I don’t read many magazines anymore.
It is not that I dislike them. In fact, it is quite the opposite – I enjoy reading them so much I developed an addiction.
My coffee table use to be littered with all sorts of glossy-covered monthlies, but my subscriptions got out of hand and before long, it seemed they were coming in faster than I could digest them.
I was overdosing on shiny photographs, reviews, critiques, feel-good stories, in-depth journalism and interviews.
I cut back, and I basically cut down to the bone. Now, only one magazine works its way into my mailbox, and I anxiously await it’s arrival like a young kid anticipating his birthday. Within days if not hours of its delivery, I have consumed it entirely, from cover to cover, and the waiting game begins anew.
But the issues only whet my appetite, temporarily pacifying me as I await my annual fix every June.
Like countless other Texans, only one magazine truly matters to me: Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.
Since 1960, the “Bible of Texas Football” has sent grown men into a tizzy as they gossip like schoolgirls about its appearance on grocery store shelves. Word of its debut quickly spreads and people race to grab a copy.
I’m no different.
As soon as I knew it was out, I rushed to purchase it and didn’t even flinch when the register showed a total of $10.95. The price has become inconsequential over the years.
I flipped straight to my favorite high school districts to get the lowdown before turning my attention to the college and NFL sections to see what the state’s authority on football had to say about my alma mater – the University of Texas – and my lifelong heroes/tormentors – the Dallas Cowboys. After that, I returned to the first page and began slowly working my way through 399 more until I reached the end.
While some might argue, obviously the staff at DCTF, while really good at what they do, is not comprised of gods. They can’t predict the future, and their words are not gospel. Believe it or not, they even publish mistakes, referencing Copperas Cove’s mascot as the “Bulldogs” and spelling head coach Jack Welch’s last name “Welsh.”
They do, however, offer a jumping-off point for conversations about the upcoming season at a time when junkies like myself are desperate for opening-night kickoffs. Then, the magazine proceeds to serve as a reference guide for the remainder of the season and an almanac of sorts after that.
Although I was not overly thrilled with everything written about my beloved teams, Copperas Cove fans should be pleased with reviews concerning their Bulldawgs.
Copperas Cove was predicted to finish second in District 8-5A behind Midway and ahead of Killeen and Temple. Senior running back Vondareaz King, who ran for 1,314 yards and 16 touchdowns last year, is selected the district’s preseason offensive MVP and offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez was listed as one of the state’s top 25 sophomores.
Listing the Bulldawgs’ strength as their young talent, especially at offensive skill positions, but cites player development as the team’s most significant obstacle.
Making the playoffs might be the easiest challenge anyone in District 8-5A faces, though. The true test could occur in the opening round of the postseason, when District 8-5A plays bi-district games against a highly respected District 7-5A.
DeSoto and Cedar Hill are ranked fourth and ninth in the state, respectively, with the Eagles predicted to win the Region I, Division I championship and the Longhorns achieving the same feat in Division II. Additionally, Midlothian is listed as one of five dark horses capable of potentially emerging to win a state championship.
Odds are, should the Bulldawgs make the playoffs, they will run into one of District 7-5A’s powerhouses, but the potential outcomes will remain subject to debate for months to come.
Lampasas and Gatesville fans have far less to be excited about as DCTF believes the defending District 8-3A champion Hornets barely make the playoffs, finishing fourth after going 13-1 last season, and the Badgers are picked last.
District 8-3A was named one of the class’ toughest districts, and like District 8-5A, things will probably only get tougher in the first round of the playoffs. Stephenville is ranked third in Class 3A and is picked to lose in the state title game, while Alvarado is ranked 20th.
Again, predictions are meaningless as the season will be determined on the field, but thanks to DCTF, the conversations and debates have begun and will undoubtedly rage on for months to come.
Needless to say, I will probably be involved in several such discussions, and anytime I need some tidbit to support my case, I know exactly where to find it. I will simply walk over to my coffee table and pick up my copy of DCTF.
It’s easy to find nowadays. It has no competitors on my coffee table or in its niche of the market.