roadkill cake: tastes like texas v. alabama

In ALL, TEXAS by Stephanie Klein20 Comments

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M y high school was a bunch of mollycoddled milksops. The Wheatley School in Old Westbury, NY, had bleachers and two goal posts, but it didn’t have a football team. People are more surprised that I attended a high school without a football team than learning that I’m a quarterican Jew whose parents both pee sitting down (sorry, Dad). If someone wanted to play football, he needed to do it a few towns over at Roslyn High School. So, it’s no wonder that as the drama art chick in the tie-dye who was photographed on a branch IN A TREE for her senior yearbook, under the title, "Most Creative," that I didn’t develop many feelings of camaraderie.

No offense to Columbia University, but, uh, slogging up to Baker’s Field on 218th Street to see our Lions win, or more often than not lose was unremarkable, each and every time. The tailgating food tasted like the color gray. I still attended the games because I liked the idea of team spirit, the idea of belonging to something bigger, rooting, wanting something for the whole, instead of just for me. I also went to look at boys and feel like I had more friends than I did.

Oh, but now. Now I live in a state where people eat Roadkill Cake and wear Longhorn earrings. A place where the entire city is dyed to match my burnt orange hair. It’s hard not to have team spirit when you’re wearing the team colors, even down at the roots. Still, I’ve managed just fine, until now. Now I’ve got about as much team spirit as a Weight Watchers’ group the week after New Year’s! There. I said it. I can’t say that I’ve resisted up until now because that would imply that I had even a slight interest. I haven’t. Quite frankly, I’ve always seen fans of spectator sports as…well, as low rent. Granted, it’s a downright limited, not to mention erroneous, point of view. It’s not true, but it feels true. 

Here. This is it. It feels like standing at a roulette table, the one you’ve cozied up to for a while. The waitress knows your drink by now, but you’re not sure where to place your chips. Then a drunken flock of manboys crowd your table, start hooting, shoving hands, throwing chips on red, and you’re sitting there thinking, "Fuck it. Why not. They must know something." You get sucked into their energy. That’s exactly what it’s like, except if I put my chips on red tonight, I’d be tarred, feathered, and I might lose an eyebrow.

My gung might’ve been fashionably late to my all out ho, but it’s here now. And I kinda like her! She’s all feisty and ready for tonight’s game, where we’re the underdogs. You know I have to be serious when I’m agreeing to go to a place called "The Tavern." Mind you, I’ll be bringing two bottles of Pinot Blanc and one Oregon Pinot Noir, but still. Baby steps. Hook ’em horns.

2 YEARS AGO: Pouty McPout Pants, Looking Back While Moving Forward
5 YEARS AGO: S.W.A.K.

Comments

  1. Bless you, Stephanie, for finding it in your heart to even try. :) I’ll probably catch some of the game, but unlike you, I’ve spent waaaay too much time surrounded by people who care more about football than starving children in Africa (or, more accurately, how out of whack the money behind college sports is). I do like the fact that you moved to a place where your hair color is the most popular color in town.

    Hope you and family are well!

  2. Better learn to use your apostrophes before the Lions demand their diploma back from you.

      1. I love that you have a sense of humor about critical comments. Keeps me coming back.

  3. No way, sister. Roll Tide. My five year old has been all geared for this game all day. Of course, she won’t watch it, but still.

  4. Ugh. I kind of like it that you’re getting a little into the team spirit, but… This is the one annoying thing about living in Austin: SO many people become fans just due to living here, and they have no ties to the actual school. I’ll never forget when my sister called me (an Aggie!) in the middle of the night sounding all high on life and yelling “WE WON!!!” as if she had some real ownership of the whole longhorn thing. Whatever Sis, you didn’t attend UT or any other college. But I have, since marrying someone way into college sports, come to realize the value of identifying with a team, and involving the family in it. I think my kids will have a richer life because of the cameraderie we’ll share, and we’ll have a great time going to games together, etc. I just wish, for my Aggie maroon sake, they we had a decent professional team of some kind around here so
    people would identify with that instead of the t sips… Do have a good time though! I like the Tavern, but you definitely have to be in a sports n beer mood.

    1. Do you have to play on the Yankees to like the team?

      I think just as long as you’re not a band wagon fan who checks out once the team goes downhill, it’s fine to like a team that you don’t have a particular allegiance to.

      1. I agree! I was born into a Tennessee Vols family. I never went to UTK but believe me that doesn’t stop me from cheering them on, even though they’re having a TERRIBLE year. Cheer for whatever team you want to.

  5. My heart is all SEC, but this year I’m all for someone (anything!) kicking Saban in the ass. Go Horns!

  6. Why do you need to go to the school to feel a connection to the team? Most people I know who support a team have sentimental, logical, or completely random reasons: it was their father’s favorite team, they picked it one day in fourth grade and it stuck, etc. So I think living in the city, appreciating it, and wanting to join in on the fun is actually more of a reason than most to jump on the bandwagon!

    I guess I see enthusiasm as harmless, not something to get annoyed about. Sounds like you’re more annoyed that your Sis picked UT and not A&M to root for. ;) (And please note, I’m saying this teasingly. This is NOT a mean-spirited comment.)

  7. I know exactly what you mean, as a recently relocated Yank (originally from Chicago). I’ve been sucked into the whole team-spirit thing, as I’ve got a temp job at the University Co-op Bookstore, and it’s rather dependent on the Longhorns winning this thing. Unfortunately, they’re currently down 18 points at the half, and I am cursing the fact that I don’t have a TV to know exactly wtf is going on down there in Pasadena. Nevertheless… HOOK ‘EM, HORNS!!

  8. Long Island Expressway Exit 48 representing! Wasn’t soccer and basketball so much bigger than football? I’d rather play than watch, though I love watching Friday Night Lights.

  9. I hate spectator sport and always have in spite of growing up in a Mets family. Although we didn’t become a “Mets family” until my little brother came along, so I question the depth of our Met-ness. Definitely never interested in high school sports. I also don’t “get” loving a school team if you’re not a student or alum, unless it’s a matter of there not being a big-league team anywhere in the region. If that’s the case, how good old minor league baseball?

  10. Long time fan, first-time poster. I know this is your blog and these are your opinions, but honestly your comment that “I’ve always seen fans of spectator sports as…well, as low rent” hurt. Frankly, its so close-minded and such a generalization that its changed my very high opinion of you. I respect that you could care less about sports and that they bore you, but it makes me lose respect for you that you can’t look at someone who does have a passion for watching sports, specifically a certain team, as your equal.

    1. Er.. did you read the next sentence? Where she admits she was wrong in that viewpoint?

      This blog has THE most critical comments evah. HURT, even. Cripes.

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