Photo CC: Texas Tech Today
The Dallas Cowboys of the 90s. The Pittsburgh Steelers of the 70s. The New England Patriots of the 00s/10s. The Chicago Bulls of the 90s. UCLA men’s basketball from ’64-75. The Nick Saban era at Alabama. These are just some of the greatest dynasty’s the sports world has ever witnessed (he said in his best Joe Tessitore voice).
But none of them hold a candle to this next dynasty. Imagine winning 8 of the last 12 national championships, highlighted by a three-year stretch from 2015-2017 in which this team won an astounding 19 of 21 major contests. Overall, this program now boasts 15 national championships after adding another one this year. The Texas Tech meat judging team sets the standard by which all other programs are to be judged. So what exactly does it entail to win a championship in meat judging?
Be comfortable in a meat locker
Think back to when you were in high school and it was time to take the SAT. Here were this 4-5 hours grueling mental exercise that could very well determine what university would let you walk through its halls for the next 4/5/6….however many years you would send them tuition checks. Except now take that same test when the temperature in the room is 36 degrees.
Ok, maybe you never went to decide to go to college but golf is your sport of choice. Any golfer knows that in order to shoot a low score, every single shot requires immense focus and mental discipline. A slip up here of there over the course of 18 holes can be the difference in 8-10 strokes. It is no different when having to judge meat. There is a real mental fortitude and focus that comes with being a meat judge. The similarities this sport has to college football include major recruiting battles for the best talent, world-class facilities, and an intense and regimented practice schedule. Winning one contest during the season is challenging in itself. But on this day, 3 years ago, this program achieved something never been done since the schedule expanded to 7 contests in 1981.
The Red Raider meat judging team became the first, and only, program to go through an entire season undefeated. For college football, the crown jewel is to make the playoff. A very strong consolation prize is a New Year’s 6 bowl game. Between the actual playoff games and the representatives in the other NY6 bowl games, it (typically) has the top 12 teams in the country from the season. Imagine one team won the Rose, Cotton, Sugar, Peach, Orange, and Fiesta bowl on its way to then winning the national championship. Using last year’s winners (plus one), that means a team would have to beat Penn State, Clemson, Florida, Oregon, Georgia, Ohio State, and LSU consecutively. That’s what this meat judging team accomplished. This feat appeared to be impossible, but as the Red Raiders told the world, “from here, it’s possible.”
Back to the SAT. Try scoring a 1600 on the SAT. Don’t forget, the test is still occurring in a meat locker. Now do it 7 times in a row with different questions on the test each of those 7 times. Go shoot the lowest golf score of the day, for 7 straight rounds of golf. That is the type of mental precision this team had to continue to perform at in every single competition. This sport is so unique because the battle really is against nobody. The meat judge from Texas A&M has zero bearing on what the Red Raider’s ability to judge the same piece of meat. The NCAA listed is greatest winning streaks in NCAA history, and yet, there was no respect paid to this winning streak.
But these fearless champions will not go unoticed
If the ’72 Dolphins pop champagne every year the last NFL team loses, then what about the city of Lubbock hosting a grand BBQ every year once there are no more undefeated teams in the 7-contest schedule? Celebrate these champions in a unique way by inviting them and the current team out for this event and all proceeds by those who attend will be donated to the local food banks in the area. There isn’t a program in the history of Texas Tech that is in the same stratosphere in terms of accomplishments and consistency. Levels of greatness like this don’t appear in any walks of life very often and need to be celebrated. For those who still live in Lubbock, go get some Raider Read Meats today! If not, good news, they mail out orders as well! So today, Red Raiders unite in lighting up the grill in celebration of one of the greatest achievements in university history!