Here’s one way to define chutzpah:
Leo Rosten in The Joys of Yiddish defines chutzpah as “gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible ‘guts,’ presumption plus arrogance such as no other word and no other language can do justice to.” In this sense, chutzpah expresses both strong disapproval and a grudging admiration. In the same work, Rosten also defined the term as “that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.”
Football in Texas is more than a passing interest, it is a part of the fabric of this great state.
- Will Texans stand by and watch hundred-year-old rivalries be cast aside as the state’s largest universities align themselves with other states across the country?
- Will Texans sit and watch as Texas’ flagship universities pledge their loyalties to other states?
- Will Texans stand by as our most promising student athletes are lured out of Texas by new rivals?
- Will Texans watch as our most precious resources—the great minds of the next generation—are exported to new conference institutions?
Seventeen years ago, Baylor had a chance to make a stand. The Southwest Conference was dissolving: what was once a nine-team league had dwindled to eight when Arkansas left for the SEC in 1991, leaving the conference’s long-term future was in doubt. Yet the remaining eight teams held on through 1992 and 1993, playing a seven-game conference slate and adding a fourth game outside of SWC play. The death knell came in March of 1994, when four teams accepted to join the Big Eight, soon to be the Big 12: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor.
That’s when Baylor should’ve made its stand, if Baylor truly means what it says when the university climbs upon its high horse in defense of the “integrity of college athletics.” Or when it warns the masses: “Don’t Mess With Texas Football.”
Baylor didn’t stand up for “Texas Football” then, nor for this unimpeachable “integrity,” as it left for higher ground, bigger deals and fatter paychecks in the Big 12. That move left four key members of “Texas Football” out in the cold: S.M.U., T.C.U., Rice and Houston.
Of course, what this farcical nonsense is really about is that Baylor, in surveying its options in the event the Big 12 crumbles, isn’t thrilled with the likelihood that it won’t wind up in a BCS conference once the music stops. If the school finds the right chair to sit in, rest assured that its noble concern about integrity will vanish like a fart in the wind.