Friday, December 06, 2002

ZoNotes: Coaching

Aggieland Revived?
After the firing of legendary headman RC Slocum, new A&M athletic director Bill Byrne and President/Former CIA director Robert Gates pulled off a coaching coup, luring Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione to College Station and making him Texas A&M's 26th head coach. This development "returns the favor" of sorts, as those of you familiar with the college game remember Bear Bryant leaving College Station for Tuscaloosa four decades ago.

Still, there are some cautionary signs for both Aggie fans and college fans in general to note. Franchione is now averaging about two seasons per university he coaches. Franchione moved from SW Texas State to New Mexico to TCU to Alabama and now to Texas A&M, all in a relatively short 12-year period. There is no guarantee that Franchione will stay beyond his second season at A&M. Now, if that bears the fruit of BCS bowl apperances and wins over Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma, then many Aggie fans will be happy. I do hope that Gates made the right choice here, as A&M football was at a crossroads between revival and descending mediocrity. Perhaps Franchione will reverse that trend.The Big XII is the best football conference in college sports -- and its South Division the single toughest in the country.

Still, I worry about bad karma. Franchione may have left Alabama in part because of Alabama's strenuous 2-year bowl ban and scholarship reductions. However, he convinced his Crimson Tide players to stay onboard the program. The next year will be very hard on Alabama, as the effects of probation and the scholarship chop become more clear.

This hiring also continues the odd axis of football between Bama and A&M. Not only do we have the Bryant example, we also have the case of Bryant's pupil Gene Stallings, who played and coached at Aggieland, then later in life took the mantle at Tuscaloosa, where he led the Crimson Tide to the 1992 national championship with a victory over Miami in the Sugar Bowl.

"Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery." -- Jack Paar

Thursday, December 05, 2002



Sometime last night I doubted whether or not we would get the white stuff. Lo and behold, we have.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

ZoNotes: Snow Watch

Sometime tonight the white powdery stuff is supposed to be descending from on high, giving us the earliest hint of snowfall since December 2000. While we aren't in store for anything like the Blizzard of '96 (which I missed, incidentally) or like the 20-incher we got in January 2000 when I was a senior at Georgetown, all it really takes in northern Virginia and DC proper for the world to flip on its axis is a couple of inches.

"It's a disputatious world," -- Peggy Noonan

Monday, December 02, 2002

ZoNotes: How 'Bout Them Cowboys!

I hope all you had a fine Thanksgiving. I sure did. Thanks again to Aaron Ammerman (F'00) for joining us for the fried turkey and succutash!

Emmitt is the rock. Upon the rock they build victory. The Cowboys again extended their now-historic streak against the Redskins, capturing a 27-20 triumph on Thanksgiving. Again, the echoes stirred with the memories of Thanksgivings past, as the Cowboys stormed back from a third quarter 20-10 deficit. Not only did Emmitt carry for 144 yards against the 'Skins, #1 draft pick Roy Williams nabbed a crucial interception and walked the ensuing five yards for the tide-changing TD. Joey Galloway's action until the 4th quarter was limited...until he cradled a sweet pass from QB Chad Hutchinson and evaded the 'Skins respected defensive backfield corps.

The defense finally buckled down against journeyman Danny Wuerffel and the Skins offense, stopping freight train tailback Stephen Davis on 4th and 1 late in the game. Perhaps those double-star jerseys are good luck after all...

Color Wheel
I did some consulting and editing work for some for some people earlier this fall, and was rewarded for my work with a gift certificate from Borders. I finally got around to using it Saturday, picking up a copy of Shania Twain's UP! CD. You're essentially picking up 2 CDs for the price of one, because she recorded multiple versions of the same songs and stacked them within different discs. I've now got the rockish "Red" disc and the more "down home" "Green" disc. I've listened to half of Red disc so far, and I'm impressed with Shania's range, although I doubt that she's a straight-up country star anymore. It is good though to know that in the world of the $20 CD, you get twice of what you paid for from the mammoth corporate superbookstore! :)

"Boy meets girl. So what?" --Bertolt Brecht