Squinky is alive and well.

He's not alone. An entire legion of dream killers exists out there, and not even OU and Texas are immune anymore.

If you've never been officially introduced to Squinky, then this is required reading.

Squinky's conversations with his mother give us great insight into what makes him tick, so if you haven't already read this, please do so. It was our first introduction to his mom, and coincided with last year's loss to Iowa State, Baylor's defeat of OU, and Oregon's loss to USC.

What follows is another overheard phone call during which we discover Squinky is now dabbling more with injuries...

Phone rings...

Squinky's Mom: Hello

Squinky: Hi Mom.

SM: I'm sorry, who is this?

S: MOM! For heaven's sake, don't you look at the caller ID? It is 2012.

SM: I did. All I saw was SQUINKY. I don't know any Squinky.

S: Please Mom. You should know by now that is my "stage" name.

SM: You'll always be Eugene to me. Anyway, it sounds like something they wipe windows with.

S: That's a squeegee, Mom.

SM: Oh, ok.

S: So just calling to check in, make sure everything's ok with you.

SM: A lot has changed since the last time you called TWO MONTHS AGO.

S: I know Mom. You've been dating. I talk to my sisters.

SM: You talk to your sisters but you can't talk to me?

S: They text Mom. You don't. Texting is easier when I'm so busy.

SM: I've heard. I'm not very happy with you. You told me last year...

S: Yes, I know! You have to understand, the pressure is on. There is no shame now. Injuries, arrests, scandals...it's all on the table, and if you don't play the game you will get passed by. I think I've done a very admirable job so far.

SM: If by admirable you mean ruining that poor kid 's season...

S: MOM!! You know the problem I had last year. That damned Weeden character was more than I could handle. He even got Blackmon to stop cooperating. That sucked! Thought I had it all worked out for that bowl game, but little did I know that freshman kicker for Stanford would pull the "double chip shot choke." I was a little desperate at that point, but learned a valuable lesson...NEVER depend on a freshman to pull off the heartbreak. Dad used to tell me "Freshman are the best tool for crushing dreams." Now I understand.

SM: I still wish you hadn't injured that young man's knee.

S: Mom, you don't understand. That "kid" was turning into Weeden incarnate. I didn't have a choice. He would have ruined my comeback tour. And did you see what happened? I almost had to hurt his other knee. Damned kid played 3/4's of the game with a season ending knee injury. Where the hell is OSU finding these guys? The true freshman was easy...dislocated kneecap, ding on the noggin...but I have to make a note to play hardball with coach's kids. Tough lot. Couldn't take any chances.

SM: Well at least it sounds like you can rest for a bit.

S: Are you kidding? Now they're trotting out this dude who studied for two years under Weeden...I hate saying that name...WTF! They just keep trotting them out. I mean, what Cooper did at Maryland was uncalled for, but I'm going to have to think of something because this guy makes me nervous. Another injury just isn't ok with me, I need to be a bit more creative this time. Another injury and they might completely pack it in. Remember, the goal is to string them along. If you completely destroy hope, then the job goes down the tube. If I can manage to drag them back to the Billy Wig Ding Dong Bowl, Cowboy fans will still accept that. This is probably the last season I can get away with that.

SM: Eugene, you know I don't like it when you curse.

S: This team is driving me to profanity. You don't realize how much work this has been. I thought after being old school and avoiding the whole injury thing for so long, I could get away with some nicks and bruises in their "rebuilding" year. Jesus, where did all these QB's come from? They've got more receivers than a CIA surveillance station. The turnover thing was easy to slow down, but where did they get these two behemoths on the D-line? Since when did they start recruiting all these athletes?? They've got a linebacker that has only been playing football for like 3 years. I can't work with that! I don't like doing this, but I may have to talk to my buddy in the financial district and see if he can do something about this Pickens fella. Seems his money has complicated things.

SM: If it's so frustrating, why don't you look for another position? I thought you said you were going to do that after last season?

S: Can't do that Mom. They believe in me. I have to stay put and do the job Dad trained me for. I have to live up to their standards. We were made for each other.

SM: Cooper left and found a nice new place?

S: Cooper's at Maryland. I told you that already. He's a bull in a china shop. He had to leave Kansas State. You know he confirmed to me that he has ulcers. That Snyder guy is brutal, only eats one meal a day, at Taco Bell. I wouldn't wish that on anybody, although I think someone is auditioning for that position. The QB got banged up, and he's their ticket to the big dance. That had to be someone trying to impress the brass, and whoever it is, he's good. A rookie would have knocked him right out, ruined it all right on the spot. This guy will try to bleed them...take just enough out of the dude to kill the dream without them knowing. One of the few times I messed with the injury thing was in 2009 with Zac Robinson, knowing that Gundy didn't have the balls to put that unknown Weeden guy in. Boy am I glad he didn't.

SM: You know we have new neighbors? The Wilsons. They have a son, Stanley. He's working for Baylor.

S: That's a load of crap. Nobody works for Baylor or Kansas. Our guys don't even use them for training.

SM: Well, that's what they said.

S: Where are they from?

SM: Not sure exactly, but I know Stanley did his internship last year at Texas A&M.

S: Nice! Couldn't have studied under a better mentor, although Herman is now having some issues with their new freshman QB. Damn freshman are so unreliable. Tough for the old guy. Maybe I'll give him a call, I do owe him one. That '83 Bedlam collapse was a classic, and I was drawing a blank. He really bailed me out.

SM: You owe me lots of calls...

S: CAN IT MOM!

SM: Well, anyway, the Wilson's said Stanley is really enjoying the job, even though it's been a bit of challenge at times. He apparently screwed up some fumble at the end of a game, something about not anticipating how instant replay would deal with it.

S: Wait...what did you say his name was?

SM: Stanley...

S: Oh no...

SM: What's the matter Eugene?

S: I don't know, but it sounds like maybe the big boss has finally decided to put somebody in at Texas.

SM: What do you mean?

S: Well, one of the absolute rules in our business is seniority. For instance, I've been around for over 40 years, and Dad's seniority passed on to me. So if my team plays someone else's team, and they haven't been hooked up as long, they have to defer to my game plan. That's no issue if your team plays an opponent that isn't affiliated. Texas has never been associated with anyone. They're almost as tough to get into as Notre Dame.

SM: I still don't understand.

S: OSU was playing Texas, and I perfectly orchestrated the heartache. Out of nowhere 4th down completion on the last drive. Got a little help from the OSU cornerback who is making my job really easy this year. Then, suddenly, just when I thought Texas was going to punch it in for the dagger score, the ball came loose! Right at the goal line!! Am I glad I took those digital video editing classes. I would challenge anyone to delete the camera angles I deleted from a national TV broadcast so that replay couldn't see that the ball came out before the goal line and OSU clearly recovered. I don't know if I could have recovered from that. Anyway, as I floated away from the replay official's booth, I thought I heard someone, very upset, muttering "Stanley, you ass, what were you thinking? You know better than that!" The rumor has been that someone is working very quietly to land a spot with Texas, but it's on the down low because if Deloss Dodds gets wind of it, the gig is up. Nobody, not even our association, messes with Deloss. I think Stanley is trying to get the Texas job. Now things are starting to make sense.

SM: Are you dating anyone?

S: Did you hear a word I just said? I think Stanley is the rumored applicant for the new position at Texas!

SM: That's nice dear. I heard you met a nice girl from Norman.

S: First of all Mom, they don't have girls in Norman. Second of all, don't believe a word my sisters tell you.

SM: I can only hope Eugene. You don't call, and you aren't giving me more grandchildren.

S: Jesus Mom. I'm only 75. That's like 22 in human years. Let me live a little, would ya?

SM: I would be happy if you would live a little. All you do is work.

S: Well I love my job and my client, even though they make me work ridiculously long hours almost year round. You know I got an assistant this year? They decided the football-basketball thing was getting to be a bit much, so I get to be part of the intern program, handling trainees. The basketball stuff here is easier to handle than football, although Ford is starting to be a bit troublesome with his recruiting. I tried delegating a couple of things in the past month, and the kid did great, although I wasn't necessarily looking to knock that Williams fella out for the season. Chalk that one up to miscommunication. The Cobbins foot injury was better execution. This intern is showing a lot of promise.

SM: That's very nice Eugene. Did you get a raise?

S: Why do you have to bring up money? They'll take care of me, they always have.

SM: You're my baby. I don't want anyone taking advantage of you. You should've gotten a raise for what you did at Arizona. Dad would have been proud.

S: Can't take all the credit for that, Ma. The one thing we don't mess with anymore is penalties. Too much conspiracy crap, then we don't get any credit. That's why nobody can get work in the Pac 12. Refs ruin it for us. You remember how hard it was to trip up Oregon last year, last minute?

Juggled interceptions, receivers falling down, pick 6's...now that's the stuff of legend.

SM: So a legend should get paid more.

S: Give it a rest. I've been very fortunate to have such an adoring and cooperative client for so long.

SM: Speaking of cooperative, are you coming home for Thanksgiving?

S: Mom, Bedlam is that weekend. You know that's my busiest week of the year.

SM: The game is on Saturday. You can't stop by on Thursday? You're a spirit, Son. It's not like you have to drive 5 hours or fly cross country to get here.

S: I have seniority for that game, so my game plan rules.

SM: But I thought last year...

S: Last year I did a friend a solid. Turns out one of my classmates from the academy had a son that was trying out for OU last season. Remember the upright and the injury? Well, he was in a tough battle, so my classmate asked if I could step aside for Bedlam so his kid could make a good impression. I did him one better and let him help me with the Baylor loss. You should have seen his eyes when that ball was deflected and caught. I think that inspired him for Bedlam. They offered him on the spot after the game. Who wouldn't have? Kid's doing a bang up job this season. OU's loss to Kansas State was exquisitely simple...2 fumbles. That Jones guy must be fun to work with.

But that was last year. If I'm not careful, I could have a repeat of 2001-02. Two in a row, and my reputation starts to take a beating. Gotta make sure we protect the balance in our universe.

SM: But you said you have an assistant. Can't you let him handle this one, just this once? I need my baby Eugene to be home for Thanksgiving.

S: Basketball yes, football no. This Pickens guy demands the best.

SM: So you'll be home for Thanksgiving?

S: MOM!

SM: Your sisters and I can always come to your place if that's easier.

S: Ok, what time should I be there?

SM: That's my boy. 4pm, or come a little earlier if you want.

S: Love you Mom. [click]

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