AUSTIN, Texas -- Goodwill is at stake, and you think about the state of Texas as a whole. Revenue is at stake, and you think about the University of Texas specifically. Pride is at stake, and you think about Texas football.
I never think about the school first when times get tough. I never think about the administrators first when things go wrong. I don’t think first about the coaches. The fans don’t come first, either.
I think about the players.
Now is the time for the players to be selfish. If there is a lesson that can be learned loosely from Terrell Owens, it is one of his most famous quotes, “I love me some me.”
While he meant it differently than I would use for the current Texas Longhorns, it is time for the players on campus to worry about themselves.
There is nothing to be learned by diving into the mess. There is nothing that can stall a player’s development like needing to know all of the seedy details and inner workings of stuff above their pay grade.
Now is a time to focus. Now is a time to pour all of their frustration and anxiety into working on their craft.
Nothing heals wounds like success and winning. That will always come down to the commitment of the players. That is the commitment to their craft and their commitment to each other. That is really the only thing that matters.
I heard a high school coach tell his team one time, “When all else fails, stick to football.”
Football is the escape in the middle of turmoil. If players are hearing whispers on campus, they need to understand where they won’t hear the whispers is in the weight room.
If the conversation turns negative in the newspapers, the Internet and sports radio, there will be no noise in the film room.
Even if there were changes that took place within the program, nothing could sever the bond created when a band of brothers is working hard.
There will be no interruptions at the training table. There will be no negativity on the practice field. This is a time when the football field will be the safe haven for the players.
Haters, he said and she said, the media, sports radio and the keyboard gangsters on the Internet cannot matter to the players. The players have to commit to their personal greatness and get a little selfish.
Hard times come and go in any family, any business, any church and even on football teams and in athletic departments.
This is setting up to be an eventful offseason for the Texas football team. The Texas players will be best served to be selfish, attack their task and think about Aug. 31, 2013 and the New Mexico State Aggies when they roll into Austin.
Winning heals a lot of wounds, and Texas could have a few.
Nothing else matters.