Tweet of the Day
— Rep. Steve Stockman (@SteveWorks4You) December 30, 2013
Video of the Day
This bro-mazing video of A&M alum (and YouTube sensation) doing a trick shot off of Dallas’s Reunion Tower is making the national rounds. Way to go, dudes:
Bowl Half Empty/Full — In a fitting end to the football year, the Texas bowl season was perfectly mediocre with as many losses as there were wins. Mack Brown ended his tenure as UT’s second-winningest football coach like a T.S. Eliot poem, with a whimpering defeat against number-ten Oregon. (Like his career, the search for Brown’s replacement draws closer to the end, evidenced by the merciful decrease of the utterance: “Saban.”) At least the 30-7 loss wasn’t nearly as bad as Rice’s 44-7 loss to Mississippi State. And then there’s Central Florida’s “monumental upset” over Baylor, which is only slightly mitigated by the gif-tastic gymnastics of Bear’s quartback Bryce Petty. Good riddance to the BCS. At least Texas A&M won and, fittingly, Johnny Manziel’s (likely) final college effort drew historic ratings for ESPN. Coach Ryan Gosling led his team to a “meh” victory over Arizona State, and the little mean green men at North Texas had the most satisfying day—the win over UNLV was their first bowl victory in twelve years. Let’s hear it for next year!
Dead Man’s Treasure Chest — The new year could be an intersting one for GOP politics, which lost three major sugar daddies in 2013. Longtime donor Harold Simmons died last week, preceeded by builder billionaires Bob Perry and Leo Linbeck Jr., who passed earlier this year. All told, the three men collectively fed more than $100 million into the Texas Republican machine, although the “full extent of their donations might never be known, since many were made privately,” according to the AP’s interesting story on the subject. The piece asks if this sudden burying of the purse strings “could signal a generational change for party kingmakers in the nation’s largest GOP stronghold.” Maybe. Though no matter how many times money changes hands, it’s still green.
Bigger-in-Texas Dept. — If you thought traffic was getting worse, housing prices were soaring, and neighbors were becoming unrecognizables, well, all your fears are correct! Estimates from the Census Bureau confirm that Texas had the largest population growth of any state in 2013, marking the seventh straight year we’ve topped this list. As CultureMap notes, that’s “387,000 new Texans in the past 12 months,” or — if you prefer — 32,250 new Texans a month/7,442 a week/1,060 a day. The figures helps Texas retain its number-two ranking in population (26.4 million), behind California by a mere 11.6 million. If this keeps up, we may need to annex Oklahoma.
The Coach Is Dead, Long Live The Coach — Though it may be impossible to find a coach with more class than Gary Kubiak, the Houston Texans think they have found someone with more potential wins. Bill O’Brien has been named the new head coach, leaving Penn State after just two seasons. Not than anybody can blame him. Living in the shadow of massive scandal is one thing and anyway, “everybody’s dream … is to be an NFL coach.” For the curious, the Houston Chronicle has a “10 Things to Know about Bill O’Brien” slideshow (as they are wont to do). Welcome to the big leagues, buddy! Now don’t screw it up.
A Crappy Start To 2014— Baby New Year started things off by demanding a diaper change. The San Antonio Express reported that about 350 portable toilets were set ablaze just before the clock struck midnight on January 1. Some officials “said they believed stray fireworks started a grass fire that spread to the [rental] business,” while others have said “that the cause was unknown and that it is still under investigation.” For the sake of material, here’s hoping one person’s new year’s resolution was to become the state’s most infamous serial portapotty arsonist.