Friday, July 28, 2006

GuyMo, First Blood, Part 2: What Would GuyMo Do?

This question popped in my head at an awkward point last night. After my seventh pint of the National Beer of Texas, I found myself in front of a sea of faces struggling through the third verse of Ace of Base's "The Sign." Not realizing that my struggles went unnoticed due to the always magical Red Andrews' lilting voice dancing though the air like a pennywhistle, I panicked whilst I dropped the lyrics and notes simultaneously. It was at this point when a bright light descended on me, possibly a blue, green and yellow light, and The Question was ushered through my synapses like the offering plate at First Baptist Church. What Would GuyMo Do? His inspirational speech soon transpired.

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"I am GuyMo! And I see a namby-pamby, here in defiance of
the great words of Ace of Base! You came to sing well. And
sing well you will! What will you do without notes and words?
Will you sing?"
"D-Minor! I need D-Minor!" - I shouted. "No! I will run and
talk my words!"
"Yes!" GuyMo roared back. "Sing and you may fail. Talk and you
will just talk for awhile. And lying in your bed mere hours from now,
would you be willing to wait for D-Minor all the days from this day
to that for one chance, just one chance, to tell your precious D-Minor
that no one's gonna drag you up to get you into the light where you
belong...But where do you belong? Oh, oh, oh!"

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GuyMo, First Blood, Part 1: A Carnivore At The Helm

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After the sensitive, tearful, herbivorous reign of Kevin Steele*, which included the first 1-10 season in decades, Baylor was in need of a man's man to kick some butt and at least go down fighting. Steele's 1-31 Big12 record was a blight on our otherwise beautiful campus. We had just suffered the worst six consecutive losing seasons in the school's history. Enter GuyMo.

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Guy Morriss is a man's man. An All-SWC 1st-Teamer at TCU and an All-Pro Lineman with the Philadelphia Eagles, Morriss demonstrated his leadership on the field and off. His legendary offensive line coaching skills, both for the Patriots, Kentucky, and now for the Bears, have few equals. After turning around UK's traditional-doormat squad, GuyMo, took the reins at BU, intent on re-fanging the once-ferocious Bears. His Harley-Davidson, his defense, and his courage have earned him the respect of the Bear Faithful, his peers, the team, and most importantly, BearMeat.

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We salute the man who was two OT games away from a 7-4 record last year. Who nearly led us to a bowl after suffering through years of humiliation in our Great State's only real sport. Who made the call to go for the win against A&M in '04, which helped resurrect our pride. His straight shooting is a refreshing break from the PC-jargon you hear so many coaches use with the media. GuyMo tells it like it is. He's not afraid to kick ass and take names. He'll tell you where we're weak and where we're strong. And he's sure as hell not gonna start sobbing in Chapel.

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Is this the year we see the Bears regain their competitiveness in the Big12 South? Will the Sunday, Sept. 3rd game vs. GuyMo's alma mater set the tone for the season? There is so much riding on our first game. GuyMo's pride. Our pride. TCU's pride. The rivalry began over a century ago when TCU was still located in Waco. When our entry into the Big12 effectively dissolved the SWC, the rivalry disappeared. Only to be renewed with a warrior-chief intent on drawing first blood among his former tribe. Let the games begin.

Sic 'em.


*Kevin Steele was an admitted vegetarian, which is a very noble lifestyle choice for both dietary and ethical reasons. While we do not question his masculinity, dedication, or work ethic, his sensibilities were a bit strange for a Division 1 college football coach. His tear-filled address to the assembled students at Chapel was another example of his gentle, misunderstood spirit.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sweet Bliss: A Meditation on Hope and Despair

Part One: The Specter of Bliss, or, The Fall of Man

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I must confess, I always liked Coach Bliss. I met him at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes basketball camp in Flagstaff, Arizona. I believe he was coaching at New Mexico at the time. He singled me out for commendation in front of all the gathered campers, pointing to my Christian character and leadership as a model for emulation. It was a proud moment, but in retrospect now, it feels like yet another Baylor sports curse. When I heard that in 1999 Bliss would be taking the head coach position at Baylor, I was excited and felt proud that we were landing a great coach. Only in light of the scandal of the Summer of '03, would I reconsider my impression. The trail of questionable activities at SMU might have been a sign, but who could have predicted the shame to come? Regardless, the ordeal dragged Baylor's name through the mud for at least a year and resulted in a serious loss of prestige for our program. Hell, the scandal nearly brought Sloan down with it, a year before he was promoted to chancellor.

Part Two: The Redemption


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For the sake of letting go of the sins of the past, I don't want to delve too deeply into the darkest hour of Baylor Athletics. However, I mention Coach Bliss, because, in a way, his tenure with Baylor stands in stark contrast to our two current basketball head coaches. Scott Drew, hired as an ethical alternative to Bliss's moral confusion, has proven himself a maestro of recruiting. Considering the NCAA sanctions for last year's squad, which bore the brunt of misdeeds of people long departed from Waco, we achieved more than was expected of us. The fact that our recruiting classes, which include our first-ever McDonald's All-American in born-again, perimeter-threat Tweety Carter, have ranked with the best in college hoops are a testament to his by-the-book commitment to selling Baylor's strengths. It is no coincidence that many of his recruits have serious faith commitments. He is shoring up all the ballers who claim Christ as their co-pilot. If that includes finding people in Australia and Senegal, so be it. Baylor. Above. Beyond.

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Mulk herself, who will merit her own future three-part series in BearMeat, single-handedly willed Baylor to a championship. Her past, her personality, and her hoops-savvy are nothing short of godlike. A woman who won championships and gold medals in high school, college, and the Olympics is a bit out of place at easy-going WacoU. We are not accustomed to such tenacity. Her presence here is a gift from God, and we should never take it for granted. Her recruiting of two All-Americans would be enough for normal expectations at our school. But no. Mulk had other ideas. She had some personal demons to overcome. A bloody knife was still lodged in her back from LaTech, her alma mater who refused to offer her the contract she deserved. Mulk didn't care that the Lady Bears had no history of competitiveness. She didn't let the Bliss scandal interfere with her goal. She personally exorcised the Specter of Bliss when, clad in a baby blue suit, delivered a knockout blow to Michigan State.

Part Three: I Will Make You Fishers of Men

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Baylor and Waco suffer and have suffered from many curses in the past century. When first erected in 1910, the ALICO building stood as the tallest west of the Mississippi. We stood poised to join the elite cities of the West. The ALICO represented the optimism and hope of the city and the school. Then, misfortune struck. The Waco Horror. The Immortal Ten. The Tidwell Bible Building (so eloquently explicated by the good Judge). The Tornado. The Branch Davidians. The Specter of Bliss.

Each tragedy stigmatized our home and tarnished the good name of our alma mater. Pessimism and conservative withdrawal dominated among the Bear faithful and denizens of Waco alike. Yet, on one April evening, an unrepentant winner, unencumbered by our history of resignation, refused to give in. With that, our eyes opened to the possibility of transcendence. Our football program stopped rolling over for our historic foes. Our baseball team went to the World Series. The heavens opened. Trumpets sounded. Let a new era begin. Let us shake off the shackles of our tragedies, curses, and shortcomings. Let us embrace the world to come.

Sic 'em.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Dream Deferred: The First in a Series of Where We Went Wrong

I heard the legend when I first arrived at Baylor. It seemed unlikely, but then again this was Baylor. Was Tidwell actually supposed to be as tall as the tower at UT? You had to only look once to realize something was wrong. It seemed far too wide for its limited vertical dimensions. On a daily basis our Lilliputian tower reminded me of what could have been. Where was our tower to light green and gold after major victories? Every athletic defeat made Tidwell look more grotesque, drove home the point that this structure was an abortion.


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However until happening upon this chestnut, it remained an unconfirmed semi-urban legend. Suddenly everything made sense. Of course, the building should have been taller, grander. Where was the vegetation from the Holy Land or our wall of glass? For God's sake this is THE BIBLE BUILDING at the largest Baptist University in the world. The Lord's word is taught in this building. How many losses has this monstrosity caused us to endure over the years? As the article so rightly says, "Beer, Whiskey, Crime: will be reduced when more Bible is taught and made more appealing to youth of today and youth of tomorrow." Thanks a lot tiny bible building. Without championship banners to celebrate I turned to life-long passion for beer and whiskey. As for crime, since Lawrence v. Texas I haven’t given that one much thought. But still, two out of three isn’t great.


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It is critical when solving problems to first identify what needs to be corrected. In this case it’s barely staring down at us with its pygmy-like seven-story frame. Cursing us for its existence. I’m sorry bible building. We Baylorites of the last seventy years beg your forgiveness. We failed you. We want to right this wrong. We want to win the Big 12 South.


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I call on all alumni, administrators, staff, faculty, and denizens of Waco to do all in their power to expand Tidwell’s proportions of that of its original design. Anything short of that will be inadequate. We need this. Give generously to the Tidwell Bible Building Pledge Drive for Big 12 South Championships. Money is of course appreciated, but if all you have is a brick send it. I personally pledge to plant my Holy Land shrub on rededication day. We’re waiting, future undergrads' livers depend on it. Call now, much time has already been lost.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Declaration of Principles

In true Citizen Kane fashion, we here at BearMeat have decided to fashion a Declaration of Principles to form a covenant with our readers. Think of this document as our 2012 Vision, but without all the greenspaces, prayer gardens, and fundraising. Our principles, we hope, will set the ethical bar high and will strive to maintain a certain sense of integrity. If and when this fails, we will be able to point back to our first posting and hang our heads in shame. This shame will in turn fuel Neffistopheles' alcoholism. Thus, we ask that you never hold us to these principles, if only for health reasons.

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1. Our blog will further the cause of Baylor Athletics. We are committed to the next hundred years being the Century of the Bear. Baylor sports must be restored to their former glory. This can be done with the University investing the necessary resources, personnel, and capital in to our athletics program. This is not an unrealizable goal. However, winning program or not, BearMeat will back the Bears in good times and in bad.


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2. We firmly stand behind the notion that Baylor University is poised to compete and contend for the championship of all the major sports. As witnessed by our Lady Bears' victorious 2005 season, the Pride is Back at Baylor. Our men's and women's tennis teams continue their dominance; baseball is regularly a national contender, having recently gone deep in to the College World Series; our track team's reputation as Quarter-Miler U. is unparalleled in college sports, as we have won the last three Olympic Golds in the Men's 400m. Football and basketball, the premiere college sports, cannot be far behind.

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3. We promise never to utter a kind word about the Sloan administration and its shortsighted shortchanging of Baylor's first decade in the Big 12. As the Good Judge will explain, the Sloan Era was marked by significant decline for the men's football and basketball programs. These years were starkly inconsistent with Baylor's illustrious legacy in these sports. Our entry in to the Big12, thanks largely to Bob Bullock, Ann Richards, & Co., was an opportunity to introduce our school to the entire nation. Instead, we became BearMeat for the rest of the Big 12.

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4. No Irish Need Apply. We're sorry, but this is our Golden Rule.

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5. Wine, Women & Song. We pledge to honor the great fan traditions of Baylor sports. The Big O at George's Tent. Two-Dollar Tuesday at Scruffy's. The walk of shame from her place back to yours the morning after. We will, a la Abner McCall, drink our whiskey in private, but we will never let Satan blow it out. We're gonna let it shine.
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And with that, you have our Declaration of Principles. If distilled in song, they would ring out:

We'll fling our green and gold afar
To light the ways of time,
And guide us as we onward go;
That good old Baylor line!

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