Thursday, June 28, 2007

SMU Notes, Travel Notes and more.

Hat tip to perunapower for linking to this website. The site lists the preseason conference rankings of all the college football magazines. The consensus is SMU finishes 3rd in the West, which likely makes SMU either 5th or 6th in Conference USA overall (though 3rd in the East last year finished 7th overall). Phil Steele is the outlier here, placing SMU in 4th. I need to go back and look at last year's magazine, but I think Phil Steele was as close, if not closer, to picking the right order than anybody else.

Rivals/Mustang Maniacs is reporting that Logan Turner is going to be the no. 2 quarterback after the defection of Corey Slater. Let's recap the career of Corey Slater, shall we? . . . OK, now that that is over, let's examine the wisdom of handing the backup quarterback position to a true freshman. I think it is nuts to do it; I think it is nuts to announce it. However, it is small potatoes; this team rests on Willis' shoulders and no one elses. If SMU has to rely on our backup for more than 2 games, the season is over anyway.

While this further shows the perpetual mismanagement of the quarterback position at SMU, this problem isn't unique to SMU. The difference is SMU doesn't have the margin for error that, say, Texas had last year with no experienced quarterbacks. One thing is for sure, no one should let this be an excuse for Bennett and company.

Personal travel note:

So, on Tuesday I fly down to Houston for a deposition. It wraps up early. I rush to the airport. I get a seat on the 2:30 Southwest flight from Houston Hobby to Dallas Love Field. I run over to Pappas Burger and scarfed down a cheeseburger and run to the gate. Flight is delayed until 3:30 because of mechanical problems.

Well, crap. Sit around and wait, make a few calls, read a magazine.

Finally, we board. The plane is full and the plane is hot as hell. "We just wheeled this plane out of the hanger; it is brand new. Since it wasn't on, the air conditioning wasn't running but it should start to cool down once we get in the air." I am sitting next to Leo. Leo is awesome. Leo is also 6'4" and easily 280. Leo could easily be mistaken for a NFL defensive tackle. Leo explains he works in "professional personal security." I figure out that means he is a body guard and owns a body guard company. Which makes sense; I am not going to try and go through Leo to get to somebody.

Then the pilot announces that Love Field is shut down and we aren't taking off for about an hour. We haven't left the gate so we could get off the plane if we wanted, but were told to stay close because we could leave any time and we would have to board quickly. Initially, I stayed on but realized I would regret not standing up. I went to the bar and had a beer, made some more calls.

After an hour, they announced the plane was leaving, but it wasn't going to Dallas, it was going to Midland. So I ran onto the plane and got my coat.

After another hour they cancelled the flight.

So Leo and I are in line to exchange our tickets for standby tickets. So I do what I do in these situations and go into "Mr. Wolfe" mode. My paralegal calls me Mr. Wolfe when I start quickly listing facts and listing and dismissing options before immediately announcing the problem and solution. Mr. Wolfe is Harvey Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction. "I am Mr. Wolfe; I solve problems."

Turns out the 2:00 was cancelled, too. So every Dal-Hou flight from 2:00 to 6:30 is delayed or cancelled. Flights about every half hour; every flight at least 2/3 if not completely full. They will not let a plane take off to Love until the airport is open, which it is not and the weather according to my wife sucks and will continue to suck for at least another hour. So every flight until 7:30 is cancelled or delayed, so that that is at least 8 full planes of people (assuming 2/3 full and a flight every half hour) delayed trying to get to Dallas. We are not leaving by plane today. And tomorrow, we have to deal with all these other people and the people that already have tickets on tomorrow's flights. I am betting we aren't in Dallas until noon.

I call a rent car place. They will rent me a car right now from Houston to Dallas, unlimited mileage for $108.00. With gas, assuming using a full tank at $3 a gallon (I don't know what car I am getting so I am being conservative) and taxes, that is $160. If I can split this 4 ways, that is $40 a person. Leo is in. Turn to two old guys in front of me and quickly they can't decide because they already have a hotel room. Then the lady on the phone says I have to get it there tonight by 11:30 (it is 6:45) or it will be another $40-$60. The old guys can't decide and I assure them we can get the rent car by 7 and make Houston in 4 hours; I drove Houston to Dallas every other week for 3 years and had a political job before law school where I drove up and down 45 all the time. Traffic will have dissipated by 6:30 PM; there is no construction north of Conroe; the weather is north of Centerville so no rain for the first half; we can make this easily. We will even prepay the gas so we don't have to stop before Then one of the old guys says, "I am in, but I can't drive. I have already had 4 beers." We left but not before giving the rental car number out to two others.

So me, Leo, John and drunk Charles race to the rental car counter. Get the keys to an Impala and after a bathroom break ("Go now, we aren't stopping.")are on the road by 7:08; on I-45 by 7:15. Check in with the wife every hour; she is freaking out that I am in a car with 3 guys I don't know. "Honey, with the exception of Leo, I can take these guys." "Who can take Leo?" "I don't know. Maybe DeMarcus Ware. But Leo had to go through airport security so he isn't armed; but of course, he could crush me with his thumbs."

We make great time; no rain until Fairfield. We got the Ranger game on the radio. We were doing so well, we almost stopped for dinner, but it clearly had just rained in Fairfield and there was lightning in the distance. We pressed on. Then the sky opened up and our speed dropped from 90-95 to 50. It was a monsoon all the way to Corsicana and rained the rest of the drive.

We rolled into Love Field and I dropped three guys off at their cars and returned the car. My paperwork says I picked the car up at 7:08 and returned it at 10:38. It is exactly 256 miles from Hobby to Love. As I waited for my receipt I realized everyone in front of me and behind me had done the same thing.

Did I do the right thing? I don't know, but I do know that according to Leo's Treo, the 8:30 flight to Love Field hadn't left at 9:30. I also know that as of 1 AM, according to SW's website, some flights did get out and get to Love.

Oh, and if you ever need professional personal security, I highly recommend Leo.

No comments: