Right for the Roses

151a4a398daab7478f607e9d5c0d00d0.image.550x411.jpg
151a4a398daab7478f607e9d5c0d00d0.image.550x411.jpg

Right for the Roses

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Foreground: Vince Young (#10), Justin Blalock (#63), Will Allen (#72) 
Middleground: Coach Mack Brown and Staff 
Background: David Thomas (#16) and Michael Griffin (#27)

When things are right, they are really right and good takes place. On January 4th, 2006, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, things for the University of Texas’ football team could not have been more right and greatness took place. America’s Sports Artist Rick Rush has captured the thrill of this Rose Bowl Texas victory over the University of Southern California in his painting and original serigraph print edition entitled, "Right For the Roses".

The greatness of this BCS National Championship bowl game was highlighted by Texas winning with only seconds remaining by a score of 41 to 38, and bringing the NCAA Football National Championship back home for the first time since 1969. Things were right for Texas.

The climb to college football’s highest award for the Longhorns started a few years before the 2006 Rose Bowl when head coach, Mack Brown was brought to Austin to direct the Texas football program. They put the right man in place to lead the team to greatness. As an effective leader, Brown instilled in his team a sense of family and excellence. Founded in his personal priorities, Mack not only teaches his players about football but he also teaches them about life and how to live it. His care for his players and their success on and off the football field translates into leadership that produces winning attitudes and that produces winning teams. So, Texas had the right coach with the right plan to produce right results.

Coach Brown and his Longhorns, led by quarterback Vince Young, worked their way into the right position to play for the championship of college football. They went undefeated through the 2005-2006 season launching them into the post-season to play the only other undefeated major college team in America for the coveted National Championship. Texas remained unbeaten and captured the national title in the Rose Bowl.

To go undefeated through an entire season and win championships takes a complete effort from a group of players that come together, united as a team. The Longhorns were such a team with the right players in the right places making the right plays to bring about victory. From the outstanding defensive play to the powerful offense, Texas made one stellar play after another to pry victory from the stingy hands of the USC Trojans.

In "Right For the Roses ", you can see captured in images some of the glowing highlights and people of the 2006 Rose Bowl. Among a throng of Texas supporters from cheerleaders to sign-carrying fans, Head Coach Brown stands in his characteristic bent-over position on the sideline, as the winning touchdown play begins. In the background, is an image of tight end, David Thomas, as he makes one of his ten outstanding pass receptions. Also shown in the background, is Michael Griffin’s interception of a USC pass in the end zone that turned the momentum and led to a Vince Young directed Texas touchdown. You can see the goal line marker just off the toe of Griffin’s shoe as he makes the interception in bounds for the turnover.

Dominating the foreground of the painting is the play that led to the game-winning touchdown that secured the bowl win over USC and the National Championship for Texas. With Vince scoring several touchdowns in his MVP Rose Bowl win over Michigan the previous year, he again put on a championship performance in this Longhorn bid for the Roses. In characteristic style, with time running out, Young dropped back to pass on 4th down and goal, or as some have said "4th down and game ". No receivers seemed open, so he broke right to his favorite side of the open field. One football commentator said that you can have the best defensive plan and the best defense called, but when Young breaks free, "you are in trouble ". Well, Southern Cal’s defense was in trouble, because as he broke to his right, the powerful Texas offensive linemen crushed the left side of the Trojan defense and Vince ran the ball untouched into the end zone for the touchdown, the win and the National Championship. Having already scored two touchdowns running to his right side earlier in this 2006 Rose Bowl game and earning MVP honors, Young went right again for the end zone, the score and the victory. As Vince went right so did things for the Texas Longhorns because everything was "Right For the Roses ".