Photo courtesy Nick de la Torre , Houston CHRONICLE
Rice QB Chase Clement, right, escapes the tackle of SMU defender Bryan McCann in the first quarter. Aug 29,2008
Rice Whups SMU 56 -27
Ah, fall - the time of year when the air is redolent with the smells of the season : newly sharpened pencils, fresh clean leather school shoes out of the box, warm beer in a plastic cup on a cool autumn day. Here in Texas, we get excited when fall comes, because that means the weather cools from 100+ degrees each day to a sultry, temperate 95. That's why the ladies in Texas put so much time and effort into choosing which pair of sandals / bejeweled flip-flops to wear, and to worrying whether our pedicures are " fresh" enough - we dress this way 3/4 of the year !!! (It won't turn into "coat" weather till November , or later, in most spots, except maybe the panhandle.) GFT couldn't help but notice, on her recent summer journey to parts back east, that there weren't nail salons every other block, and she thought to herself, " how sad for all those poor rough-footed, horny-toed women."
It isn't often that Girl From Texas, or any of her ole' college buddies for that matter, has anything to get excited about in the fall, football-wise. GFT did not attend UT or A & M or any of the other fun football powerhouse Texas schools with tail-gating parties and mascot rivalries . She displays confusing, unrecognizable hand gestures (supposedly suggesting a flying owl, not a Hook 'em Horns or a finger -waving " number one " ) as the school song is sung . Unfortunately for the football fans among them, GFT and all her nerdy little friends went to a school infamous for a football team that was miserably wretched during her tenure as a college student. The campus "marching" band that played at football games - an outrageously mis-fit pack of disrespectful ,creative ne'er-do-wells - drew more attention, in fact, than the football team. The band, affectionately known as "The Mob", rarely marched in traditional formations, frequently dressed in costumes suggesting they were escapees from a "Blues Brothers" film, and once had to be taken out of a rival school's stadium secretly and under armed guard, due to the rude mocking nature of their halftime shows.
But all this was back in the dark ages, before electricity was invented, when GFT attended college.GFT's alma mater seems to be doing much better in the football department these days. It used to be said that the academic standards were so high, no one actually good at sports would come to GFT's college. It used to be rumored that the few who did were eased through the challenging academic course load with a variety of "cheats" - extra tutorials, special courses/majors designed for athletes, whatever. GFT confesses she is not enough of a sports addict to really care, one way or another. Like many alumni, perhaps, she is simply excited that her formerly lame college football team wins a game now and then. Riding a high not experienced in over 40 years, GFT travelled with her fellow alums to New Orleans in Dec 2006 to experience the first bowl game her school's football team qualified for in a generation. Campus officials surely have observed that alumni contributions typically increase after these special moments. Whatever .......it's just fun to say " We won!!!" once in awhile.