Life, Death, and College Football

Adam Jones discusses his book tremendous book, Rose Bowl Dreams, which does more than chronicle the amazing 2005 season. He covers his journey as a Longhorn fan from the early years in the Panhandle with his grandparents to his pride in bringing his own sons to Texas Longhorn games. The book begins with "God created college football as a grand gift to an imperfect world."

Life. Death. College football. So exist the three certainties for the Texas Longhorn fan. Rose Bowl Dreams explores them all. The book is one fan's story—it happens to be mine, which makes me equal parts fortunate and humbled—but it could be anyone's. Regardless of our era, the great moments in Longhorn history enthrall us: James Street and the Big Shootout, Earl's rumble to the Heisman, the impenetrable 1983 defense, Steelers roll left, Ricky Williams' dash into the history books and, then, the magic of Vince, culminating on 4th and five in the Pasadena night. Horns stick together in the bad times, as well—Darrell's last stand, the ugly end to the 1977 season, wandering in the college football wilderness from 1985-1997, a sleet-filled Cotton Bowl and a deplorable opponent in 1991, the Big 12 Championship meltdown, Stoops' early mastery and, maybe worst of all, the one that got away, leading Georgia fans to still ask us: "What time is it in Texas?" 10 to 9. Damn Crackers.

Rose Bowl Dreams is not just about Texas football, but also about Texas and the traditions that make her great. From the Panhandle to Brownsville, from El Paso to the Piney Woods, communities mark the days before football season and the Friday nights that sow the seeds of memories. If you are lucky in life, someone—a grandfather, a mom or dad, your older brother off at school—takes you to a college game. If you are really lucky, you get to see the Texas Longhorns play. And, if God truly smiles upon you, the day comes when you take your own son to the game. Such small moments make our lives extraordinary.

Kinky Friedman had this to say about the book: "Rose Bowl Dreams delves deeply into everything that made this country great—mother, God, football and drinking."

Ivan Maisel notes that the book "reads as if Jones just pulled up a chair, popped open a cold one and started telling stories. He's good company..."

And what else could Kinky and Ivan Maisel possibly have in common?

I hope you enjoy it; I hope even more that it kindles your own memories with friends, family and fellow burnt orange travelers. My thanks to Burnt Orange Beat for this great opportunity.

Adam Jones writes the weekly college football column at

San Antonio Express News review

Amarillo Globe-News review

You can purchase the book from Amazon here.

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