Tuesday, June 29, 2010

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By Adam Dodge - AngelsWin.com Senior Writer


“The Stars at Night are Big and Bright, Deep in the Heart of Texas.” This gem of lyrical genius is plastered on just about everything it can be in the state of Texas, as I recently found out when I made my first trip to the Lone Star State just a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, that trip was not my first taste of what Texas had to offer.

I arrived in the small town of Maryville, Mo., in August of 1997. It was an exciting time for me. I had accepted a football scholarship to Northwest Missouri State University. One of the graduate assistants picked me up from the Kansas City airport and drove me the 90 or so minutes to campus and my dorm building. During the trip, he educated me some on the school, the football team and the town of Maryville. He made mention that he had arranged for me to room with another Junior College transfer — a tight end from Texas. “You’ll like ‘Tex.’ I picked him up from the airport yesterday,” the coach said.

He dropped me at my hall around 8 p.m. that night and I made my way to room 303. The door was cracked, so I just walked right in. What I saw, I’ll never forget. “Tex” was standing in the middle of the room wearing nothing but some faded tighty-whities and a cowboy hat, talk’n to his ma and pa on the telephone. He didn’t immediately acknowledge my presence, so I scoped out the room to see which bed he had left for me. It was pretty easy to spot, since above his bed hung a large, crooked Texas flag.

In the months following, I would come to learn a lot about Texas from Tex, who shared a nickname with every other person who was born in Texas but dwelled outside of it. Here are some of the important lessons Tex fanatically bored me with while we lived together for a few months.

“Hadam (translated from hick to English as “Hey, Adam”), d’ya know that the first word spoken from the moon was ‘Houston’?”

“Hadam, we can secede anytime we want.”

“Hadam, we got more millionaires in Texas than any other place in the world.”

“Hadam, we got more bat species than any other state in the country.”

“Hadam, our state bird is the mock’n bird.”

“Hadam, we can secede anytime we want.”

What I remember most about Tex was that no matter what we were doing, where we were eating, what we were drinking, which girls we were seeing or where we were going, it would most certainly be better if we were in Texas.

What Tex failed to mention, that I quickly learned upon arriving in Dallas and which was reinforced as I made my way to Austin and San Antonio, is that Texas is completely and inarguably miserable.

If a man were able to be magically minimized to the size of a hair and were to dwell between the thighs of James Gandolfini, he would find it cooler and more comfortable than the late spring Texas climate.

Texans are delusional. Look no further than beautiful Texas Hill Country in central Texas, which has a little bit of everything except for, of course, hills.

As the Texas Board of Education attempts to write Thomas Jefferson out of the history books the Texas Rangers look to rewrite the balance of power in the American League West. Rangers fans are believing.

Unfortunately for the irrelevant Rangers, who have won just one playoff game in their history, and for their fans, which pound their chests like only Texans can, 2010 will end in much the same way that the last several years have ended — with the Angels on top, the Rangers sputtering toward the finish line.

Some say the Rangers falter in the heat of Texas. Others say the pitching just can’t hold up. Maybe this year it will be the financial status of the club and its owner. Whatever the case may be, the Rangers will find a way to drift back into obscurity once again.

Upon returning from my trip to Texas, a good friend asked me: “Did you find any place you’d want to live?”

Yes. I did find a place I’d like to live: Southern California. Likewise, the American League West crown won’t be moving anytime soon.

Love to hear what you think!

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