Rice vs. SMU

Posted: October 7, 2010 in Sports
Tags: ,

Well it’s taken me a bit of time to get around to writing about it, but here you go: my wrap-up of this weekend. It involves football and my family, as usual, below the fold.

A long time ago (back in the 1970’s for you kids out there) my father got his Ph.D. at Rice University. While he was doing so, he met my mother, they fell in love and eventually got married. They were known, from time to time, to go and watch the Rice Owls football team play at Rice Stadium.

Now, for those of you who are not familiar with Rice, let me say the following. It’s an academic institution. And by that I mean that just about everybody on campus knows math, even the football players. And by math, I mean differential calculus or better. So while known for it’s academic prowess, Rice is not known for it’s abilities on the gridiron. Point in fact, the last time Rice went to the Cotton Bowl was 1958. They lost. To Navy.

The moral of the story is, you don’t go to Rice football games expecting them to win. However, on the rare occasions when they do happen to pull out a victory, it’s an outstanding reason to celebrate by getting drunk enough to forget the pain one endures cheering for them the rest of the decade.

My father turned 65 this year, and since I’m working at his old alma mater, I thought it might be nice to have him and my mother come down and watch a game. Now back in the old days, the big game was the Rice – Aggie game, where Rice would try to lose by less than 50 points to Texas A&M. This would have been an excellent choice, but since the demise of the Southwest Conference, they don’t play every year anymore. So we tried to decide on a game, and my father indicated that he didn’t want to watch Rice get butchered. In the end, we decided on the Rice – SMU game, which was last weekend.

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Here’s Sammy the Owl strutting his funky stuff. He’s always one of the most entertaining parts of any Rice football game. There are days when I wonder if Rice might not be better off fielding the cheerleaders with Sammy at QB, however, this weekend wasn’t one of those occasions. As we all expected, Rice lost, but the final score wasn’t a complete disaster.

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The highlight of the game from my point of view is always the Marching Owl Band (the MOB!) Of course, I use “marching” in the loosest possible sense of the word. They are a “scatter” band, which does absolutely anything but march as they move around the field. They have a rather unique sense of humor, which has gotten them into a bit of trouble over the years. However, they are a band that marches an entire string section, so you have to give them a lot of respect for that (yes, that is a cello back there!).

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All in all a pleasant time was had by all. My parents enjoyed their visit, and Mary and I enjoyed having them; and we hope that we can do something else again soon. Although, I have to add, that now Mary is pestering me to watch an Ohio State game this weekend. Apparently, she misses real college football; who’d have thunk it?


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