Andy Staples and Emmanuel Acho: Clashing Colleges | 4


<music> from wondering this is sports wars <music>. I'm dan rubenstein for this series. We've gone deep in two of the biggest college football rivalries in the sport the world's largest outdoor cocktail party or florida versus georgia georgia and the red river shootout or texas versus oklahoma. Each of these have a unique history that goes back over a century in his filled old with bitter feuds wild swings of dominance huge names and personalities and continued relevance today with enormous annual stakes. They're also both both played at a neutral site a rarity in the sport which only adds to the big game feel first. Let's talk about the cocktail party and who better to have on than andy staples abel's of the athletic and sirius x._m. He's covered the rivalry for years writing extensively about the matchup for his former employer sports illustrated after randy. I'll speak with former texas star emmanuel acho about his first-hand experience playing in the red river shootout for years. We'll talk about the history names tension moments and how the rivalries fit into the college football fabric as a whole the sports wars is brought to you by chase so you're ready to buy your first home nice at chase. They know you don't like to dive into anything this big without a game plan there in your corner see other lenders incentivize the upfront transaction but chase plays the long long game actively managing your mortgage over time as a chase customer. They'll save you money over time by showing you how you can lower your monthly payment or even pay off off your mortgage faster. That's money you can put toward your next big adventure like starting a family or now that you've got a new home with the backyard and a pizza oven back there. Maybe your adventures interest learning to really go for it making your own pizza dough instant yeast for sour dough starter. Where do you stand. I say don't sleep on sour dough that some crispy so prasada. It'll it'll change your outlook. Was that was that to specific fine. I hear you. Let's keep our eye on the ball. Chase customers save more learn more at chase dot com slash slash sports wars chase make more of what's yours all home. Lending products are subject to credit and property approval rates program terms and conditions are subject to change change without notice. Not all products are available in all states or for all amounts other restrictions and limitations apply home lending products offered by j. p. morgan chase bank n._a. An equal cool housing lender i it's andy on florida versus georgia <hes> disclaimer andy did go to florida but stopped rooting for the gators pretty much when he graduated because the best thing for him would be for florida and georgia to heavy back and forth rivalry for his writing and his radio work correct that is correct. I grew up as a passive observer of all the florida teams with an an extreme dislike for florida. If i had to pick a side in the in the florida and florida state and miami situation growing up okay took bobby bowden side side and <hes> steve spurrier kind of rub people the wrong way and and when i got an academic scholarship to go to florida because it had the best journalism in school in the state. I wasn't really making it for any sort of football reasons. Now i did walk onto the football team because i had played football at a pretty high level in in high school uh-huh and thought i was good enough to play division. One football and i was accepted was probably division one aa football. I was not good enough to play at florida eh. They put me on the team anyway. I learned very quickly as a as a human tackling dummy practice that <hes> i was not big enough or fast enough to play off blinded florida but they were nice enough to let me on the team <hes> and be on a national championship team so i lucked out there and obviously my opinion of si spurrier changed quite quite a bit during that time because watching him needle people from afar got under my skin a little bit how collegiate watching him do it up close. When you're on his side is a whole lot of fun. Oh it has to be and i'm glad you brought up florida state and miami because we're talking florida georgia but right to you what's unique about florida georgia when florida has florida state and tennessee to a lesser extent as rivals and georgia has georgia tech and auburn in as long long held rivalries as well it is interesting because it hasn't lessen the intensity of this one and you'd think it would because let's say for florida florida florida state became such massive rivals <hes> one because of proximity but too because they were they were really good at the same time in the nineties and they were playing games that had national championship implications a lot of times and so that was a a a huge deal. They were always bumping up against each other on the recruiting trail so that you think would supersede the tennessee. One was a circumstantial xantia one that thornton tennessee despite being the s._e._c. for a long time together didn't really play all that much until the s._e._c. split into divisions in nineteen ninety-two then all of a sudden. They're playing every ear and they just so happened to be the best teams in the s._e._c. So florida tennessee became a huge rivalry because of the stakes of the game more than anything else georgia georgia florida though it just never stops simmering even the games that didn't have super high stakes. They meant a lot to the people on the field. They meant meant allot to the people in the stands. It never really diminished for georgia and auburn that game. Obviously we'll have s._e._c. Title invocations now's a little bit different because they're in in two different divisions georgia and georgia tech they call it clean old fashioned hate for georgia that florida game has been particularly meaningful of late alive the reason because because winston for got to florida florida began dominating them and georgia has now begun to flip that a little bit and now that they're sort of back on hop the it it is pretty satisfying for those georgia fans who they suffered quite a bit through the nineties in your mind that what is and i'm more talking about the the modern era so the last twenty thirty years. How would you characterize the central tension of georgia florida. Maybe between fans or schools or reputations what what is what is the root of the discord. Why georgia you know aligned people hate florida. Why does why does florida. Florida people hate georgia line people. What what is the colonel colonel. What is the core there so you've got the proximity thing you got the fact they're both in the s._e._c. That's enough right there to get going now. For florida fans they did get dominated by georgia pretty thoroughly in the early going but then it felt like every time florida had a chance to do something great georgia would be in the way in the nineteen. Sixty six is probably the the prime example of that. You got ceasefire. Who's on his way to heisman trophy. He's a senior florida goes into that game undefeated an just get walloped walloped by georgia spurrier throw three interceptions. It's not really that close and it's like they'll never get over that hump and then in the ninety spurrier uh-huh florida's coach and all of a sudden they're just crushing georgia left and right so the the entire thing flips on its ear you know you you go from georgia's always going to be the one that that just got punches florida. I mean run lindsay in nineteen eighty who is one of the biggest shocker plays in college football history. There's no way georgia should win that game. They won that game. They won a national title that year. That was an example of florida just looking going. What do we have to do. When are are we ever going to be the program in that position and then you get to the ninety s and all of a sudden that flips and florida is the program in that position forty is the program competing for national titles titles and georgia's the one trying to figure out how to get the magic back it took florida so long you get to that point and it was so satisfying when they were winning and then georgia <hes> there were so used to being on top and then they were just suffering. They didn't just go to florida would win every once in a while it went to florida was thoroughly dominating georgia and i i think that just that drove georgia people nuts and now they're finally getting your point where it was a little bit even now. I think it's it's turned back toward georgia a little let and now they're they're starting to feel like okay we can. We can be the dominant ones in this series which remember most of the people who who were around when georgia was truly dominant. The series aren't alive anymore so for this generation of georgia fans. This is the first time they're getting to see something like this so it's pretty exciting for them. My thought is and you can tell me how far on or off the path. I am is exactly what you said sort of that. Georgia fans are searching for that magic. Georgia fans are searching once again to be national championship winners going back to larry munson calling games in the early eighties and that play described and so for the last now almost most forty years georgia fans every year like i feel like we're now on the path to becoming a national champion and meanwhile florida this team with the this ah shit talking run up the score head coach in the nineties who isn't classy like georgia fans want college football coaches to be in sophisticated like vince dooley florida's almost like this outsider outside program who never one and now they've won three national championships you know in their short says georgia fans like to make fun of them since georgia wins. There's so it's almost like they're doing it. In this brash way that tradition by the way the gators wear jeans shorts chant one of the weirdest chance in college football it is <music> but not inaccurate started in nineteen ninety seven there were some georgia fans that were headed into the game and i have spoken to the group of people who who started started this initially and so ninety seven very special year in the rivalry inaccurate georgia fan because it was the first time they beat seve spurrier as ford head coach and shocked him it was it was a big upset and <hes> but going into the stadium there was this group of georgia students and <hes> <hes> one of them turns and sees kind of the stereotypical florida fan in jean shorts and tank top may or may not have had a mullet. I'm not sure but just kind of looked and just goes gators were jeans shorts and all of a sudden his friends sort of pick up the chant and they they start chanting it as they go into the stadium by the time they get into the stadium. There are thousands of people chanting it okay. We're we're now twenty two years later. They're still saying thing is that the guy who initially said it actually wound up getting a law degree working as an attorney in tampa for a bunch of photographs so he had to keep it on the down low that he was the gators jean shorts originator to be fair to florida fans. It is hot in gainesville and it was the nineties so of aged will you down. That's true but it's better than long khakis not really. I don't think so so there. Eh say this as a as a university of florida student who threw away all jean shorts after his freshman year what took florida so long to be good. They're at their the best eight three seven four eight and five. They were never breaking through at all until really steve spurrier consistently what took them so long. It's one of the great mysteries they they never been able to figure that out and they kept trying different coaches ray graves in the sixties looked like he was on the way to changing all that but but again georgia's stopped at sixteen and then it never really got back close again in the seventies by the end of the seventies florida was in a really bad place they hire galen hall in the eighties actually did win the s._e. In nineteen eighty-four but that got stripped of them because of n._c._a. Stuff so it was just one of those things that one year after the other something would always always happen and they would never quite get over the hump until ceasefire got. There isn't any one the first official s._e._c. title for florida nineteen ninety-one they didn't win in ninety two but then they won the next four and it's just after that it started it started rolling for florida and that's where those massive expectations you see for florida now which they don't always live up to these days but but that's where all that was built it took steve spurrier unlocking what was there and what he does is looked around and said listen. I know i got better athletes than everybody else. Why i why am i in a league where everybody thinks you you should gain three rs every play why not just chuck it around and use those athletic advantages. I have have to run up the score and that's exactly what he did and you notice that the team he struggled to do that against was florida state because they had the same caliber of athletes he did and it took probably a solid ten years for the rest of the s._e._c. to figure out what was going on and then work to catch up and it didn't really happen until tommy tocqueville got auburn in nineteen ninety nine nick sabin gets l._s._u. In two thousand and that's when the rest of the s._e._c. started really kind catching on and figure okay. This is what we need to do to stop this guy but they were just blindsided by it and florida wrote it to the first national championship in nineteen ninety six and a bunch of s._e._c. titles during that decade and then urban meyer comes in and wins a couple more national titles but it was one of those lightning in a bottle things with spurrier and really with meyer in marvel studios avengers endgame the remaining avengers must overcome the aftermath of destruction and face their biggest challenge yet finding the resolve within themselves to defeat thanos banos once and for all the world's greatest heroes will finally understand just how fragile a reality is and the sacrifices that must be made to uphold it in a story of friendship teamwork and setting aside differences to overcome an impossible obstacle get avengers endgame now on blu ray and digital digital new on four k ultra h._d. Why did georgia falloff off after vince dooley leaves and might be a self-fulfilling question but what exactly happened to georgia in the late eighties and nineties other than steve spurrier and those florida order teams becoming quickly a force of nature well steve spurrier happened but also ray goff probably wasn't the right guy. <hes> and spurrier really enjoyed rubbing it in on gough. The problem is when you're when you're rival has is best coach ever and you just lost your best coach ever and replaced him with somebody who wasn't of the same caliber than something like that is bound to happen. You know spurrier's last year at florida was two thousand one so you never really got to see steve. Steve spurrier florida team against a really competently coach georgia team. I do wonder what would have happened had. Let's say you know a version. Origin of kirby smart been there now curvy smart. There's a player playing so spurrier team but somebody like that who recruited like that would would it have been different. I don't know but that's the thing you know golfing don and just weren't really a match for spurrier. I think rick might event had they gotten to play a little bit by the time richt was was in their spurrier earlier was on his way out kirby smart of course the current georgia coach and who has done early on in his tenure a pretty incredible job for georgia you had mentioned don't buck blue and lindsey scott this incredible play at the end of a game that florida never should have lost but georgia ends up pulling out in the last moments that seems like it would be the most haunting moment in the rivalry for a fan base in florida but to you i guess is it and what else comes to mind as the the moments that just i live in the brains of florida georgia fans well that is absolutely the biggest moment that haunts florida people. I mean you can't even compare because they they had the game won. Georgia is backed up as far as it can be packed up and <hes> there's this this and it's not you know it's not had a deep bomb where lindsay scott catches it in the end zone. It's buck blue hits and open lindsay scott and there's nobody from florida to tackle him and then you get the larry munson call that this makes it. I feel like every s._c._c. fan worth his salt knows at least part of that larry munson call <hes> i do radio shows on cerise x._m. And i was in a hotel room once doing a show and i sat down and it broke the chair and of course the best part of larry munson calling lindsay scott touchdown is larry munson chair breaks in the middle of it and larry goes. I share it was a steel metal. Jared alabama three's cushion so when i broke my chair in my hotel room i immediately say i broke my share. It was a steel metal chair with three inch cushion in my coast hosts. Didn't it just went right over his head and i'm like what's wrong with you. How do you not know that but it's just one of those incredible moments where complete eat despair turns into complete jubilation on one side and then vice versa on the other side meanwhile you're in a stadium. We're half of the fans or rooting for one team and half for the other so just the emotional shift in that moment. You got this guy up in the press box. Go on all dog people that are saint simon's harman's island and they're going to be a property destroy tonight. It was the perfect college football moment unless you wanted florida win for sure so. Is there a moment that haunts georgia fans or is it just the nineties in general. It's the nineties in general there's not one particular moment like there are things that bother the florida fans like the fourth and dumb call during the doug ding era where they went forward on fourth down and and basically cost them a game <hes> then you've got the gator stomp which is when richt sins the entire team on the field to celebrate a touchdown in two thousand seven which really gotten in the floor of players heads after that i i i don't know exactly why that moment just discombobulated them as much as it did but then they absolutely cannot tackle no sean marina the rest of the day day it was it was a thorough beating georgia florida in two thousand seven so there are moments like that for florida fans but there's not really that one moment. I don't don't think for the georgia fans is just the sheer misery of knowing that steve spurrier was going to run it up on you and laugh at you. Is there an era. <hes> is it richt and urban meyer. Is it the late stage of of spurrier going against georgia. Is there a stage where it was at its highest level to you two thousand by was a huge game for florida because urban meyer and in his staff just gotten to florida they come in with his spread option offense and it was like oh oh you know is. Is it going to work in the s._e._c. and they were supremely confident that would it would work and then alabama l._s._u. Had completely shut it down. They'd made basically wholesale. Changes is during the open date before georgia where they scrapped their their offense they scrap their baby and created a makeshift offense based on what florida had run the previous year under larry fedora because it was something they knew the players they had could do and they come out and score a couple of quick touchdowns against georgia asia and the defense holds arrested. That is the happiest i have ever seen a coaching staff when florida won that game the hugs it urban meyer in his staff forgiving forgiving each other. It looked like oh my god we can do this. We're not gonna fail in this league because after the l._s._u. game which had been the previous game but thought was this may not work out. That's the one where urban meyer shed tears in his post game press conference after l._s._u. <hes> and so the thought was this is probably not gonna work out. Georgia was a top five team that that year beating them made urban meyer and company realize you know what we're going to be able to figure this out and you know they wind up winning national title year later but it was a high level thing and georgia was great in two thousand seven and a third of been a playoff in two thousand seven at the end of the year. Georgia would have been the team. Nobody wanted to play in that thing and they might have won a national title title there but it just felt like they never never could both be great at the same time like two thousand eight georgia comes in is the preseason number one and they got matthew hugh stafford and merino back but they got shelby alabama early in that season about time you got to the florida georgia game florida was head and shoulders better and that's sort of in the problem problem is it's never quite even doubt in this era and i keep waiting for that game to happen and it just never quite comes if you were to select select fan base that is more into this to whom winning means more like the s._e._c. says it just means more or losing hurts more is either. One of these fan bases more invested in the rivalry. I think georgia is at the moment just because this generation of georgia fans drew up a such disappointment in this rivalry they just got pounded so much in the florida fans got so spoiled by the success that that generation of florida fans views beating georgia's birthright now you find an older florida fan you find a florida fan over sixty years old they will say oh. I cherish every time time the gators beat georgia because for a long time. I thought it would never happen regularly so the older florida fans really appreciate it. I'm not sure if the younger bruins appreciate it as much because they grew up thinking oh georgia's team the florida beets every year and meanwhile they're georgia counterparts grew up thinking florida you know stops opsahl flat every year boy love to get him back and so now that it is more even with kind of lean toward georgia. I do think those georgia fans are appreciating she aiding it. You know the older fans i talked about. They really appreciated those wins in the nineties. I think the georgia fans who are seeing georgia wins now feel that same way andy staples apple's. Thank you very much for your time my pleasure. It's one thing to cover a rivalry but it's another to be a central piece of one of the teams playing and that's precisely who e._s._p._n.'s emmanuel acho was as a star for texas playing against oklahoma with a ton on the line for years us emmanuel right off the top. What do you think about just viscerally when you think about red river and oklahoma and texas and everything that goes into it. I think pure animosity disdain and hatred from one program to another. It's hard to put in words. You have to feel it. You have to have have to be there in dallas when those two teams clash but it it truly transcends football i would even go as far as saying from one state to another from one color scheme of burnt orange to another. There's just so much built in innate disgust from one program to the other. What is what is the view of oklahoma. What what what do they hate. What do they see negatively about oklahoma honestly what it is. It's a respect for hatred. I think now that i've graduated and become an alum and i've seen it from bird's eye view. It's not the same hatred you half from some programs that you to treat your little brother. It's more of a were mad at you. Because of how good you are and we're also mad at you because if it's not us and and when it's not us it's you and i think that's how texas fans feel. It's not so much a we don't even view you as worthy it's you. We respect respect you so much that we don't like you and that's truly what it comes down to is there. A jealousy angle as oklahoma's been the more consistent squad since the nineties. Essentially i think you could get any texas. Fan have an life to to admit that there was jealousy bear in mind at the second texas loses a game. You just start talking about what you have better are. Were you gotta live in norman and we get to live in austin so oh you you better believe that texas. Fans will find their way to one up. I don't think that they would it all admit that there was a jealousy component and i say they because now that i'm an analytical i have to be a neutral party but oh you for sure does have the one up in the last decade or decade and change joe. You has more heisman winners oh you been to. I want to say more national championship games. I'm not exactly sure i know of texas too. I know of o._u.'s one off the top of my head but i don't think it's a jealousy. I just think it is texas. Fans don't have to think don't have time to think about whether they're jealous or not. They're too busy looking at the date. They're going to dallas. Let me put it like that are oklahoma. Fans jealous of the attention texas receives as a school with you know the burnt orange the classic helmets the money involved in the program is there a jealousy of the prestige weather or not texas always always earns it. I would say i would say that i would say oh you leads the pack amongst other schools who look at texas as front runners meaning. Y'all haven't even one games lately and you got your own network. You're you're building a new a new add ons to your stadium. You got new locker rooms. You still get top tier recruits. I think that oklahoma probably somewhere in sunk in state of mind looks at texas lake aac. Y'all don't even deserve this stuff. Y'all get that's what i would say. If i could kind of express what i would think the the sooner mentality is this to the players. Care is something that is meaningful obviously a big game against a huge team especially if you you're ranked in the top ten twelve fifteen whatever do players care about rivalry games in the way that fans would hope they. Do you have no idea during texas. Oh you weak things heightened up. I remember when i was a player at texas. Practice means more film room means more everything matters because you know if you win that game can you will be beloved the second you step foot on campus and if you lose that game you don't even want to show face at your eight a._m. Class i mean you walk into school. Cool with your hoodie on and not just texas hoodie. Not your texas football hoodie you wearing your your old navy. You're wearing a hoodie that definite. Let people know. I know what sport you play. The players care probably more than the fan can imagine do you know. Have you spoken to sooner players years since your career texas came to an end. Do you have an idea of what their perspective of the rivalry is for sure the second you get to the n._f._l. That's all you talk about in the locker career with a second. You meet sooner alums. The question on the floor is what was your record in the rhetoric river shootout or the red river well rivalry. Keep in mind you will you know how old somebody is based on how they call it that game sure you know back when i was at texas before things are so politically correct. It was a red river shootout then fast forward. It became the red river rivalry which i can't even pronounce so yes as alums you know oh and it still matters. What happened in that game during your time. How much did you know about the rivalry growing up in dallas and what was your recruitment krugman like going to selecting texas. You have to know about the rivalry in dallas mainly because one weekend out of the year is going to be shut down and also bear in mind you wanna go to the state fair for your kid and so growing up. It's a matter of what the heck is this game. Who's in this game. What is going lean gone. Let me learn the history of the game. My recruitment was easy. My brother committed to texas one year before me as soon as i committed oh. You didn't even bother wasting their time. I'm a dallas this kid. I'm going to texas. I'm going right after my brother went to texas and keep in mind. Texas had just come off the national championship victory no six and i committed in a way so or i committed probably in oh six or seven. I went to texas in a way so it wasn't even <hes> there was no recruitment. It was a done deal. Did you know anybody who considered each each school no matter where they ended up and he can't consider school. That's like that's like considering you know. It's like considering polar opposite things. You can't consider both a beach vacation and also so consider like hiking. Those two things are way different. I wanna go chill or i want to go work out. You can't consider texas and oklahoma oklahoma those two oxymoronic their polar opposite if i look at guys considering both i'm just like what's wrong your twisted in the head. Eh because you love or you hate the other but you can't like both. Why do you think there there've been a number of high profile players from who played high school football in texas which is is just you know if it's not florida texas is the number one state for just talent everywhere. What type of player selects oklahoma that grows up playing football in texas assists interestingly enough. I've realized there are a lot of oklahoma fans in that dallas houston east texas area <hes> personally i do you know to answer your question. I'm always perplexed. By how the heck do you live in texas and go to tell you but in this day and age man oh you wins ball games now two consecutive college football appearances. If i'm not missing anymore two consecutive heisman winners like oh use the you know the jordan brand now every every kid grows up wants to have the latest pair jordan jordan brand school. I get it. I don't really rock with their colors but i get it like oklahoma is a prestigious football. Program happens to be norman oklahoma. I've never been there having heard great things but wow i mean i i get it. Which program do you think right. Now is in a healthier place who man gosh. You're on the put me on the record and on the spot. I will say out. Let me preface what this texas is getting into a much healthier place coming off a huge bowl win against georgia agenda that is gigantic especially given the state of texas since two thousand ten. They're in a they are trending in the right direction kudos. Tom i'm herman and that program oklahoma in a healthier place. Oklahoma doesn't have to deal with the baggage. That texas had to deal with for five or six years oklahoma. It didn't have to deal with the tremendous amount of coaching change. Yes bob stoops to lincoln riley but that was swift and that was simple texas had to deal with the ugly lead departure of mack brown to hiring charlie strong had to do with not only the football tension but rachel tension of that higher to then hiring. Tom herm in that. That first season was ugly. Then finally it got good texas is trending upwards but oklahoma back to back heisman winners back college football playoff appearances got jordan jordan brand their boom and right now they're hot. I mean outside of the tier one a plus programs of clemson and bama. You're looking at o._u. Oh you in georgia right there. Next sports wars is brought to to you in part by lifeproof makers of action ready phone cases designed to let you live fulltime. So what does it mean to live full time well for an ultra marathon runner. It's waking up three hours before work to keep on track with their training schedule for a podcast. It's spending every free minute recording interviewing and mixing to feed a hungry fan base and maintain our scrooge mcduck style switchable money vaults living fulltime is making time to pursue what you love and lifeproof. If proof keeps you creating with cases that protect one of your most valuable tools your phone whether it's their agile next case they're streamlined slam case or or they're waterproof free case lifeproof cases. Let you do what you do without hesitation. One thing i do a lot dropped my phone repeatedly everywhere. I go the office. The butcher pete sampras has exquisite summer home everywhere. Having lifeproof case is a necessity for me. I've got the slam case. It saves me from myself. I love it. I have it everywhere i go. It is the best and best of all. I feel that my phone is in good hands and safe with it much better than the phones actual owner me to start living fulltime go to lifeproof dot com slash slash sports wars and save fifteen percent on your life proof case texas and texas. Am don't play anymore now that they're not in the same conference whereas west virginia pitt have rescheduled and gotten their rivalry going b._y._u. In utah they they're not in the same conference anymore. They schedule each other. If for some reason texas and oklahoma ended up in different conferences. Do you think the rivalry is important horton enough and that perhaps the schools get a long enough that they'd find a way to schedule each other or do you think he could potentially go the way of texas texas a._m. And they better find a way to schedule each other. I'll tell you that much. I'll meet with bova dis myself and we'll sit down in a boardroom. You have to schedule each other. That game is one of the perennial games in college football you have l._s._u. O._s._u. bama ohio state michigan florida georgia army navy u._c._l._a. kinda sword but u._c._l._a. Villa been so bad of lately. It doesn't really matter and u._s._c. hasn't been great either. The you got to find a way to schedule each other college football college football because of rivalries college football football is college football because of passion because a fan bases texas am have both done themselves a disservice by not playing each other. If for some reason texas and oklahoma switzer were in separate conferences. I wouldn't even wanna watch college football that year at least not big twelve football it would just bestow much more meaningless because of their obviously huge histories oklahoma and texas and the history of the rivalry game itself. Who do you thing winning. It means more to you know whereas they're more baggage. You know what where is it more. Important is is it oklahoma fans because they view texas says sort of front. Runners is a not accomplishing as much as the reputation without them believe or is it texas insane. We want to put down this team who has been so excellent. Who does it mean more to. You'll say this is a cop out answer but equal it means the same equal. I would be a complete and utter disrespect to sooner fans to say that the gaming's more longhorn fans and i know longhorn fans first and foremost so i know for a fact it doesn't mean more to sooner fans so i have to genuinely say a it means an insane amount to both texas fans are completely dejected after a loss and they are ecstatic after a win. It's just the kind of game that everybody cares both programs care. This isn't a game that people take for granted. It means most it means the most to both when when you arrived on campus in austin. How much did you look at the history of the rivalry. Is it a situation where you almost don't don't wanna know because of all the baggage that now brings into your head. Do you know you know. Have you done a deep dive into the history of the rivalry or is it. Is it better to have that sort of fresh start. I'll tell you this when you step on campus. You know exactly who won or lost that year sharp because if you lost the previous year then you will be reminded by your coaches because you're coach's job security. It rests upon that game so i as a player you don't go back and look at what happened two decades prior that doesn't matter you know you know of the big plays that happened in the game because you want to be the type of player that makes a big play in the game. You want to be the type of player who when they're showing inc on college game day sometime in early october and they're showing the highlights of the history of the game you want one of your highlights to be there and that is what you know. You don't know the history as much. You don't know what happened back in the seventies but boy. Do you know you wanna make history. I know you've played all four for years. Did you plan all four games. Did you miss any because of injury or anything. No played in all four games went to win two one the first to the second too when you think back back to those experiences do you. I remember the plays you made or the tackles you missed or the opportunities that were squandered. Oh okay and haven't reminisced about this in quite some time. <hes> when i think back to my experience the first thing i remember is as a freshman i jog out the tunnel and oh you fan looks to me and and says and i'm thinking to myself. I very well may suck but you have no idea if i do or if i don't so so that's the first thing i remember. The second thing i remember is my junior year having seventeen tackles four and a half t.f a._f._l.'s a sack a forced fumble in that game meeting in i._v. At halftime because i literally couldn't get off the field at half time i had to go into the locker room before half because i was cramping and couldn't open up my hands all the way i remember my senior year being down. Maybe thirty five to seven it have been down down by four so touchdowns in the fourth quarter my my defensive coordinator now the head coach at university of miami. Manny diaz essentially asked me like hey do. You wanna keep playing. We got a lot to play for clearly. We're going to lose this game. Do you want to keep playing and i said yes because if this texas so you and i wasn't going to tap out early. I knew i was gonna lose but even in losing i was gonna leave it all out there on the field. Have you attended a game as an alumnus this man i haven't i haven't been to the game. I was always playing in the n._f._l. In straight from the n._f._l. To e._s._p._n. So i have yet to enjoy that atmosphere. Is that something you want to do. Oh for sure the second. I get a chance to go to texas so you better believe i'm going to be there on the sideline yelling at somebody. I'm going to be there. Maybe not cussing out some. Oh you player but you go. You'll hear me you you hear me on the sideline. I promise you that what was the experience like. It's such a unique experience in that. You're playing a state fair here playing in the cotton bowl. It's an old stadium. You're you're playing in the middle of a giant city. Is there something that sticks out to you about that experience. You mentioned you know needing an and i._v. At halftime it being so hot and you playing so much but what what is the difference in playing on a fairground. It's fine especially. There's a college kid playing on the fair after you win you already got your siblings are waiting for you with the funnel cake in turkey leg and maybe a fried oreo joe is fine. It's so it's fine. That's the only real way to describe it literally after you win. You're in your your your texas nor nor oklahoma sweats. You're walking with your arms around your parents and your siblings. You're eating food drink and drinks and you're just ah it's the epitome of college football playing that game on the state fair. It's truly the epitome. It is the highlight it is mountain top. It is the peak of college football now that you have sort of ten thousand foot view and you've seen more rivalries either covering them from afar for t._v. Or going to the games. What what have you learned about rivalries elsewhere. It's hard to match the intensity of texas. Oh you okay. I'll say that much as i see some of the other rivalries you know sometimes i'm like yeah. I don't even care all that much. John care enough <hes> again. Some definitely do match that florida georgia rivalry boy. That's a rivalry fori that ohio state michigan rivalry. That's up there. I'm l._s._u. Alabama that that's one of the top if not the top rivalries but it makes me realize oh you texas it's right there in the mix is the best rivalry in football and maybe the best of all time do do you know of any moments that still haunt texas or oklahoma fans you know of the past whatever ten fifteen twenty five years what moment stick out that you think are going to be sort sort of indelible when people think about the rivalry man i the only highlight huge moments i definitely remember is they have sam sam bradford who was coming off winning the heisman i believe and he fractured his collarbone. Aaron williams safety for the safety for texas cornerback at the time comes on a cornerback blitz hit sam bradford and i believe fractured his collarbone and bradford ends up missing a lot of time which is what leads to the emergence of landry jones. I'm ensure that probably sticks in their minds because if not for you know bradford getting hurt. Maybe they win that game. Maybe they go on to a championship game later later in the year for texas when texas one forty five thirty five texas winning that game and i it's been a while while so it may be the same game but jordan shipley returns a kickoff for a touchdown texas winds forty five thirty five and that leads texas to go on and play in a national championship a <hes> three months later. I think that is iconic for texas in the last decade when fans recognize you texas fans recognize you what what do they bring up more than anything else is. It oklahoma is it. Another game is at another situation when they recognize recognize me personally. It's primarily a thanks for what you stood four and thanks for all you did at texas okay if not so specific. Nick is oklahoma but it's more so a hey we recognize that you went to battle every year for the longhorns in the burnt orange orange for those four years and thank you for that it's it's the players who will ask. What was your record against. Oh you the fans. It's a general broad awed expression of gratitude. If emmanuel acho is sixteen years old and lincoln riley shows up at your house your family's house having having accomplished what he's accomplished and you don't have the loyalty necessarily to texas. Do you think you would be more likely in twenty nineteen to hear him out now man in how dallas dude i'm from dallas man. I'm a texas kid. I'm texas through and through lincoln riley phenomenal. The oklahoma football program is phenomenal in your boy is a dallas texas kid and if it's all as texas for me weather five and seven whether eleven or fourteen in no is is just it's texas for me man emmanuel wacho. Thank you very much for your time and insight thank you my friend. It's a pleasure those are my conversations ends with andy staples checkout his work on the athletic and siriusxm and emmanuel show check out his work on e._s._p._n. 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