It is official: Texas Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds has absolutely no idea what Longhorn fans want.
Here is an excerpt of what Dodds had to say in an interview with UT newspaper The Daily Texan when asked about the possibility of Texas resuming their rivalry with the Texas A&M Aggies;
“They left,” Dodds said. “They’re the ones that decided not to play us. We get to decide when we play again. I think that’s fair. If you did a survey of our fans about playing A&M, they don’t want to. It’s overwhelming. I know. I hear it. Our fans are important to us. I think there’s got to be a period where things get different. I think there’s too many hard feelings.”
I have no idea who these fans that Dodds is hearing from are, because all signals that I have picked up on amongst the Texas fan base indicate that there is a deep desire to start playing games against the Aggies again. All that Dodds really needs to do to figure out that the fans want to see A&M and Texas square off again is look at pictures or video of Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium from this past Thanksgiving when the ‘Horns played the TCU Horned Frogs instead of their traditional turkey day rival.
The south end zone was vacant except for the Longhorn Band. There were massive gaps in the crowd in all sections of the stadium, because people didn’t think showing up to a game on Thanksgiving against not-Texas A&M was worth their time. My girlfriend and I were more depressed by the scene in the stands than by the fact that Texas lost the game.
Texas fans are notoriously fickle and lazy, but this was something different. It wasn’t laziness that kept fans from filling DKR, it was the fact that a long standing tradition apparently didn’t have value to the athletic department.
Maybe those are the people Dodds keeps hearing from. Not the fans, but his colleagues. His fellow fat cats that have fooled themselves into thinking that they are making a statement of superiority through the way they are handling this situation. The only signal being sent is one pungent with the stink of fear. The shot callers at Texas seem to be afraid of the Aggies.
The only thing Dodds was right about was the thought that there are hard feelings over A&M’s departure. We the fans are indeed pissed off, but we want to vent that anger by facing the Aggies on the field. We don’t want to express our feelings by using the fact that A&M left as an excuse to “punish” them by not playing them. That is just plain stupid. Dodds is just plain stupid.
Dodds has a lot on his plate right now with reports that a case is being built to expose rampant sexual misconduct within the Texas athletic department, but saying something this foolish is not the way to deflect from that. These kind of statements just enforce the sentiment that people like Dodds and even head coach Mack Brown don’t really understand Texas athletics. It proves that these guys don’t know just how important rivalries are.
Getting spanked on an almost yearly basis by the Oklahoma Sooners at the State Fair of Texas should not be brushed aside by a few even keeled post-game statements about how the team did their best. It should be met with an inspirational post-game tirade that lets fans know that the loss hurts the coach just as bad as it hurts them. Losers whine about their best, and Texas is acting like a bunch of snobby losers right now.
Mr. Dodds, if you really value your fans and care about what they want to see, you will come down from your high horse and get this rivalry back on track and on the field.
Follow Spenser Walters on Twitter @SpenserWalters