Weekly Conversation: West Virginia

It’s a less than happy weekly conversation as Travis and Seth discuss the disappointment in sports.

Seth: Before the game, I thought to myself that this is going to be one of those typical games where Kansas State does their Vulcan mind-grip thing and they win by less than a touchdown and that seems to be what happened, a pick-6 and a kickoff returned for a touchdown and here we are. You had some more pointed criticisms of Kingsbury though, especially in the second half.

Travis: It just gets so frustrating. It’s almost as if you can predict exactly what’s going to happen before the game even starts. The first half is back and forth, then in the 2nd half Tech falls behind by 10 points or so and can never come back.

I saw a tweet from Spencer earlier this week that broke down Kingsbury’s record as a coach. None of it is really reassuring, but what caught my eye is he’s 1-19 when trailing at halftime. It’s the same damn thing every week. The opponent scores late in the half and then gets the kickoff to open the 2nd half and puts the game away.

So what made Saturday night even more frustrating was that the defense did their job and stopped KSU on their first 3 drives of the 2nd half. But it didn’t matter because Tech couldn’t do anything with the ball.

This deja vu replay every Saturday, every fall just gets old.

And at some point Kingsbury is going to have to take a hard look at how he manages games because it’s not getting better. He got schooled by Snyder on Saturday and I hope he’s willing to be more flexible in his approach or it’s going to cost him his job. I still really like the guy, and I hope he can turn it around, but Hocutt suffers no fools. Kliff needs to start showing progress or Hocutt will fire him.

So how’s your day going? Wanna expand on my shot of sunshine?

Seth: It’s funny, I was going to type this up as part of the 7 Points, but I’ll put it here and hope that it makes you feel better. This is from a Dallas radio guy, Bob Sturm:

As I was leaving a frigid Texas Stadium after the game, I was walking right behind a Dad and his boy. The boy must have been 7 or 8 years old and was crying about the result. Some people might roll their eyes, but I knew how my boy felt. When you are young, and you love a sports team, you believe the games and the seasons will all have the happy endings of the Disney movies that you watch. Guess what, son, if you are going to pledge allegiance to a team as it appears you have with the Dallas Cowboys, I want to welcome you to the fellowship of the die-hards. Understand, that once you do, you are not allowed out of this commitment, and you should also understand that most seasons are going to end in tears. A favorite team is the only thing a male human feels the same about when he was 5 and when was 45 and when he is 75. You will change your mind on everything else. Girls, money, hobbie. But, you will always still feel the adrenaline rush of a win, and the gutting sadness of a horrible loss. I didn’t say anything to the boy, as his Dad was handling it (and he might not have welcomed my advice) but I felt for him. Welcome to sports, young man. Someday, you may live to see a championship or five, but most years will end with your guts spilling onto the floor.

So, for me, it’s the idea that more than anything, sports in general, is about disappointment for pretty much every fanbase and that, unfortunately, is the reality of sports and it really sorta stinks. There are only certain programs where this isn’t a reality. Alabama. Ohio State. The Spurs. And even those teams can suffer the ultimate in loss when it’s that one game that you’re supposed to win. I think your son even experienced that this year.

I wish I had better news.

So, believe it or not, I think Texas Tech wins this game and it probably is going to be a dogfight the rest of the way.

Quick NBA question. Are Oklahoma City fans the most butt-hurt fanbase you’ve ever seen for losing one of their star players in Kevin Durant?

Travis: I saw your tweet about Sturm’s words, and yes, they are very true. I’ll be fine, especially if Tech plays better on Saturday.

And I love everything about the NBA (sorry Rind). Their model is so well done that it’s hard to ever stop paying attention. The season ends, then it’s immediately the draft, then free agency and summer league, then a lull of a few months and the season starts all over again. And free agency the last few years has been so dramatic with superstars leaving and going to a new place.

Yes, OKC fans are upset about KD, but I think the fact that Russ decided to defiantly stay kinda emboldened them. Durant did so much for that community that I think there is more sadness than anger that he’s gone. But they will definitely be playing with a chip on their shoulder this year, led by the guy who feeds off of that kind of energy.

I think Golden State is the most bipolar fan base around. They won 73 games and then blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals. Then in the off season they signed KD, so they’re walking around like champions again, but that’s forgetting they blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals.

So does Tech rebound early Saturday and make us all feel better with a reassuring performance?

Seth: Yeah, I think they do and I’m hardly the guy that makes bold predictions, but I think Texas Tech wins pretty easily. I know that I’m setting myself up for failure here, but I think the offense will be better. I don’t know that West Virginia is as dogmatic as Kansas State when it comes to defense. If Texas Tech can pick up the blitz, and I do think West Virginia will gamble that way, then Mahomes has to be able to get the ball off quickly and on target. WVU will come at different points to blitz, so whoever the best blocking back is will probably play significant time. I can’t figure out how good the WVU offense is and if they just run the danged ball like they did last year, then it’s close, but I think the Mountaineers will make mistakes, enough mistakes for Texas Tech to capitalize at home.

I don’t know what magic it is, but there’s magic in playing at home for Texas Tech. I expect Texas Tech to put up some points.

What about you, what’s your patented keys to the game and prediction for the game?

Travis: I think if Tech scores more points than WVU they will definitely win.


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