Preview of the Day
The newish Esquire network (née magazine) will explore the world of Texas pee-wee football in a ten-part documentary called Friday Night Tykes. The title will be eerily familiar to Texas Monthly fans who read about the exact same subject in last January’s edition. The series looks fairly interesting, except for the dad-coaches, who seem fairly disturbed:
Citation of the Day
Congratulations go to the Rosenberg Police Department, who shared space with celebrities in the latest People magazine. The department was featured after capturing a thief who taunted them on Facebook. The RPD is apparently, “famous for their social media presence. The department boasts 15,000 Facebook followers.”
Man-Sells-Out —In news that will surprise absolutely no one, Johnny Manziel is going pro, where he can sell autographed merchandize to his heart’s content. Yesterday, God’s (financial) gift to A&M declared his intent to enter the NFL draft after “long discussions with my family, friends, teammates and coaches.” For all his cockiness, Manziel’s statement on the matter was rather humble and effusive of all the college support. Naturally, every publication from here to USA Today and the New York Times is running like Manziel with the story. Johnny Football could be drafted as high as third overall, and maybe (maybe!) he won’t even leave the Lone Star state—the Houston Texans get first dibs.
De-Famous Court Case — Today, the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments in a defamation case that “could have far-reaching effects on individual freedom to post online,” according to the Texas Tribune. Robert Kinney is seeking to force a former employer, Andrew Harrison Barnes, to remove online comments accusing Kinney of a kickback and bribery scheme. The case has been kicked around the lower courts, but if the top judges side with Kinney, it could open the door to unheard-of judicial power in ordering the “removal of false statements from the internet.” The Internet being the last free and democratic zone filled with an infinite number of false statements, this is no small matter. Curiously, some of the details of the case even reflect the vast reach of the Internet. Kinney and Barnes originally began their litigious fighting in California, where Barnes sued Kinney for his alleged shady dealings. It wasn’t until Kinney moved to Texas and read Barnes’s online posts regarding the case, that this current debate was put into play.
Failing Sex Ed — Texas has officially received an “F” grade for reproductive health and rights. And no, “F” does not stand for “Fantastic” or “Fallopian.” The D.C.-based Population Institute handed out the grade, thanks in part to our high teen pregnancy rate, as well as lack of “affordable reproductive health care [and] comprehensive sex education,” according to the Houston Chronicle. The new abortion law was also cited. To be fair, the institute seems to be grading on a curve. The “report faulted the entire country for a teen pregnancy rate that is ‘higher than any other industrialized nation,'” and Texas was just one of twelve states that received a failing grade. So … there’s that?
No-Show — If you got tickets to the gun show, better ask for a refund. A “nearly-monthly” gun show at the Austin Expo Center has been discontinued after county commissioners refused renew the event’s lease, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The reason for denying the lease renewal is that “county officials wanted the company to require background checks for all firearm sales.” This whole incident is full of misfires from both sides. The background check commissioners wanted would’ve reportedly affected about ten percent of sales. At that point, rabid gun-lovers would do best to holster their all-or-nothing politics. Then again, at the commissioner meeting, long-time opponents of the gun show evoked recent mass shootings, none of which have any connect to firearms purchased at gun shows whatsoever (nor is there much correlation between gun show purchases and gun deaths in general).
Big-O Let Down— For a second time, former Houston Astros star Craig Biggio has been denied his rightful place in the baseball hall of fame. And he was so close this time. Like, two votes close. Biggio’s reputation among voters suffered from rumors of performance-enhancing-drug-use (hey, winners win). Yet, the good news is that experts see his hall of fame coronation as inevitable as Johnny Football going pro, noting that “no player has debuted on the ballot with more votes and been shut out in the end.” Next year, baby. Next year.