The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The truth as I see it

Welcome back

The first day of class at SMU runs its course like a six hour “What Not to Wear” marathon. Denim jackets flap in the breeze and Umphrey Lee is filled with the clacking of high heels. Meadows is awash with a flood of high people. Good job freshmen, your parents have kept you happy. But knock it off. We’re adults, not some uppity, half-breed high schooler like you were on Facebook less than a month ago.

Yes, my fellow Mustangs, school is back and we’re once again in the swing of things. The swing came early, before the match even. There’s a billboard on US-75 that reads, “We don’t tailgate, we boulevard.” That is just about the most pretentious pile of crap you could find on paper these days.

Some little twerp in the football department who has never laid a tackle in his life seems to have a plan to boost attendance to games. Advertising. Oh goody goody, that’s my major. Maybe I can get a job instead of becoming a professor.

The apparent rationale behind this bold new plan is, by advertising our team, we will boost attendance. Wrong. That’s dead flat line wrong with Meredith Grey crying and wetting her pants while McDreamy screams and wrings his hands, wrong. Someone needs to take a clue or a crowbar to the man in charge of the ad campaign’s head.

Here comes the clue train.

We don’t need to tell people that we have a football team.

People ‘know’ we have a team, okay? They ‘know’ our players and they ‘know’ our school. Advertising that says, “Hi, we’re SMU and we like to party,” is not going to shock or attract anyone. We are advertising the existence of SMU, something of which Dallas is already quite aware. Hell, last year they even decided to include us in the crime rate.

What we need to advertise is something people don’t know, such as “Hi, we’re the SMU football team and we’ve decided to win a few games”. Put that on a billboard with a crowd of smiling and racially diverse players. That’ll cause some traffic accidents.

You see our team tends to suck. Well it’s not the team, rather our head coach and Tool in Chief Phillip “Poindexter” Bennett.

Here is why.

My freshman year, I remember quite vividly a game in which the Mustangs faced off against a community college from the middle of nowhere. It’s the fourth down, three yards to the first on their 40-yard line. We’ve got a little over two minutes left and UTEP leads 21-19. We have two options.

We could punt it. We could lay a shoe into that ball and whisk it downfield to the other side. This means that they will receive the ball and, with the well practiced metronome of a college age muscular football machine, waste two minutes off the clock for a safe victory. They have all of their timeouts left so it might not even require a third down. If we kick, there is simply put, absolutely no way on earth we can win- final answer.

We should run it. Come on, we’re losing anyway and all we need is another first down to creak into range for a desperate field goal. But who knows? Maybe the drive will continue and we’ll grind our way through first and goal, culminating in a sickening crunch as the running back vomits blood for the extra three inches of a touchdown.

General Bennett surveys his troops. The men are dog tired and worn from three hours of battle. They’ve worked all season and have yet to win a single game; they are hungry for it. The gap in the score is so small you can almost hear the crowd’s subconscious, unspoken roar: “take the chance, let us finally win.”

Bennett pauses to think. Not a win all season and now it’s so close. We can either take a risk and possibly win, or play by the book, and definitely, without question, lose again.

Special teams jogs onto the field. The offense leaves.

It was like driving up to an intersection where you need to turn right, where the light is red, and there is only one car in the middle lane in front of you. Then, with less than six feet before the turn, the car in the middle lane swerves into your lane and comes to a complete stop at the light.

They kicked the ball. UTEP held for two minutes and we lost 21-19. At that point, I realized Bennett does not care about winning. He’s a cowardly coach who should be replaced by the first exchange student we find that can’t speak English. That way we can have someone competent in charge.

Better yet, let’s slash his pay. Let’s slash his pay for each loss. Let’s make it so if he only wins half his games, he only gets half of the $300,000 or whatever it is he is paid each year.

Most of our boys in armor require wins and publicity to make a splash at the combine, if not dream about the draft. For them, winning matters and I don’t think it’s too unfair to require a coach to score some points and make some plays himself.

I propose ‘athletic probation.’ When students finish a semester with failing grades or an embarrassing public record, we put them on probation. Phil Bennett has yet to make a season where I could look back and say, “Damn, I’m proud of our guys.”

The team did it a few times by fighting Texas Tech and ending the losing streak against San Jose State. But once, just once, I ‘d love to see an instance where the victory could go down to ‘brilliant coaching’ or clever play selection instead of a monkey banging out six lines of “Hamlet” on the hypothetical monkey room typewriter.

In fact, maybe, we should have monkeys select our plays for a single game and see if it works better.

So let’s not advertise that we are here. No amount of billboard ad space is going to change our crowd turnout. Texas Rangers baseball has ads all over Dallas, and they’ve been paying for them all summer.

Nobody cares a lick about the Rangers.

Two nights ago, however, a team from Texas broke the 110-year record for runs in a single game against the Orioles. At no extra charge, for absolutely no money down and with utmost pride, sports writers across America are slamming keys home to immortalize the victorious warriors of the Texas Rangers. Moreover, at home, here in Dallas, a voice echoes inside men everywhere. It’s a tribal, 60,000-year-old instinct. It says, “That’s my team, and they just kicked someone’s ass. I should go see them.”

Just once, and just for a few minutes, I’d like to say that about my team: the Mustangs. That’s all I ask, and it’s not going to happen because of a billboard. It’s going to happen when they fire Bennett at halftime of some random game.

Hail to the king, baby.

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