AUSTIN, Texas -- He was just so damn giddy. Especially in the huddle.
He was fierce when he'd break the huddle and got called "Slick" for his suave demeanor off the field. But when James Street was standing among his 10 best friends, about to unleash another Wishbone run, he was just too happy. His confidence was contagious.
"You felt the tone of his voice. He was convinced this is the play that's really going to work," former Texas running back Ted Koy said. "We looked forward to the next snap, because we knew good things were about to happen."
He hadn't lost a drip of that confidence, that excited way about him, at age 65. Old teammates and buddies envied that Street still had all his hair and zest. He'd hardly aged on them. That's why nobody could understand what happened Monday morning.
The legendary Longhorn quarterback passed away in his home, not long after returning from watching his son pitch one last time in California. Before sunrise, word trickled out to people who knew Street best and they were met with stunned surprise.
This was the very last person Koy thought would die early from Texas' 1969 championship team, and his teammates agreed. Street had been healthy and fit and, of course, just so happy.
He arrived in Austin as a no-name, 5-foot-11 kid from Longview, Texas, and grew into the quarterback whom Sports Illustrated would describe as a "cocky, good-looking youngster with sideburns." He was eventually plucked from the bench in 1968 and entrusted with operating Darrell Royal's innovative new offense.
"He just did things that were totally unexpected of him," his fullback, Steve Worster, said. "He was a winner. James was just a guy who would do things that were really unbelievable."
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