Sunday, October 26, 2003


A first hand account from the Houston office:

Attended the TCU – Houston match last night.

· Do you know how long it takes to score 117 points? The most ever in a U of H game, breaking the record of 116 set in the 1989 Houston romp of SMU (95-21).

· Hobbs reminds me of some old Cowboys running back that I can’t remember, but Merrill reminds me of Emmett Smith. 204 very impressive yards.

· The whole game was sort of like overtime, if you didn’t score a touchdown on a possession then it was considered a failure.

· The TCU defense only stopped the Houston offense once from early in the 2Q to the end of the game. This and the Houston unforced fumble in the 4Q were the difference in the game.

· Houston was down 15 pts with 6 minutes to play. They had 4th and 10 from their own ~35. They punted. Sounds like a reasonable move, but it was a big screw up by the Houston coaching staff. They had a better chance of making 4th and 10 than their defense stopping TCU.

· Drop back passers and running (only) quarterbacks are soon to be extinct in the NCAA. Reggie McNeal gets a lot of press at A&M, but there are a dozen other quarterbacks in the south alone that can run and pass as good or better. Houston’s offense is to spread four wide outs to the four corners on every play. The running play is a designed quarterback scramble. Houston quarterback had 114 yards. Most of them on what I believe were designed quarterback draws/scrambles.

· Stupid rule – quarterbacks can intentionally ground when outside the tackles. College rules favor the offense. No matter how good your defense is, you can’t win consistently without a powerful offense.

· I’m not too sure about TCU being the best team in Texas. I think a TCU – Tech match would end up 84 – 72 with Tech on top. I suspect UT’s size would squash TCU, but I’d still like to see the game. They say that Texas is too much flash and not enough substance. When it comes to flash, TCU could certainly hold their own against the Horns.

· Second Runner-up Best Karen Comment: “Why do all the Frog fans make rabbit hand puppets whenever they kick-off?”

· First Runner-up Best Karen Comment: As the Frog and Cougar mascots are fake fighting on the sideline - “They're both nearly extinct and really don’t want to be hurting each other.”

· Best Karen Comment: “Who let the Frogs out?.....Who!? Who!? Who!? Who!? Who!?

Can’t wait to see the BCS rankings.


Greg's comments:

1) if the Frog fans make rabbit hand puppets on every kickoff, they must have carpal tunnel by now.

2) its an interesting situation when a RB(Hobbs) gains 100 yards and its not that impressive of a performance.

Thanks for the first hand account!!

TCU 62 - Houston 55

There was no overtime. This was the closest thing to touch football that I've ever seen.

In the previous 5 games, TCU had given up 61 total points. TCU was allowing an average of 278 Total Yards per game going in. Houston had 685 yards total offense in the game.

TCU lost their veteran safety 3 weeks ago. He was arguably their best defender, and he ran the coverages in the secondary. TCU's secondary was completely confused against Houston, and allowed receivers to run free all day.

Houston completed only 17 passes- for 442 yards! Houston averaged 26 yards per completion! I've never heard of anything like that in any game.

TCU's starting QB did not suit up. The backup QB threw 17 of 27 for 375 and 4 TD's, 0 Int's, plus 10 rushes for 66 yards.

TCU Redshirt freshman Robert Merrill rushed for 204 yards. TCU sophomore Lonta Hobbs rushed for 102 yards (shades of the Pony Express!).

TCU rushed for 407 yards, and passed for 375 yards, setting a school record of 782 total yards in the game.

The Houston QB threw for 442 yards and rushed for 114 yards.

Houston had a receiver catch 6 for 232 with 2 TD's.

TCU had a receiver catch 6 for 171 with 2 TD's, then add a rushing TD for his 3rd TD of the game. This kid went to high school in Houston, so this was a memorable day for him.

Both teams combined for 63 first downs.

The combined point total of 117 is a Conference USA record.

There were no defensive touchdowns in the game.

I'm hoping Jeff and Karen saw this game from the end zone!

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Kill Bill

"This my finest sword. If in your journey you should encounter God, God will be cut."

This is exuberant moviemaking!

It is waaay bloody. Samurai Swords and Bushido Honor Code run all through the movie. The combination consistently leads to blood and death.

You forgive the blood because the movie is a modern fable/cartoon. It is Japanese Anime come to life. A realistic fable wouldn't be as much fun- and, come to think of it, wouldn't even be a fable!

The movie is all about action. Roger Ebert: "The movie is all storytelling and no story." He means it as a compliment.

More Ebert: "Quentin Tarantino is so effortlessly and brilliantly in command of his technique that he reminds me of a virtuoso violinist racing through 'Flight of the Bumble Bee.'"

Another reviewer says the movie "is for the 15 year old boy in all of us."

The movie is for the 7 year old boy in me, because that's when I was introduced to the "Green Hornet" TV show, and the Green Hornet's trusty sidekick "Kato"(Bruce Lee). Since that age, I have never doubted that one exceptional martial artist could dispense with 6 or 12 or 20 sequentially attacking opponents. If you doubt this premise, or the premise that one's opponents naturally attack in sequence instead of en masse, then this is not the movie for you.

I am not an expert, but I noticed nodding homages to:

Chop Socky (of course)

Star Wars- with an overt nod to Yoda and Luke, and even "The Force"


Pulp Fiction

Dressed to Kill, which itself was an homage to Psycho

Smokey and the Bandit

The Amazing Bob

Just saw an adrenaline-fueled pregame skirmish be thwarted by Texas and OU coaches, who charged headlong into the middle of the gestating riot and forced their respective players back to their areas.

Watching Bob Stoops scream and shove and gesticulate at his charges, I was reminded of nothing so much as a lion tamer at the circus- a Siegfeld and Roy fighting back the big cats, armed only with hubris and self-assured body language.

All Stoops was missing was a whip and a chair: "Watch the Amazing Bob place his head inside the Defensive Tackle's mouth! Let's give him a hand! Now watch the Amazing Bob call for a fake punt on 4th and 8!"

Tiger Stadium

Just watched LSU come onto the field at Tiger Stadium for the Florida game. Every college team coming onto the field is a good moment, but LSU has raised it to an art.

When the Tigers come out of their locker room, a video feed goes out to 100,000 fans, who jump to their feet and begin to build the din of noise. On video, the fans watch the players walk down a short ramp and touch a tasteful "Win" sign as they squeeze through ancient double doors and assimilate under a goal post. The sign is the only touch of moderation in this stadium at this moment.

The LSU band has formed thick parallel columns on the hash marks, walling an alley from the goal line to the 25 yard line. Each column is a full 5 yards of thickness, and is dense with horn players and flautist packed in a tight formation. The columns are imposing. They convey power and strength.

The fans are fueled with alcohol and adrenaline. They are screaming for their heroes. And now the heroes start through the columns, not wildly and out of control, but slowly, like a composed and formidable lava mass that spreads when it exits mouth of the columns, devouring the earth before it. And now the band blasts the familiar and exuberant notes as noise in the stadium crescendos into a louder roar- like that of a jumbo jet approaching and passing directly over your head. Scowling tiger roars can be dimly heard over the stadium loudspeakers. It is quite wonderful, and worth the price of admission.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

"White man's math" and "the mathematics of exclusion"

Jay Nordlinger at National Review Online:

Verbal tests are constantly accused of racial bias, but how about math tests? The Thernstroms wonder how those can be biased.

Ah, but reason has little place in this realm. The president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics - no less - said - get this - "Traditional mathematics is the mathematics of exclusion." There you have it.

I know a man - a math prof - who, years ago, spent a sabbatical in South Africa. Someone there told him, "We don't believe the white man's math."