UT's 2005 Theme: 'Take Dead Aim'

Lance Armstrong's ubiquitous yellow Livestrong bands are getting company, at least on the wrists of Longhorn football players. Every Texas player will sport a Burnt Orange band inscribed with the Harvey Penick-ism and what Mack Brown described as the team's 2005 theme "Take Dead Aim."

Penick, who coached golf at The University from 1931 to 1963, used to tell his Longhorn golfers, before they traveled to competitions, to "take dead aim," a philosophy that was a cornerstone of his teachings. Brown and staff hope to instill that simple, straightforward philosophy in a Texas team that is facing national championship expectations heading into the season.

"We thought with the expectations as high as they are this year we needed to have something that would help our players understand that that's a great compliment," Brown said of the team's No. 2 ranking in both major preseason polls. "It shows a tremendous amount of respect nationally from the coaches in the coaches poll and from the writers to put us the second-best preseason team in America, so we felt like we needed to help our guys understand what that means and to put it into perspective and use it as a positive, so we took a quote from Mr. Penick."

"What we told them," Brown added, "is it's not about just football, it's about a philosophy of life."

"We understand we want to win the Big 12 championship and hopefully that'll put us in another game at the end," he continued, "but to do that you better take dead aim on the first game because you better be a really good football team if you're going to win all the games and you can't be a great football team at the end unless you're a really good football team at the beginning. And we've talked to our guys that you've gotta be consistently good before you can be great. You can't take a week off. So, in our meeting Tuesday afternoon that closed two-a-days, we talked extensively about taking dead aim on Reliant Stadium, taking dead aim on everything we need to do to be successful in our lives, from our attitude to our academics, and obviously not talking about Ohio State or Oklahoma or A&M, taking dead aim on our opening game next week because that's the only one right now that is important to us."

Texas opens the season Saturday, Sept. 3 in DKR vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in what should be just a tune-up for the marquee non-conference match-up with Ohio State a week later in Columbus. Then, four weeks after that, there's that little contest in the Cotton Bowl that Orangebloods have had circled, and recircled, and recircled on their calendars, well, since early October, 2000.

Despite the high rankings and preseason accolades, Brown conceded that his bunch is not the only one among the Buckeyes and the Sooners and all of the other top tier teams with the talent to end up in Pasadena on Jan. 4, 2006 in the national title game.

"I would say we are about like 10 or 12 other teams in America with our talent level and two of those teams will play for the national championship at the end but we're probably not better with our talent level than any of those top 12 teams," the Texas head coach said. "They're all about alike when you put them on film."

Hence, apparently, the need to "Take Dead Aim."

Horns Digest Top Stories