Southern Hospitality - 1/4/11
Happy New Year! My nerd side enjoyed looking down at my Blackberry an hour after midnight Saturday and seeing the binary-licious time/date of 01:00:01 01-01-11.

New Year's weekend brought a four-day trip to Dallas featuring an extensive tour of the JFK assassination site and surrounding Momosa bars; two Nigerian cab drivers (trainer and trainee) debating economic theory at the top of their lungs on the way back from the airport; and an ill-conceived drive down to Austin and back for NYE, a trip whose 6am return leg succeeded only with the help of multiple deposits of 5-Hour Energy.

But perhaps the highlight of the trip was our attendance of the first (and likely last) TicketCity.com Football Bowl Game at the Cotton Bowl, where an injured and struggling Northwestern team fell 45-38 to an injured and struggling Texas Tech team. At least the beers went down smooth.

On the way out of the stadium, I wondered what kind of reception my purple-clad friends and I would receive from the more numerous Texas fans who flooded by in the opposition direction. After all, Texas is a place that is known, contradictorily, as a state of hospitality and a state of guns.

"Hey!" shouted a first Tech fan, in a cowboy hat. "You guys played a great game. Kept us on our toes the entire time."

"Wow," said a second fan, a large gut protruding from a black Raiders sweater, as he noticed my friend taking a pull from a bottle of wine we were still carrying around the concourse. "You guys are great fans!"

"Good game!" said numerous Texas fans, old and young, male and female, as finally headed out the gates toward the parking lot.

"Gee," I said. "I didn't know if we were going to need to prepare for a fight, going to an away game in Texas. But everyone's really polite."

"Yeah," said my buddy's girlfriend. "I guess Texas Tech fans are just like that. Except for the small, trashy segment that didn't actually go to the school."

"Yeeeeeeaaaaaaah!" screamed a passing guy suddenly, wearing a black Tech cap with a mullet hanging out from it. "Raaaaaideeeeers! You suck!"

My friends and I all looked at each other. Right on cue.

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