Fascist Blogger thought my original title was too long and so forced me to cut it short. This should have been called ‘Longhorns crush Denver & a Canuck learns the secret handshake, becomes an honorary Austinite (& yet manages to remain clueless re Football, unless associated with Taylor Kitsch’s Riggins and Kyle Chandler’s COACH ERIC TAYLOR), part 1 of 2’.
I do hope that changing its name at the last minute hasn’t given this entry an identity crisis which will land her in the beds of strangers when she is a young teen, begging for love in all of the wrong ways.
Pigskin football in all its fanatic-fueled glory.
There was, originally, the intent to head over and crash tailgate parties in the main UT parking lots. Unfortunately, that day was the day I was (wonderfully) lost in the streets of Austin for six hours, and so my little feet weren’t excited about the prospect of propping my ass up for anything beyond critical mass. Rather than spending 2 hours experiencing the ‘tailgate’, I instead managed 30 minutes cruisin’ for a bruisin’, only without the bruisin’.
Interesting this tailgate phenomenon, the likes of which exist minimally in Canada. As we are a nation of hockey lovers, and hockey is played on the ice, and a hockey season spans 18 of the 12 months of the year, Canadians tend to drunk inside of the arena, rather than in its parking lot. They may do things differently in the Country of Calgary, but that’s their problem, readers. (Re ‘drunk’, I did not use the incorrect vowel; re ’18’, I did not use the wrong number.)
Tailgate is the celebration pre and often post game. Wandering around, I was offered at least seven beers from random strangers. Certainly, they felt sorry for my sad state of citrus honey tea in a Jo’s cup, but I was sick and so sinning against my Islam would have to wait until post antibiotic completion.
To them, I was an obvious out-of-towner, which struck me as strange because I was in jeans and leather boots, waving and smiling at everyone, which in my limited understanding of Texans, is precisely what they do. As soon as someone caught site of me, I was asked “Where you from? Come have a draank.” I would chalk this up to drunk folks waiting for a game, but in all honesty, I believe it attributed more to Texas warmth and generosity.
Because of this warmth, I felt awkward about my camera and didn’t take too many pictures. Amazing this, as I am usually completely oblivious to the social graces of picture taking. During my first trip to Vancouver, I asked a homeless man – with whom I was sharing my lunch and his bench – if he would mind smiling while we had our picture taken.
Apart from the bar-b-ques in the lots and the massive tents, there was everything ranging from little picnics on blankets to corporate parties fully catered with a serving staff. The one thing everybody had in common was the Longhorns color of pumpkin orange. It was a sea of pumpkin pie as far as the eye could see and if I could have, I would have been hanging out in the handstand position so as to ensure that my own pumpkin leather colored boots were added to the top of that sea. As I am a weakling, I couldn’t do this, so instead walked while inconspicuously kicking up my legs as high as possible. (I may or may not be lying.)
They frisk you before letting you into the stadium and coaching you on The Secret Handshake of The Longhorns, which, by the way, I refused to use until the very end, choosing to instead use The Maha Longhorns Secret Handshake comprised of index fingers by the temples, wiggling. More on this later.
So, they frisk you to ensure you’re not carrying alcohol or anything illegal (and off of which they can’t make more money inside of the stadium, such as food). I wasn’t allowed to take in either my tea or my banana. You read that right – my banana, which is not code for anything sexual, but rather the same sustenance enjoyed by our simian brothers and sisters.
Bananas were working for my sore throat, and even though they did not sell bananas inside of the stadium, I wasn’t allowed to take it in with me.
I attempted the tried, tested and true “I’m Canadian”, but still, the Longhorns Stadium Police weren’t allowed to let me in. In their defense, they were very nice about it and apologized for their entirely money-driven rules.
Because 95,000 seats and 95,000 t-shirts and 95,000 leather attachment seats, and 95,000 beers, and 95,000 pretzels, and 95,000 water bottles and ESPN paying to film per game doesn’t generate the same cash flow as the absence of one banana and citrus honey Jo’s tea. So…before I was granted entry in to the infamous Longhorns stadium which seats 95,000 fanatics and serves as home to one of America’s greatest football teams, I stood to the side and defiantly and with much pride and honor, ate that banana while declaring “YUM-ME” to every passerby.
Maintaining my Texans Behave Like This focus, I also kept up my spirited waving and smiling at all while declaring “I’m Canadian and don’t know anything about football. I’ll see you inside! OH, wait! Have you seen COACH ERIC TAYLOR? YUM-ME!”.
Part 2: The Stadium & The Game, coming next…and then, Friday Night Lights with Lisa. I will leave you with this preview of the first of many…most of which I can not recall anymore…goose-bump raising moments on the field – the entry of Denver to techno rave music.