14 Predictions about 2014
What’s Ahead for Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, George Strait, Jerry Jones and other Texans.
2013 is going to be hard to top.It was a year that saw Johnny Football. Wendy’s sneakers. Mack Brown’s final game. And our junior U.S. senator, named as the third-most influential person in the world (after the Pope and Barack Obama).
The only thing we know for sure? This year is the first time that the state will have another governor since the last millennium (if you’re an ordinal counting type).
So in the spirit of looking ahead, here are fourteen predictions about 2014, in no particular order.
RICK PERRY WILL…
Run for president again? Ease into a quiet life of well-paid speeches (or considerably-less-quiet life of Fox News punditry)? Take over Texas A&M?
No. After nearly thirty years holding elective office, including thirteen as governor, Rick Perry will surprise everyone, taking only one week off before announcing his big move.
Literally. He and Anita will relocate to Sacramento, California, where Perry joins the California Chamber of Commerce as Executive Vice President, Deputy Chief Lobbyist, and…nope, not going to make that joke anymore. (Oops!)
“I can’t think of anyone more qualified than Governor Perry to serve the Chamber and the state of California,” CalChamber president and CEO Allan Zaremberg will tell the Los Angeles Times. “His passion for and considerable expertise in the areas of immigration reform, guest worker programs and economic incentives will be him a huge asset for California business, and California’s taxpayers.”
Perry’s first project, the Fast Food Enterprise Fund, will provide up to $50 million in incentives to out-of-state fast-food companies interested in starting California franchises. Whataburger, Taco Cabana, and the County Line will sign up immediately.
TED CRUZ WILL…
Cleanse himself of Canada—but not without some hiccups.
The plan will sound simple enough. In April, after some normal bureaucratic hurdles, the state’s junior Senator will finally officially renounce his Canadian citizenship, both as a matter of principle and to clear the way for a possible presidential run.
But on the day that he is scheduled to sign the paperwork in Ottawa, Cruz is struck with a debilitating case of influenza. After a frustrating forty hours waiting in line for free Canadian health care, the senator will be forced to return to America for medical attention, postponing the process for another month.
But all is not lost, as his bold, personal health-endangering stand against socialized medicine will net him five points in the next Gallup presidential poll of likely Republican primary voters.
GEORGE STRAIT WILL…
Let down his white Resistol.
Having announced his retirement from the road, the laconic country legend will suddenly feel empowered to show fans a new side of his personality.
First, at April’s Academy of Country Music Awards, Strait will interrupt Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for best female solo artist.
“I’m fixin’ to let you finish, Taylor,” Strait will say after he rushes the stage. “But everybody knows the best country music right now comes from East Texas. Let’s have a round of applause for Kacey Musgraves.”
Then at the final “Cowboy Rides Away” show at the Alamodome on June 1, Strait will break out a covers medley of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” and Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart,” which will end with him twerking . . . on Tim Duncan.
THE BARNETT SHALE WILL…
Inspire the latest cult film from the Asylum production company, (in)famous for Sharknado.
SyFy Channel’s FRACKQUAKE will star Andrew Wilson and Willa Ford as two young engineers, with Patrick Duffy in a winking role as billionaire Robert Luling and Randy Quaid as Texas governor Lyndon W. Perry.
“30 DAYS, 30 EARTHQUAKES, 30 HEROES,” is the movie’s tagline.
Billy Joe Shaver and Ruth Buzzi will round out the cast as a two farmers battling to protect their land, along with, in a real casting coup, Austin Mahone as himself (spoiler alert: he dies in the first scene when an earthquake rips open the local mall).
Like Sharknado, FRACKQUAKE will be much discussed on Twitter, but only lightly watched. Nevertheless, the movie will only serve as good publicity for the oil and gas bidness, prompting an estimated 10,000 people to move to San Saba County in the month after it airs.
CORMAC MCCARTHY WILL…
Defy the critics. The film critics, that is.
Last year the former El Paso resident’s first-ever original screenplay, The Counselor, became, “the worst movie in the history of the universe,” according to Andrew O’Hehir of Salon, with dialogue that, according to Texas Monthly’s Christopher Kelly, was “plain laughable.”
But, ever the enigmatic, imperturbable recluse, the great novelist will be undeterred by these critiques, and signs on for his next screenwriting gig without hesitation: Transformers 4.
THE HOUSTON ASTROS WILL…
Make the playoffs.
Led by star outfielder Nelson Cruz, trade deadline acquisition Cliff Lee and August minor league free agent signee Lance Berkman, the Astros will win 87 games to earn the second American League wild card, then beat the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox in a one-game shocker.
That will set up an all-Texas ALDS against the AL West champion Texas Rangers. But when the Rangers jump out to a quick 2-0 lead, Game 3 in Houston won’t even sell out, with many fans staying home to watch Johnny Manziel lead the 5-0 Texans against the winless Dallas Cowboys.
TEXAS STATE REVENUE WILL…
Be higher than ever.
After it’s revealed for the second time that the state treasury actually has billions of dollars more than was allowed for by the most recent budget, Rick Perry, in his last big act as governor, will call a special session and successfully spearhead legislation in both houses, earmarking the surplus to fund education, public transportation and arts funding.
(Editor’s note: The above item was published in error. It is actually scheduled to run on April 1, 2014.)
WENDY DAVIS AND LETICIA VAN DE PUTTE WILL…
Raise the most money of any two Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor ever, thanks to Natalie Maines, St. Vincent, Neko Case, Molly Ringwald, and Martha Plimpton.
After bonding together on Twitter, the musicians and actresses will record “We Are All Texas Women,” a country-pop record with all proceeds going to Battleground Texas.
With its rousing chorus of “At what point must a female raise her hand or her voice,” the Maines-penned song will become a modest hit, but when it comes to the attention of Katy Perry, she will record a new verse, and the subsequent reissue will top the Billboard chart for twenty weeks, generating millions.
THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY WILL…
Finally have something to brag about in the world of “bogus Internet surveys.”
Yes, Brownsville and Harlingen were named the poorest cities in America last year, with McAllen taking that same honor in 2012, but—in a not unrelated development—VICE will name the Rio Grande Valley “The Next Place You Should Move To.”
“Much like Williamsburg in 2002, there’s plenty of cheap warehouse space in this region near the Mexican border, whether you’re a painter, musician, or distiller,” VICE will write. “The barbacoa (that’s cow’s head! cooked in the ground!) is the best in the world. You’ll save money on state income tax. And sure, that pour-over coffee shop may just be a money-laundry for the Sinaloa cartel, but it’s still fair trade.”
STEVE STOCKMAN WILL…
Lose to John Cornyn, but bounce back with his own A&E reality show, co-starring Representative Louie Gohmert.
Steve and Louie’s Texas Tea Party, which will first air after Duck Dynasty’s record-setting season premiere, finds the duo executing a series of Amazing Race-style challenges, including breaking into a closed national park, spending seven days trying to feed a family of four on two minimum-wage salaries, and a target-practice challenge with firearms that were actually lubricated with liberal tears (they all jam).
The show will melt down when a Fox News expose reveals that it—as well as all of Gohmert and Stockman’s speeches and tweets—are entirely scripted by the staff of The Colbert Report.
JERRY JONES WILL…
Give long-suffering Cowboys fans some truth in advertising when, on Thanksgiving Day, with the 4-7 Cowboys trailing the Indianapolis Colts, 21-0, Jones fires head coach Bill Callahan—who will have only been on the job three weeks himself—at halftime and takes over as coach himself.
The Colts will go on to win the game, 56-7, with the Cowboys’ touchdown coming when tremors from a small earthquake in San Saba county causes Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck to trip and throw an interception.
The owner-coached team will go on to lose its next four games, prompting the shaken Jones to make the announcement Cowboys fans have waited for forever—he’ll no longer be the team’s general manager.
Of course, that merely means he will name his son, current director of player personnel, Stephen Jones, to the same post.
LONGHORNS AND AGGIES FOOTBALL WILL…
Both go 8-4 in the regular season. Again.
Suffer a major blow at the hands of Texas Monthly.
The magazine’s attempt to replace chili with smoked brisket as the state’s official dish will backfire when the House committee studying the bill for possible consideration in 2015 discovers that, at barbecue’s current level of statewide popularity, given rising beef prices and long-term rainfall projections, the state could run out of brisket by 2041.
Instead, legislation will be proposed restricting all Texas counties with a population of more than 100,000 people to no more than two barbecue joints every four square miles.
There will be no limit on chili parlors, so long as prime beef isn’t used.
AMERICAN AIRLINES WILL…
Fold into Southwest.
Six months after the completion of the American/US Airways merger, the still-struggling airline will think it’s found a way to revolutionize the business: half ticket prices and double capacity, by getting rid of seats, opting for city bus-style poles and handles to grasp during takeoff.
The FAA will initially reject the change but will back down when still-acting Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott threatens to file a lawsuit.
However, lawsuits will still end up being the problem, as seventeen different personal injury claims are filed against the airline by passengers claiming to be burned by everything from Dickey’s barbecue sauce to Starbucks salted caramel lattes.
Unable to pay the projected settlements, the airline will fold and Southwest will snap up all its assets. As a result, the Dallas Fort-Worth airport will be forced to close all but one of its terminals (for international flights only), but nobody seems to mind.
THE HIGHER ED LANDSCAPE WILL…
See a shuffling of the deck chairs and solve two problems at once.
On December 29th, Texas A&M will end a yearlong search for a permanent successor to R. Bowen Loftin by announcing the appointment of one William Powers Jr. as president.
Powers will be the personal choice of the new governor, a University of Texas graduate.
GREG ABBOTT WILL…
Oops. We just gave that one away, didn’t we? Well, you know, that’s hardly a new development.