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The State of Texas: All Eyes On Ted

Plus: Baylor’s new football coach makes some questionable comments, Dez Bryant and Royce West ramp up their lawsuit war, and Texas Republicans picked a loser for the first time in forever.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY


“But when one of the teams advances to a big bowl game? Or a national championship? Don’t you root for the Aggies if you are a Longhorn?”

—Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, according to the Texas Tribune. In an attempt to promote party unity after anti-Trump efforts Monday, Ryan swung and missed on a long and narratively bloated sports metaphor, which caused laughter among the Texas delegation. At one point, he flashed a “horns up” sign before also flashing a “horns down” sign. Perhaps he should stick to P90X and leave Texas football to Texans. 


BIG NEWS


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is speaks to the media as he returns to his office at the U.S. Capitol, May 10, 2016, in Washington, DC.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to the media as he returns to his office at the U.S. Capitol, May 10, 2016, in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer/Getty

Ted Takes Center Stage
Today is the moment of truth for Ted Cruz. His presidential bid is now long behind him, all shadow campaigns and revolts have fizzled or been snuffed out, and his arch rival Donald Trump has officially emerged from the pair’s bitter battle as the unquestioned victor. It seems that when Cruz takes the stage at the GOP Convention in Cleveland tonight, he may have no choice but to endorse the man who assigned him the “Lyin’ Ted” moniker, accused his father of plotting to assassinate John F. Kennedy, called his wife ugly, and said—point blank—that “nobody likes” him. Will Cruz take a cue from the satirical billboard nearby the convention, and plant a metaphorical big one right on the real estate mogul’s lips? Will he, as some are expecting, avoid making an outright endorsement of Trump and instead use the platform to bolster his own anticipated 2020 campaign? Or will he veer off the Trump-approved script entirely and take us somewhere deep into Weird Cruz World? Who knows. Cruz has kept his cards close to his chest. He told Politico a few days ago that he’s not yet ready to endorse Trump and is still “watching and coming to a decision,” while maintaining that he’s not bitter about losing to Trump and indicating that he still has some fight left. Cruz described himself as a “happy warrior,” adding, “Most wars are not won in a single battle.” Perhaps Cruz’s speech will bring some much-needed clarity to what, exactly, that means.


MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS


New Coach, Same Tricks?
Baylor’s new head football coach Jim Grobe made headlines for all the wrong reasons after some questionable comments during a news conference at the Big 12 Conference’s media day on Tuesday, according to ESPN. Grobe was hired to replace disgraced coach Art Briles, who was kicked to the curb after an independent law firm found that the university failed to properly handle accusations of sexual assault, particularly those made against football players. Grobe seemed to downplay the sexual assault scandal that upended some Baylor leaders. “We don’t have a culture of bad behavior at Baylor University,” Grobe said. This is a weird thing for Grobe to say, considering the university had previously admitted in a summary of the law firm’s findings that the investigation revealed “significant concerns about the tone and culture within Baylor’s football program as it relates to accountability for all forms of athlete misconduct.” Meanwhile, the Big 12 met with Baylor officials on Tuesday to gather more information about the sexual assault scandal, and the conference’s board of directors has apparently decided not to punish the school or athletic department, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Bad Blood
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and his former mentor, State Sen. Royce West, are engaged in a bump-and-run legal battle, as each tries to one-up the other by filing lawsuit after lawsuit. First, West took legal action against Bryant in June, seeking $60,000 in damages after Bryant allegedly trashed a home West was renting out to him. West claimed Bryant left the home “littered with trash and feces, missing blinds and shutters, with cracked windows and blackened carpeting.” On Monday, Bryant filed a countersuit against West, alleging the senator used Bryant’s fame to “improperly line his own pockets and those of his business associates,” according to a filing obtained by the NFL Network. In the lawsuit, Bryant claims West and an associate ripped him off for a total of $500,000. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, West dismissed the allegations in Bryant’s countersuit as “lies and frivolous,” and said he plans to file a counter-countersuit accusing Bryant and his attorney of defamation. The lack of chill on display from both sides here is pretty astounding.

Broken Streak
Texas Republicans normally know how to pick ’em, but this presidential election has been just a little, uh, different. Republican delegates repping the Lone Star State voted for the loser in the Republican candidate race for the first time in 40 years, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick had the honor of calling out the Texas vote at the national convention on Tuesday. Patrick announced three votes for Marco Rubio, 48 for “our latest adopted favorite son,” Donald Trump, and 104 for “our favorite son who we love,” Ted Cruz. Trump officially secured the Republican party’s presidential nomination Tuesday night, marking the first time Texas fingered the wrong man since it voted for Ronald Reagan in 1976, who lost a highly contested nomination to Gerald Ford. Trump shattered Texas’s streak of selecting nine-straight winners, from Reagan (twice), to Bush, to Dole, to Bush the Younger, to McCain and finally Romney. It was a nice run, but all good things must come to an end.


WHAT WE’RE READING


Pacific Standard magazine follows an Austin family battling obesity Pacific Standard

…and Vanity Fair follows a “sugar baby” making a killing in Austin Vanity Fair

Four people died during a heat wave in El Paso El Paso Times

This guy has been to 757 (and counting) Whatabugers McAllen Monitor

People are playing Pokémon Go in cemeteries in Tyler KYTX

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