Tidings, fellows,* and welcome again to the Pun Primer, your weekly opportunity to laugh uproariously at a clearly deranged scrivener himself chortling with equal gusto at Baylor’s upcoming opponent.** It’s a symphony of silliness, a veritable cavalcade of cachinnation, and you? Well, you have a front-row seat. This week, the University of Texas Longhorns.
Before we begin, however, I’d like to tell you a short story that is in no way referential of nor analogous to any of the narratives currently swirling around the impending contest. Any thematic similarities are likewise incidental and as such wholly irrelevant to my true motivations for relating this tale. To reiterate: this is a non sequitur of the highest order, a whimsical digression purposed exclusively for entertainment value and best dismissed by the discerning reader.
For those of you who yet remain, once there was a man—a young musician, a boy really, and beloved of many—whom for simplicity’s sake we will call "Beves."**** Born to a land of plenty, with talent to spare and money to burn, his rise to prominence seemed almost foreordained, and it wasn’t long before he had become an institution unto himself. For a time, everything he touched turned to gold: world tours sold out in seconds, his breakout single "Calf" dominated radio stations the nation over, and rabid preteens stalked him at every turn. He could do no wrong; he had won.
As is so often, and tragically, the case with "winners," however, sustained success brought with it a certain creeping recklessness, a paradoxically freewheeling complacency divorced from the championship mentality that had served him for so long. In the wake of fame’s ever-rising tide, good habits of mind were the first to fall to the wayside. Discipline followed shortly thereafter, and so it was that, even as dearest Beves lounged insouciant on his throne of gold, the very earth began to fall away beneath him.
The eventual collapse, such as it was, is well documented, and need not be belabored here. Suffice it to say that no amount of success or power, however established, would have been sufficient to withstand the storm of incompetence and poor decision-making that afflicted Beves during this time. Given the evidence, some scholars have cast him as a sort of fatalistic iconoclast, a masochist whose deliberate undermining of his own success arose from a deep-seeded need to destroy all that was beautiful and true in his life. This argument, while certainly compelling, goes a bridge too far to my mind, inasmuch as it seems to impute to the beleaguered Beves an agency he is unlikely to have ever actually possessed. Instead, I choose to envision him for what he really was: a spoiled teenager who, given the world, frittered it away in the name of fleeting ease.
The lesson here, of course, is that the music industry is deeply flawed and in desperate need of reform. My apologies for using this space as a soapbox for something so far removed from football. Suffice it to say, it’s a slaughterhouse out there, and the table is set—let’s dig in.
*There will come a time, alas, when I finally run out of synonymous permutations of this opening, but TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY.
**In a mountain fastness nestled deep amongst frozen Himalayan crags, Christopher Nolan giggles uncontrollably at you laughing at me chortling at opposing teams, because inception is all around us. TOT’EM, COACH.***
***Related: I’m Batman.
****Some early sources claim that this is a foreshortening of "Bever," but these rumors have yet to be fully substantiated. Of the other extant variations, addition of a definite article (i.e. the Beves) seems the most common and accepted. Below is an artist’s rendering of his appearance just as his popularity was reaching its zenith:
- "I’ve heard of brand awareness, but this is ridiculous."
- "THE BAYLOR OFFENSE PUTTING THESE COWS OUT TO PASTURE"
- "The Longhorns’ efforts all seem a bit *sunglasses* moot."
- "Talk about steering people wrong!"
- "It would behoove Texas to stay with the herd on this one."
- "You could say that it was all more than the UT defense cud bear."
- "I guess when you’re a dumpster fire, trash talk is really all that’s left."
- "This game got away from them offal quick."
- "I’ve heard of recycled plays, but this is ridiculous."
- "Talk about a throw away!"
- "After three solid quarters of dump offs and wasted possessions, these Longhorns are starting to look a bit junkyard dogged."
- "More like a compost route, amirite"
- "THE LONGHORN OFFENSE, NOW MADE FROM 100% POST-CONSUMER MATERIALS"
Consider the Steaks
- "The Baylor offense takin’ it to the porterhouse."
- "RIBEYE OF THE TIGER"
- "Oakman’s favorite meal? New York Strip sack."
- "MORE LIKE MEDIUM-WELP AMIRITE"
- "An offense as disastrous as this is a rare thing indeed."
Ad Hominem IV: This Time, It’s Serious
Noted College Football Pundit John Harris
- "MORE LIKE JOHN D’OH, AMIRITE"
- "John 1:1 – I’m still John Harris."
H(R)C Charlie Strong
- "Doesn’t take much to fall off the chuck wagon these days."
- "Charlie Strong: ‘But my friends just call me Buffy.’"
- "All I’m saying is maybe there’s a reason they don’t call him Charlie Successful."
- "His mandate was simple, really—speak softly, but carry a big stick. This program needed its own Teddy, a bridge over troubled waters; no matter how hard he strove for excellence, however, he could not escape the sense that all was crumbling to ash around him. Failure was out there, waiting in the wings for the perfect moment to swoop in and steal his dreams away. He must, he resolved, be [adjective redacted]."
- "Give it up for Head Rodeo Clown Strong Chuckles"
QB Tyrone Swoopes*
- "Renowned Austin socialite Bowtyrone Swoopes"
- "Swoopes coughs it up again"
- "More like WHOOPSIES, amirite"
- "Lacks vision – there’s a reason they don’t call him Swoopes Goldberg."
- "MINESTRONE SWOOPES"
*Where appropriate, please adhere to the vastly superior mattisbearian pronunciation (swoo-peas).
RB Malcolm Brown
- *whispers* Does he realize he misspelled "Mack"?
- "The DKR is no stranger to Brown outs."
- "More like Malcolm Sadwell, amirite"
- "That wasn’t exactly the outlier I had in mind."
- "What the Dog Saw (and Continued to See), or Blink and You Missed Hi—Uh, Well, He Was Still There But Everyone Agreed to Just Sort of Pretend He Had Already Zoomed By"
WR Jaxon Shipley
- "As far as ships are concerned, X marks the spot."
- "UT Athletic Director: ‘No, the OTHER kind of rigging!’"
- "UT Athletic Director: ‘I said I wanted Riggins. RIGGINS!’"
- "I’ve heard of QBs sailing passes, but this is ridiculous."
- "The UT offense looking a little dinghy-d up."
- "READY OAR NOT"
- "MORE LIKE THE EAT CROW’S NEST, AMIRITE"
Alumnus Matthew McConaughey
- "We’re in a golden age, a McConaissance, but UT might as well be in the Dark Ages for all the good it’s done them."
- "Time is a flat circle, and this UT team is anything but all right."**
- "Talk about a failure to launch!"
- "MORE LIKE INTER-NOT-SO-STELLAR, AMIRITE "
- "How to Lose a Team in Ten Days: The Charlie Strong Story"
- "With the most recent dismissals, Coach Strong says that he is coming ever closer to arriving at a definitive cast for True Detective Season Two."
- "It’s a Dallas Buyers Club out there, and UT’s coffers are full of fool’s gold."
- "Sure that strip sack might’ve been gruesome, but it was also a lovely tribute to Magic Mike."
**all right all right
And that’s more than enough to be getting on with from me for now. Go forth, then, and remember: pun responsibly.
Thanks again to PocketChange, TNCothran, and deafkittens for beta reading!
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