How ignoble was 2012? It was a year in which our idols fell from their pedestals only to land on our leaders, who had already toppled from their own heights. The shame spiral began on January 3, when Rick Perry lost his first election ever, the Iowa caucuses in the GOP presidential primary. The guv-who-would-be-prez limped along for a few more weeks, tweeting strange photos, but before the month was out, he was too. Next to tumble was the lite guv, David Dewhurst, a.k.a. the Dew (and now a.k.a. the Don’t), who entered his primary contest, for U.S. senator, as one of the wealthiest politicians ever to stroll Congress Avenue. Within months he was reduced to a pile of ashes by rookie campaigner and Peter Sellers–look-alike Ted Cruz. Well, perhaps the national pastime would restore our faith. On the strength of Josh Hamilton’s bat, the Rangers were favorites to return to the World Series—at least until the slugger’s epic midsummer collapse, followed by his epic effort to show how much he didn’t care.
But by far the hardest to fall was seven-time Tour de France winner (and four-time Texas Monthly cover boy) Lance Armstrong. In August, after denying for years that he’d used performance-enhancing drugs ever at all in any situation and you’d better watch out if you keep suggesting it, buddy, the famously intense competitor announced that he wouldn’t fight the charges put forth in a new U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that made a blisteringly convincing case that, well, he had. In short order, the Plano native was stripped of his Tour titles, dumped by his corporate sponsors, and, for all we know, asked to return priz es from old Happy Meals. But there’s one thing those bastards can never take from him: He’s our 2013 Bum Steer of the Year!
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
For a great state, we have a lot of bad sports.
TYPICAL. THEY HAD THEIR CHANCE AND SOMEONE ELSE STRUCK URL
Thanks to a fumbled bid at a 2007 auction, the Dallas Cowboys missed out on a chance to own the rights to the team’s most obvious Internet domain name, cowboys.com, which ended up making its debut in 2012—as a gay dating site.
THEY HIT A TOUCHDOWN WITH THAT PROMOTION. TWO POINTS!
For the NFL season kickoff, Old Navy offered a Houston Texans T-shirt that listed the team, which played its first game in 2002, as the 1961 champions of the AFC, which was not formed until 1970.
NEXT TIME, JUST PONY UP
After the home of three SMU football players was robbed of laptops, TVs, and video games, one of them suggested that police seek out a prostitute that he had had sex with, refused to pay, and then left alone in the residence while he and his roommates attended a team banquet.
IF ONLY THEY WERE CONVERTS ALL-STARS
The Association of Private and Parochial Schools clarified its initial rejection of a request from a Houston Orthodox Jewish school to reschedule a basketball playoff game so that it would not fall on a Friday night—when Jews observe the Sabbath—by noting that when the association was founded in the seventies, its schools “all recognized Sundays as the day of worship.”
THEY’RE BIGOT SPORTSMANSHIP
Fans of San Antonio’s Alamo Heights High School basketball team celebrated the team’s playoff win against Edison High, a predominantly Hispanic local school, by chanting, “USA! USA!”
The Texanist’s Advice: Whether a sportsman, sportswoman, or sportschild, it is best to adhere to the precedents set by our sportsancestors. To wit: to behave unsportsmanly is to behave un-Texanly—no matter the game.
TRUST US, WE’RE FROM THE GUMMINT!
Maybe it should be drowned in a bathtub after all.
JUSTICE ISN’T BLIND, IT’S JUST RESTING ITS EYES
Larry Craddock, a special-education hearing officer for the state, resigned after he was caught sleeping through portions of a Keller ISD student’s hearing, which was recorded in a cellphone video that the student’s parents made when their coughing, book slamming, and other noises failed to keep Craddock awake.
IT’S NOT A DONKEY, SIR, IT’S A BULL. AND THAT’S NOT ITS HORN
During budget discussions at a meeting in June, Fort Worth School Board trustee Juan Rangel opined, “At some point . . . it’s time for us to grab the donkey by the horns and let the donkey know we’re not going to let this happen.”
HE WAS HOLDING A JOINT SESSION OF THE HIGH COURT
While attending a conference in College Station, Guadalupe County judge Mike Wiggins was arrested for possession of a controlled substance after a bellman smelled marijuana smoke coming from his hotel room.
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT AT PRESS TIME
Lubbock County judge Tom Head claimed on a local TV program that a proposed tax increase would be needed to put down civil unrest and defend the county from invading UN forces should President Obama be reelected.
WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY, AND SHARIA IS US
Harris County justice of the peace J. Kent Adams was publicly admonished by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for making offensive comments from the bench, such as telling a Pakistani mother that her son deserved to be “stoned to death.”
THEY QUICKLY REALIZED, “WE (R) IN TROUBLE”
The Angelina County Democratic party was forced to disqualify two of its own candidates, Jim Hodges, running for county sheriff, and William Wade, running for precinct constable, after both men, believing their own success in the Democratic primary was assured, voted for the general election opponents they preferred in the Republican primary, a violation of the state election code.
"I BET YOU'RE ON THE TOO-HOT-TO-FLY LIST, AREN'T YOU?"
Ellen Terrell, of Dallas, complained that a TSA screener at DFW detained her in the full-body scanner so other screeners could ogle her and commented on her "cute figure."
The Texanist’s Advice: No wonder some Texans don’t like the “gummint.” The duties with which we entrust our civic functionaries range from