Alex is a fan of…

Searching vainly around your house for your car keys only to have it slowly dawn on you that the last time you had them they were in the left pocket of the gym shorts which you recently put in the washing machine, so you stop the wash cycle and plunge your arm elbow deep in the dirty, soapy water and finally extract the desired shorts from the morass of soaking jeans and boxers only to discover that the keys are not in there, but then when you close the washing machine lid and turn around lo and behold your keys are on the kitchen counter, your very own Scarlet Letter “A” for “absent-mindedness.”

Also, run-on sentences.

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Am I the only one who doesn’t have a problem with Tiger Woods’ commercial?

I woke up this morning to the sound of SportsRadio 610’s John Lopez slamming Tiger Wood’s new commercial. Talk about shit in your cereal. Full disclosure, I am no fan of John Lopez, and not because he’s an Aggie. I have plenty of Aggie friends. No, it’s because Lopez is emblematic of the Baylessification of sports media. It’s no longer enough to be able to write or discuss sports. One must bloviate about sports. Rant about them. Scream, debate, insist, shout down.

Lopez is a master of taking an observation and running with it. Running off a cliff in a Ford Thunderbird convertible, the chortling Thelma carrying the Journalism’s Louise with him.

I know I’m digressing here, but let me give you an example. I was on my way to the Shell Houston Open last week and Lopez was yelling about Tiger again, this time insisting that since he hadn’t seen any Tiger Woods logo’d apparel, that meant people were ashamed to wear his brand. It’s not that Lopez probably wasn’t right. If your school is in the news for major recruiting violations you probably think twice about proudly flying your colors around town. But it was 8:30 a.m. on THURSDAY. The first round! Play had barely started! People were just starting to trickle in and Lopez is drawing conclusions, staking out his position, refusing to give an inch.

So, let’s look at the commercial that Lopez slammed as “selfish.”

Um, what? Now, Lopez is far from alone in his sentiments. A lot of people seem to feel that way about this commercial. Even Bill Simmons’ mom, who seems to be the flag-bearer of the non-sports savvy, wrote “That Tiger ad with his Dad’s voice is truly unconscionable. Who in the world is advising this person?????”

The problem that Lopez and Simmons’ mom seem to have is that it’s appropriating Earl Wood’s comments about Tiger’s golf game and applying them to his current situation. They say this is classless, because Earl is dead, and not here to say what he would really want to say.

Look, the relationship between Earl and Tiger might be the most definitive father-son relationship in sports. Here you had two men, both absolutely dedicated to the end goal that one of them become the best ever in his field. One of them began this journey as a small child, yet was never forced to play golf, or forced to practice, contrary to all the popular stereotypes of Earl as a “stage dad.” What more evidence do you need than at the end of the journey, both described the other as their best friend? Or Tiger’s breakdown after winning at Hoylake?

No one ever criticized Tiger or Nike for playing on the relationship of the child Tiger and his parents before.

That’s what makes everything Tiger did sadder in retrospect. Earl died thinking his son was perfect, much like all parents are prone to do.  Earl isn’t here for Tiger to apologize to, at least not in a tangible way. Earl really thought Tiger was a transformative figure. He thought Tiger would change the world. Now? Part of his legacy is always going to be that voicemail. Earl is probably is one of the people Tiger wants to apologize to the most, and he can’t tell him he’s sorry.

But I think the commercial is more than just a way for Tiger to acknowledge those that he’s let down. I also think it’s a new, “Hello, world” moment. You’ll recall that was Tiger’s famous phrase when he announced he was turning pro.  For the past 13 years, that’s the Tiger we’ve known. Competitive, brilliant, the perfect golf machine. The stare. This:

Now watch the commercial again, and look at his eyes.

That’s the real Tiger. One fully cognizant of the magnitude of what he’s done, what he’s lost and what he might yet lose. He’s putting that out for everyone to see. To me, the opposite of selfish.

Before I kick the law school bucket…

Yesterday, I decided I would be attending Notre Dame Law School. Now the real work begins.

As the days and weeks go by I’m becoming increasingly aware that, starting in August, I’m going to be busier than I ever have been for about three or four years. Maybe longer. A few weeks ago when I was touring Tulane, I asked our tour guide (a 3L) if we should begin studying The Bluebook, other writing guides, really anything to start preparing. She rolled here eyes, not in a demeaning way, and said “My advice to you is to take these next five months and enjoy them. Do the things you want to do, because you won’t have the time once law school starts.” To that end, I’ve composed a “Bucket List” of things to do before I start law school.

Snow’s BBQ. (Accomplished 03/13/2010)

Finish chopping down tree at the farm.

Go to Retrospective.

Drink a Dublin Dr.  Pepper.

Tour St. Arnold’s Brewery.

Complete my Blair Genealogy Project.

Eat Chicken-Fried Bacon at Sodolak’s Country Inn in Snook, Texas. (Accomplished 03/13/2010)

Attend Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic.

Go camping with friends somewhere.

Float the River.

Eat a really, really good chicken fried steak.

Visit the Alamo.

Learn a little bit of Spanish.

Read the Bible.

Learn how to hunt, or at least how to handle a gun.

Take country-western dance lessons.

Tour the Hill Country during bluebonnet season with Mom.

Gruene Hall.

Luchenback, Texas.

Remembering Uncle Kenneth

image

My grandmother is second from right.

My great-uncle Kenneth died 40 years before I was born. So I couldn’t tell you how his laugh sounded, or what color his eyes were or anything like that. But I don’t hesitate when I say that Uncle Kenneth has been part of my life from my earliest memories.

Kenneth Boone was killed in action while serving in World War II. He was the oldest of my grandmother’s six siblings. For as long as I have been coming to my grandparents’ house in North Austin a portrait of him as hung on their living room wall. I have spent inumerable hours in that room opening Christmas presents, watching football, and horsing around. Inevitably my eye will fall on the picture of the soldier staring down at me and I often have found myself wondering who Uncle Kenneth really was.

Family is and always has been a central part of Christmas. My extended family, including my grandmother, her six children, 14 grandchildren and a handful of great-grandchildren also comes together for Easter and Thanksgiving. But having family around is just more special at Christmas. I know that’s schmaltzy, but it just is. It makes sense if you think about. Christmas celebrates the birth of a child, the creation of a family.

But just as central as that sense of togetherness is a rememberance of those in our family who are no longer with us. My grandfather passed away soon after Christmas in January of 2000. He always had this special prayer we would say at Christmas, and we still call it “Pop’s Prayer.” So I wanted to take a little time during my Christmas weekend to remember Uncle Kenneth as well.

A couple weeks ago my Dad and I were up in Austin having breakfast with Grandma. My cousin, Kimberly, is dating a tank commander in the Army. We imagine it’s only a matter of time before he’s deployed.

“I guess that we’ve never had to deal with that, having someone in our family serving overseas,” my Dad said.

“I have,” Grandma said, quietly.

She doesn’t talk much about Uncle Kenneth. She has been through a lot in her life and is a very tough lady. But five decades later the loss of her oldest brother is keenly felt.

As the oldest male child in a farming family, he could have gotten out of or at least delayed his enlistment. In fact, my great-grandfather had the papers. My grandmother’s family lived in a “holler” in rural Kentucky, and the sons of several other nearby families had delayed enlistment. Despite my great-grandmother’s wishes, Kenneth insted my great-grandfather not sign the papers. He wanted to serve.

Kenneth came home on leave in 1942, at the same time that Bing Crosby realeased his famous rendition of “White Christmas.” My Grandma said that he liked to sit by the radio and listen to that song, and she told me that she always thinks of him when she hears it.

When Kenneth would come back in from some carousing with his friends, he would always crack the screen door and say, “Momma, I’m home.” Great-grandma Boone continued to hear that, years after he died in February of 1945.

As I write this I am sitting in an easy chair in Grandma’s living room. Uncle Kenneth’s picture hangs beside me. In a couple of hours we are going to eat a boisterous dinner and open presents. We are going to laugh at the same stories we always laughed at, and because this is the Blair family, we are going to make crude jokes not befitting of the occassion. We are going to remember all those who are not with us. I have Uncle Kenneth to thank for that.

Merry Christmas to everyone, and especially our military families. God Bless.

Sigh, Texans

It sure has been a great week to be a Houston Texans fan. If by “great” you mean “akin to stuffing your hand into a whirring blender.”

IT’S FOOTBALL TIME IN HOUSTON!!!1

I need some venting.

Let’s recap, on Monday the team I hate the most, quarterbacked by my favorite football player of all time, comes into Reliant Stadium challenging the Texans’ manhood. By any measure it’s the most important game in team history. Monday Night Football. National audience. A crucial game to keep pace in the playoff hunt. Against a division rival and Houston’s former team (and one that many traitorous Houstonians inexplicably root for). Led by Vince Young, a player that many in Houston still pine for. If the Texans are ever going to be 100 percent motivated for a game, it will be this one. What happens? They choke. The offense manages a mere 17 points and Kris Brown (rapidly becoming the David Duval of NFL kickers) misses a kick to send it into overtime for the second straight game. The defense actually does a decent job on the Titans, but fail to stop Vince on a late fourth quarter drive from their own 6-yard line, a drive that resulted in the winning field goal from Rob Bironas.

Sunday’s game against the Colts, wasn’t just crucial. It was must-win if Houston had any chance of going to the playoffs. The Texans played like they knew that for the first half.  QB Matt Schaub led the offense to four scores on their first four drives to lead 20-7 at the half, and the defense picked off Manning twice. Houston would have been up 28-7 if Andre Johnson hadn’t dropped a touchdown pass and the offense hadn’t stalled out inside the 15. But with the way the offense was moving against a Colts defense missing their key pass-rusher in Dwight Freeney, it looked like it would be a non-issue. So what happened? The Texans SUPER EPIC CHOKED. Here are the team’s first five offensive possessions of the second half : Pick-Punt-Punt-Pick Six-Fumble. Until a garbage time touchdown with 2:52 left the Texans offense netted -7 points and THEN set the Colts up with a 34-yard field for their third touchdown of the second half. So really, -14 points.

To add insult to injury, Vince decided to remind the Texans what they were missing by leading a 99-yard touchdown drive at the buzzer, while throwing for 380 yards.

So here’s my hometown team once again. Facing a meaningless December and looking forward to the NFL Draft. Unacceptable, but not unexpected given the Texans’ culture of failure.

I seriously saw a custom “SageCopter jersey” at a Texans game this season. When one of your fans is willing to plunk down $80 to commemorate one of the most painful moments in franchise history, doesn’t that say something about your team?

Here in Houston, many are calling for head coach Gary Kubiak’s head. I’m inclined to agree with them. When Kubiak was brought in he had a reputation as one of the league’s eminent offensive gurus. He was the architect of Mike Shanahan’s potent offenses in Denver, a cerebral former QB who was a maestro of establishing the running game…no matter the defense his team faced. He inherited a truly awful Texans team that had gone 2-14 and took them to 6-10 in his first year (he didn’t get enough credit for that). The next year the Texans failed to improve, with another 8-8 year. This year, Kubiak’s fourth year is nut-cuttin’ time, as we say in Texas. Matt Schaub has had great talents and has spent three years learning the ins and outs of this offense from Kubiak. Andre Johnson is the best wide receiver in the NFL.

Steve Slaton was one of the best rookie running backs in the NFL in 08, and is a big-play threat. Most importantly, the Texans offensive line is much improved, led by LT Duane Brown, one of the best young LTs in the AFC. The defense is young but stocked with talent. Playoff contention was expected this year.

Instead…5-6. Most damning to Kubiak, the failures have been mostly offensive, his area of expertise. The Texans defense was extremely putrid and poorly-prepared in the first three games, allowing big play after big play. But since then they’ve been one of the better units in the league. And that’s with Mario Williams having a disappointing season. They held (lowly) Oakland to 6, shut out Kurt Warner and the Cardinals in the second half, and on the road held Cincinnati, Indy, and Buffalo to 17, 17, and 10 points respectively. They shut down the 49ers for the first half, allowed them back in the game in the second half, but still held them to 21. Again, they held Vince Young and Chris Johnson to 20 points, and did a better job against Peyton Manning than the final score indicates, given the scale of the offensive collapse by the Texans.

The 2009 team has been the Bizarro Texans. The defense plays well, the offense falls apart. If the Texans had managed no worse than 21 points per game they’d be 7-4.

Sure, there are things beyond Kubiak’s control:  When Owen Daniels went down with an ACL tear against Buffalo, the Texans lost one of the Top 5 tight ends in the NFL. Imagine Colt McCoy without Jordan Shipley. That’s been Schaub these last three games. And everyone is surprised by Kris Brown’s sudden penchant for hooking.

But a lot of problems on that side of the ball you can point your big, fat finger square at the head coach: Schaub has played well at times, made back-breaking mistakes at others. He looked lost in an embarrassing blowout loss to the Jets in their opening game at home. At Arizona the Texans were driving for the winning score when he threw a pick-6. Then came his incredible collapse against Indy.  By the way, both pick-6s were the same high floater on a sideline curl route. Fact is, Schaub should be better at this point in his career. He through an interception in the first half against Jacksonville that halted momentum, a heave-ho to Andre who was covered by multiple defenders. His first interception against the Colts on Sunday was the same thing. He shouldn’t be making these dumb mistakes three years in.

Steve Slaton has suffered through one of the worst sophomore slumps I can remember. Apparently failed to wait in line for the fumbleitis vaccine. When a player doesn’t perform, the coaches bear responsibility. Kubiak seems indecisive when it comes to the running game. After running for 126 against the Bills, third-string Ryan Moats hasn’t sniffed the field after a costly fumble at Indy. And yet Chris Brown and Slaton each have made costlier mistakes this season but are continually trotted out.

But I think Kubiak still has a chance to save his job.

Kubiak deserves our patience as the rest of this season plays out. The Texans remaining five games are @Jacksonville, Seattle, @St. Louis, @Miami, and the Patriots. What if the Texans win four of those, which isn’t a stretch. That’s 9-6, probably out of the playoffs, but still over .500. This team is talented enough to win all five, which is 10-6, but likely going fishing, with the teams ahead of them in the wild-card race. Do I think they could? Yes, they’re talented enough. Do I think they will? Well, they love to choke. But it wouldn’t surprise me. If Kubiak finishes over .500 he deserves another year. Even if the Texans go 4-2 and finish 8-8, giving him another off-season and another draft might not be a bad idea.

The Texans’ biggest mistake of the Kubiak Era was not picking Vince. Anyone who wants to argue that is asinine. Mario is a good player, but he was never going to have the impact Vince would’ve. But that ship has sailed. That decision is going to haunt the Texans in their own city and state as long as Vince is playing football. But you can’t blame Kubiak for that decision. That’s on Bob McNair and Charley Casserly picking with their hearts (David Carr) over their head (Vince Young).

The biggest doubt I have about Kubiak is can he craft a winning culture in Houston? The answer so far has been a resounding NO. More often than not he looks like a confused offensive coordinator playing head coach. The Texans are so close. A couple more pieces could put them not just in the playoffs, but at the top of the AFC. The year before the Giants won the Super Bowl, everyone agreed that the team wouldn’t play for Tom Coughlin and he should be canned. Kubiak is on thin ice, a loss in the next three games will be enough to sink him, but as much as I wanted his head to roll after this week, patience might be a virtue.

My Most Memorable Sports Moments of the ’00s

In case anyone’s bored at work tomorrow and needs to kill time…

The thought occurred to me that this decade is mere months away from being consigned to the history books. So…what’s your own personal list?I’m only including favorite memories here. LEAST favorite might be a whole nother post. Try to limit it to 10, and rank them. Here’s a criteria I used: You must remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when the moment happened. I thought for sure Tiger’s chip in on 16 at Augusta in 05 would make my cut, but no dice.

Thoughts on the list. Obviously Longhorn football gave me the best sports memories. Part of me is starting to realize that I could live 100 more years and Texas could win 10 more championships and the 2005-06 Longhorn football season will STILL have been the highlight of my sports life and Vince will STILL have been the best player I’ve ever seen.

UPDATE: I changed the list.  Swore I wouldn’t do it, but glaring ommissions happen and this one was just too glaring.

10)  2002 – Texans beat Cowboys 19-10

The Texans are the Aggies. Our inferiority complex towards the Cowboys is extremely strong. Our hatred of them is just as strong as their apathy towards us. What’s more, Houston is full of Cowboys fans. All you have to do is listen to sports radio here for an hour to hear an obnoxious Cowboy fan calling in to say “The Texans suck!!” As if that wasn’t bad enough, our first pro football team, the team we suffered with, abandoned us forTennessee. After the Oilers left, everyone KNEW that Houston would never get another team. There was NO WAY. And yet, LA’s bid for the 32nd team fell through, Bob McNair rode in with a Mack truck full of money. We had a football team again. The impossible had happened. During those halcyon days, it didn’t matter that none of us had gotten used to the odd team name. No one cared about wins or losses. It was enough to have the NFL. We drafted David Carr, who at the time sounded a lot like Colt McCoy will sound in the 2010 Draft. Mobile, strong-arm, smart, mature, All-American. He was going to grow up with the franchise and lead us to the Super Bowl. He was going to be our Roger Staubach.

Houston has never been more amped for a NFL game than they were for this one. Then the impossible happened AGAIN. The Cowboys came out thinking all they had to do was show up, David Carr led the Texans right down the field and threw a strike to Billy Miller, the tight end. Of course, nothing turned out like we wanted it to. But for that night…

You might ask why I’ve written so much about this. It’s because nothing the Texans have done since has even come close.

9)  2008 – The Tyree Catch

Man that Super Bowl party at Colin’s was INCREDIBLE. I commandeered his grill and absolutely killed it. I made Asian buffalo chicken strips on the grill with a ginger and sriracha marinade. Colin’s hot Asian friend Teri referred to me as “The Chef” for about a year afterwards. Starting to think that kitchen skills was a great way to impress the ladies. Ate the last wing right before Tyree made the catch, the greatest professional football play ever and probably the greatest game ever.

8.  2007 – Biggio’s Last Game

To me, this was more memorable than Biggio’s 3,000 Hit Game (After hit No. 3,000 I had to go to the airport to pick up my parents and laid on the horn when Bigg got hit No. 4 of the evening). Unlike that game, I was actually at this one.

Bagwell was always my favorite Astros growing up. What Houston Little Leaguer didn’t try to emulate that epic stance? But Craig eventually won us all over with sheer durability and tenacity. Biggio was lucky in that the closer he got towards the end of his career, the more appreciated he was. The only thing that kept Astros fans coming the Juice Box during the dregs of that putrid season was a chance to see Biggio. We knew this was last season.

He doubled his first at-bat. It would be his only hit all game, but what a way to finish. Every at-bat we all were chanting “Bigg-I-O.” We knew it would be the last time we could do that chant for him as a player. At the end of the game he took a lap around the field. U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” played over the loudspeakers. U2 was always Biggio’s up-to-bat music. I’ll never listen to that song the same way again. Sports childhood officially over.

7)  2005 – Pump Fake Heard Round the World aka “Say Goodbye to Vince Young”

I decided to limit myself to one regular season play from 2005. It killed me to exclude VY-Pittman in the Cotton Bowl but it had to be this. This was the night of my sister Courtney’s engagement party. It was at her best friend’s parents house. They had this game on in a little TV in the kitchen. Dad and I weren’t too concerned about the game because Texas was on a roll and OSU sucked that year. But we kept venturing into the kitchen and Texas kept sucking. OSU was clicking. You just felt this was where the magical run to a national championship would come to an end. What’s worse, Courtney is an Aggie and all her Aggie friends were laying on the schadenfreunde big time. Mom was furious at Dad and I because our glowering was putting a damper on the party. She called out bluff and said, “If you’re going to act like this then just go home.” So we did. Just the two of us. Left the party. We got home, turned on the TV. Minutes later this happened. We still were in a big hole. But you knew the game was over.

6)  2005 – Chris Burke

People forget all the great moments from this game. Brad Ausmus’ dying quail homerun. Lance’s grand slam to send it into extras. Roger Clemens coming in in relief in the 17th inning. I was watching this game in Laufy and Andrew’s room. I think I had a class or something but I didn’t get there til the fifth inning. I remember being pissed because I thought I had missed half the game. Little did I know. I’ll always remember Clemens coming up to bat in the 18th, right before Burke and swinging HARD. Roger Clemens never swung hard. But he was really trying to hit a walk-off to end it. I remember thinking that Clemens never hit a HR in his major league career (and never did) and that it would’ve been awesome if that had been it. Then…CRACK. Right to the EXACT FAN that had caught Berkman’s grand slam about 10 innings earlier! Walked downstairs and headed to JCL. As mentally exhausted as I’ve ever been after a game.

5)  2004 –  T-Mac scores 13 points in 35 secs

We began the night at Double Dave’s back when it was still in that cursed location by the Castillian. B-Hare and Roberto said that we should make a Texas Trophy that would rotate around the Texas Triangle. B-Hare then made a prototype out of an ashtray and a salt-and-pepper shaker. We walked back to the Mo, me taking shit the whole time because the Spurs were killing the Rockets. We got back in time for the last 30 seconds. Figured we’d watch as a mere formality.

You know how it seems like everyone hates George W Bush? Well deep in my heart I’ll always hold a deep respect for him the way he handled the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Even with all the stuff that happened afterwards. You know how every Rockets fan hates T-Mac now? Well…

4)  2005 – Juke Heard Round the World II (1:08)

Dan Fouts found a way to pronounce “No” with a “gh.” Knew he could do it. I remember the exact thought that went through my head:

“He is not made out of matter. We are going to win the national championship next season.”

3)  2004 – Jeff Kent Walk-Off Game 5

This is my favorite Astros memory of the Aughts. We were all watching in the Dojo. Random dudes showed up to watch. That dorm room was packed. Perfect playoff baseball atmosphere. Even moreso than the 2005 team that went to the World Series, the 2004 team really and truly felt the most like a team of destiny. Brad Lidge came out of nowhere after we traded Octavio Dotel to become the single most dominating closer I have ever seen EVER. Roger Clemens’ Cy Young season. The otherworldly level of play that Beltran reached that postseason, a level no one has reached since. The crazy run to the wild card that we clinched on the last day when former Astro Steve Finley hit a grand slam for the Dodgers against the Cubs. Styx. Sharped Dress Man.

Isringhausen walks Berkman to  get to Kent. Listen to how perfectly this moment is set up. First, the broadcast team explains all the reasons why they HAD to walk Berkman. Then one guy casually mentions that this will piss Kent off. Then the infielders come in to talk to Isringhausen, delaying the moment even further. First pitch. We headed to St. Louis with a 3-2 lead. I knew we were going to the World Series.

2)  2008 – Tiger Woods eagles 13 at Torrey Pines in Third Round Us Open

My dad and I found a great spot to watch just behind the 13th green, a dramatic, uphill bear of a par 5. We had seen Tiger eagle this yesterday in the second round. Tiger was spraying the driver all week. You couldn’t see the tee box from the green, as it was hidden behind some trees. But we saw the tremendous sea of people lining the right hand side of the fairway all the sudden take off running to the right. Tiger had sliced it into the tall stuff, almost into the porta-potties. “No way he hits the green now” I said. “I dunno” my Dad said. We could see Tiger. “He’s pulling an iron, he must be laying up” I said. “I don’t think he is” Dad said. After Tiger hit the ball, no one in the crowd could see it against the cloudy sky. Then you heard it. THUMP. It landed four feet right of the hole and rolled to the back of the green, but on in two. I lost control for about a second as the whole place went nuts. I was running around screaming “OH MY GOD!” Minutes later as he was standing over the putt I was just thinking that it would be too much to ask for him to make this. Then he curled in that 60-footer. I’ve never thought that my excitement at a golf tournament would reach college football level. Just listen to how long it takes that crowd to calm down! People were wigging out.

The most memorable moment in one of the greatest sports weeks of my life. You know how the 05-06 football season couldn’tve worked out anymore perfect? It was the same thing for me and my dad with the 2008 Open. We decided to go on a whim, hoping to be present for a Tiger Woods major. In the month before the tournament, Tiger had knee surgery. His camp said it was no big deal. But he didn’t play in the Memorial, the week before, and you had a feeling something was up. It was clear he wasn’t right from the get-go. But Tiger freaking Woods somehow won the greatest golf tournament ever on a broken FREAKING leg. One of the best moments in sports history and my dad and I were there.

1)  2006 – 4th and 5

I think Roberto mentioned earlier this year that he’s gotten kind of numbed to this clip. Many of you agreed with him. I haven’t. I’ll never forget lying on the carpet upstairs at my house. Just watching Sportscenter over and over again into the wee hours. Hoping it would go on forever.

Honorable Mention:

Sweed CatchChance Wheeless Walk-OffRyan the Iceman IRyan the Iceman IIJamaal Charles = HOUSEJuke Heard Round the World ISawks Win4th and 18Texas outlasts AtM in 2OTRhett Bomar Gets KNTFOVY to Pittman TDTMac Retires Shawn Bradley, Kenton Paulino!!!


Kentucky

I’ve always said I would never leave Texas. But every time I travel to Kentucky I come back with the realization that that’s not true. I returned from my my Family Reunion last week, and I still find myself regretting I didn’t have more time there. The same feeling I have when I see Austin in my rear-view mirror.

My Dad’s family is really unusually large and unusually close. I count all 11 of my first cousins among my best friends and am close to my aunts and uncles. They all live in Texas and we see each other a lot, but it doesn’t end there. I also know my great aunts and uncles and many of my first-cousins-once-removed (Dad’s cousins), in addition to my second cousins (their kids).

This helped me.

This helped me.

They all live in Kentucky, and the two contingents meet up every two years for family reunions. The whole assembled family pushes 200 in number, and though I couldn’t tell you most of their names, I’m going to hazard to guess that I know more family members than your average guy. But the problem is we only get to see one another once every two years for the reunion. A lot of the Texas contingent of the family couldn’t help but wish that we saw each other more often.

Though I’ve lived in Texas my whole life, my roots in Kentucky run deep. It’s where both grandparents and my Dad was born before moving to Austin in the late 60s. So when I go back to Kentucky, I hear comments like “This is where Pop and Grandma got married,” or “That’s the house where your great-grandfather was born,” or even “That’s where your great-great-uncle Nick owned a bourbon distillery.” Truth.

After being in a place where your ancestors (absolutely no irony in the use of that word) lived and died, you feel hollow after leaving. It’s almost like that’s where you’re supposed to be.

Also I love bourbon and horse-racing. So maybe someday.