Miscellany

Weekly Conversation: Iowa State

We rank the fingers.

Last Week’s Game

Seth: Do you still get sports-mad? I find myself getting to the point in my life that I simply don’t get sports mad like I used to. Maybe I’m losing my edge, I don’t know. I used to get way too upset at a loss and I’d be in a sour mood all day. Now I’m at the point where I don’t like losing, but it doesn’t affect the rest of my day or week. Maybe it’s because I’ve got kids and other things to completely distract me from that part.

Last week’s game against West Virginia would have driven me pretty batty a few years ago because it looked like Texas Tech was in control of the game and then the Red Raiders just let it slip away. Penalties. Your favorite position, kickers. And both sides of the ball struggled to do something or stop something in that 4th quarter.

Travis: I’ve mellowed out too, especially since the Leach firing. During the Leach years I was getting a bit out of control, where wins would last until Sunday morning but losses would ruin my entire week. The only good thing about the whole Leach fiasco is that it forced me to step back a little in my fandom.

However, I was waaaaaaay sports mad on Saturday. When Tech missed that chip shot field goal just before half I almost completely lost my shit. Something in the back of my head told me that Tech was going to lose, and I watched the entire 2nd half with a looming sense of dread. It was awful.

And I know there are a lot of folks out there hanging this loss on Kingsbury and I agree, he shoulders some blame. But at some point you have to count on the players to execute. The kicking game is horrid and for all his first half heroics, Shimonek has a tendency to completely regress in crunch time. He rolls out of the pocket (always to his right) and then is forced to make a tough throw or just get rid of it–or get sacked. And when he doesn’t run, he seems to aim his throws, which never works. He had to overthrow Cantrell 5 times in the 2nd half alone.

So the offense folds and it puts all the onus on the defense, who just wear down. It’s a frustrating mess. I think the answer is just for Kingsbury to throw out all conventional wisdom and go for it. Stop kicking field goals and stop trying to play conventionally with a lead. Keep your foot on the throttle and play pissed off, for 60 minutes. It’s time to go full XBox on some asses.

Suburban Gangsters

Seth: Fitsum is in Cub Scout and on Saturday and Saturday night, we were scheduled to do a camp out at Lake Tawakoni State Park. It’s a nice park, it really is, but it’s October in East Texas and October in East Texas still means hot muggy weather and mosquitoes. I can handle the mosquitoes, I covered myself in bug spray as well as Fitsum. The activities were fine, just fine. Nothing crazy, just some fishing and walking around and then cooking out later that night with smores. There was one interesting thing where the pack burned a bunch of U.S. flags that were tattered and had seen better days. I knew that this was what you were supposed to do, but I’ve never seen that done before. It was a solemn event (as solemn as you can get with a bunch of kids just wanting to run around and be crazy).

So, the temps were in the mid-90’s and because of all of the trees, there was no breeze. There was a front set to arrive anywhere between 4 and 5 in the morning and there was supposed to be storms (nothing severe, but rain) and cooler temps. We get done with dinner and hit the hay, it’s around 9:30 or 10:00. I can’t sleep because it’s really hot and although I like the outdoors, I despise hot and muggy (sorry, not sorry Houston). Because I can’t fall asleep, I watch the radar and the estimates are right, so I start packing up the tent and Fitsum in the SUV, let Fits sleep on the middle seat and I just try to recline the driver’s seat and at least get some rest. The storm arrives at 5:30 and by that time, Fits is up and playing Mindcraft. It’s a good rain and I’m expecting the Sunday activities to be called off, which happens around 6:45. We pull out around 7 in the morning, totally dry, very tired, but on our way home.

Did I do the right thing in packing up the tent at 4:30 in the morning or should I have stuck it out?

Travis: Absolutely you did the right thing.

We’ve had this tradition where we take all the kids camping a couple times a year, but we’ve kinda fallen off in recent years due to Claire’s basketball schedule. We’ll at least still get out to Garner or Kerrville for the day and hang out with the dads and kids that are there (it’s coming up next weekend).

I can tell you from the experience that there is absolutely nothing worse in this world than a hot tent on a windless night. It’s excruciating. And then the fact that you had a front blowing in made it even worse. You basically had to suffer through the 2 worst dangers in camping (excluding a bear or wolf attack) and you did it in a most efficient way. Rolling up at 4:30 am is hero type stuff. I hope you’ve told your wife the story numerous times because you earned some brownie points on that gruesome night.

Seth: Hell yes, I’ve told my wife. Fitsum doesn’t realize what I’ve done to save his tail, but one day, he’ll get it.

This Week’s Game

Travis: So this weeks game. I’m a little nervous about it because Iowa state is scrappy as hell. I love Joel Lanning and the fact the dude can play QB and linebacker–who does that anymore? Their defense is stingy and the offense plays tough. Tech will have to play well if they want to win.

Seth: I don’t know what to think other than these two teams are really pretty evenly matched. The offense for ISU doesn’t seem up to par, but that’s with Jacob Park at quarterback throwing some stinker games, while the combination of Kempt and Lanning seems so good (wouldn’t it be interesting to have a guy like Lanning that can completely change how you have to play an offense).

The Best Thing Ever

Travis: My best thing this week is Uncle Chris’ Seasoning from Fiesta Spices here in San Antonio. Pour some of this along with a little olive oil and soy sauce on a rib-eye and you’ll never taste a steak so good. I use it for just about everything–eggs, veggies, chicken, pork. It’s fantastic.

Seth: You are not the only one that uses Uncle Chris’ spices and I too use it on everything.

The only thing that kept me sane camping is the fact that when laying down, I was at least comfortable. A while back, I purchased this self-inflating sleeping pad (I got it on sale too, so that was great) and it’s not like I’m sleeping on some sort of blowup mattress, but I was at the very least comfortable while I watched my phone get to an appropriate time for me to start packing (believe it or not, Twitter is not very active in the dead of night). Plus, it packs up pretty small if you need to take it backpacking or whatever.

Random Top Five

Seth: Your random top five is your top five fingers. If yous are the same and don’t want to repeat, feel feel to rank the toes.

1. Thumb (Obvious that opposable digits is important).
2. Index finger (With the thumb, can complete “guns up”).
3. Middle finger (You know, to express yourself).
4. Ring finger (We’re really at the point of choosing the most least important digit).
5. Pinky finger (You can have it if Texas Tech gets a decent kicker).

Travis: This is easy.

1. When I was a kid I pretended my middle finger was the boss finger because he towers over his brother fingers. He’s in charge.

2. Ring finger. It’s the only finger that society accepts as having a formal role in identifying a specific accomplishment. Marriage, college graduation, world championship? You have a special finger!

3. Thumb. Important for tweeting and texting and also building tools.

4. Pinkie. Overlooked, but completes the hand. We’d look grotesque without pinkies an no one would drink tea in England. Well guess what? That means no Boston Tea Party and no America, that’s what.

5. Index finger. Just think about it. Not as useful as a thumb, shorter than his brother next to him, and no specific purpose (no one wears a ring on their index finger). Pretty useless overall, except for claiming your the best. But if everyone claims they’re the best, then nobody is the best. If only one guy in the world had an index finger and went around saying he’s number 1, then we could talk.

Game Predictions

Travis: That said, I think Kingsbury is pissed about last week’s meltdown, and the team will come out with their hair on fire. I see a 45-35 type game, with Tech winning. How about you?

Seth: I’m going to pick Texas Tech at home, but by a hair, something like 38-35.

One final question. Does Kingsbury kick field goals on Saturday?

Travis: Nobody better be kicking any damn field goals Saturday.

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