Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Labor Day; Coach Strong's Debut

Hey!  Hope everyone had a good Labor Day!
Ours was pretty good.
On Friday we went to Cypress Grill for dinner.  The food was good, and we had a really nice time.  We both like that place.  I don't want it to get any more popular because it would just get crowded. 

On Saturday we went grocery shopping and took care of a few errands (or tried to- apparently hardwired, interconnectable smoke detectors are not as easy to find as one might assume).  The first University of Texas game of the season, UT v. North Texas, was on Saturday, and we were supposed to go to a watch party over at Ryan and Jamie's place.  Ryan got sick, though, so the plan was scuttled.  Ever flexible, we watched the game at our house, instead.
UT looked okay.  This was the debut game for Charlie Strong as head coach, so I was curious to see how things were shaping up.  The defense looked really solid, but the offense was still showing some weakness and making a few errors.  The game was more or less a blowout (38-7), but a victory was more or less a foregone conclusion against North Texas.  The first game of the season is almost always played against a really weak opponent so coaching staff can get a look at how things are working and make adjustments before facing off against more legitimate opponents.  At the end of the game, I still had some pretty big concerns about how UT's offense was handling itself.  Coach Strong has made adjustments, and things seem to be getting better, but these are still mostly the same players that were recruited by Mack Brown in previous years.  The offense still had a number of moments when it looked like it was sputtering.
Then, this morning the headline in the paper was that David Ash had suffered another concussion after a blow to the head during the game.  He was out last season after concussions and head injuries, so this is not good news.  It sounds like he's going to be out for the next game, and his future after that is unclear.
Bad news.
Ash's replacement is a young, sophomore quarterback named Tyrone Swoops who appeared in 5 games last season, throwing for 26 yards and rushing for 79.
Strong's expectations for Swoops?  He should be able to "execute the offense".  I guess it's fair to say that Strong would rather keep the expectations low.
Well, everyone knew that Strong was going to have his work cut out for him, given his number of returning players and the way that they struggled last season.  With Ash out, expectations will be significantly lowered, giving Strong a chance to engage in some serious rebuilding without taking too much flack regarding the disappointing performance of his team.
Annyway, that's it for Texas football.  I just wanted to post a little bit about it, given that it was Coach Strong's debut with the Longhorns.  It's the beginning of a new era.  I like the work ethic and sense of responsibility that Strong is trying to instill in his players.  I hope he gets the chance to get his program off the ground.

After the game we watched the last two episodes of season 2 of Orange is the New Black.  The second season was pretty good, and the ending was satisfying.  I'm not sure where they're going to go with a season 3.  The characters are really well established, and we've already had major plotlines involving a large number of them.  Just about all of the stories from season 2 were brought to a fairly satisfying conclusion.  I'm a little afraid that season 3 is gonna be where the show turns into a full on soap opera.  The premise of Orange keeps the characters trapped in a prison, after all, so there's a certain point where either things will become boring (the same people doing the same things over and over) or where it will feel like characters are intentionally creating their own drama.  Characters who create their own drama are typically less likable and less sympathetic.

On Sunday we did some chores and then went out to my parents' house out in Steiner Ranch in the afternoon.  The four of us went swimming in the community pool out in Steiner, and we had some Rudy's barbecue back at my folks' house after swimming.  After dinner we looked at pictures from their recent trip to Scotland and Ireland (brilliantly displayed on Dad's megaTV).  It was a really nice day, with all of the elements necessary for a classic Labor Day weekend (i.e., sunshine, water, barbecue, and goofy family activities).  At some point my Dad even pulled out a photo album of baby pictures of me to show to Amy.  It was somewhat hilarious and only mildly humiliating.  Mom and Dad were 1970's fashionistas, I'm here to report.  And I was an adorable baby.  Hahaha!!!

On Monday, Labor Day, we took care of chores, ran a few errands (I went to the mall and took advantage of a suit sale), and got a little exercise.  Amy made us a top notch breakfast with eggs, homefires, and bagels.  

It was a big enough breakfast that I skipped lunch.  In the afternoon I had band practice.  We played our originals, some 1980's classics, and even a few jingles.  You gotta keep things lively, ya know?  I'd like to buy the world a Coke...

So that was Labor Day.  Not too crazy, but relaxing and very nice.

Hope everyone is doing okay!

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