Opening Whistle: Welcome to Texas Monthly’s Football Blog
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That there on the left is former Texas A&M and University of Texas sports information director Jones Ramsey. Call him this blog’s spirit animal.
Not only did Ramsey work for both the Aggies and the Longhorns (and on the Heisman campaigns, such as they were, for John David Crow in 1957 and Earl Campbell in 1977), but he’s generally credited with uttering the phrase, “the two main sports in Texas are football and spring football.”
As etymologist Barry Popik wrote in sleuthing out the saying’s history, Ramsey first said it in 1971, apparently about UT. Popik also found that Tommy Nobis said it six years earlier, but the Longhorns linebacker may well have gotten that from Ramsey.
In any case, it was soon applied to the entire state, and also evolved quickly into “there are only three sports in Texas: football, spring football, and recruiting.” Ramsey died at the age of 83 in July of 2004, but his saying is more true than ever in the ESPN, Internet and Twitter age. And even though there’s not “recruiting” in the NFL, following the Dallas Cowboys (and now the Houston Texans) is a year-round pastime too. The national pastime of Texas, you might say.
Hence, “It’s Always Football Season.” Welcome to the new Texas Monthly sports blog. This is the first official post, but as part of Texasmonthly.com’s redesign, you’ll also find all of the football stories that we published on the site in January. Read on.