Go, Local College Sports Team! (Um, Doesn't Mayor Mike Have Anything Better to Do?)

I was waiting for Dallas's new mayor, Mike Rawlings, to tell us what he has decided about building a new expressway out between the flood control levees along the Trinity River -- where it floods -- but instead today he has told us how he feels about SMU football. And I guess, from what I read, I'm expected to do something about it.

Toward the end of a long opinion piece in The Dallas Morning News this morning, Rawlings says: "We must build a movement for SMU: Sports talk show hosts and columnists must advocate for it ... "

I'm a columnist.

It's something about SMU becoming a part of Big 12 so it can be a part of the BCS. I know what SMU is. It's a university. I'm not entirely 100 percent sure about Big 12. The BCS, no clue really, but I am working on it.

Rawlings says if SMU joins Big 12 and thereby gets into the BCS, "We will become a smarter, richer and more fun city." The whole thing involves football, I do know that much. Smarter and richer, that's good. If we have to choose one or the other, what's it going to be? I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Well, OK then. Speaking as a columnist I would like to hereby advocate the hell out of it. I think it is extremely important -- may I say crucial? -- to the future of this city's intelligence and wealth that SMU get into Big 12 right away. In fact, I would like to see this get done before end of business today.

Big 12 is ... well, it's very big. And here's the other thing about it. It's 12. So it's both things. Big. And 12.

SMU is a university. It's not in Dallas. It's in the area we tend to call "The Bubble." Inside The Bubble, young people are given the keys to BMW automobiles at age 16, but they are prohibited by their parents from driving outside The Bubble until they are age 18. I don't know why. I believe that their parents may worry that they will get lost, which is understandable, when you figure how big the world is outside The Bubble. Ginormous.

Football is a game. The people wear helmets. It's on television. They hit each other with their heads, and sometimes they knock each other out cold. That's pretty cool when it happens. I never learned the rules, so I don't know what they're doing. I watch it sometimes for about five minutes to see if anybody is going to get knocked out cold.

The BCS, according to the mayor, is an association that sponsors "bowl games." I'm really not prepared to go into that at all at this particular point in time.

When I first came to Texas about 100 years ago, I tried to explain to people that I really did not know or care anything about football. But I married a Dallas native, and she told me that if I ever said that again in her presence at a dinner party, she would lose respect for me as a human being. Terrible. So I don't say it any more. Instead, I sort of lie about it. Not directly. But I say things that give a false impression of caring, especially on those rare occasions when I am inside The Bubble.

"How about those Ponies?"

It means something. The other guys always starts talking. All you have to do is nod and say, "I know that's right." He always keeps talking. In fact, if you have to go to the bathroom, the only way you can turn it off and get away is to change the subject and say something like, "Obama is the greatest president in history." That usually puts a cork in it.

So, as I was saying, I was waiting for the new mayor to step out and take a position on some of the big issues facing the city, but I see that we're going to have to talk about SMU football first, which is OK. I'm just going to pretend I'm at a dinner party inside The Bubble. I don't know how I got here. Must be somebody who likes my wife and didn't know who her husband was.

I do know the drill. I am for SMU football. I insist that SMU get into Big 12 right now, this minute. Then, may I say, let the bowl games begin. How about those Ponies?

OK, that's about enough of that. What do you think will happen to downtown Dallas if the Trinity River levees fail?

Downtown. It's in Dallas. The city of Dallas. I do not know if they have bowl games there or not. It's OK. Forget it. I have to go to the bathroom.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze