My alma mater has gotten quite a bit of attention since Todd Dodge was hired as its football coach last December, right before he concluded another undefeated season with Southlake Carroll High School. Some of us were extremely excited by the hire, and we believe that Coach Dodge will take Mean Green football to a much higher level.
But the schedule-makers weren't very kind to him (granted, all this was figured out years ago) when they sent the Mean Green to Norman, Oklahoma for Dodge's debut; the Oklahoma Sooners went into the season ranked #8 in the nation. I'd gotten to attend a few of those games when I was in college, and the losses were pretty lopsided: 69-14 and 56-2, if memory serves. Oklahoma would go into this game favored by 40 points.
Well...if only it had been that close. The Sooners would hang nearly half a hundred on the Mean Green before halftime and ended up winning 79-10. It's not exactly the way Dodge wanted to begin his career at North Texas, but taking on a team like Oklahoma would be an arduous task for most programs. (If it's any consolation, he also lost his first game at Southlake Carroll, 35-14, before starting his string of state championship runs.)
I didn't get to go this time, since the game sold out weeks ago, but I caught most of it either on TV or radio. I had my doubts about letting junior quarterback Daniel Meager start again after his performance last season, and he didn't really seem to get much going during the game. True freshman Giovanni Vizza came on in relief and led the Green on a couple of scoring drives, though he also threw two interceptions. (Granted, both of these guys will be competing with Dodge's son Riley when he arrives next year.)
So I'm tempted not to thnk too much of this game in the grand scheme of things. Sure, a better performance would have been nice, but not everyone can be Appalachian State. And Dodge , as we would expect, keeps it all in perspective: "The journey is on. Myself, my coaches and my players have to make sure we don't knee jerk in the face of adversity."
The "real" season starts next Saturday, at SMU.
He thought he was in Pamplona: A bull at the Minnesota State Fair escaped from its handlers, made a run through the crowd and then head-butted a red fire hydrant and died. All this on a day when Lileks wasn't on the scene until evening.
Taking "flying fish" literally: The Colorado Division of Wildlife is using airplanes to stock mountain lakes with trout.
Umm, would you like fries with that?: The Outback Steakhouse has a great dish called Alice Springs Chicken, but over in Australia itself, some natives are enjoying Alice springs cat.
And speaking of feral beasts: Did someone here in Texas really find the mythical chupacabra?