…but it’s a rare moment that they’re as spectacularly wrong as this.
Okay, yeah. Marfa lights, Big Bend, NASA. All of those things are pretty damn Texan and definitely enhance the Texas experience. But there’s nothing on this list about, for example, late-night runs to Taco Cabana (or to HEB for Shiner Bock beer) or having eaten practically everything on the Whataburger menu.
But meeting George Bush the Elder? He barely qualifies as Texan, for crying out loud! And seeing Matthew McConaughey shirtless? The hell? THAT is an authentically Texan experience on the same level as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the state fair, or seeing George Strait live?
Don’t even get me started on that football-and-cheerleader bullshit, Friday Night Lights be damned. I guess those of us who were in the marching band don’t count.
Of course my opinion on that is more than a little biased. I lettered in the marching band when I was in high school. We had a rough go of it my freshman year due to changing to a different style of marching, but the next three years we earned the highest ratings at pretty much every marching contest we went to. Meanwhile, the football team sucked hind teat every single year I was there, with their best record being 5-4-1. But of course they were still the gawds of the school every fall. I remember quite clearly my senior year in high school, one of the years we in the marching band advanced from the UIL regional contest to the area contest in Mesquite, with a berth in the state contest in Austin on the line. This conflicted with our normal appearance at the football game, with our contest taking the priority that week — and when it was announced at the pep rally that we wouldn’t be at the football game, we got booed. I remember thinking, “fuck all y’all, this is our version of the playoffs and that’s better than your precious football team has done since before I even came to this school, and pretty much better than it’s done since I came to Texas, period.” (Don’t get me wrong — the pep rallies were fun and all, as were the football games, but it’s always irked me that some people basically see the band, drill team, etc. as little more than support for the football team.)
Now that I think about it, I wonder how much of this frat-boy bullshit “country” “music” trend can be traced back to high school football hero worship. Hmmm…