The University of Texas, in conjunction with the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network – sometimes known as ESPN, sometimes known as “The Worldwide Leader in Sports,” sometimes known as “Is Chris Berman really showing video highlights of previous Chris Berman ESPN broadcasts?” – earlier this autumn launched the nation’s first cable channel devoted to a single school’s athletics, the Longhorn Network.
Alas, the number of people tuning into the Longhorn Network at any given time is roughly equivalent to the number of people purchasing Jay Mariotti’s Kindle ebook, “The System,” at any given time.
So, in an effort to shake the fledgling channel out of its ratings doldrums, Longhorn Network top brass – 16 senior vice presidents in charge of programming – recently announced its new fall lineup of shows:
Parks and Recreation: Behind-the-scenes drama about the most popular class for UT athletes.
Law and Order: Special NCAA Unit: Compliance officer keeps UT athletes eligible for bowl games.
Hook ‘em Around the Horn: Lively sports debate between two well-known Texas sportswriters and two Texas head of cattle.
Leave It to Bevo: The Longhorn mascot tries to trick an A&M Aggie into doing his school book report.
41 vs. 43: George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush pick a slate of NFL and NCAA games against each other in a somewhat fun-filled, somewhat presidential “Family Feud” cohosted by Jeb Bush and former First Dog Barney.
Dancing With the Rules: UT compliance officers pair up with NCAA investigators to see who can cha-cha their way out of probation.
So You Think You Can Dance Around NCAA Regs: “Dancing With the Rules” spinoff features UT compliance officers showing NCAA investigators a good time at local strip clubs.
Twenty-Two and a Half Men: Profiles of UT football’s offensive and defensive starters, plus kicker Justin Tucker.
Creationism: A Theory: Texas Gov. Rick Perry rides roughshod over evolution with a weekly lecture – on horseback – on how we came to be, in front of a live studio audience.
Car 54, You’re in My Spot: See what happens when a campus security cruiser parks in a space reserved for the UT starting tailback.
A.M. Texas With Mack Brown: Sidekick: Ross Perot.
P.M. Texas With Mack Brown: Sidekick: Willie Nelson.
Late Night Texas With Mack Brown: Sidekick: Gary Busey.
Real Housewives of Austin: UT football coaches get upset when their wives “lose contain” with their credit cards at the jewelry store.
2005: A BCS Odyssey: Acclaimed documentary on UT’s most recent national championship.
Just Say ‘Nay’ to Nebraska: Why the nation’s 37th state is utterly uninhabitable.
Oklahoma? Hell, No!: Why the nation’s 46th state is utterly uninhabitable.
The Other Locker Room: Mark David Chapman and John Hinckley, Jr. discuss the justice system based on their brushes with the law.
Meet the Zone Press: How the UT men’s basketball team will handle opposing full-court defenses.
Bevo and Butthead: In this hilarious animated series, the Longhorn mascot and the Texas A&M Aggie join forces to make prank phone calls, try to con their way into Hooters and wind up in a ZZ Top music video. And that’s just their first day together!
Paris, Texas (Ooh La La): Seventeen reasons why the Lamar County seat is a better place to live than its famous French namesake.
Hillbilly Handfishin’ (originally aired Aug. 28, 2011 on Animal Planet): The smash hit makes its Longhorn Network debut.
The Biggest Loser: The history of Texas A&M football.
Friday Nights Lights: Frat Party!: From the creators of “Friday Night Lights” and “Saved by the Bell: The College Years:” Coach Taylor brings Tim Riggins, Smash Williams and “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!” to the promised land of higher education.
World Series of Poker: Featuring – what else? – Texas hold ‘em!!!
Ask The Slouch
Q. I was watching the World Series of Poker Main Event the other night and noticed that you were not wearing a wedding ring. Did you lose your ring in a card game, or did you lose your wife because of the card game? (Kevin Ayers; League City, Texas)
A. If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all – both happened on the same night.
Q. Announcers are always telling us that “these teams just don’t like each other.” How would a football game differ if they did like each other? (Curtis Bare; Charlottesville, Va.)
A. It would be like a Tupperware party.
Q. By cutting all ties with Kris Humphries prior to an agreement on a new NBA labor contract, does Kim Kardashian lose all rights to any future compensation should she sign another NBA player? (Mark Demos; Cudahy, Wis.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
Q. If Mark Cuban is so intent on owning another professional franchise, why doesn’t he just buy an SEC football team? (Tim Sweeney; Mount Horeb, Wis.)
A. Pay this fella, too.