Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s September 9th — 252 down, 113 to go.
And 3 till Texas’ home opener.
YESTERDAY: Charlie Strong removed Shawn Watson as Texas’ primary play-caller and handed the keys to receivers coach Jay Norvell. The AP poll came out — Ohio State remains a unanimous No. 1, Bama moved up to 2, TCU and Baylor are 3 and 4, Notre Dame moved up two spots to 9 and Texas A&M’s in at 16. Serena Williams beat older sister Venus in three sets, moving into the U.S. Open semifinals. Novak Djokovic moved into the men’s semifinals as well. The A’s blanked the Astros and the Rangers beat the Mariners. It was a big night for Alex Rodriguez, who homered twice and, in the process, (a) had his 15th 30-homer season, tying Hank Aaron for the most ever, and (b) passed Rickey Henderson for No. 22 on baseball’s all-time hits list with 3,056.
TODAY: The dust settles in Bellmont. Roger Federer meets Richard Gasquet in the men’s quarterfinals. The Astros are at the A’s and the Rangers are back at the Mariners. The Round Rock Express open their PCL semifinals playoff series with the Oklahoma City Dodgers (7:05 p.m., Dell Diamond). And Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden hold their weekly live chat at 11 a.m. Think Watson and Norvell will be brought up? Here’s a link to the chat.
TOMORROW: Finally, the NFL season kicks off — Patriots at Steelers, 7:30, NBC.
Sept. 9 has a sports history. On this date, Randy Johnson hit 300 strikeouts for the fifth straight year (2002); Catfish Hunter died (1999); Steffi Graf beat Monica Seles to win the U.S. Open (1995), six years to the day that she’d beaten Martina Navratilova for the 1989 title; MLB owners switched baseball to a three-division format for the two leagues and added a wildcard round to the playoffs (1993); Mike Tyson was indicted for rape (1991); Nolan Ryan recorded his 4,500th career strikeout (1987); John McEnroe beat Ivan Lendl for the U.S. Open title (1984); Jimmy Connors won his first U.S. Open, at the age of 22 (1974); Gordie Howe retired (1971); Pitcher Denny McLain was suspended for the third time, this time for carrying a gun (1970); Sandy Koufax pitched his fourth no-hitter (1965); and Albert Spalding, the guy who started it all by opening a sporting goods shop, died (1915).
On Sept. 9, 2006, No. 1 Ohio State beat No. 2 Texas in Austin, 24-7. It was college football’s first No. 1 vs. No. 2 regular-season matchup in a decade.
Today’s sports birthdays: Riley Cooper (28), JR Smith (30), Shane Battier (37), former Astros pitcher Mike Hampton (43), former NBA guard B.J. Armstrong (48), former NBA sharpshooter Dan Majerle (50), Bob Stoops (55) and Joe Theismann (66). Other notables — Adam Sandler (49), Hugh Grant (55).
Today’s trivia: Who were the starting quarterbacks for that Sept. 9, 2006 showdown between No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Texas? Hint: One was a Heisman winner, the other was a Heisman runner-up. (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast.)
Today’s lead: Texas football.
It actually was going to be Rice, not Texas. But Strong’s surprise announcement changed things. We’ll get to the Owls in a bit.
Our coverage of Strong’s decision included a closer look at Norvell, who’ll become the fifth different play-caller for Texas over the past six seasons. Amazing. We also have player reaction to the move and examined how this might affect the Joe Wickline/Oklahoma State lawsuit. And Bohls whole-heartedly supports the move.
OK, back to Rice. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Owls (but were afraid to ask).
Did you know …
- Rice doesn’t have dorms. They’re known as colleges. The university employs the college system where colleges have their own identities, traditions and histories. Think Hogwart’s.
- One student tradition is streaking. It’s known as Baker 13 — at 10 p.m. on the 13th and 31st of every month (or the 26th, if that month doesn’t have 31 days), students streak around campus wearing nothing but shaving cream. It’s called Baker 13 because the event begins and ends at Baker College (see above note).
- Another popular tradition — the annual Beer Bike Race, a combo bicycle race and drinking competition that dates back to 1957. Teams are made up of 10 riders and 10 chuggers. We’ll let you google from here.
- Rice and SMU, the two smallest schools of the old Southwest Conference, used to compete for the Mayors’ Cup. Unfortunately, it’s a rivalry series on hold. The schools haven’t played since 2012.
- It was at Rice that President John F. Kennedy made his famous 1962 announcement that an American would land a man on the moon by the close of the decade.
- About three-fourths of Rice’s undergrads live on campus.
- Rice Stadium served as site of Super Bowl VIII in 1974. The Dolphins beat the Vikings, 24-7. Miami’s Larry Csonka, who rushed for 145 yards, was named MVP. Charley Pride sung the national anthem, and the University of Texas band provided the halftime entertainment.
- Rice’s official mascot is Sammy. The first live owl used for the mascot was a canvas owl. In 1917, students from Texas A&M kidnapped it; a private detective later found it in College Station, then sent a coded telegram back to the school that read, “Sammy is fairly well and would like to see his parents at eleven o’clock.” The previously unnamed mascot suddenly had a name.
- A line from Rice’s fight song: “Vict’ry’s near, Sammy leads the way, onward go to crush the foe, we’ll fight for Blue and Gray.”
- Rice later discontinued use of a live owl. The head of the human-sized costume mascot was once stolen while on a road trip to Austin for a game against the Longhorns. In 2007, Sammy the Owl joined Facebook. In 2009, Sammy the Owl was thrown out of a basketball game against Tulane for bumping an official.
- It’s believed that the school’s colors (blue and gray) were chosen because its founder and first president, Edgar Odell Lovett, amassed his fortune by trading with both the North and the South during the Civil War.
- Famous former Owls? Howard Hughes, Larry McMurtry, Candace Bushnell (author of “Sex and the City”), former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema founder Tim League, former “Austin City Limits” executive director and KLRU station manager Bill Arhos, Lance Berkman, Norm Charlton, Ricky Pierce, former Cowboys safety Michael Downs and Don Maynard.
- Former Rice defensive end Cheta Ozougwu was the 2011 NFL Draft’s Mr. Irrelevant. He ended up lasting four seasons in the NFL, bouncing between the Texans, Bears and Saints.
- John Heisman — he for which the famous trophy is named — once coached at Rice. He coached the Owls from 1924-27. It was Heisman’s last coaching job before he retired to lead the New York Downtown Athletic Club. The trophy began being awarded in 1935, but it wasn’t until 1936 — only two months after Heisman’s death — that it was renamed the Heisman Memorial Trophy.
- And a Rice player played a part in one of college football’s most notorious plays. It was during the 1954 Cotton Bowl between Rice and Alabama that Owls running back Dicky Maegle was tackled by Crimson Tide player Tommy Lewis as he was running down the sideline (in front of the Bama bench) for an apparent touchdown. Lewis wasn’t in the game; not even wearing a helmet, he left the bench and tackled Maegle. Rice was awarded the touchdown anyway and won the game.
- Rice’s all-time football team? This was easier to do last week with Notre Dame. But let’s go with this lineup: Offense — QB Tommy Kramer; RB Dicky Maegle; RB Trevor Cobb; WR Froggy Williams; WR Jarett Dillard; TE Buddy Dial; OL Weldon Humble; OL H.J. Nichols; OL Joe Watson; OL John Hudson; OL Charles Torello. Defense — DE N.D. Kalu; DT Roger Roitsch; DT Matt Sign; DE Cheta Ozougwu, LB Rodrigo Barnes; LB O.J. Brigance; LB Dan Dawson; DB Donald Hollas; DB Bruce Henley; DB Sean Washington; DB David Griffin.
AROUND THE BIG 12: xx The Daily Oklahoman had a nice read on OU linebacker Eric Striker and his thoughts about the SEC. The paper also wrote about Oklahoma State’s offense, which wants to get back up to speed (literally). And with the Cowboys’ home opener coming this Saturday, the paper also looked at how past notable OSU quarterbacks fared in their first home games (ahem, Mason Rudolph) and updated where OSU’s home ticket sales are at (quick answer: better than last year, but not where they need to be). The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote about Texas Tech’s young linebackers, and how that youth might be exploited with runs up the middle. The Kansas City Star wrote about a Kansas linebacker who’s a transfer from South Carolina. And what do you think about that naughty Kansas State halftime show? Was it or wasn’t it? It even has William Shatner chiming in.
AROUND THE FORTY ACRES:
Tennis: Associate head coach Ricardo Rubio has resigned after 13 years at UT. He’ll be the new head coach at the University of Denver.
Cross country: Sophomore runner Connor Hendrickson was named the Big 12’s runner of the week on Tuesday; he won the Texas Invitational last Friday.
On Sept. 9, 1956: Elvis Presley made his first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” But here’s four interesting tidbits about it: (1) Sullivan himself wasn’t even hosting that night, because he was in the hospital recovering from a car accident. The guest host was Oscar winner Charles Laughton. (2) Elvis wasn’t there, either. He was in LA, not New York, filming his first movie. His songs were aired via live feed. (3) Elvis sang “Don’t Be Cruel, ” “Love Me Tender,” “Ready Teddy” and “Hound Dog.” (4) More than 60 million watched the show, and Presley got paid $50,000 to appear on three episodes.
On Sept. 9, 1947: The first computer virus was discovered. At Harvard.
On Sept. 9, 1926: NBC was formed.
Trivia answer: On Sept. 9, 2006, No. 2 Texas was quarterbacked by Colt McCoy and Ohio State was quarterbacked by Troy Smith.
OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by. We’ll be back on the menu Saturday morning.
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