By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Usually, it works the other way around: Most athletes wait until they've made their millions in the pros before they indulge their adolescent rock-star fantasies. Journeyman pitchers such as Jack McDowell (Stickfigure) and Scott Radinsky (Pulley) have tried it. Former tennis stars John McEnroe and Jim Courier have, too. And so many NBA and NFL players have attempted to become hip-hop playas they could form a separate league for dilettantes: Shaquille O'Neal, Deion Sanders, Allen Iverson, Dallas Cowboys receiver Rocket Ismail, the 1985 Chicago Bears.
Kelan Luker, however, couldn't wait. A highly recruited quarterback who led Stephenville to the Class 4A Division II state championship in 1998, Luker decided to quit the SMU Mustangs football squad July 23, shortly after his band, Submursed, signed a recording contract with Wind-Up Records--home to, among others, Creed. (Which is an appropriate place for Submursed to, um, wind up, since someone in the SMU athletic department recently told us the group was "a total Creed knock-off." Luker, on the other hand, "doesn't even know" what Submursed sounds like. Which means: Creed.)
The erstwhile QB, who began playing guitar during his freshman year, explains that a neck injury he received in spring practice gave him all the push he needed. But he probably would've done it anyway: "I just love music." With Luker on bass and free of his prior commitments, the band is now in Florida, writing songs for its as-yet-untitled Wind-Up debut, set for release next year. Luker had time for a few questions before he left.
Think you'll miss football once the season starts and you see some games on TV?
Yeah, I'll miss it. But I've been around it so long. You know, once you know everything about something, then it's kinda--I don't know if you lose interest or, you know, I don't know what it is. I just need a challenge I enjoy doing. But, yeah, I'll miss it.
How did your teammates and coaches react when you told them you were quitting to be in a band?
Well, most of the players--I really don't know for sure, you know, honestly, how they felt. But I think they were excited that I was in a band and doing well. And I think the coaches were the same. They're all pretty good about it, you know?
How difficult was it to make the decision to give up one for the other?
It took me awhile. I mean, this whole summer...I was in Florida for a while, and I thought about it there. Thought about it for a long time. After I hurt my neck, you know, I kinda thought that was a sign, just saying, "Well, you need to move on or something," you know?
Would you have given football up even if the band didn't have a record contract ready?
Nah, I don't think so. I enjoy football, I just...I don't know. I think the whole neck deal kinda did it for me. I think we were close to signing anyway. I think we could have. Well, I don't know the answer to that one. --Zac Crain
Breakin' the Law
Dallas cops are pissed off because they're not getting a big enough pay raise. They're getting a bigger raise than any other city employees, but they say it's still not big enough, so they have a bad attitude.
But sometimes a bad attitude for them is a good attitude for us. They're all mad, so they don't want to do any work. That means we can break the law!
Some laws we probably still can't break, because the crimes are just too bad. Like murder, for example. The cops would have to tuck in their lower lips and catch us for that one.
But small laws are off the radar for now, unless you have the bad luck of running into a goody-two-shoes cop who doesn't care about the money. What are the chances of that? So here is a list of dumb little laws we can ignore, at least until the cops get their money and stop pouting:
Drunk: This one is totally safe. If they arrest you for being drunk, they have to drive downtown with you in the car to the county jail and book you in and all that stuff. That's more work than they want to do in a week! Go ahead: Sit in the street in front of police headquarters and guzzle a 40-ounce. Just don't hit us up for any money as we walk out of the Dallas Observer office on the way to buy cigs.
Most in-town speed limits: Unless you're doing over 150 mph and you've got about three fresh Cub Scout beanies stuck to the grille, the Dallas P.D. ain't interested. Pedal to the metal, baby! (Like you weren't already doing this.)
Pooper-scooper: Oh, right! The cops are going to stop and get out of their AC in the hot weather and write you a big ticket because your pet crapped on some guy's grass. Even if your pet is an elephant, you could let it dump all over town and never see a blue uniform. Judging by the piles of unscooped poop we see along the Katy Trail, there are more than a few elephant walkers around town.