On Saturday morning, I had to drive on I-35 to get to my destination in South Austin. Well, I suppose I didn’t have to use I-35, but I figured that traffic hell on that stretch of the asphalt of suffering wouldn’t start until closer to noon, which meant I’d sail into the part of the city below the river in a matter of minutes.
OH HOW WRONG AND UNWISE I PROVED TO BE ON THIS DAY. I forgot that traffic hell on I-35 started when the wheel was invented and has carried on without respite since, and will carry on without so much as a flinch of non-congestion until the appointed date of the end of the world.
(Side note: The end of the world will be delayed 45 minutes in some places due to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse being stuck in I-35 traffic.)
Mercifully, I didn’t have all that far to go and was able to escape into well-groomed* city streets after only a few years** of agony. But, since I did travel on I-35, I got to see about two seconds of one of Texas’ spring football practices.
**probably more like 15 minutes
Texas’ football practice fields sit next to I-35 and, if you’re on the upper deck (the upper/lower deck issue is one best avoided for sanity purposes), you can see the entire field since you’re above the darkened netting strung around the fences to prevent spying and disappointment. Here’s a convenient visual I made to illustrate what I just said:
Just to be clear, the area inside the burnt orange lines is where Texas prepares itself to lose to schools with millions upon millions of fewer dollars, and where Mack Brown earned his $5+ million salary. Given the way Texas has played over the last few years, one might assume practice took place where those trees are or among all those cars. Or maybe they didn’t practice at all and instead spent their time trying to raise money to replace their poor people’s practice bubble.
Anyway, as I zoomed past spring practice on Saturday, for I had not hit traffic yet, I was able to pick up on a few things, which might offer some insight into what Texas might bring to the table in 2014. My observations that you won’t find from someone who has spent time watching the team practice:
-The energy seemed pretty high, so maybe they will be able to give Baylor a game this year
-Charlie Strong has the walk of a man who has known how to walk for years
-Of the two student managers filming practice in one of the towers, one was doing the filming and the other was definitely telling an uninteresting bar story from Friday night
-Whoever lined the field did a nice job, as all the lines looked five yards apart
-The burnt orange jerseys looked to be matched in number by the white jerseys
-Charlie Strong was wearing all black, which was probably to help him stand out in all the burnt orange and white, but according to Red McCombs, that’s exactly something a POSITION COACH WOULD WEAR
-There did not appear to be any golf carts carrying former presidents and their wives and dogs
-Although I couldn’t see him, I’m pretty confident noted Texas fan Drake was down there somewhere; Texas hasn’t lost a game in the 2014 season, so no need to toss that Longhorn gear just yet