QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Now, I love tacos all the time. Whether it’s Taco Bell or I go make my own tacos or whatever.”
—Vidauntae “Taco” Charlton, to the Detroit News last August. Taco was selected in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night by the Dallas Cowboys, so the six-foot-six defensive end out of Michigan will have plenty of taco options once he’s in Texas. More on Taco and the rest of the NFL draft later.
Future Is Now
As expected, Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett was selected as the top overall pick in the NFL draft, which kicked off Thursday night. Garrett dominated at defensive end for the Aggies, recording 31 sacks in 3 seasons, and he was widely regarded as the most talented prospect in the draft regardless of position, by a long shot. He was selected by the Cleveland Browns, and though they don’t have Garrett’s beloved Fuego Tortilla Grill in Cleveland (yet!), they certainly do have room for improvement. “They picked me because they think they see something in me, and they know that I can help them rebuild and turn this program around,” Garrett, an Arlington native, told ESPN. Good luck. Not to be outdone, Texas Tech landed a player in the top ten, too, with Kansas City trading up to land quarterback Patrick Mahomes with the tenth overall pick. Mahomes, who hails from Tyler, put up nutty numbers this year with the Red Raiders, throwing for 5,052 yards and 41 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions, including a ridiculous 819-total-yard performance in a single game. The Houston Texans traded up to get their quarterback, too, swapping their twenty-fifth overall slot and a first-round pick next year for Cleveland’s twelfth selection, where they took quarterback Deshaun Watson, who led Clemson to a national title last season. Earlier this year, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney compared Watson to Michael Jordan, but the Texans would probably be happy if Watson simply puts an end to the franchise’s historically disastrous string of quarterbacks. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys selected, with the twenty-eighth overall pick, a Taco. Well, sort of… the guy’s name is Taco, but he is a football player, not a food. The Cowboys got themselves a big ol’ pass rusher in Taco Charlton, a six-foot-six defensive end out of Michigan. Taco will fit right in here in Texas.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
On Thursday a federal judge ordered ExxonMobil to fork over nearly $20 million for spewing a bunch of air pollution into the skies near Houston, according to the Texas Tribune. The decision is a huge victory for environmentalist groups, including the Sierra Club and Environment Texas, who originally sued Exxon in 2010, alleging the company’s facility in Baytown exceeded emissions regulations by about eight million pounds of hazardous chemicals over a five-year period. The director of Environment Texas told the Tribune that the $20 million fine could be the “largest penalty resulting from a citizen suit in U.S. history.” In a statement to the Tribune, Exxon said it will consider appealing the judge’s decision. According to CNN, the court found that Exxon pocketed about $14.2 million by not complying with environmental regulations, and that the oil giant violated the Clean Air Act 16,386 times between October 2005 and September 2013 at the Baytown complex.
Austinite and Infowars host Alex Jones suffered a big loss in his child custody battle with his ex-wife. The verdict came in on Thursday in Travis County, and Jones’s ex-wife, Kelly, was granted joint custody with the right to have their three children make their primary residence with her instead of her husband, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Jones will eventually have visitation rights. The children had been living almost exclusively with media personality since the couple divorced in 2015. The verdict marks the end to what was one of the most bizarre trials in recent memory—that, of course, came as no surprise considering Jones’s line of work as the conspiracy theory-peddling host of Infowars. During the trial, Jones discussed in his testimony George Soros, chili, and Obama, among other similarly apropos things, and he even had a bit of an existential crisis after his own attorney asserted in a court filing that Jones’s Infowars persona was all an act.
It really doesn’t get any better than this for NBA fans in Texas. The San Antonio Spurs knocked out the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night to advance to the second round, where they’ll face the Houston Rockets in a best-of-seven series starting Monday, according to the San Antonio Express-News. This is just the fourth time the two franchises have faced off in the postseason, and it promises to be a true heavyweight matchup. The Spurs entered the playoffs as the NBA’s second-best team, and the Rockets have enjoyed an excellent season, too, finishing a handful of games behind the Spurs to land the third seed in the Western Conference. Both teams are led by potential MVP candidates, who have already performed exceptionally well in the playoffs. The Spurs’s Kawhi Leonard averaged 31 points in 6 games against the Grizzlies, while Harden averaged 33 points per game (while adding 7 assists and 6.4 rebounds) in 5 games against the Thunder.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Another Texas congressman quit the Freedom Caucus Texas Tribune
Meet the Houston group behind Trump’s new immigrant crime reporting hotline Houston Chronicle
A Whole Foods sale seems even more likely now Austin American-Statesman
Motivated by a teammate battling cancer, Nederland High School’s softball team won a district title Beaumont Enterprise
More details on the Texas engineering company that was raided by the FBI earlier this week McAllen Monitor