I’m going to deviate from our normal fare here and offer some from the sports world. If you are only interested in reading about Faulkner and his obsession with Southern landscapes (I happen to share your interests by the way) look away now.
So apparently, the Historians at the University of Texas have been busy, or maybe not. It appears over the weekend that the Treaty of Versailles Agreement to keep the Big 12 Athletic Conference was reached between the remaining 10 schools. Texas was rumored to be off to the Pac 10, along with the already defecting Colorado, and Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Texas A & M was reportedly headed to the uncontested strong-man of college football the SEC, while Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri and Baylor were left to try and find friendships elsewhere — maybe the Mountain West Conference. Lets be clear — this was all about money!
In what appears to be a D*^k move effective negotiating, Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma agreed to return to the Big 12 in exchange for a larger piece of the financial pie than all the others. Specifically, the three schools will receive $20 Million a piece annually in the projected new television deal, while the rest of the schools will receive only $15 Million a piece. Moreover, Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma coerced got the rest of the schools to agree to forfeit their shares of the penalty money that Nebraska and Colorado would have to pay for leaving the Big 12. In another stunner, the Universities agreed that the coaches wives at Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor all would officially slap their husbands while singing the Eyes of Texas are Upon You, every year when the school played Texas.
Two observations. First, Is this good bargaining or just a bad idea for business relations? It strikes me that history tells us that it is never a good idea to gloat in victory at the expense of others. See e.g., France and Germany, circa 1918, George W. Bush “Mission Accomplished;” Ivan Drago defeating Apollo Creed in the Ring and then believing that he could as easily beat the Italian Stallion Rocky Balboa, etc…It seems that this marriage is destined to end, and if Karma has anything to say about it, watch out Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma — your day is a coming.
Second, how diminished must Oklahoma State and Texas Tech feel. Its one thing to be the ones that were always on the outside looking in. But to now be forever linked to Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma, without any more benefits than the others must be humiliating. Nice show fellows.