The View From My Windshield: Hook ’em, Shorthorns

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Marfa Marfa Marfa: Marfa Shorthorns at Alpine Bucks, 9/3/2010 (Photo: Tim Murphy)Marfa Lights: Marfa Shorthorns at Alpine Bucks (Photo: Tim Murphy).Alpine, Texas—It’s a little cliched to say that high school football is kind of a big deal in Texas. There’s a book about it. And a TV show. And a movie—two, actually, if you count James Van Der Beek’s receding hairline in Varsity Blues. So I’ll spare you the exposition on how football budgets dwarf English department budgets (I mean, have you ever read Beowulf?), on how Friday night games can become culture war hot zones, on how everything just means so dang much.

Instead, I’d just like to note three small details:

1.) When Marfa High School’s marching band took the field at halftime of “the West Texas Rivalry” at Alpine on Friday night, its drumline consisted entirely of Shorthorns players still in uniform. Which was awesome.

2.) Any time a player went down due to injury, everyone—everyonein uniform immediately dropped to one knee with an almost martial discipline and stayed like that until the afflicted got back up.

3.) The idea of Frito Pie (in the case of the Alpine High School concession stand, that’s “a bag of Fritos smothered in processed nacho cheese”) is one of the four or five greatest arguments for health care reform. I’m not sure why President Obama doesn’t talk about this more.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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