BEVO BEAT

Breakfast with Bevo: The Cal Ripken of Texas football?

Posted August 24th, 2014

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Good morning. Breakfast is served.

It’s August 24th — 236 down, 129 to go.

And 6 till Texas’ season opener.

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YESTERDAY: The Cowboys fell to the Dolphins, 25-20. The Texans edged the Broncos, 18-17. Attention, fantasy footballers — Drew Brees threw two TDs in three series played, Wes Welker suffered a concussion and Sam Bradford took a scary hit to his surgically-repaired knee. Johnny Manziel found the endzone again. Over in Williamsport, Illinois beat Nevada to move into the Little League World Series final against South Korea.

TODAY: We’ll have a Little League World Series champion. It’ll be either Illinois or South Korea.

TOMORROW: It’s game week for Texas, which means Charlie Strong and players will have their first media availabilities of the season.

Aug. 24 has a sports history. On this date, all-time hits leader Pete Rose was banned from baseball for life by MLB commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti, for gambling on baseball (1989); Speaking of Rose, his consecutive games played streak ended at 745 six years earlier on this date (1983); Gordie Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (1972); and the Chicago Cubs actually won a pennant (1918).

Last year on Aug. 24, Vince Young, fighting for a backup role with the Packers, threw a touchdown pass in Green Bay’s 17-10 preseason loss to Seattle. It would be the last TD pass of his NFL career. And the Cedar Park Timberwolves were revealed as the No. 1 preseason team in Central Texas. They’d go on to go 11-2 and make the regional finals.

Today’s sports birthdays: Tyler Ennis (20), Arian Foster (28), Reggie Miller (49), Cal Ripken (54), Gerry Cooney (58) and Mike Shanahan (62). Other notables: Dave Chappelle (41) and Steve Guttenberg (56). Oh, and Kenny Baker — the dude who played R2D2 — is 80.

TODAY’S TRIVIA: Texas has retired six jerseys, Young being one of them. Name the other five. Bonus points if you can nail the numbers, too. (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast).

TODAY’S LEAD: TEXAS FOOTBALL. There will be 100,000-plus on hand Saturday for the Longhorns’ season opener — and first game of the Strong era — at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Which led us to this question earlier this summer: Where are all those fans coming from, anyway?

Our own Brian Davis found out. He sent an open records request to UT to obtain its season ticket-holders database for 2014. We weren’t so concerned with who they are, just where they’re coming from.

Here’s a link to his package in today’s Statesman, as well as our online interactive graphics for the project.

On that interactive, you can see where season ticket-holders are coming from around the country. That includes one from Bloomington, Minn., a suburb just south of Minneapolis that’s only 90 miles away from Austin, Minn. but a good 1,200 away from Austin, Texas.

Meet Dan Weatherly, a 63-year old computer programmer from Bloomington who just may be the Cal Ripken of Texas football.

Dan, you see, has an impressive streak going of attending Longhorns games. And that’s ALL Texas games — regular season, home and away games, and bowl games. Dan’s current streak is 382 games, which means that he’s literally attended EVERY single Texas game since the 1982 Sun Bowl.

And that’s just when The Streak began. If you go back to his first Texas game ever, back in 1968, Dan — a 1972 graduate of UT and the older brother of Rindy Weatherly, who works with us at the Statesman — has  gone to 507 of Texas’ last 554 games, or 91.5 percent of all games the Longhorns have played over the past 46 seasons.

That streak has included five head coaches, three national championships and two Heisman Trophy winners.

The last game he’s missed was the 1982 Arkansas game, though he did watch it on TV, in Albuquerque. The first game of his current streak was the Sun Bowl loss to North Carolina on Christmas Day of 1982. “By the way,” Dan remembers, “it snowed in El Paso that day, though not so much during the game. Shortly before the game started, though, the AstroTurf was all white, and a tractor with some kind of plow went up and down, clearing the field.”

All in all, Dan Weatherly has gone to 382 consecutive Longhorns football games.

Does this make Dan the Cal Ripken of Texas football? Or maybe Frank Denius? Or long-time fan Scott Wilson? Either way, the discussion is appropriate, since it’s Rip’s birthday today.

Let’s dig a little deeper into The Streak:

  • The 2013 season marked 31 straight years of Dan attending every Texas game.
  • He lives in Minnesota now, but hasn’t always. During his 31-game streak, Dan lived in Dallas for the first year, then in Aurora, Colo. for the next 22 seasons (1984 through 2005), and then in Bloomington for the past eight (2006-13). The streak technically started when he lived in Albuquerque, when he went to the nearby Sun Bowl game in El Paso, but he was already in Dallas for the following season.
  • Overall, Dan has seen 507 Longhorns games.
  • Last October’s win over Oklahoma was the 500th game for Dan.
  • Texas’ record during The Streak? The Horns are 360-142-5.
  • By Dan’s research, he believes Texas’ overall record right now is 875-339-33, for a total of 1,247 games since that first win over Dallas U to open the 1893 season. According to his calculations, that means he’s seen 40.6 percent of all football games Texas has ever played.

“It may be tough to get to 50 percent,” Dan says. “I would have to keep going to most all of the games until I am in my early 80s to achieve that, assuming they continue at 12 or 13 games per year.”

Dan and Rindy have separate season ticket packages, two of the nearly 55,000 who own Longhorns season tickets. He’ll move the Streak to 383 games on Saturday, where he’ll watch the Charlie Strong era kick off from his faithful seat on the northwest side of the lower deck, Section 6, Row 54, right on the 13-yard line.

To this day, Dan swears he has left a game early only once in his life — a Texas win over TCU in Fort Worth in the early 1980s. “I missed the UT quarterback kneeling on the last play of the game to run out the clock, because the game went longer than expected, and I was worried about getting back to DFW for my flight home that Saturday night,” Dan explains. “I watched him kneel down once, but then I felt I had to go, so I left without seeing the final kneel-down.”

Save the asterisk. Let’s cut him some slack here.

So, what else is being written about the Longhorns?

We published our annual college football preview today. Highlights included an examination into this year’s college football playoff, how it all works, who’s on the committee, and what we think would’ve happened had the playoff been in place for the past 10 years. And we previewed Texas’ season, along with a Charlie Strong timeline of significant events since he’s taken over the Texas program.

AROUND THE BIG 12: The Dallas Morning News wrote about Texas Tech defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt, who qualifies as big news in Lubbock just for the fact that a Red Raiders defensive coordinator is there for the second year in a row. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram also wrote about the new college playoff, and how teams are taking different routes to get there. The FWST also wrote about the new Paul Rhoads/Mark Mangino pairing at Iowa State. The Waco Tribune-Herald previewed Baylor’s chances, which could be pretty good considering the quarterback, offense and new stadium. The Trib also looked at the Bears’ tight ends tandem and standout linebacker Bryce Hager, who’s healthy for his senior year. Lots of conference coverage outside the state, too. The Daily Oklahoman previewed OU’s season, asking the question of what the Sooners can do next after their big Sugar Bowl win over ‘Bama, and also looked at Mike Gundy‘s “rebuilding project” at Oklahoma State. The Tulsa World looked at OU quarterback Trevor Knight‘s chances of carrying his Sugar Bowl mojo over into the 2014 season while columnist John E. Hoover wondered whether this year’s Sooners are for real. The Kansas City Star had an excellent read on Kansas State defensive end Ryan Mueller, who should be one of the conference’s top players. There also was a look into Bill Snyder‘s winning formula in Manhattan. Just how does he do it, anyway? The Star also previewed the Kansas Jayhawks, and had a story on KU linebacker Ben Heeney, a potential diamond in the rough.

AROUND THE FORTY ACRES: A quick sweep of UT teams.
Football: Running back Malcolm Brown is on the watch list for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, which goes to the top offensive player in the nation who either hails from Texas, graduated from a Texas high school or played at a Texas-based junior college or four-year college. Brown’s also on the watch lists for the Doak Walker and Maxwell awards.

Volleyball: Haley Eckerman had 19 kills and 14 digs and sophomore Pilar Victoria had 19 kills and 20 digs in Saturday’s Orange-White scrimmage at Gregory Gym. The season opener is this Friday at the New Mexico Tournament, against UTEP. … Every home match for No. 2-ranked Texas this season will be aired on the Longhorn Network. That started with yesterday’s Orange-White Scrimmage and will continue with the home opener Sept. 12 against Arizona. In all, that’s 15 home matches.

Softball: Former UT stars Cat Osterman and Brejae Washington won top individual awards for the National Pro Fastpitch League. Osterman, who went 16-0 wiht a 0.56 ERA in the regular season, was the pitcher of the year and Washington, who stole 17 bases in 21 attempts, won the stolen bases award. She had four more steals than the next closest player.

Men’s golf: Sophomore Beau Hossler was one of three players selected to the U.S. squad for next month’s World Team Amateur Championship, Sept. 10-13 in Japan. He’ll be joined by SMU’s Bryson DeChambeau and Virginia’s Denny McCarthy. Incoming Texas freshman Scottie Scheffler is an alternate.

Men’s swimming/diving: Former UT swimmer Michael McBroom placed eighth in the 400 free Saturday at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, with a time of 3:52.77. He was fifth in the 1500 free on Thursday and competes in the 800 free today.

Women’s soccer: Texas tied Arizona State 2-2 in Friday’s season opener in Hawaii. Abby Smith and Olivia Brook scored for the Longhorns. Smith’s goal was on a free kick from 45 yards out. Brook is a freshman. Texas next plays Hawaii on Monday.

ON AUG. 24 …

1992: Hurricane Andrew hit just south of Miami, a Category 5 storm.

1991: Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1981: Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life for murdering John Lennon. He was just denied parole again late last week.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Texas’ six retired jerseys — Earl Campbell‘s No. 20, Bobby Layne‘s No. 22, Colt McCoy‘s No. 12, Tommy Nobis‘ No. 60, Ricky Williams‘ No. 34, and Vince Young‘s No. 10.

TODAY’S LITTLE NUMBER: 0. Oklahoma has entered the season ranked in the national Top 5 three times in the past five years, but haven’t finished in the Top 5 in any of them.

TODAY’S BIGGER NUMBER: 1. Texas is just one game over .500 (18-17) over the last four year.

TODAY’S BIG NUMBER: 3. The Big 12’s top three passers from 2013 all are back for 2014 — Baylor’s Bryce Petty, Texas Tech’s Davis Webb and Kansas’ Jake Waters.

OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.

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