Burnt Orange Glasses: The Damn Wedding

In his political and pop-culture infused off-beat commentary, columnist Jeff Conner relives the "horror" of wedding preparation...and relates it to the task in front of much-maligned Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis.

O.K. I'll admit it. I haven't written anything genuinely funny in months. It's not my editors' fault. Clendon and Ross have been great and supportive and pay me in full for everything I write, no matter how off-topic, overly sentimental or yawn-inducing.

Part of the problem is the time of year. There's nothing happening in Longhorn sports at the moment. Let's face it – the mundane details of the top five school choices of an offensive lineman who hasn't even started his junior year in high school is not exactly scintillating fodder.

It's not just me, either. Have you checked the college sports page of the "Dallas Morning News" lately? It's more vacant than an art gallery in Waco and a MENSA meeting in Bryan. "SMU to bring back white helmets"? Come on. I haven't seen anything less meaningful since the eight hairs John McCain uses on his awful comb-over.

The other problem is the damn wedding. Not mine, for crying out loud. Mrs. Lubbock Horn and I hit the five year mark last October and, knock on wood (pun intended), are still going strong.

It's my sister-in-law. Her nuptials, scheduled for the Saturday after July 4th, have consumed my sweet wife and her family like Kirsty Alley on a jelly donut. For starters, my sister-in-law did not want to be wed in her home town of Lubbock. I guess that sort of makes sense, since she and her fiancée have both been living in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for several years. Problem is, she didn't want Dallas, either. My wife's sister's future in-laws live in, God help me, College Station, a place my sister-in-law has never lived, barely visited and has zero blood relatives. The future in-laws live in some fancy gated community, and my sister-in-law decided it would be a great idea to take away our holiday weekend and drag us all to Hell simply because her own parents are not country club types.

Oh, but it gets better. My wife is the maid of honor, of course. But my sister-in-law does not have a regular pastor, so the happy couple has asked yours truly to officiate the wedding ceremony. Yeah. You heard right. Lubbock Horn is the preacher at his sister-in-law's wedding this coming weekend in the freakin' Heart of Darkness. I'm slowly going mad like Colonel Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now": "I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream. That's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight... razor... and surviving.… The horror, the horror."

You're wondering about the groom. He's not a Gomer, don't worry. The poor schmuck went to Dallas University and is getting a graduate degree in computer something or other from SMU. He's a really smart guy and is genuinely in love, and it's a good thing because my sister-in-law, the baby of the family, has a pathological need to be worshiped, and he evidently has a similar need to worship her. It's like Rice agreeing to play the Horns in football once a week, over and over again, for all eternity. Some people just enjoy getting their asses kicked in perpetuity.

So (you're thinking) what's the College Station connection? One of the groom's older brothers was a Corps Turd and got a degree in engineering from A&M (but now lives in Colorado). So his parents became Farmer fans and moved to College Station. I know. It's bizarre. It's like somebody witnessed a grisly car wreck on the way home from work then moved to the location and built a house with a great view of the crash site.

And don't get me started on the wedding details. My mockery knoweth no bounds. The bridesmaids' dresses are dark brown with lavender ribbons. I shit you not. They call the color "chocolate," but in fact my beautiful wife will be covered from shoulder to ankle in the color of dookey – fecal matter. With lavender highlights. Then we were e-mailed seven Excel spreadsheets with detailed schedules of wedding activities. Countries have been invaded and conquered with less planning and organization. For example, according to the spreadsheets, there has been exactly 2.50 minutes allotted for the garter throw. Please, just shoot me now.

So if "Burnt Orange Glasses" has been a little off kilter lately, I plead not guilty by reason of mental defect. But, in all seriousness, the damn wedding got me thinking about our damn offensive coordinator. I know many on the Inside Texas boards feel genuine hatred for Coach Greg Davis and will maintain this mindset regardless of the outcome of the season. But my beloved, mighty, fighting Texas Longhorn's offense is similar in many aspects to a wedding.

The bottom line is efficiency – Did we accomplish what we set out to do? In a gentle manner, as the officiant in the wedding, I will respectfully remind everyone involved that the wedding "stuff" – flowers, photos, videographer, time schedules, etc. – is just ribbon on the package. The main thing is we want to get these slap-happy kids married. If the bride and groom wind up in legal connubial bliss, we did what we came here to do and everything else is secondary.

Same thing with our offense. Coach Davis does not have to be overly clever. He does not have to reinvent the wheel. He does not have to be an immortal offensive genius. We do not have to win style points. We do not need to score every single possession. We do not need endless Sports Center highlights. We do not need to average 50 points a game. We do not have to have a Heisman winner.

We simply need our offense to work. For 2008, we need our offensive goals can be summarized in one thought: we need our offense to be competent.

Some of the best coaching jobs Bob Stoops has done at Oklahoma have been in years the Sooners have not had particularly good records. This is Coach Davis' chance to do exactly the same. We have no marquee names on his side of the ball, no sure fire future all-pros. There are no anticipations that our offense is going to set the world on fire. With reduced expectations comes reduced pressure.

Just do what you were hired to do, Coach. Just move the ball.

Hook ‘em.

Jeff Conner's political and pop culture-infused Longhorn commentary appears regularly in the Inside Texas magazine and at InsideTexas.com.

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