Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s September 2nd — 245 down, 120 to go.
And 10 till Texas’ home opener.
YESTERDAY: Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion went 0 for 2, ending his 26-game hitting streak. Among the notable first-round winners at the U.S. Open were Roger Federer, Andy Murray and John Isner on the men’s side, and Caroline Wozniacki on the women’s. Kansas State named its starting QB. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred declined to reinstate “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, meaning Jackson will remain out of Hall of Fame consideration. The Astros won, the Rangers won. For fantasy purposes, Jets TE (and former Texas Techer) Jace Amaro is out for the season (shoulder).
And, for funsies, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit picked Oklahoma into his four-team playoff field last night (along with Ohio State, LSU and Arizona State). Then, of course, he likened coming up with that field to throwing darts on the wall.
TODAY: More U.S. Open. We get Serena Williams during the day (noon, ESPN) and Venus Williams and Novak Djokovic at night (6-10, ESPN2). The Astros wrap up their series with the Mariners (7:10) with Scott Kazmir on the mound, and the Rangers will start Cole Hamels in their season finale at the Padres (9:10). And Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden will chat live at 11 a.m., on Bevo Beat.
TOMORROW: The Rangers and Astros will both be off. The second round will wrap up at the U.S. Open. Oh, and there’ll be a slew of NFL preseason games — 16 of them, as every team wraps up before the start of the regular season next week. Cowboys-Texans at AT&T Stadium (7). There’ll be a doubleheader on the NFL Network (Bucs at Dolphins, 6; Chargers at 49ers, 9).
Sept. 2 has a sports history. On this date, redshirt freshman quarterback Colt McCoy made his first career start at Texas, a 56-7 win over North Texas (2006); 39-year-old Jimmy Connors won one of his most memorable matches, a dramatic five-set fourth-round U.S. Open victory over Aaron Krickstein (1991); the Philadelphia 76ers signed free agent center Moses Malone to a six-year deal worth $13.2 million (1982); both Connors and Chris Evert won their first-ever U.S. Open matches (1971); and Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks hit his 400th career home run (1965).
Last year on Sept. 2, Texas A&M reached No. 9 in the AP Top 25 poll. Also, Colts owner Jim Irsay was fined $500,000 and suspended six games after pleading guilty to DWI and driving under the influence of painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone during a traffic stop six months earlier.
Today’s sports birthdays: Former NFL quarterback Tommy Maddox (44), former heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis (50), former Rangers pitcher Jeff Russell (54), NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (55), tennis legend Jimmy Connors (63), NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw (67) and NBA Hall of Famer Nate “Tiny” Archibald (67). Other notables — Salma Hayek (49), Keanu Reeves (51) and Mark Harmon (64).
TRIVIA QUESTION: Sept. 2, 2006 was Colt McCoy‘s first career win as Texas’ quarterback. Which team dealt him his first career loss — one week later? (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast.)
Today’s lead: Notre Dame football.
Or, everything you ever wanted to know about the Fighting Irish (but were afraid to ask).
Did you know …
- Notre Dame paints its helmets gold before each week’s game.
- As players leave the locker room, they slap the famous “Play Like a Champion Today” sign. But that phrase didn’t originate with Notre Dame. The exact origin isn’t known, but its first reported football use was by Oklahoma coach Bud Wilkinson, in the late 1940s. The sign, formerly used at Notre Dame, was brought back in 1986 by Lou Holtz.
- For $10, you can take a tour of Notre Dame Stadium and slap the sign yourself.
- Notre Dame, which opened in 1842, was an all-male school until 1972.
- Don’t forget that Notre Dame is a Catholic university — Notre Dame is French for “Our Lady,” and the university’s patron saint is the Virgin Mary. Fans light candles at Notre Dame’s grotto, where they pray for the Fighting Irish’s success, and the team holds a team mass, in suits and ties, at the local Basilica of the Sacred Heart before home games. And after mass, fans form a line from the church to the stadium, which the team walks through.
- Flags, shmags. Intramural football teams at Notre Dame usually play full contact tackle football, dorms vs. dorms.
- The winner of the annual Notre Dame-USC game (Oct. 17 this year) claims the Shillelagh, a war club that’s been passed around by the victors since 1952. The wood comes from Ireland, and it’s covered with red Trojan heads with the year and score of Trojan wins, and emerald-studded shamrocks to mark Fighting Irish wins.
- Notre Dame has produced seven Heisman Trophy winners — Angelo Bertelli (1943), Johnny Lujack (1947), Leon Hart (1949), Johnny Lattner (1953), Paul Hornung (1956), John Huarte (1964) and Tim Brown (1987).
- None of those seven Heisman winners has had his number retired.
- It was Notre Dame that ended UCLA’s 88-game winning streak in men’s basketball, in 1974. The score? Notre Dame 71, UCLA 70.
- Notable alumni: Condoleeza Rice, Regis Philbin, Alan Page, Joe Montana, Knute Rockne, Phil Donahue, Jim Caviezel, George Wendt, Charlie Weis and Hannah Storm. If you’re a West Winger, President Bartlet attended Notre Dame, too.
- Notre Dame is No. 2 on college football’s all-time wins list, behind only Michigan. The Irish have won 882 games. Texas, incidentally, is right behind them — No. 3 on the list, with 881 wins. Hello, Saturday.
- Notre Dame’s all-time football team? Let’s go with this lineup:
Offense — Joe Montana, QB; Paul Hornung, RB; Jerome Bettis, RB; Tim Brown, WR; Raghib Ismail, WR; Dave Casper, TE; Aaron Taylor, OL; Jeff Fayne, OL; Bill Fischer, OL; George Connor, OL; Hunk Anderson, OL. Defense — Justin Tuck, DE; Chris Zorich, DT; Ross Browner, DE; Manti Te’o, LB; Bob Crable, LB; Michael Stonebreaker, LB; Todd Lyght, DB; Luther Bradley, DB; Jeff Burris, DB; Clarence Ellis, DB.
So, what’s being written about the Longhorns? The last time we saw Desmond Jackson, he was being carted off the AT&T Stadium field during the UCLA game, his season lost to a broken foot. He’s back, in the starting lineup, and eager to remind everyone why his nickname is “Tank.” We also wrote about Texas’ depth in the secondary. It’s young, for sure, but it’s there. And we asked UT offensive coord— er, assistant coach for the offense and quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson about newly-named backup quarterback Jerrod Heard‘s state of mind and state of play.
AROUND THE BIG 12: Baylorgate — the Waco Tribune Herald is calling for transparency, too. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Gil Lebreton wrote on what TCU’s got to prove this season. Plus, the Horned Frogs will be minus two defensive players this week against Minnesota. In Lubbock, Tech fans breathed a sigh of relief to see CB Nigel Bethel II at practice after a weekend of odd tweets, and Red Raiders coaches continue to be impressed with sophomore DE Talor Nunez. Oklahoma’s season-opening depth chart can be found here, and the Oklahoman tells the tale of walk-on running back Cole Swayze. The Oklahoman also wrote on Cowboys coach Mike Gundy, who seems pretty jazzed about his 11th season in Stillwater. The Tulsa World had a very nice read on Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, and it’s worth clicking the link just to see a photo of little Baker in a football uniform as a little kid. The World also is reporting that Sooners RB Joe Mixon might be returning kickoffs. The Kansas City Star wrote about Jesse Ertz, who was named Kansas State’s starting QB on Tuesday. The Des Moines Register wonders whether Iowa State’s fan base might truly be the most loyal one in college football.
OPPOSITION RESEARCH: NOTRE DAME. Get ready for C.J. Sanders, Notre Dame’s smallest player (5-8, 185). The freshman will be returning punts on Saturday. And if you thought Texas’ play-calling duties were confusing, legally or otherwise, consider the Fighting Irish — head coach Brian Kelly says it’ll be a three-person collaboration there between himself, first-year offensive coordinator Mike Sanford and assistant head coach Mike Denbrock, a long-time Kelly guy.
AROUND THE FORTY ACRES:
Football: The Dallas Morning News caught up with TE Geoff Swaim, who’s trying to catch on with the Cowboys.
Tennis: UT will hold walk-on tryouts for full-time female students on Friday from 2-3 p.m. at Whitaker Tennis Courts, located at 51st and Guadalupe. Those interested need to register in advance and pick up forms at the Olympic Sports and Compliance Office on the fifth floor of the North End Zone of DKR by the end of today. Questions? Contact assistant coach Courtney Dolehide at Courtney.Dolehide@athletics.utexas.edu.
On Sept. 2, 1973: We lost author and poet J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He was 81.
On Sept. 2, 1912: The very first Eagle Scout award was earned, by Arthur Rose Eldred of Long Island, N.Y.
On Sept. 2, 1901: Vice President Teddy Roosevelt made his famous “Speak softly and carry a big stick” speech, at the Minnesota State Fair.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Colt McCoy‘s first career loss as Texas’ quarterback was No. 1 Ohio State 24, No. 2 Texas 7 — on Sept. 9, 2006.
OK, Breakfast is over. We should be back on the menu Saturday morning. Thanks for stopping by.
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