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—everyone—in 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.