Weekly Conversation: Tearing up the microphone

Seth C: Goodbye offseason, hello football!

Here we are, a brave new world and a brand new football season, kinda excited about the prospect of that. I want to talk football first, and then we can run this sucker off the rails later if we want. On Tuesday, you touched on Kingsbury’s quiet offseason, was there anything else that stood out to you this offseason?

Travis: There really isn’t that much else that caught my attention, though it has been interesting (and exciting) to hear bits and pieces on the progress on the defensive side. I remember back to that TCU game last year, standing on the sideline and just watching those DL get more and more gassed and dejected as the game wore on. It sounds like there are more than just warm bodies taking the field this year so I’m really anxious to see how much they’ve improved.

What will you be watching for most this week? What will you need to see to either a) breathe a sigh of relief or b) start to unpack some red flags?

Seth C: I think at this point, we tend to hear the same thing from Kingsbury for most of the offseason. He tends to repeat the same message and I can understand that as he’s really not asked many original questions. So, the theme has been “grind” so that’s what I expect. No, not this sort of grinding, but the sort of attitude that they’ve been working on for the spring, summer and fall. It’s really time to see if these things that he’s stressed so much will come to fruition. Pretty simply, few turnovers on the offense, gobs of turnovers from the defense, few penalties and a machine-like performance.

If we don’t see those things, then yeah, there’s probably big problems. As pointed out on Twitter earlier this week, the problem with playing an FCS opponent is that a Power Five team is expected to dismantle the opponent and if that doesn’t happen, then everyone will be greatly concerned. If Texas Tech easily handles Sam Houston State, then the response will be, “Well, I’ll know a lot more when Texas Tech plays somebody.” No matter what, teams like Texas Tech will be in a lose-lose situation.

So, really, where we are at is that the offseason has been boring, mostly by design by Kingsbury, but your offseason has been nothing short of boring. You’ve been crazy busy and successful with all of the writing you’ve done. Where do you want to go with your writing, or, are you already there?

Travis: The short answer is: no. I’m not anywhere near where I want to ultimately be with writing. I know the likelihood is exceedingly small, but I’d love to have the opportunity to do it full-time at some point. I still get turned down much more often than not, so there’s a long way to go. But I am most definitely enjoying every minute of it. This new opportunity with The Hill is something I’m very excited about because it’s completely outside my comfort zone which will challenge me to get better.

I love writing about the NBA and Texas Tech but have been hoping for an opportunity to do some other things, and this is certainly giving me that chance. I was thinking about the path this has taken the other day: Six years ago I started writing small recaps in our neighborhood fantasy football league, which led me to finally start doing fanposts at VTM, which led to front page writing, which led to covering the Spurs, which led to NBC and some other really big sites that have welcomed me in. The reward I guess is that there are now tens of thousands of people across the country that think I’m a complete idiot.

I just want to get better with every article and continue to inch my way along, hopefully helping other aspiring writers to do the same. As for the rest I hope they continue to try and come up with new, creative ways to insult me.

So there’s been a bit of a kerfuffle this week with a tweet that Nigel Bethel sent which has apparently caused a bit of a stir. Speaking as someone that has fallen down the Twitter rabbit hole more times than I should, I can understand getting frustrated and posting something that probably shouldn’t have been. Twitter is such a weird phenomena- it’s rare that I look at my timeline and not get pissed off about something. The times that I don’t respond or reply or say something crazy are the times when I consider myself to have won the day. What do you think about all of this, and most specifically, the tweet that Bethel sent?

Seth C: Twitter is such a strange bird (I just did that). For the most part, I’ve been able to just ignore 90% of what’s on Twitter and I am constantly amazed that I don’t react poorly when there’s something that’s posted that I don’t like. Generally speaking, Twitter is a lot more fun where it isn’t so serious. But then there are those times where guys like Bethel will sorta put their life out there and I don’t know why. I generally only like to share happy things or good times because no one really wants to hear about what’s wrong with my life. That’s largely irrelevant and boring to most people. But there are folks out there that do like to make themselves the center of attention a bit for something. And we really don’t know what Bethel was tweeting about, he hasn’t clarified. As some folks mentioned, he could have broken up with his girlfriend, so he’s single, or maybe he thinks he’s a free agent because he’s not starting. We really don’t know and that’s the problem with being “ambiguous Twitter guy” as you’re left to figure out whats’ going on and if it means anything.

As far as Kingsbury’s response, I think I read his response was essentially, “whatever.” If Bethel wants to make himself the center of attention and it’s not causing me any harm, then fine. If Bethel was tweeting because he’s unhappy that he’s not starting, then whatever, Kingsbury and Gibbs can flatly tell him to look in the mirror and know that he hasn’t been good enough. Gibbs knows what it takes to be great and tweeting about being unhappy isn’t going to make it any better. If it’s about a girl, then that’s an even bigger whatever.

With the game fast-approaching, do you see Texas Tech handling Sam Houston St. relatively easily, or do you think that think the Bearcats give Texas Tech a challenge?

Travis: Hell I don’t know. I’m just ready to get it started. There will be some exhilarating highs, and some terrible lows over the next few months and we’ll all be mad and depressed at some point. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. Let’s tear this shit up.


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