Wednesday, October 30, 2013


OK OK, so the Red Raiders lost a big one in Oklahoma, and I'm sure everyone has a lot to say about it, and I'm sure they know a lot more about it than I do, so I won't say much about how we lost or what we should do about it. The Sooner fans made big mean fun out of Tech fans' love affair with our coach, but apparently Texas and Oklahoma fans have been mean to each other since time immemorial. So what else is new?

It's big news of course when an undefeated team (us) goes down, especially big news in Lubbock. It does not seem to be big news that, nationwide, some kids broke their legs, or knees, or ankles, or a neck, in one case, or sustained multiple concussions, sometimes two, five, ten in a single day. The game takes its brutal toll. Nobody wants to talk about that. Some kids are finished for life.

Then I found out a bit about the upcoming Baylor game. This game will be held in Cowboy stadium, probably the biggest, most expensive coliseum for any sport anywhere. It has a retractable roof, a carryover from the last stadium, because the Cowboys are God's team, and God needs to be able to watch them. People say this with a kind of humor but I think some believe it as well; I'd like to know a little more about that connection (I myself might follow the Cowboys, if for no other reason than that the Browns seem to be forever part of the subterranean world). The Tech-Baylor game is in Cowboy Stadium by mutual agreement: the Dallas area has 50,000 Tech grads, and is only 90 miles from Waco, so they have no trouble filling it. It gives boys on both sides the chance to play in the big venue.

One thing about Cowboy Stadium is that it has an enormous television screen. This screen is so big that punters have actually hit it; but the point is, you go to watch a game, and you end up having this collective television experience, because the players on the screen are 100 feet tall, whereas on the field, you can hardly see them. Football was made for television; this was one of my first points, and it is easily borne out here. It turns out that, culturally, the whole football season that we are going through, and I'm talking regular Saturday Tech games, home and away, other college games (A & M, UT, Alabama, etc.), regular pro games on Sunday & Monday (all day Sunday, maximized) - this is a HUGE social experience which for the most part revolves around television. People have a large screen; they have friends; they have barbeque, chips, beer, whatever; and you're talking four, six, eight hours and a pretty big drunk in a lot of cases. It's social life in the heart of Texas.

I'm not all against it. People have their fun; the players are entertainers; there's a price for being at the top of the entertainment world. Cowboy Stadium, now that's the big time. Parking is $75, and it doesn't have a bus, train or subway going to it at all. You go, you pay big, you watch television. It all makes some kind of sense.

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