Darrell Royal

Playoff advice and last words

The headline today may be deceiving, because in reality, I’m not giving you all that much advice. Sure I’ll point out a few guys I like down the stretch but at this point it’s up to you.

If you’re still reading these weekly articles, you’re either in your fantasy playoffs or you’re related to me (h/t to family). The fact is, if you’re in the former group, you probably don’t need my help any longer. Hopefully I’ve helped here and there with some good start/sit material. And maybe even more than that, I just hope I’ve kept the bad calls to a minimum (sorry about recommending Kirk Cousins and Jake Locker…ugh).

But for today, I want to summarize everything up in this one sentiment--“Dance with the one who brung ya.” Darrell Royal popularized the phrase when spending some time here on the 40 Acres. The meaning is simple; stick to your guns. Don’t get tricky if there’s no need to be. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The fantasy playoffs are here and I hope and pray you stick to this simple mindset. You managed your team all year long. Not me, not ESPN, not your wife, but you. The key to setting your fantasy lineup in these vital weeks is just playing your studs. Don’t get cute. You have a feel for your lineup at this point…who’s a must start, who you’re comfortable with, and who makes you queasy.

Quite possibly the worst feeling in fantasy is taking a chance and starting a guy over one of your typical starters…only to see them sputter on their way to two receptions for eight yards. It’s always better to lose with someone you love than to watch your studs going off on your bench. So before I make a few recommendations, please keep this in mind--dance with the one who brung ya.

QB

·      Tony Romo- Yes I absolutely loved him last week and yes he absolutely fell on his face. 199 yards and two interceptions against a bottom-five pass defense is horrific. And yet here I am, showing some love to the Dallas QB again. His fantasy schedule is just way too good to pass up, even accounting for his Thanksgiving dud.  In the next four weeks, Romo faces four of the 10 worst passing defenses on the year, and three of those games are against bottom-five defenses. Yes, he may come back to bite you, but you have to roll with those matchups and hope he turns things around.

RB

·      Mark Ingram- The Saints running back continues to dominate the touches out of a typically split-up backfield, and he’s making the best of them. He’s had at least 90 total yards in five of his last six games and is averaging more than 20 carries per contest. Ingram has a great matchup against a depleted Panthers defense this upcoming week, and then has a tasty back to back in weeks 16 and 17 when he plays the Falcons and Bucs. Keep starting the Saints workhorse back and reap the benefits as he dominates the touches.

WR

·      Doug Baldwin- Hopefully if you’re in the playoffs, your lineup is full of no-doubt starters. But if it isn’t, and you find yourself looking for a WR2 or a flex, take a look at Doug Baldwin. Yes, he hasn’t produced quite like some thought he might after the Seahawks traded away Percy Harvin but he’s still the top receiving option in a good offense. On the year, Baldwin has been targeted 70 times, or 17 more than the second most targeted receiver, Jermaine Kearse. He also has 19 more receptions, so he’s converting those targets at a much higher rate than Kearse. In order for the Seahawks to have playoff success, I think they must start getting Russell Wilson into playoff form. This means less running and more time for the Wisconsin product to gel with his receiving core. In the final four weeks of the season, Baldwin faces three secondaries in the bottom 15 in fantasy pass defense. If you’re looking for that flex to fill out your playoff lineup, Baldwin might be your guy.

Short and sweet this week. Playoff time means it’s your job to manage your team. You did something right, or else you wouldn’t be sitting in a playoff spot in week 14. As Darrell Royal would tell you, “Dance with the one who brung ya.” Ride the boat you built and pray it’s still afloat after the dust settles. As always, feel free to email me with any start/sit questions, or waiver wisdom you may need at FantasyDecisions@gmail.com

This is the last week for new material here at the Daily Texan before heading off to Christmas break, and I must say I’m sad to see the column coming to an end. I can’t begin to explain how exciting it’s been writing these articles every week. Getting the chance to talk fantasy football via a medium like this has been a huge blessing for me both as a journalism student and fantasy writer. Thank you to each of you who took the time to read each and every week. Follow me @BradleyMaddox5 for all things sports.

And who knows, maybe you’ll see me back around these parts next season…

As a Texas Ex, I have read and listened to everyone from the sportscasters to the bloggers to my laundryman expound on how far the Longhorns have fallen this year, how Tyrone Swoops doesn’t have the goods, etc., and I am tired of fair-weather fans dumping on Coach Strong and the team.  

I was there when we won the ‘69 National Championship, and I was at the Rose Bowl in 2004 to see Vince Young pull out a victory over Michigan. (I tried to get tickets for the 2005 game, but we all know that regular folk can’t afford tickets to those things. However, I did buy the DVD.)

I am at a point in my life, both physically and financially, where I can’t afford to get to the games anymore, but I’m fed up with people, especially local fans, who can’t stop griping about my dear Longhorns’ fall from grace and don’t show up for the games.

When I was in Austin, I never missed a home game if I could get a ticket. I remember the crap we took if A&M or Oklahoma beat us, even if we had a winning season. Granted, Mack Brown is no Darrell Royal, but he never was. He rode to the championship on the gifted back of Vince Young and company and made it to bowl games with Colt McCoy despite his poor coaching.

The bottom line is, GET OFF COACH STRONG’S BACK! I think he’s doing a hell of a job cleaning up the program and needs the support of the Longhorn fans and alumni to do it properly. I am embarrassed by the poor showing of fans at the games. Each week, I get out my pom-poms, light up my neon Longhorn and watch the games when they are broadcast in my area. (The only ones so far that have not been scheduled to be shown are on The Longhorn Network. Don’t get me started on that, because that is a whole different rant for another time!)

I watched on Saturday as our Longhorns made a valiant effort on the field. Although the scoreboard did not show it, our coach and our young men should be proud of their performance against a ranked Sooner team: They never faltered and they never quit. They made me proud to be a Texas Longhorn fan. I believe I will continue to see improvement throughout this season and into 2015 as, in my living room, I enthusiastically shout “Hook ‘Em Horns!”

— Suzanne Barnert, psychology alumna, from Chandler, Arizona

Photo Credit: Albert Lee | Daily Texan Staff

It is rarely quiet for Nicole Thompson Beavers, but she savors silence in her office when she can. Leaning back in her chair, she calmly gazed into the coffee between her hands. Sighing, she raised the cup to her — “BLAM!”

Then she set the cup down on the — “BLAM!”

Swiveling to her computer, Thompson Beavers, a graduate program coordinator, pushed the disturbance from the weight room above her office out of her consciousness, a practice that took weeks to master.

The repetitious pounding continued above in the Bellmont weight room facility in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, where UT students and faculty are permitted to exercise in a historic environment.

Fifty years ago, Bellmont contained the training facility for the Longhorn football team. But if Thompson Beavers taught all those decades ago, she would never have had an issue with the thuds of heavy iron. Before the 1970s, lifting in football was discouraged — even banned. Now, most colleges have a strength and conditioning program with facilities built specifically to advance players’ strength.


Illustration by Albert Lee / Daily Texan Staff

Part of the history behind that idea lies roughly 100 yards north of the Bellmont facility in the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, built in 2008 by directors Terry and Jan Todd. At the start of the 2013 football season, Terry Todd felt he had to do something to honor the 50th anniversary of the 1963 championship team and coach Darrell Royal, who died Nov. 7, 2012.

Todd designated a section of the exhibit hall for a large banner of the ’63 team photo to drape down in the main hall and for pictures and items from the life of Royal to be arranged on the walls nearest to the entrance.

While a tribute to a former football coach doesn’t raise any questions, Todd — a UT tennis player in the late ‘50s — knows weight training was looked down upon at Texas until Royal changed that perception.

“It had a terrible reputation that it would stiffen you and slow you down,” Todd said.

Todd tested the theory during the summer after his senior year of high school. 

“I played tennis and never did calisthenics or any other exercise, so my right arm was like a crawfish that lost one of its claws and it was just half-grown back,” Todd said. “I did curls, presses and stuff, and I could feel that it was working.”

Todd gained 30 pounds that summer and continued training during his college career, setting him at odds with head coach Wilmer Allison — the co-namesake of the Penick-Allison Tennis Center, where the Longhorns currently play. At one point, Allison threatened to reduce Todd’s scholarship to a half-scholarship.

Todd quit the team his junior year, focusing on a weight lifting course instead. 

Strengthening to 270 pounds in 1960, Todd gained a reputation as the strong man on campus and word of his strength even reached Royal.

Royal’s 1960 team finished at 7-3-1 and in early 1961, Todd was unexpectedly called to Royal’s office.

Royal explained that he had heard of Todd from a few of his players and knew of his dispute with coach Wilmer. 

But then Royal asked a question that he wanted to keep quiet at the time.

Todd recalled Royal saying, “I want to know more about it because I keep hearing a few other schools are starting to do it. So explain this to me: Why do people believe that [weight lifting is] bad for you?”

Royal grew up in a time where it was believed weight lifting was detrimental and could make you so tight you would be unable to brush your teeth. 

But Todd explained how weight training helped him in his athletic career and cited how LSU had implemented a weight training program and won the national championship in 1958.

But according to Todd, Royal could not  start a similar program at UT because head trainer Frank Medina would never allow it. Royal couldn’t force the issue either, if he insisted the players lift and injuries resulted or they had a poor season, Royal could lose his job.

Texas won three national championships in the ’60s, but despite the success, Royal’s fear kept the Longhorns from heavy training until the 1970s.

“The only weights that [Medina] ever had us using was when we’d hold them in our hands and do sit-ups and stuff like that,” said Leslie Derrick Jr., a member of the 1963 national championship team. “I don’t know if coach Royal was really excited about [weight lifting] or anything … I don’t think Diron Talbert ever worked out with a weight in his life.”

Photo by Jonathan Garza / Daily Texan Staff
Although the Bellmont weight facility has been updated since housing the Longhorn football team, its faded floors and walls provide a museum-like look at years past. In the 1960s, the space had much less equipment than it holds today. Photo by Jonathan Garza / Daily Texan Staff

Talbert, a 6-foot-5-inch defensive lineman at Texas from ’63-’66, played in the NFL for 14 seasons. Before he left Texas, the coaches set him up to meet with Todd, who had established himself as a national champion lifter, to test Talbert’s strength. The coaching staff realized for sustained success after college, Talbert would have to “put a little meat” on his bones, according to Todd. 

Todd wanted to first test him in the bench press and placed 135 pounds on the bar. Talbert only pressed two reps.

“I thought, ‘My goodness,’” Todd said. “He must just be such a gifted player, so agile and quick and so aggressive. How could you be that weak and be able to be really dominant on the line?”

Heavy weight training was not fully integrated into football weight rooms around the country until the ’70s, reaching a new generation of athletes such as former UT strength and conditioning coach and president of the College Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, Jeff Madden.

Madden grew up in Cleveland, Ohio during the ’70s, when athletes were beginning to eliminate the weight lifting barriers of fear in sports.

“We had to break that phobia in my household, first of all, so that I could start training,” Madden said. 

Throughout his 30 years of coaching, Madden helped lead strength and conditioning into the modern era. He’s watched as football players have grown substantially as the years have progressed. The weight listings of Texas players tell this story.

On the 1963 Longhorns football team, the average weight of a defensive and offensive lineman was 208 pounds. On the 2013 team, 296 pounds.

“You’ve got to be bigger, faster and stronger because everybody else is bigger, faster and stronger,” Madden said. 

Photo courtesy of Texas Athletics
Weight room facilities have increased in size and supply in the recent years. New workouts have also developed such as tire lifting, where an athlete flips a tire from one end of the floor to the other. Photo courtesy of Texas Athletics

Recently graduated defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said Talbert’s example of the past makes the difference clear.

“That’s the difference, we lift weights a lot more and lift a heavier weight style,” Jeffcoat said. “Like me, I had two [pectoral] injuries and I was still able to lift a bench 18 times. When my dad came out [in 1983], he benched 225 pounds 18 times.”

Typical lifting workouts for Jeffcoat consisted of either bench press or incline bench press, alternating with dumbbell bench or leg workouts like squats. Other days, there are “power” lifting workouts for the lower body such as leg cleans, where a standing Jeffcoat would lift a weighted barbell off the ground.

None of these workouts were a part of football training 50 years ago. But Jeffcoat said he understands the fears coach Royal and others had about losing flexibility.

“Shoot, I see where [Royal’s] coming from because I know some guys that lift so much but they don’t stretch, and that’s why they get so tight,” Jeffcoat said. “But if you’re stretching and you’re lifting, you’re going to be able to do all your normal functional things.”

Although there has been innovation in weight training, new problems have surfaced. Both Madden and Jeffcoat said athletes have to be careful not to over train muscles; too much focus designated on a specific muscle could result in physical stress and injury. As Jeffcoat enters the NFL Draft, he progresses into the future of football and weight lifting and said he does not know what changes to expect.

“Who knows?” Jeffcoat said. “Fifty years from now I might look back and see that they’re doing something different and making people bigger but there’s not many injuries … But every year you see they come out with something new, so who knows what they’ll come up with next.”

Much has changed since a Pro Bowl defensive lineman could only bench 135 pounds twice. And as innovations continue, strength and conditioning coaches, football players and coordinator Thompson Beavers, will have to adapt.

Since the age of 12, Louis Murillo has been a fan and worked for UT athletics. Now at 83, Murillo vividly recalls his personal relationship to players and coaches such as Darrell Royal and Mack Brown. Murillo can be found at any home baseball game at his favorite spot by the dugout.  

Photo Credit: Sam Ortega | Daily Texan Staff

Eighty-three-year-old Louis Murillo said he would never sell his home — not even for a million dollars. That’s because almost everything inside Murillo’s small, East Austin home is a remnant of a long, fruitful relationship with UT Athletics.

Every piece of clothing in view has a hint of the signature burnt orange on it. Portraits of star running back Earl Campbell and legendary football coach Darrell Royal populate the walls. In one photo, Murillo is smiling with Royal. In another, he has one arm around singer George Strait and the other around Willie Nelson. The final photo he shows depicts a smiling Gov. Rick Perry alongside Murillo.

“I’ve never voted for him, but he’s a nice man,” Murillo said.

Murillo has been attending UT games since 1953. In that time, he’s gone from an enthusiastic fan to Royal’s personal driver. Among his relics from the days is a letter written by former football coach Mack Brown. 

“You’re a good man and we all appreciate you,” the letter said. “We’ll see you at practice soon.”

Murillo is currently employed as, and was initially offered a job as, a ticket “gopher” on the stadium grounds because he was a friendly face that was always around.

“The coaches would say, ‘Hey Louis — go for this,’ or, ‘Hey Louis, go for that,’ so they just called me a gopher,” Murillo said.

But, long before it was his job, Murillo lived and breathed Texas sports.

Murillo was born in Austin in 1931. After fourth grade, he dropped out of school to begin working when he was 12. The Thompson family, who owned a 7-Eleven in the East side of Austin, offered Murillo a job selling groceries. 

“They were great people,” Murillo said. “I owe them a lot.” 

When the Thompsons sent Murillo to the UT stadium grounds to sell sodas, he heard stories of the great UT quarterback Bobby Layne, whose accomplishments of the late ’40s and early ’50s drew the attention of millions, including Murillo.

In 1950, Murillo took a break from the Longhorns when he was drafted into the U.S. Army and deployed in Korea as a mechanic. 

Sitting at his kitchen table, Murillo emptied a leather pouch into his hands, and several Army medals fell out onto his hands. He vividly remembers the moment he was told he was going home after 16 1/2 grueling months on the front lines.

“As a grown man, I cried,” Murillo said. “I did not want to go back [to Korea].” 

When Murillo returned from Korea, he returned to his job at 7-Eleven. He began going to the football games as a spectator, not just to sell sodas. Over the years he became a familiar face at the stadium, and he built a rapport with the coaching staff. Al Lundstedt, the athletics department business manager, offered Murillo a job running tickets from the coaches to the ticket booths. Murillo soon became close friends with many Texas coaches, especially Royal. When Royal stopped coaching in 1976 but remained Texas’ athletic director, Murillo became his personal driver and friend. He goes so far as to call himself Royal’s “illegitimate son.”

“Ah, coach — we were so close,” Murillo said. “I think that, next to his wife, I was his closest friend. We’d always go everywhere. We’d go golfing together. We’d go eat Mexican food together. We’d go everywhere. Two birds of a feather got to stick together.”

Now, Murillo guards the dugouts at UT baseball games and guards the tunnel at the football games. He’s always standing close to the action, talking with the players and coaches, putting in his 2 cents and remaining the same friendly face that showed up at Texas games 61 years ago. 

Murillo suffered a stroke the day before Christmas that left the left side of his body paralyzed, but that didn’t stop him from being at the season opener against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He attributed his speedy recovery to an active youth, when he boxed against future Olympians such as Lefty Barrera.

“I’m 83 years old,” Murillo said. “If you take good care of yourself, you’ll be fine. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t chase bad women, I chase good women. I’m just fine.”

These days, Murillo can be found at any Texas home game by the dugout, talking with the players and cheering on the team that has meant so much to him over the years. And, just like with his precious home in East Austin, he doesn’t think he’s going anywhere any time soon.  

Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s Note: This article about DeLoss Dodds orginally ran in the Aug. 22, 1981 issue of The Daily Texan. 

The naming of Kansas State’s DeLoss Dodds as the University’s men’s athletic director ended months of speculation as to who would replace Bill Ellington, who had told the UT Athletics Council in May that he planned to retire. 

Dodds’ appointment Aug. 14 was a surprise to many because the University named someone from outside the “Longhorn family.” 

After Ellington announced a Sept. 1 retirement date, the majority of speculation centered around assistant athletic director T. Jones, who was considered next in line for the job. 

But as the summer progressed, no word had emerged from the Athletics Council concerning Ellington’s replacement.  

In the end, the council narrowed the field to three candidates: Dodds, Jones and Phil George, the athletic director at Angelo State and a former University basketball player. 

With all the politics surrounding the University and some of its past athletic appointments, such as Fred Akers’ appointment as head football coach in 1977, it is little wonder that suspicions were aroused after the surprise announcement of Dodds. 

The disappearance of giants such as former Gov. Allan Shivers, former UT Regent Frank Erwin and former University head football coach Darrell Royal from the spotlight apparently left the decision up to the Athletics Council committee appointed by President Flawn. 

“There was no outside pressure,” council chairman Tom Morgan said. “Of course, we received a lot of letters of recommendation, but that’s normal for an important position like this. I don’t hesitate to say that there was zero outside interference,” he said. 

When long-time Royal assistant Mike Campbell was passed over in favor of Akers for the head coaching position in 1977, some insiders said the council was influenced by Erwin to name an outsider. With Dodds’ appointment, speculation grew that the council was influenced to pick him. 

“There’s no relationship at all,” Morgan said. “It’s just that what people expected didn’t happen, so it looks like controversy.” 

Many people said when Jones was selected by Ellington to be his assistant in 1980, it would be just a matter of time until he was promoted to athletic director. 

But last Friday, Jones denied speculation that he had been promised the job. 

“I had no agreement with Coach Ellington,” Jones said. “The only thing he did tell me when I was hired was that when he retired I would be considered as a candidate, and that’s all I can ask for.” 

Despite reports that Jones was not a top contender for the opening, Morgan and other council members insisted he was. 

“I don’t know where they got that T. didn’t have any support,” said council member Wally Scott Jr. “But that’s just not true. T. was considered right until the last, and I certainly hope he stays with the University because he is an excellent man to have.” 

While Morgan thought it was foolish to think anyone could be promised such an important job, he also said, “It is foolish to say that as the person second in line, Jones was not a candidate for the job.” 

Morgan said Jones was considered a prime candidate but that Dodds’ superior athletic background gave him the edge. 

Morgan added that the council felt no internal pressure to select someone from within the University.

“We did some research,” Morgan said, “and we found no precedent to support that line of thinking. For example, only one football coach got his degree at UT, and only one AD got his from UT. In fact, two of the most successful athletic directors Texas ever had — Dana Bible and Darrell Royal — came from outside the conference. It’s natural to think we should hire someone here, but the evidence doesn’t support it.” 

With all the speculation of the behind-the-scenes activities involved in the selection of the University’s men’s athletic director, the most overlooked fact may be Dodds’ qualifications. 

Dodds, who received recommendations from many highly respected football authorities — including Dallas Cowboys personnel director Gil Brandt, Southwest Conference commissioner Cliff Speegle, Big Eight commissioner Carl James and CFA executive director Charles Neinas — has made a national reputation for himself with his work at Kansas State. 

This weekend marked the opening of an exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1963 national championship football team, the first national championship won by Coach Darrell K Royal.

The exhibit, hosted by the H. J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, focuses on the 1963 football season and the life and career of the man after whom UT’s football stadium is named. In his time as coach, Royal led the team to three national championships and never had a losing season.

Terry Todd, director of the Stark Center and co-host of the exhibit, said he was inspired to create the exhibit after Royal’s death in November of 2012. Todd said he and Royal have a long history together.

“I started here in 1956, and he came here in the fall of 1956. We kinda grew up together here,” Todd said. “I came back in 1983 … and went to talk to him about … a place where materials related to athletes [and] former athletes could be kept and be saved.”

The exhibit, which features letters, pictures and other mementos from Royal’s life, relied heavily on contributions from Edith Royal, Darrell’s wife. The opening event featured “DKR: The Royal Scrapbook,” compiled by Edith Royal and Jenna Hays McEachren, a close family friend of the Royals. McEachren said the scrapbook focused on more than Royal’s life inside the stadium.

“This is not just a book about Coach Royal’s football success,” McEachern said. “It’s about his life with Edith and his family, and of course his unparalleled football success. I wanted people to know the man this stadium was named after.” 

McEachren said she believes the exhibit effectively captured Royal’s spirit, and said she especially loves the “Wall of Royalisms” containing the coach’s famous one-liners. 

“You never lose a game if the opponent doesn’t score,” the wall reads.

Mack Royal, Coach Darrell Royal’s son, and his wife April Royal, were also both at the opening of the exhibit. Mack Royal contributed to the scrapbook by scanning photos of his family and some of those photos were also included in the exhibit. 

“He was always cheerful. He would get us up in the morning and say, ‘It’s a great day in the morning!’” Mack Royal said. “There’s a picture of my dad sitting at his desk [at UT] entitled 33, No Secretary, Broken Desk, and Loves His Job.’”

Todd said the most gratifying moment of his work on the exhibit was seeing the reactions of the members of the team of 1963 when they came to sign the 1963 national champion banner two weeks prior to the exhibit’s opening.

“That was very gratifying to see them, the ones there, and if they felt that the things we put up represented them well and that they represented the coach they admired so much to their satisfaction, that was all the thanks I needed,” Todd said. 

Jim Hudson, former Longhorn, dies

Jim Hudson, a former Longhorn quarterback and defensive back under former Texas head coach Darrell Royal, died of Traumatic Dementia Encephalophathy at the age of 70, a family friend told the Austin American-Statesman Tuesday night. 

Hudson was a member of the Longhorns 1963 national championship team and was a member of the New York Jets, as a safety, when they won Super Bowl III in January of 1969. He played for the Jets from 1965 to 1970. 

In 2012, Hudson was inducted in tho the University of Texas Men's Hall of Honor. 

Darrell Royal passed away this week from complications with cardiovascular disease. Texas will wear 'DKR' decals this week in honor of the late coach.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

There might not be a dry eye in the place as Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium turns into a living, breathing shrine Saturday in honor of the man who it’s named after.

Darrell Royal died Wednesday morning at age 88, succumbing to cardiovascular disease — and the brutal effects of Alzheimer’s — at an assisted living facility in Barton Creek.

Royal’s wife of 68 years, Edith, called Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds at 5:45 a.m. to let him know. Dodds was shaken by the suddenness of the news, but deep down wasn’t too surprised. Royal’s health had been quickly dwindling. When The New York Times inquired about writing a “canned” obituary for Royal in the summer of 2011, the Texas athletic department rebuffed the request. That day was still far away. But as Alzheimer’s continued to rob Royal of his memory and quick wit, those close to him realized the day was creeping closer and closer. Royal was moved to a a separate wing at Querencia at Barton Creek, where he could be given more assistance. When The Times called again this summer, the school went ahead and helped write the obituary.

Texas Media Relations sent out the email at 7:37 a.m., with “Darrell Royal passes away” as the subject line. At 11:15 a.m., on the fourth floor of the Main Building, University of Texas President William Powers Jr. amended what was supposed to be a Prop-1 press briefing with a word about his close friend.

“[Royal] was very smart,” Powers said. “He had a folksy way about him that camouflaged a very intelligent person. He was very kind and down to earth.”

At 3:00 p.m., over at the Moncrief Athletics Complex, right next to the stadium, Dodds held a makeshift press conference.

“Anywhere you look today, on this campus, you see his fingerprints,” Dodds said.

When it was over, the media ambled out to Royal’s statue in the southeast corner of the stadium. A handful of bouquets, a miniature tower and a large wreath had been laid at his bronzed feet. Visitors began showing up to pay tribute around lunchtime and kept coming until the stadium gates closed at 11 p.m.

Recognition of Royal’s life will continue through the week, with a public memorial Tuesday at the Frank Erwin Center. Saturday morning, however, will be the crescendo.

The Longhorns, set to play Iowa State, will wear ‘DKR’ decals on the side of their helmets. There will be a stirring video tribute flashing through Royal’s remarkable life and career. Three national titles, 11 conference championships, one losing season. The most wins in program history, 167. The integration of a football program. The idea that a student-athlete should be expected to graduate. Royal was a national figure, the friend of Presidents, and a lion in the college coaching ranks. And yet he’d still encourage students to swing by his office at Gregory Gym to say hello.

Texas Memorial Stadium fit 60,000 when Royal was hired to revive a crummy team in December of 1956. It now seats over 101,000. They will all serve as witnesses this weekend to Texas’ first football game without DKR in nearly 60 years. The spectacle of the Longhorns lining up in the wishbone formation — which Royal co-concocted in 1968 — on their first offensive series of the game ought to induce goose bumps.

Then, finally, they will stage the best possible celebration of Darrell Royal’s life. They will play football.

Printed on Friday, November 9, 2012 as: Royal remembered as one of Texas' best

From the Archives: 1963 Cotton Bowl

“Darrell, that was a beautiful game- and there’s no damn doubt who’s Number One…” The leathery old admiral shoved through the maze of sports writers to congratulate Texas Coach Darrell Royal.  The Navy had sunk, 28-6.

Wayne Hardin, the fleet field mentor who had blasted off like the big guns on the battleship Arizona, had fired his last shot just before kickoff.

“When the challenger meets the champion, and the challenger wins, then there is a new champion.”

These were convincing words- and had sailing been considerably better, Hardin might have been some kind of prophet.

That Other Side

But as Sonny Liston said to Floyd Patterson, there’s another side to the coin.  When the challenger meets the champion and the champion bursts the little bubble of the challenger, then there ain’t no new champ.

Or to put it in Darrell Royal’s words: “We’re ready…”

The story ironically ends where it began.  On the hard, sunny field at Dallas most people call the Cotton Bowl.  Navy has other names for it.

It was here that Roger Staubach met an inspired SMU team that matched him score for score- winning 32-28, and knocking Navy from the unbeaten ranks.  The next day a team from the South silenced other roars of confidence and became the nation’s top team.

No Doubt Now

Only Hardin and eastern sportswriters, who believe the rest of the football world exists only to provide slaughter lambs for their babies, had any doubt to Texas’s right to be there.  Truly it should be hard to doubt now.

For seven tension-filled weeks Texas clung to that position.  The Steers had been here twice in successive years- and each time went down.  This time there would be no falling.

The ire of the east might have been justified by a weak performance on national television against A&M, except that their pet, Navy, should by all rights have been beaten by Army.

But Texas was lambasted as “fraud,” “unable to pass,” and generally not what it was cracked up to be.

Staubach was shadowed

Roger Staubach, Navy’s great quarterback, was plainly shadowed by Duke Carlisle.  But the real victory came not in Carlisle’s usual great play, but in the same old thing that won for Texas all year.

Staubach, great as he might be, has considerable trouble scoring when he doesn’t have the football.  And he also has problems when he’s sitting on the barnacles of Navy blue and gold.  That latter of course, has also to do with Appleton, Brucks, McWilliams and their cohorts sanding on top of him.

As to the game itself, Navy jostled things just a little with an eight-man line.  That clogged up the middle and seemingly said to Carlisle, “Go ahead, you can’t throw.”  But he did.

Harris Scampered

And Phil Harris, the Duke’s chief receiver last spring in the intra-squad game, circled under the first toss, left a Navy defender searching for his bell-bottoms, and scampered away to touchdown.

The sheer shock was enough to upset even most Texas fans, but there it was, 58 yards in one long bomb that struck seamen amidships.

Navy still had hopes on making it another scoring battle when the Middies got the ball.  Staubach would show them.

But the vicious rush by Texas started a bad, bad afternoon for Jolly Roger. He gained eight yards, lost 55 and ended up -47.

And the Navy’s not famous for retreating.

Appleton was the main glory gainer- but the whole charging defense really killed Staubach.  Early in the game, however, one got the feeling Appleton was playing Staubach alone.  He would seemingly watch his every move, even in the huddle.  This should, to say the least, have been unnerving.

…Think I’ll Run

Somewhere along here the quarter ended, and Carlisle tried the other end of the field.  This time Harris took the ball off defender Pat Donnelly’s hand, saw Donnelly fall and looked around as if to say “I believe I’ll run with it…”  He did, and 63 yards later it was 14-0.  That includes two boots from Tony Crosby, who ended a perfect season at the PAT department.

By this time Navy was sinking slowly, but Carlisle added another tally on a nifty scamper on the option.  That made it 21-0, and as Navy marched upfield, TV announcers, trying to keep from losing their audience, heralded Staubach as “finding himself, and ready to really come back in the second half.”  He didn’t.

Fact was, Texas was giving up the short pass to keep from yielding the home run pass.

Wade warmed up

All this time, Royal had Tommy Wade, his star passer, warming up on the sidelines, just in case Navy let an aerial get away.

Rudely ruining the dreams of the nation’s television guys, Texas slowed Staubach’s comeback by taking the ball away from him, scoring again.

Finally Roger shoved his men across, but the try for two points failed.  Royal, now playing the fourth and fifth teams, let everybody have a chance.

Late in the final period, however, Navy started moving.

Enough nonsense, thought Texas, and in came the first team line.

The extent of the confidence was shown when Navy, having pushed deep into Texas territory, was caught offsides.

To accept the penalty would have made it first down and 15, a rejection made it second and five.  Texas declined, almost as if to say, “Okay Rog, make it if you can…” He couldn’t.

Texas took over, and shoved the ball to the six-inch line before time stopped the butchering.

Therefore it ended, just as it had started, Texas with the ball, cramming it down Navy’s throat.

Writers sing praises

Sportswriters across the nation sang the praises of the nation’s number one team.  There was no question now.

And Texas?  It was pretty calm about the whole thing.  Quiet contentment riled most of the players.  The thought seemed to be if anyone else questioned, let them come down here, too.  And there were no takers.

The Navy-the East- the world would have done well to heed the words of a St. Louis writer- penned two days after Navy’s first defeated.

“Who’s Number One?”

“It’s Texas, podner-and smile when you say that…”

Original date of publication: Jan. 5, 1964


“Darrell, that was a beautiful game- and there’s no damn doubt who’s Number One.” The leathery old admiral shoved through the maze of sports writers to congratulate Texas Coach Darrell Royal.  The Navy had sunk, 28-6. 
 

Wayne Hardin, the fleet field mentor who had blasted off like the big guns on the battleship Arizona, had fired his last shot just before kickoff. 

“When the challenger meets the champion and the challenger wins, then there is a new champion.”
 

These were convincing words- and had sailing been considerably better, Hardin might have been some kind of prophet.

That Other Side
But as Sonny Liston said to Floyd Patterson, there’s another side to the coin.  When the challenger meets the champion and the champion bursts the little bubble of the challenger, then there ain’t no new champ.

Or to put it in Darrell Royal’s words: “We’re ready.”
 

The story ironically ends where it began; on the hard, sunny field at Dallas most people call the Cotton Bowl.  Navy has other names for it. 

It was here that Roger Staubach met an inspired SMU team that matched him score for score- winning 32-28, and knocking Navy from the unbeaten ranks.  The next day a team from the South silenced other roars of confidence and became the nation’s top team.


No Doubt Now
Only Hardin and eastern sportswriters, who believe the rest of the football world exists only to provide slaughter lambs for their babies, had any doubt to Texas’s right to be there.  Truly it should be hard to doubt now.

 

For seven tension-filled weeks Texas clung to that position.  The Steers had been here twice in successive years- and each time went down.  This time there would be no falling. 

The ire of the east might have been justified by a weak performance on national television against A&M, except that their pet, Navy, should by all rights have been beaten by Army.

But Texas was lambasted as “fraud,” “unable to pass,” and generally not what it was cracked up to be. 


Staubach was shadowed
Roger Staubach, Navy’s great quarterback, was plainly shadowed by Duke Carlisle.  But the real victory came not in Carlisle’s usual great play, but in the same old thing that won for Texas all year.

 

Staubach, great as he might be, has considerable trouble scoring when he doesn’t have the football.  And he also has problems when he’s sitting on the barnacles of Navy blue and gold.  That latter of course, has also to do with Appleton, Brucks, McWilliams and their cohorts sanding on top of him.

As to the game itself, Navy jostled things just a little with an eight-man line.  That clogged up the middle and seemingly said to Carlisle, “Go ahead, you can’t throw.”  But he did.
 

Harris Scampered
And Phil Harris, the Duke’s chief receiver last spring in the intra-squad game, circled under the first toss, left a Navy defender searching for his bell-bottoms, and scampered away to touchdown. 

 

The sheer shock was enough to upset even most Texas fans, but there it was, 58 yards in one long bomb that struck seamen amidships. 

Navy still had hopes on making it another scoring battle when the Middies got the ball.  Staubach would show them. 
 

But the vicious rush by Texas started a bad, bad afternoon for Jolly Roger. He gained eight yards, lost 55 and ended up -47.

And the Navy’s not famous for retreating.
 

Appleton was the main glory gainer- but the whole charging defense really killed Staubach.  Early in the game, however, one got the feeling Appleton was playing Staubach alone.  He would seemingly watch his every move, even in the huddle.  This should, to say the least, have been unnerving.

I Think I’ll Run

Somewhere along here the quarter ended, and Carlisle tried the other end of the field.  This time Harris took the ball off defender Pat Donnelly’s hand, saw Donnelly fall and looked around as if to say “I believe I’ll run with it.”  He did, and 63 yards later it was 14-0. That includes two boots from Tony Crosby, who ended a perfect season at the PAT department.

By this time Navy was sinking slowly, but Carlisle added another tally on a nifty scamper on the option.  That made it 21-0, and as Navy marched upfield, TV announcers, trying to keep from losing their audience, heralded Staubach as “finding himself, and ready to really come back in the second half.”  He didn’t. 
 

Fact was, Texas was giving up the short pass to keep from yielding the home run pass.

Wade warmed up
All this time, Royal had Tommy Wade, his star passer, warming up on the sidelines, just in case Navy let an aerial get away.

Rudely ruining the dreams of the nation’s television guys, Texas slowed Staubach’s comeback by taking the ball away from him, scoring again.  Finally Roger shoved his men across, but the try for two points failed.  Royal, now playing the fourth and fifth teams, let everybody have a chance.

Late in the final period, however, Navy started moving. 
 

Enough nonsense, thought Texas, and in came the first team line. 

The extent of the confidence was shown when Navy, having pushed deep into Texas territory, was caught offsides.
 

To accept the penalty would have made it first down and 15, a rejection made it second and five.  Texas declined, almost as if to say, “Okay Rog, make it if you can.” He couldn’t.

Texas took over, and shoved the ball to the six-inch line before time stopped the butchering.
 

Therefore it ended, just as it had started, Texas with the ball, cramming it down Navy’s throat.

Writers sing praises Sportswriters across the nation sang the praises of the nation’s number one team.  There was no question now.

And Texas?  It was pretty calm about the whole thing.  Quiet contentment riled most of the players.  The thought seemed to be if anyone else questioned, let them come down here, too.  And there were no takers. 
 

The Navy, the East, the world would have done well to heed the words of a St. Louis writer - penned two days after Navy’s first defeated.

“Who’s Number One?”
 

“It’s Texas, podner and smile when you say that.”