Red’s Texas College Football Game of the Week

Red travels to the friendly confines of Shelton Stadium in Abilene as the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys take on the Lobos of Sul Ross State in their American Southwest Conference opener. This one of HSU’s longest if not particularly competitive rivalries. The Cowboys lead the all-time series 33-3 and won 41-13 last year in Alpine. The Lobos come into the game 1-2 on the year and HSU is 3-0 having pretty much smoked the lesser competition they have faced.  The Cowboys have earned their No. 10 ranking so far.

The Cowboys are coming off a 61-24 ass-whomping of Southwest Assemblies of God last week featuring 714 yards of total offense that could have been more if not for untimely penalties bringing back two long touchdown throws.  The rout helped HSU sweep the American Southwest Conference player of the week awards with Reese Childress winning the offensive award, Alex Bell the special teams and Cory Ward the defensive award.  The Lobos just don’t have the firepower to keep up with a team this good.  HSU 65 SRSU 21.

Red’s NFL Picks – Week 4

Last week Red was 1-5, dragging season totals down to 5-13. Help me Jesus, it’s going to be a long season for old Uncle Red as he appears to be violating the first rule of holes – all the more complicated by the very tough line up of games this week.

Sure Bet Pick of the Week – Broncos over Buccaneers. The less said about last week the better.  And the less said about this week – even better.  It is hard to see a real sure fire bet this week, but Red created this monster and has to ride it until the end of the season.  Broncos will have to overcome double time zone, inverse altitudinal and humidity index hexes to win this one.  They seem up to the challenge so far.  Meanwhile, things on the west coast of the Sunshine State are not going as well as expected.  Jameis, the would be felon, is racking up the stats but mostly in garbage time.  The defense seems incapable of stopping anyone.  In the Mile High City, Coach K seems to have his quarterback mojo back and is doing amazing things with TS. Take Denver giving up 3 if you are incorrigible, but if you really must put some green down on this one, go with the over at 44. Denver 33 Tampa Bay 20.

Underdog Pick of the Week – Jets over Seahawks. Red goes with the full triple time zone, inverse hipster hex here. And the fact that Ryan Fitzpatrick usually follows a god-awful performance with a competent one. It’s a tough challenge this week going against the supposed top-ranked Seahawk defense, but RF has a decent running game to fall back on.  Meanwhile the Seahawk offense has been overly reliant on Christine Michael – that is a branch that is going to snap at some point.  Red thinks it happens this week as Jets defense stifles the running game and forces Wilson to heave it up.  New Jersey 24 Seattle 17.

Rivalry Game Pick of the Week – Cowboys over 49ers. Well this used to be a rivalry anyway.  Now it may be just another game.  Cowboys look to be on a roll but wait until December.  The Niners are not as bad as they look – they are actually far worse.  Two low mediocre defenses will at least keep this one exciting on some level. Arlington 32 Santa Clara 30.

Texas Franchise Pick of the Week – Texans over Titans.  Speaking of last week might just get your ass kicked in the Texans locker room right now.  Texans were humiliated in Foxboro, but have had 10 days to regroup for their first division outing.  All well and good until the JJ Watt news broke yesterday.   With the glamour seeking superstar probably out for the season, the Texans may actually have better focus and realize that they can’t just wait around for Watt to make a game-winning play.  The big problem is where it has been for several seasons.  They have a second string quarterback playing behind a makeshift offensive line.  Nothing will fix that, but it should be good enough to win over the weak sisters of the league like the Titans. Houston 24 Tennessee 11.

Prime Time Pick of the Week – Vikings over Giants.  Red’s pick of the Vikings is starting to look brilliant.  At least something is going right.  Red’s pick of the Giants is okay so far, but they likely lose division lead to the Cowboys this week.  That’s okay because the Cowboys always suck in December. Minnesota 26 New Jersey 23.

Shit Bowl Pick of the Week – OTNAs over Browns. The Browns have to win at least one game this season.  This one won’t be it. Do something you’ve been putting off – like having open heart surgery – rather than waste 3 hours of your precious Sunday afternoon watching this beastly bowel battle.  Landover, Md 17 Cleveland 0.

Today in Texas History – September 29

From the Annals of Bravery – In 1864, Sgt. Milton Holland earned the Medal of Honor for action at Chaffin’s Farm and New Market Heights, Virginia.  Holland was born into slavery probably in Austin in 1844.  He was the slave and likely the son of Bird Holland who would later become Texas Secretary of State.  He was freed by Holland in the 1850’s and sent to the Albany Enterprise Academy in Ohio.  He enlisted in the United States Army in 1863 at the age of 19.  He joined the Fifth United States Colored Troops under the command of Gen. Benjamin Butler.   He quickly rose to the rank of regimental sergeant major.  During the engagements at Chaffin’s Farm and New Market Heights all of the white officers were killed or wounded.  Holland assumed command and led his regiment in action as it routed the Confederates.  He was wounded in the battle and for his actions received the Medal of Honor on April 6, 1865.  His commendation contained the following quote regarding his action after the regiment suffered heavy losses in the battle:

 “But, with a courage that knew no bounds, the men stood like granite figures. They routed the enemy and captured the breastworks. The courage displayed by young Holland’s regiment on this occasion called for the highest praise from Gen. Grant, who personally rode over the battlefield in company with Generals Butler and Draper.”

Butler promoted Holland to Captain for his service, but the War Department refused the commission because of his race.  After mustering out of the army on September 20, 1865, Holland lived in Washington, D.C., where he worked in the Auditor Office of the United States government.  He later became chief of collections for the Sixth District. He also established the Alpha Insurance Company, one of the first African-American-owned insurance companies. He died in 1910, at his farm near Silver Springs, Maryland, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Photo from the National Park Service.

Donald Trump’s Russian Pals Meet with Texas Separatists

Self-proclaimed “Foreign Minister” of the Texas Nationalist Movement, Nate Smith, address the so-called Dialogue of Nations held in Moscow this  week.  Smith was loudly cheered when he promised that one day an independent Texas “will formally exchange ambassadors with your free and independent countries.”  He was addressing other separatist enthusiasts from California, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico and elsewhere.

If you don’t think these guys are serious, you had better think again.  Unless you want Rick Perry declared Emperor for Life of a new “Republic” of Texas, this movement bears watching with a very close eye.  Red more or less likes being a U.S. citizen and someone will have to pry his U.S. Passport from his cold dead fingers.

For more scoop on the fabulous Dialogue of Wannabe Nations in Moscow check out the story in the LA Times.

Today in Texas History – September 28

From the Annals of the Panhandle    In 1874 Col. Ranald Mackenzie and the Fourth U.S. Cavalry attempted a surprise attack on Comanche, Cheyenne and Kiowa encampments in Palo Duro Canyon.   Although known as the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, the attack involved little loss of life as it was primarily a raid to seized Indian horses and property.  Assisted by Tonkawa scouts, the cavalry wanted to surprise the Indians who were settling into their winter camps.   However, the Indians were warned by the Comanche leader Red Warbonnet, who discovered the soldiers and fired a warning shot before being killed by the Tonkawas.  Cheyenne chief Iron Shirt, Comanche leader Poor Buffalo, and the Kiowa chief were left in charge.  The camps were located in various parts of the vast canyon which did not allow the Indians to mount a united defense.  As a result most of the Indians retreated leaving behind over 1400 horses and most of their winter stores.  Only three Comanche were killed as was one soldier.  The BOPDC was the last major event in the Red River Wars and resulted in the confinement of southern Plains Indians in reservations in Indian Territory.

Red Goes to the Movies

Or more accurately, Red sits on his behind and watches a classic at home.  This time it was the film adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s thriller Murder My Sweet.  Red had low hopes for this one – mostly because it starred lightweight Dick Powell as hard-boiled LA private detective Phillip Marlowe.  Powell was best known as an affable romantic lead in frivolous fare such as Gold Diggers of [insert year here], Stage Struck and Footlight Parade.  Legendary director Edward Dmytryk was allegedly furious at having the lightly regarded Powell cast as Marlowe, but soon came to realize that not only was Powell up to the task – he was a superb choice as the pithy street-wise PI.  The movie was helped by the fact that Chandler was the co-screenwriter and the action and dialogue follows the novel almost exactly.

Red believes that this is the finest film adaptation of one of the Marlowe novels ever made.  Powell is incredible and his stinging repartee as Marlowe is impeccably delivered.  And a fine supporting cast of Anne Shirley as the tempestuous female lead, Otto Kruger playing his usual elegant but evil criminal mastermind (ala his role in Hitchcock’s Saboteur) and long-time character actor heavyweight Mike Mazurki in the role of his career as Moose make this one sizzle with understated excitement.  Shot in film noir style, there doesn’t appear to be a daylight shot in the entire movie.  Red gives this one 5 stars.

Today in Texas History – September 27

From the Annals of Corruption – In 1993, Senator Kay Baily Hutchinson (R-Texas) was indicted on charges that she misused state facilities and employees while she was the Texas state treasurer. In one of the most unusual legal proceedings ever, KBH eluded conviction and really even a trial.  Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earl seemed to have a fairly strong case against the Senator based on telephone records and other documents showing that Treasury Department employees were campaigning for KBH from state offices.  The trial judge was John Onion, the former presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.  Onion refused to rule on the admissibility of evidence seized pursuant to a grand jury warrant from the Treasurer’s office.  The most curious aspect was that strong precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals holds that a government employee such as KBH does not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in the government records that comprised the primary evidence against KBH.  In other words, she had no standing to challenge the admissibility of the evidence because the documents being relied on by the prosecution did not belong to her.  By refusing to rule pre-trial, Onion denied the state the chance to appeal.  Once the jury was empaneled, Earl refused to go forward and KBH’s attorney Dick DeGuerin asked Onion to instruct the jury to return a not guilty verdict which they did.

Red thinks the fix was clearly in. Then Gov. Ann Richards was facing the possibility of similar charges based on her own alleged use of government employees for political purposes.  Onion, a Democrat, was tight with Richards and Earl had long known Richards in Travis County political circles.  The word on the street was that Earl was instructed by Richards to fall on his sword and that Onion was complicit in the strategy.   However it came down, it was a huge political win for KBH.