By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Hook 'em, fakehorns: You could not be more right about Dallas jumping on the yee-haw bandwagon that is UT ("Tex-cess," by Richie Whitt, January 19). Yeah, I was born and raised in Texas, but why should I be celebrating the Longhorns' win? I guess Dallas really does suck that bad that it wishes it were Austin! I know people who were rooting for USC, and then all of a sudden, the next morning they're wearing Longhorns shirts and acting like lifelong loyalists. Yee-haw y'all!
Calling all hillbillies: Richie, my boy, my goodness...why all the hate? In an age like this, can't we celebrate the things that unite us rather than search for things to divide us? You're sounding like a bitter little Aggie.
As a proud graduate of UT, as a rabid Longhorn fan, as a face painter who never gave up on my 'Horns despite five years of agony every October...shouldn't I be the one who's bitter about the bandwagon fans? Shouldn't I be the one most offended by the new T-shirt fans that didn't stick with the 'Horns through the dark times? The ones that didn't "earn" this one?
You'd think so, wouldn't you? Well, I'm happy to say that you're wrong once again. I'm more than happy to share this wonderful event with the whole state. This is The University of Texas we are talking about. This is the flagship university of the Great State of Texas! Every Texan (be they Aggie, technical, Baptist, toad or...God bless them...Sooner dirt-burglar) is welcome at our table. I mean, your tax dollars help support us, so you've paid your dues.
Imagine if Oklahoma restricted those who could celebrate their success in 2000 to OU graduates. There would have been only two groups celebrating: A) roughly nine hillbillies rushing to pull their circa 1984 OU gear out of mothballs somewhere outside of Norman; B) 247 DFW-area Sooner grads who wiped the drool from their upper lip and staggered toward the southern lights after graduation.
Did that happen? Of course not. The entire state (which averages just over a third-grade education collectively) crawled out from under the porch and celebrated together. Do you think anyone bitched about that? Did Tulsa get its panties in a wad because they have their own college? Of course not. Let's learn what we can from these simple, ugly creatures. Let's come together.
As for your San Francisco vs. USC reference...amen. That simply reinforces my point. I am damn proud that Texas handles things different than Cali. They can keep their So-Cal/No-Cal crap. From El Paso to Texarkana, from Brownsville to Lubbock...if you're a Texan, you're a Texan in my book.
Don't get me wrong...if Aggies won a National Championship (wow...that even feels funny to type) I would sure get sick of hearing about it after the third minute. But that is because I have a personal distaste for predictable rednecks. I admit that. It isn't because I dislike their bandwagon fans. So, if you just have it in for UT, please feel free to disregard the arguments listed above and simply suck it. Otherwise, can't we all just...get along?
A little joy in Big D: While I agree with many of the points in your article, I believe that "[t]here is [more] than one group in town with a legitimate right to rejoice over the 'Horns." In addition to UT Dallas, I'd suggest other groups could include UT alumni, parents of current students, members of the Longhorn Foundation, season-ticket holders, donors, etc. After all, is it really that bad if a Longhorn (or Aggie or Raider or Sooner) victory brings joy to a lot of people?
Horton hears a SMU: You are right on the money. As a dedicated SMU alum and fan, it is the same thing I have been saying for years, but you were more articulate.
The only quibble I have, though, is quoting Greg Williams of the Ticket as a champion of hometown coverage as opposed to winners coverage. I have never heard him cover SMU--other than to crack jokes--since TCU has had some success in the last five or so years. And even though SMU's football games are actually on the Ticket, the Ticket is notorious for otherwise completely ignoring the existence of SMU in this fair city.
Invest locally: As a Texas Ex, UTD alum and SMU grad and employee, your story on fan fakery in Dallas rings true. My relief that the Longhorns finally won is tempered by the Dallas media's Longhorn frenzy. My first memories of football were reading the Dallas Times Herald accounts of the exploits of SMU's Jerry LeVias, Inez Perez and Chuck Hixson, not of Longhorns, Sooners and Aggies. What is left unsaid about this frenzy appears in every retail and sports store in Dallas. The merchandising of UT sports (and OU and A&M) swallows everything else in its path. Try to find a SMU hat or jersey beyond Mockingbird Lane. Similarly, my daughter went to a chess tournament at UTD and came back with a "Comets" gesture to rival the "Hook 'em Horns." Does anyone know that UTD has a mascot--or a chess team that regularly beats the likes of CalTech, MIT and Stanford?
Local universities need vigorous local support, not just by grateful alums but by anyone that attends a school's concerts, plays, recitals, lectures or takes a Community Ed class. So whether Longhorn or Aggie, Hurricane or Wolverine, some of your loyalty needs to be invested locally.
Nathan Scot Montague