Baylor makes me sick. I mean seriously, physically ill
For those of you randomly surfing the blogosphere, you may think this is some reference to BU’s 2 point win over TCU last Friday. While it is true that game did not make my weekend, neither did it ruin it. I’m actually pretty zen about these things (does that disqualify me from being a sports blogger?). Sure, I woke up at 5 a.m. on Saturday and couldn’t go back to sleep as I relived the last two drives of the game, but then I went to my son’s Pop Warner game, and I confronted the faux sympathy of the other dads (mainly UT fans), and together we cheered our sons to victory, and then, hey, I was over it.
No, my disgust for Baylor is almost two decades in the making. BU’s sanctimony over being included in the Big 12 while the other Texas private schools were excluded is legendary. And now that it faces the same fate it gleefully imposed on TCU 17 years ago (abandonment to football’s hinterlands), Baylor’s sanctimony has been replaced by something even more odious: pure, rank hypocrisy. In an effort to hold back the tide during a college football tsunami, Baylor has taken to the interwebs to implore Texans to sign a petition warning college football power brokers "Don’t Mess with Texas Football." [link]. Their message:
Nothing is more beloved in Texas than Texas football. Entire towns travel to neighboring communities on Friday nights as rivals meet under the Friday night lights; Saturday mornings find families rushing out to pee wee football games and spending their afternoons with friends tailgating or watching some of the most historic and storied football rivalries in the nation; Sunday afternoons see families gathered in living rooms across the state to cheer on the Cowboys or the Texans.
Football in Texas is more than a passing interest, it is a part of the fabric of this great state.
Will Texans stand by and watch hundred-year-old rivalries be cast aside as the state's largest universities align themselves with other states across the country?
Will Texans sit and watch as Texas' flagship universities pledge their loyalties to other states?
Will Texans stand by as our most promising student athletes are lured out of Texas by new rivals?
Will Texans watch as our most precious resources—the great minds of the next generation—are exported to new conference institutions?
Texans must stand up and call the leadership of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech to clear-headed thinking about the state's future. Texas' flagship institutions of higher learning are the guardians of the state's future—their loyalties must first be to Texas and to her citizens. Ask these leaders to take a stand for Texas and to stop this madness that will lead to the dissolution of the Big 12 and the end of an era for Texas
This might be almost compelling if read in a vacuum. But read in the light of Baylor’s own delight in leaving TCU, SMU, Rice and Houston behind 17 years ago, it makes you want to vomit green and gold. Where was this concern for the century old rivalry BU held with TCU when the Southwest Conference broke up in 1994? Where was the concern when BU and others replaced games in Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston with games in Boulder, Lincoln and Lawrence? Where was the respect for TCU legends like Sammy Baugh, Davie O’Brien and Bob Lilly? How quickly Baylor forgot all of that in 1994. And how disgusting that they now try to wrap themselves in this banner in 2011. If they truly are concerned about "Texas football," then why not happily accept a new affiliation with Conference USA, where they can continue to be in a conference with 3 other Texas schools (Rice, SMU, and Houston), just as they are now?
17 years ago TCU was left in the dust. TCU didn’t sue. TCU didn’t ask the legislature to protect it. TCU picked itself up off the ground, dusted itself off, and got to work on one of the most remarkable sports turnarounds – and one of the most remarkable sports stories of any kind – of the 21st century. But this approach is apparently beneath Baylor. No wait. This approach is way above Baylor.
So sue away Baylor. Keep threatening and begging. Keep spouting arguments that bury you in your own hypocrisy. Too bad I’m not at Baylor, otherwise I could probably come up with a Supreme Court citation or an over-used and poorly understood bible quote to sum this all up in the most sanctimonious fashion possible. Instead, I’ll do so with phrase that has been ringing across the college sports world of late. Baylor, it still, truly, really, "Sucks to B U."