From the Bird’s Nest: An Open Letter to Lucy
Here you go again.
I heard you calling my name Saturday night. It was too dark to see you and to be frank, I didn’t want to deal with you.
Then I heard you again Sunday morning. I had church so I couldn’t come out and see you. But, truth be told, I didn’t want to see you.
And, yeah, I heard you again yesterday afternoon. I’m avoiding you.
Because I don’t want you to do it to me again.
You think you have me fooled, that I’m just a sucker who let’s you embarrass me again and again. You do it to me in most football seasons…………”of course I’ll hold the ball…..all you have to do is run up and kick it………”
Yep, I’m wise to you. Because you’ve made a fool of me and watched me fall on my butt way too many times.
Remember Texas A&M. We all thought we had turned the corner. Then we got 52 hung on us the next week by Southern Miss and didn’t even have a winning season. Then we went into the abyss..we were God-awful for about eight years. At least you left me alone, then.
But then, at the end of the 2005 season, we won five straight. Tied for the conference championship. We were picked to win it in 2006. We started 2-2. But then we went to Houston. Fell behind by 21. They had Kevin Kolb at quarterback. And, we had one of the biggest and best comebacks in school history. 31-28. On the road. Whipped their butts, then left. Then the next week, on national TV, we pitched a shutout. 4-2 on the season. Four of our last six at home. You called for me and I came running. You held the ball for me. I ran like never before and swung my leg. Hard.
And you did it to me again.
Six turnovers at Homecoming against Middle Tennessee. Got 42 hung on us at Troy. We were gonna right the ship at home against a poor North Texas team, but they announced their coach’s firing that week. Green was mean. Another loss. We managed to win the next two and at 6-5, I had hope. You called again. I thought about ignoring you, but hey, we were playing Monroe in the last game.
You left me alone the following year. But in 2008, Tyrell and Dez were seniors. We started 1-3 but then reeled off four straight. Hung 44 against ULM…on the road. Hung 59 on North Texas….on the road. Came home and with Dez hurt, had a great comeback against Arkansas State. Tyrell broke 1,000 for the fourth time before 29.000 against FIU.
I saw you walking past my house, flipping the ball up in the air and catching it. I was glad to see you. It was time. I even called out to you. “I’ll be right down,” I said. You just smiled.
Lost at home to freaking UTEP. Got drilled at FAU and embarrassed at Troy. Now we needed to beat Middle at home just to have a chance. And, on a Wednesday night, on television, we did.
6-6. Bowl eligible. And we had secondary bowl tie-ins. We were going. Heck, the Texas Bowl wasn’t even one of the tie-ins, and they wanted us. I walked by YOUR house…brought my own ball.
But the tie-in contracts weren’t any good. They weren’t even contracts. And the Texas Bowl? Well, they wanted us….until the final hour.
The next year, we were 4-2 again. Lost to FAU at homecoming, but had a game at FIU coming up. We’ve never lost to those guys. That was going to be win number five and we had two home games still left. Seven was within reach. “Come on”, you said, “I promise it’ll be different this time….”
Had the damned thing won. Gave up a last minute touchdown. Had a field goal blocked in OT.
You weren’t around last year. Good thing. I needed the break from you.
And, truth be told, I didn’t expect to see you this year either.
But, here you come again. 3-1. I thought we’d be 1-3. Three in a row at home coming up. We’ll be favored in at least three games, including this week. Heck, we might be favored in more than that.
I saw you grin at me when you walked by my house. You didn’t stop, but I knew what you were thinking……
You’re going to wait another week. You’re going to make sure I’m ready.
Then you’re going to ring my doorbell. You’re going to smile and talk sweetly. You’re gonna want me to come out and play.
And, you’re going to promise me….again.
But I’ve got news for you, Lucy Van Pelt. I feel something different around here. It’s an attitude. Among the coaches. Among the players. Among the fan base.
I think it’s different this time, Lucy.
So, let’s see what happens this week. I’m going to be too busy to play with you, anyway.
But I may want to get together with you on Monday.
Because I just have a feeling that you’re finally going to do what you’ve always promised. You’re going to hold the ball. I’m going to run up. And I’m going to kick the hell out of it.
And you’re NOT going to pull the ball away this time.