The State of Texas: March 3, 2014
On Saturday, Wally Pryor, known as the “Voice of the Longhorns” for the past forty years, went to that Big Pressbox in the Sky. His “smooth, deadpan style became synonymous with University of Texas football and basketball.” He was 86.
Slideshow of the Day
The Smithsonian Channel’s riveting television show Aerial featuring, as it sounds, aerial shots of places, cruised over Texas recently, highlighting “sweeping shots of everything that makes our state so awe-inspiring, weird, and brag-worthy,” according to the San Antonio Express-News. Of course, for those of us on the ground, it’s all that and more.
Photo of the Day
Below is a sampling of the temperatures near Central Texas, and it’s the same throughout most of the state. Recommendation of the day: stay inside:
Our McConaissance Man — Matthew McConaughey just keeps on winnin’, w-i-n-n-i-n. Last night, the Longview native won Best Actor at the Oscars for his performance in the Dallas Buyers Club. Like McConaughey the man, McConaughey the speech was Texas weird. It was also full of great daily aphorisms, “Three things I need each day: One is something I need to look up to, another is something I need to look forward to and another is someone to chase.” The speech also included references to gumbo, God, and his dancing naked father. As far as award acceptances go, it was up there with his recent SAG speech about bullriding and Neptune. And should anyone forget, Texas Monthly was down with McConny before he was really hot: here’s a profile of the star-on-the-rise from 1996. McConaughey, of course, is on a roll with the HBO show True Detective and an upcoming mindbender from Christopher Nolan. In the man’s own words, “alright, alright, alright.”
Political Chess — All the state runoff elections are great … if you really like the game of politics. The Texas Tribune has a nice look at the challenges candidates face when competing in heavily populated races that usually end in runoff elections. “A race with two candidates is checkers,” said one political consultant. “A race with multiple candidates is chess.” As such, the strategies for running a full race vary and the piece goes a long way into explaining why Lite Guv incumbent David Dewhurst has taken so many hits from his opponents. It’s all about jockeying for the right position. Democrats, too, are trying to find their groove in the primary season, but not without a few pats on their own backs. The AP reports on the party’s one-year celebration of Battleground Texas “with cocktails at a swank Austin bar” where they’re “hosting one last party before the project’s first significant test in Tuesday’s primary election.” Primary news for Dems has been relative low-key and “expectations for next week’s primary have been tamped down by the fact that Davis doesn’t face a serious Democratic challenger” and her lieutenant governor partner, Leticia Van de Putte, has no challenger. All this is to say that the real hunger games begin after March 5.
Pawn-Coin Shop — Hardly a week after Bitcoin unveiled its first ATM in Texas, it would seem that Austin is becoming the Swiss bank for the digital world. This week the currency will host a conference at the Circuit of the Americas track outside of Austin. Full registration is $325 (and yes, Bitcoins are excepted). No word yet on whether Bitcoin-loving Representative Steve Stockman will show up. Then again, no one ever knows if he’ll show up for anything. Texas is also going to be the home to the world’s second bitcoin ATM, too. While the first one was at a bar, Bitcoin is raising the stakes by putting the second in … a gun store. “Owners of Central Texas Gun Works say they wanted to be at the front of the emerging trend,” according to KXAN. “This is the way things are going … Crypto technology; we are going in that direction and bitcoin is here to stay.”
Laissez Les Bons Temps Bruler — It was not a happy Fat Tuesday for some revelers in Galveston. “Several arrests were made after a crowd became violent and refused to disperse,” according to KHOU. Police in riot gear were attempting to end the revelry when they “encountered a large group … that had taken fencing used to safeguard the public from parade floats and barricaded the street.” According to news accounts, “when the crowd saw the police removing the fence, they began to throw bottles at the officers.” The GPD then turned to using pepper spray bottles, which dispersed the crowd. Nineteen people were arrested.
A New Page — Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine, “one of the nation’s oldest regional sports magazines,” is changing hands. Fear not, though! It won’t be anything like famed editor Tina Brown starting up the short-lived Talk magazine or taking over soon-dead Newsweek. Rather, TF will simply “be managed and operated by a newly formed Dallas-based company owned in part by former Astros owner Drayton McLane.” More good news: the man whose name is at the top of the magazine will remain as the editor-in-chief. So, if you had concerns that ESPN, local radio, local newspapers, and everybody at the coffee shop wouldn’t provide enough Texas football coverage for you, do not fret.
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