Tepper's Take touches on bad uniforms, great high school games, and Perfect Strangers.
[Editor’s note: This is Tepper’s Take, the weekly column from associate editor Greg Tepper. It’s a blend of football and non-football topics. All opinions are Greg Tepper’s alone. Enjoy.]
It’s the September 20 edition of Tepper’s Take, as the lights of the cars go by in a stream, seems like I stand pretty much unseen, but I open my eyes and beams come out.
There’s lots to complain about with the calamity of uniforms that has happened recently in football. You know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about this:
You get the point. However, there has been one relative newcomer to the football uniform that I can’t get enough of. It’s the kind of thing that is truly ferocious, truly intimidating and, quite simply, truly awesome.
I’m talking about the full cage facemask.
You’ll see them every once in a while, especially on the NFL level. Chris Canty of the New York Giants was the first one that I noticed wearing it.
I mean, look at that thing. Imagine that face speed-rushing you, attempting to force the ball from your hands. You’d just…give it to him, wouldn’t you? I know I would.
From henceforth, I will refer to this facemask as The Shredder.
Long live The Shredder.
Games I’d TiVo If The UIL Would Let Me (And College Games I Will, In Fact, TiVo)
Longview at Lufkin
We all like rivalries, right? Right. And this is one of East Texas’ better rivalries (and that’s a part of the state that knows rivalries. It won’t be the same without the late great John Outlaw stalking the Lufkin sidelines, but the game should be quite a doozy. Longview’s recovered nicely from its double-tough season opener, a big loss at the hands of Coppell and the loss of QB Bivins Carraway to a knee injury, with RB Tory White taking the reins of the offense. Lufkin’s offense has been pretty impressive as well, led by out-of-nowhere RB Kendrick Mapp. The headliners of this game, however, are the respective defenses, with Lufkin’s outstanding defensive line of Demontrai Lewis and D’vante Botley, and Longview’s powerful LB duo of Demarkus Lathan and Torean Sheppard. I foresee a hard-hitting, ugly game, and it’ll be an excellent site for Fox Football Friday Powered by DCTF.
Tepper’s pick: Longview 23, Lufkin 21
Troy at North Texas
I do love being right. It’s among my favorite things. And, well, so far, my prediction that North Texas would be much improved looks pretty prophetic. Sure, the Mean Green is just 1-2, but those two losses were on the road against ranked teams in LSU and Kansas State, and Dan McCarney’s bunch looked obviously better than years past. In rolls Troy, a team with a pretty good quarterback in Corey Robinson, a decent running back in Shawn Southward, and a defense that can be beat. I think this is Derek Thompson’s coming-out party, and North Texas rolls.
Tepper’s pick: North Texas 34, Troy 24
Cibolo Steele at Austin Westlake
Is it time to start worrying about Westlake’s defense? Yes, the victory over Cedar Park was impressive, but since then, they’ve allowed 35 to A&M Consolidated and 49 to Temple. The offense is good, as I think QB Jordan Severt has found his way, but it’s not good enough to win games if the Westlake defense isn’t there. And, well, Cibolo Steele is a bad team to be struggling defensively against, because RB Justin Stockton will eat you alive. Combine that with a talented defense that features one of the San Antonio area’s best defensive backs in Erik Huhn, and I like the Knights.
Tepper’s pick: Cibolo Steele 36, Austin Westlake 27
Apologies to: Hebron at Allen, Cedar Hill at DeSoto, SA Madison at Smithson Valley, PSJA Memorial at San Benito, Crosby at Dayton, Angleton at Alief Taylor, Leander at Pflugerville, Wolfforth Frenship at Amarillo, Abernathy at Canadian, Baylor at Louisiana-Monroe, Virginia at TCU.
Three Bold, Sure-To-Be-Wrong Predictions
Hey, nice bounceback for me last week, knocking out two out of three. I’m 4-5 on the year.
-Navasota continues to flex its muscle with an impressive win over Lexington.
-Texas A&M beats South Carolina by 50. Yep. 50.
-The Calallen offense puts some of its fans’ fears to rest by scoring 35 on crosstown rival Carroll in a victory.
Every week, I’ll identify one player to watch across the state who could be poised for a breakout game. If he does, in fact, have a breakout game (we’ll define the stakes each week), he’ll get the honorary title of Manster – half-man, half-monster – and a place in this column for the entire season. Also, a pack of Sour Patch Kids. OK, just the title.
Last week, the Manster Watch fell on Longview RB Tory White. The stakes for Mansterhood: 100 yards and a touchdown and a win over Marshall. I can’t believe this is happening, because I thought White was a lock for this, but…he only had 92 yards and a touchdown as the Lobos took their foot off the gas after getting up big on Marshall. Ugh. We’re going to get a Manster one of these days.
This week, the Manster Watch sets its eyes on Jasper WR D’Marcus Collins. Collins has been the big play threat for the explosive Bulldogs offense so far, averaging over 52 points per game thanks to Collins’ impressive start on the outside from QB Steven Walker. So here’s the deal, Mr. Collins: all we need from you is a touchdown reception in your game against West Orange-Stark. That’s it! Just a touchdown catch Do that, and you’ll be our first Manster of the year. Please! I’m desperate to name someone a Manster!
Song Sure to Get You Fired Up for Football
“Professional Griefers,” by Deadmau5 featuring Gerard Way. So, maybe you’ve never heard of Deadmau5 (and yes, that’s a ‘5’ on the end of his name). His real name is Joel Zimmerman, and he’s a Canadian electric house music artist. In short, it’s techno, but he relies very, very heavily on hard bass lines, giving his music a uniquely melodic and heavy sound. He’s most known for wearing a giant mouse head on stage. Yeah. Weird guy, great song.
Personal Rankings Apropos of Nothing
Top 5 Favorite Times of the Football Week
1) Friday at 7:30 p.m. (high school football kickoff)
2) Saturday at ~2:30 p.m. (first round of games wrapping up, second round of games just starting)
3) Sunday at noon (NFL kicks off)
4) Friday at 1 p.m. (I leave work, relax for a bit before a busy Friday night)
5) Friday at 10:30 p.m. (Most of the high school games across the state wrap up around the same time)
Pre-Game Meal of the Week
Beef lo mein. When I was in college, I discovered that lo mein is, without a doubt, the best thing on any Chinese restaurant’s menu. It’s cheap, it’s filling, and it’s absolutely devastatingly delicious. This also explained why I weighed about 50 more pounds in college than I do right now.
Bye Week Distraction
Your team isn’t playing? Join the club; lots of bye weeks this weekend. But you and I can make it through this thing together, if we try.
OK, this is going to sound very weird, but there is a game made after the “Perfect Strangers” intro. I’m not kidding. It’s called “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now.” Do you even remember “Perfect Strangers,” the 80’s sitcom about a man and his distant European cousin living together in Chicago. It was actually not a bad show, but the most memorable thing was the really campy 80s theme song about following your dreams. So, of course, someone made a game about it. Yep. And you won’t be able to stop playing it.
Yell At Me
Impressive (and True!) Trivia of the Week
Did you know that the idea that you should get your oil changed every 3,000 miles is a myth? In general, everyone can go about 5,000 miles between oil changes without hurting your car, and some cars can go much, much longer. I feel so lied to.
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.