp to lose the starting quarterback job. When Herman announced that Ehlinger had earned the right to take the first reps with the first-team offense, he was telling us that separation on the scoreboard has taken place. What I find fascinating about the job security at the position is that it might be a little like the job security Tyrone Swoopes had going into the 2016 season. Bottom line - Sam better player well in the first half against Maryland. If he does that, he might just run away from everyone for the next few seasons. If he doesn't, Herman will almost certainly play another option. When you have four guys and they can all play without consequence, a head coach's patience will only last so long.

No. 3 - "I JOG FASTER THAN CALVIN ANDERSON AND I HAD MY KNEE REPLACED SIX MONTHS AGO!!"...

If you missed it in Alex's notes from Sunday, this was a quote from Herb Hand at practice while the offensive line was jogging from one section of the practice fields to another.

Subtle. I like it. Sounds like Calvin needs to pick up his pace.

Quote of the Year at this point.

No. 4 - My possible big dose of hyperbole in the column ...

Caden Sterns might be the best player in this program before we get to December.

I've spent all weekend thinking about it and I can't remember the last time a true freshman started the first game of the season in the secondary, let alone took the very first rep in August with the first-team defense. I ran every name I could think of through my brain and couldn't think of anyone. So, I looked it up.

Didn't happen last year, obviously. Or 2016. Or 2015. Or 2014. Or 2013. Or 2012. Or 2011. Or 2010. Or 2009.

While I thought I might go into the last century, it turns out the last defensive back to start a game as a true freshman was Blake Gideon. I totally forgot that. No one else has done it this century. I stopped looking at some point in the Mackovic years, with the point being that it doesn't happen very often firmly established.

The metrics from the last decade suggest that Sterns entered college with anywhere between a 65-75 percent chance of one day emerging as a player that will be drafted by an NFL team. Unless injuries occur, he looks like a guy that will start every game of his career and emerge as a legit awards candidate in very short time.

Sterns is what it looks like when a five-star player goes boom and you can't have enough of them.

No. 5 - Riddle me this...

I penned a small story for @TicketCity this week detailing the top 5 rivalries in the Big 12 going into the season.

Man, once you get beyond Texas/OU and Bedlam, it's pretty slim pickings - Baylor vs TCU, Texas vs. Texas Tech and Kansas vs. Kansas State were the other three I selected.

It's a pretty gross list if you think about it for more than three seconds. Can anyone argue for another Big 12 rivalry that warrants bumping one of those three out?

No. 6 - Story-time with Uncle Ketch...
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Sometimes we can all use a reminder that the players on the Texas football team are all a bunch of kids. Oh, maybe some of them are young adults by the time they leave, but at the age of 42, they all look like a bunch of kids to me.

Don't ask me why this story stands out in my head after all of these years, but there are so many small lessons inside of it.

It was the summer of 2002 and one of the young players on the Texas roster called me to ask if I knew someone that would want to buy his Big 12 Championship ring. I told him that I didn't know of anyone that was into that kind of thing and that even if I did, I wouldn't tell him because I thought it was a huge mistake. Still, the player argued with me that he had financial issues and he needed the money.

Then he said something I've never forgotten.

"What's the big deal? It's just a Big 12 South ring," he told me. "I'll replace it next year with a conference championship ring."

So, he sold the ring for $150. Twelve months later, he was no longer in the program and he never played another down of major college football. As it turns out, that ring was the only ring he ever earned as a college athlete.

The big financial issue that he sold his ring over?

He had to pay his cell phone bill.

No. 7 – Buy or Sell …
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BUY or SELL: By the bowl game, the best QB on the roster will be a freshman?

(Sell) I'm buying stock in Ehlinger very quietly right now.

BUY or SELL: Sam finishes the year with a higher QB rating than Kyler?

(Sell) I believe in Lincoln Riley's offense more at the moment than I do Tom Herman's. If forced to give one unproven side a little more benefit of the doubt, I have to give it to the guy without identity issues with his offensive unit.

BUY or SELL: There will be plenty of college coaches/programs who will still care too much about winning, therefor this Urban Meyer scandal won’t be near the last one we see?

(Buy) This is what the sausage looks like when it's being made. I stopped believing that nice guys in this sport is possible when the supposedly super-character guy Chris Peterson covered for Art Briles when the Baylor scandal was really taking off. The coaches in the profession are more Silk Road than Main Street in Maybarry.

BUY or SELL: Buy or Sell: With the Longhorns being ranked in the Top 25 to start the season, being ranked in the Top 10 at some point this season is a real possibility?

(Buy) I think a 3-0 start will have them just on the cusp of the Top 10.

BUY or SELL: if Texas Defense improves from last years play and has no major injuries and on offense we manage 210 rushing and 240 passing per game we have a shot at 10 wins?

(Buy) You just described a Big 12 championship team.

BUY or SELL: It’s the fall of 2006, Colt is not on the team, but all 4 current scholarship QBs are (in their current stage of development). You would start Buechele on that team?

(Sell) I start the better, more dynamic option, which at the moment is Sam Ehlinger.

BUY or SELL: We suck until we don't?

(Buy) Hold the rope, fellas.

BUY or SELL: As tragic as it would be, Meyer's PR group and blame machine has done enough to keep him at tOSU?

(Sell) This story is going to be a slow, incredibly messy drip. He's a liar and the answers to so many questions simply won't allow it.

BUY or SELL: at pressers, Austin media and sports media will keep raising the issue of Zach Smith and what Herman and his tOSU assistants knew about the situation until they answer the questions straight on?

(Sell) Not unless a reason for those questions develops. It seems to me that Herman has been given a pass on this subject for the most part.I haven't heard that it's been asked about in the last two media sessions that he has participated in from the weekend.

BUY or SELL: Liverpool win the EPL this season?
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No. 8 – Eternal Randomness of the Spotty Sports Mind …

... I'm trying to charge my NFL jets, but I just can't seem to shake the cobwebs. I need to set up my fantasy league this year. Just doing one. I'll do my best to be an A-plus commish.

... I had no desire to watch Ray Lewis' 33-minute HOF speech. No thanks.

... Cody Garbrandt needs to move along and forget that he ever tried to cross T.J. Dillashaw. That beef is officially settled.

... I'm still trying top process Mighty Mouse losing. It was a close fight, but I thought the judges got it right.

... Can we just see the Red Sox and Astros play a best of 11 series in October, please?

... I really can't explain my Phillies and how they are in first place. Five in a row and just cruising along at 15 games over .500. No way did I think this was a 90-win team... assuming it gets there.

... The Astros have a 141 run edge over the Athletics in run-differential, but only have a 4.5 game lead in the standings. Baseball can be so weird.

... Consider me Team LeBron forever after watching him unveil his new school for at-risk youth this week.

... There's a part of me that thinks Jalen Hurts is starting at Texas next year.

... Liverpool is going to win the EPL title. Man City is going to play in the Champions League Final.

... Josef Martinez has 26 goals in 24 games for Atlanta United in the MLS. I'm curious to see what happens to the 25-year old Venezuelan from here on out because I'd argue the MLS needs him to succeed in Europe moving forward more than it needs him to be the league's best player.

No. 9 - The List: Top 10 Cover Songs That Are Better than The Original ...

10. Al Green - How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?
9. Sinead o'Connor - Nothing Compares to You
8. Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee
7. The Beatles - Twist and Shout
6. Ike and Tina Turner - Proud Mary
5. Johnny Cash - Hurt
4. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
3. Jimi Hendrix - All Along The watch Tower
2. Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night?
1. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

No. 10 – And Finally ...

Rest in peace, @hornsfan65
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For @horn65, one last “RLTW’
 

jmccord109

Member
Aug 23, 2010
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I feel sorry for the person your dad has become. Without a doubt your life has made a greater impact on the lives of others. Thanks for caring so much.
 
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jefakin

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Feb 19, 2007
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If you inherited anything from that bozo of a father, Ketch, it was some of your basic intelligence and certainly none of his inhumanity. You are a decent, empathetic, thoughtful person. I am sorry you have borne this pain and disappointment in your life.

Congratulations on your own beautiful family. I have thoroughly enjoyed the pictures of the twins you sent to me.