Tepper's Take: Return of the Take
Tepper's Take makes its glorious return with Sam Houston State, OJ Simpson's effect on pizza and more.
Get in the #StateOfFootball
with Dave Campbell's Texas Football!
The future of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football is now, as we prepare to release our first monthly digital magazine! The August Digital Edition of Dave Campbell’sTexas Football features exclusive high school, college and recruiting coverage from across the state, plus DCTF’s 50 Bold Predictions for 2014.
The magazine will be available through the DCTF App starting Friday, and is available as an individual purchase or (to save money) part of a DCTF Legends, Champions or Digital Subscription.
Editor’s note: This is Tepper’s Take, the weekly column from managing editor Greg Tepper. It’s a blend of football and non-football topics. All opinions are Greg Tepper’s alone. Enjoy.
It’s the August 21 edition of Tepper’s Take, Sunday morning waking, faking like my stomach’s aching, Moms pull out clothes just for Sunday’s best occasion.
You may have read last week, but I recently went on a road trip across Texas, logging 1,773 miles of the Lone Star State between Dallas and Big Bend. Along the way, we stopped at high school football stadiums as big as San Angelo Stadium (capacity: 17,500) and as small as Balmorhea’s Bear Stadium (capacity: 150).
It was an incredible trip (not just because Big Bend is perhaps this state’s most amazing, best-kept secret) because it perfectly set the stage for football season. If football season is the main course, my trip was my appetizer.
Why? Because it helped me get back to the root of why we love football, why this is such a football-crazy state, and why I’m perfectly content dedicating my career to it.
Football in Texas isn’t about the crowd of 50,000 people at a state championship game. Football in Texas isn’t about the pyrotechnics of a college or pro team’s entrance. Football in Texas isn’t about donors or naming rights or recruiting.
(OK, it’s not only about those things.)
Football in Texas is, at its core, found in those small stadiums on state highways in towns that empty out to watch the local 11 take on the 11 from down the road.
Football in Texas is simply simple. It’s basic. There are no frills, and yet it’s beautiful.
Friday will commence the last weekend without football in Texas until Christmas. The long wait is nearly over.
Games I’d TiVo If The UIL Would Let Me (And College Games I Will, In Fact, TiVo)
No. 17 Sam Houston State (0-0) at No. 1 Eastern Washington (0-0), 2:30 p.m. Saturday
That’s right! Between now and next Thursday (when my next column will, as the kids say, “drop”), we’ve got football! Sam Houston State had a disappointing season by Bearkat standards last season, missing out on the Southland Conference title they’ve become so accustomed to winning. But with a new coach in K.C. Keeler and a revamped attack, the Bearkats are going to be dangerous once again. But boy, they’ve got a tall order in the opener, traveling to Eastern Washington and its unique red field. The key for this game is going to be defense — both teams look like they’ll score in bunches, but whichever team can find just a couple of stops will come out on top. And, more importantly, IT’S FOOTBALL!
Tepper’s pick: Eastern Washington 41, Sam Houston State 31
Abilene Christian (0-0) at Georgia State (0-0), 6 p.m. Wednesday
And who will take part in the first FBS game of the year? Why, none other than the Abilene Christian Wildcats! Georgia State — still in its infancy as an FBS program and a Sun Belt Conference bunkmate of Texas State — gets the spotlight on opening night, but Abilene Christian (playing its first game as a full-fledged member of FCS’s Southland Conference) will be looking to play spoiler. This is not a good Georgia State squad – the Panthers were winless last year — but traveling to the Georgia Dome won’t be an easy task for the Wildcats. If coach Ken Collums’ trademark suffocating defense can find its form early, we could be looking at the state of Texas making a big impact quickly.
Tepper’s pick: Abilene Christian 27, Georgia State 24
Three Bold, Sure-To-Be-Wrong Predictions
Nope! Waiting until next week (when there’s more to predict) before I get into the prognostication game. But if you’re really itching for predictions, the new August Digital Edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football has 50 bold predictions for the 2014 season!
Each week, I’ll identify one player to watch across the state who could be poised for a breakout game. If he does, in fact, have a breakout game (we’ll define the stakes each week), he’ll get the honorary title of Manster — half-man, half-monster — and a place in this column for the entire season. Also: a month of Netflix. OK, just the title.
No Manster pick this week, since we’ve got a limited number of games. But if you’ve got suggestions for Manster nominees this season, let me know on Twitter.
Song Sure to Get You Fired Up for Football
“The Lion The Beast The Beat,” by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. A tip of the hat to my leader Michael Gruber, the musical guru behind the Dallas Stars, who appropriately paired this song with the Stars’ pre-game entrance. The group, fronted by the fetching Ms. Potter, is from the northeast (Vermont and New York), and this song is all about the build-up. The first minute or so is relatively slow, but once the guitar hook hits, it takes off.
(By the way, if you have any suggestions for this seasons Songs Sure to Get You Fired Up for Football, send them my way on Twitter.)
Personal Rankings Apropos of Nothing
Top 5 Shows I Watched In The Offseason
1) True Detective (HBO)
2) The West Wing (Netflix)
3) Mad Men (HBO)
4) Top of the Lake (Netflix)
5) Portlandia (IFC and Netflix)
Pre-Game Meal of the Week
Texas toast pizza! OK, so a quick confession: now that I do the television thing (Fox Football Friday Powered by DCTF, every Friday from 7-11pm on Fox Sports Southwest starting next Friday!), I have to watch my girlish figure. As a result, I’ve found some delicious and nutritious recipes, and this one’s at the top of my list. It’s easy: get some of that Texas toast (you can find it in the freezer aisle), slather on some pizza sauce, some low-fat mozzarella cheese and some turkey pepperoni, slam those bad boys in the oven and presto. Dinner is served. And yes, it’s embarrassing to admit to a statewide audience that I watch what I eat. Sigh.
Bye Week Distraction
If you are the fan of pretty much 99% of teams, your team isn’t playing. So you’ll need something to get you through the weekend. I’m here to help.
I don’t share this lightly, because I realize what an effect I can have on the American economy (specifically productivity), but here goes: SNESFun.com is a site where you can play every Super Nintendo game for free on your computer. Say goodbye to your free time.
Yell At Me
Impressive (and True!) Trivia of the Week
Did you know that the night in 1994 that OJ Simpson famously went on the low-speed chase through Los Angeles led to record-setting pizza delivery sales for Domino’s? I just remember that it interrupted the NBA Finals.
Greg Tepper is the managing editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.
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