Red River… What? Texas vs Oklahoma Game Gets Rebranded Again

Each year, the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma face off in one of the most exciting and long-lasting rivalries in college sports. No matter how good either team is performing each season, all bets are off when they face off in Dallas. Since their first meeting in 1900, the two teams have faced off 108 times, with Texas leading the Head To Head 60-43-5. Known to fans as the Red River Shootout, the name was changed to the Red River Rivalry in 2005 to avoid condoning gun violence. The next year, the official name became the AT&T Red River Rivalry. Now, in 2014, they’ve re-branded once more. If you’re looking for tickets this year, you’ll want to ask for tickets to the AT&T Red River Showdown.

2014 AT&T Red River ShowdownChanges in old tradition can oftentimes rub people the wrong way. Heck, even a new Facebook layout can set people off. So, we took to Twitter to find out what the fans thought of the re-brand. So, here’s a quick breakdown of what we found. Spoiler alert: Longhorns and Sooners will find any opportunity for a little smack talking.

Red River Shootout – Is, was and always will be

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people still plan to use this moniker and stick with old traditions. I’ll admit, I was raised in a Longhorn family and even Red River Rivalry sounded a bit off to me. The new name is just simply not going to catch for many fans.

@Scanachi @TexasEx10 I still call it “The Red River Shootout.” Oh yeah, it’s 5:50 & ou STILL sucks! \m/ #HookEm #GodBlessTexas

@dgmiles Red River Shootout, always. #boomer RT @OU_Football: OU-Texas now “AT&T Red River Showdown” – No matter what you call it, #beatTexas

@Gatrbarb @CollegeGameDay always the Red River Shootout and always the World’s Largest Cocktail Party…too much political correctness!

Red River Rivalry – Say that five times fast

When I started this research, I expected to see certain trends and this was definitely not one of them. For many, the change is welcomed, if for no other reason, it’s easier to say. I never really thought about it, but while the alliteration is fun, Red River Rivalry doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

@theUNLVBigGuy  Guns to tongue twister to blah MT @EricBaileyTW: OU-Texas goes from Red River Shootout to Red River Rivalry to Red River Showdown

@OKCJoseph Changed the name of the Red River Rivalry to the Red River Showdown. The alliteration was too hard for the two-toothed sɐxǝʇ fans to say.

Room for improvement  what’s next for the name?

Some people welcomed a change, but there weren’t many voices that really loved replacing shootout/rivalry with showdown. Most of the positive reactions were just fans getting excited about the Showdown/Rivalry/Shootout later this year. Some people didn’t necessarily love it or hate it, but took it one step further and have facetiously suggested what could be coming next:

@JimMWeber Next up: Red River Hoedown RT @Jake_Trotter The Red River Rivalry is now the Red River Showdown. Used to be the Red River Shootout.

@GuerinEmig Recapping… OU-Texas was once a Red River Shootout, then a Rivalry, and now must settle for being a showdown. Next: a Social.

And my personal favorite:

@SliceOK The Red River “Shootout” became the “Rivalry” and is now apparently the “Showdown.” When do we get to call it the Red River Rumpus? #OUTX

So, football fans, what do you think of the new name? Sound off in the comments!

The Masters a Great Opportunity for Young Golfers

Matthew Fitzpatrick at The Masters

Photo: Harry How Getty Images

The 78th Masters is underway at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia with Round One beginning today. While Tiger Woods had to withdraw with a back injury, 19 past champions will see if they can add another Master’s title to their resume. Expectations for these athletes is high, which leaves newcomer and youngest player in the field Matthew Fitzpatrick, 19, an opportunity to fly under the radar for a Masters title. He’s hardly the youngest to have played in Augusta though. Let’s look back at the past five years and see where the bar is set for the youngest golfers in Augusta.

2009 – Ryo Ishikawa, Japan, 17 years old

Ryo Ishikawa received a special invitation to play at The Masters in 2009. As the only professional golfer at the time of his debut of the five youngsters in the list, he was the only one who failed to make the cut. He’s played every year since his debut, tying for 38th in 2013 and tying for 20th in 2011 – his best result to date. Ishikawa will not be participating in 2014.

2010 – Matteo Manassero, Italy, 16 years old

At the time, Matteo Manassero was the youngest player to ever compete in the Masters. He received his invitation by winning the 2009 Amateur Championship. Just a few months after the Masters, Manassero turned professional. He’s competed last year in Augusta, but failed to make he cut. He’ll try again this year to see if he can improve on his debut performance.

2011 – Hideki Matsuyama, 19 years old

After winning the 2010 Asian Amateur, Matsuyama received his invitation to play in the 2011 Masters tournament. Setting himself at the top of this list, Matsuyama had the highest finish in his maiden Masters with a tie for 27th place. Unlike most of the others on this list, Matsuyama waited until 2013 to finally go pro, almost two full years after his debut in Augusta. He’ll be back this year trying to best his 27th place finish from 2011.

2012 – Patrick Cantlay, 20 years old

The oldest on the list, Cantlay made his debut in Augusta after finishing runner-up in the 2011 US Amateur Championship. He finished tied for 47th place. Just a few months after the Masters, and a very successful Amateur career, Cantlay turned pro. Since his turn to professional golf, he has not returned to the Masters and will not be competing in 2014.

2013 – Tianlang Guan, 14 years old

The most recent young gun to make his debut is also the youngest ever to play the Masters. Guan earned his invitation by winning the 2012 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. He placed 58th in Augusta and has decided, for now anyway, to remain an amateur. He will not be competing in 2014.

So what can we expect from Matthew Fitzpatrick in his debut at the Masters? There’s certainly a precedent for him to make the cut and there’s definitely an opportunity for him to finish higher than his five predecessors. He’s currently playing golf at Northwestern University, but if he has a good showing at the Masters, US Open or Open Championship, you’d have to imagine he’ll go pro soon enough.

US Open Week 1: Q&A with tennis blogger Brian Stacey

Do you think there will be any early upsets like at Wimbledon?
It’s always my fear buying tickets to a tennis event that everyone I want to see will be long gone by the time I sit down to watch the semifinals. I’m sure if you’ve bought your US Open tickets for the second week, you’ve been fearing another Wimbledon-style upset fest. I think we’ll see one or two upsets, but not the bloodbath that was week one of Wimbledon.

IMG_1090On the men’s side, I think the likeliest upset is David Ferrer getting knocked out by Ernests Gulbis in Round 3 – if not before then. Ferrer hasn’t had a great summer and I don’t think an open draw is enough motivation to get him through. He took advantage in Paris only to get rolled by Rafa in the finals. That may get in his head a bit here too. As for earlier upsets, I think the top seven will have no problem making it through the first two rounds.

On the women’s side, I think Kvitova’s good run in New Haven could spell trouble for her second round match against Andrea Petkovic. Petko’s been slowly coming back from injury and, before her absence, was a real presence at slams. I think Petko takes it in three long sets. Ana Ivanovic has a tough second round against Varvara Lepchenko. Lepchenko will have the home crowd behind her and her heavy hitting could be a bit much for Ivanovic.

Roger Federer goes in seeded 7th – how badly does this hurt his chances?
Whether he goes in as the seventh seed or the 107th seed, I think Federer’s chances are always good. Sure, on his worst days, he can lose to 116th Sergiy Stakhovsky, but on his best days, Roger Federer is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. The problem with being ranked outside the top four is that Federer has found himself in Rafa’s quarter. Does this destroy his chances? Surely not, but it does make the path significantly harder. At least he’d have an easier Semifinal to rest up for either Djoker or Murray in the finals. Possible matchups aside, Fed’s biggest obstacle isn’t his seventh seed but his back. If he hasn’t fully healed, that could be problematic from the first point of the tournament.

Which American has the best chance at making the finals?
Obviously Serena on the women’s side has the best chance. She’s on fire this summer and probably more motivated than ever to make sure she doesn’t end the season with one lonely slam title. She’s got a tough draw, but if she can make it through Sloane Stephens in the fourth round, she’s golden until the finals against rival Victoria Azarenka.

There’s no way to be anything but bold on the men’s side, so I’ll be very bold: Ryan Harrison. If he makes it through Nadal in the first round, this could be the breakout slam we’ve all been expecting from him. That confidence, along with his big serve and heavy baseline hitting could be just what he needs to see his first major final. Long shot? Definitely, but it really is for all the US men this year.

What are Radwanska’s chances of breaking through?
You could argue that winning one of her three Premier titles would be a breakthough. Or, taking a set off Serena in the 2012 Wimbledon final. But, with so many slamless #1’s, I think it’s fair to say it’s not a breakthrough until you’ve earned that grand slam title. Unfortunately for Agnieska Radwanka, she’s had a rough summer and I’m not sure it’s going to translate to a good run at Flushing Meadows. She’s likely to hit a very tough R4 against Wimbledon Finalist Sabine Lisicki before a quarterfinal matchup against Li Na (or Jelena Jankovic if she finds her form, which may be more worrisome than Li Na). After that, she’d have the semifinals against Serena and Final against Azarenka. With her consistency looking shaky this summer, I’m not sure she has it in her.

Brian Stacey is a longtime tennis fan who joins TicketCity for the two weeks of the US Open to to talk all things tennis & answer your questions via social media during the tournament. Brian tweets his thoughts over at @Roddickulous and blogs when time permits. He still believes that Andy Roddick will win a Wimbledon title and has eternal optimism about US Men’s tennis. When not tweeting about tennis, Brian works to bring the best credit card offers and advice over at CreditCardGuide.com.