Anyone raised in Texas can attest to the fact that football in the Lone Star State is a deeply religious experience. To kick-off the season, we bring you some tasty pigskin morsels from an even tastier book, Texas Home Cooking, by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison (Harvard Common Press). As they say at U.T., "Hook 'em, Horns!"
"If he was married to Racquel Welch, he'd expect her to cook."
—Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Don Meredith on the perfectionism of his coach, Tom Landry (quoted by Wallace O. Chariton in "This Dog'll Hunt")
When Bum Phillips, the former Houston Oilers coach, judged a kolache competition, he was so impressed with the sausage-stuffed entry that he offered to trade two draft choices for an extra pastry to go.
A common practical joke in the early years of Anglo settlement was to trick greenhorns into taking a mouthful of fiery chiles. Old-timers told newcomers the small red pods were sweet Texas strawberries.
Pete Gent, the author of North Dallas Forty and a former Dallas Cowboy, once told a rookie skimming the team play book, "Don't bother reading it, kid: everybody gets killed at the end."
The high-kicking Kilgore Rangerettes were the original football drill team, the inspiration for a Texas tradition. Gussie Nell Davis created the concept in 1940, envisioning a wholesome chorus line of cowgirls to entertain at football games. From the beginning, the Rangerettes had to be able to kick their boots above their stylish Stetsons on the field, while keeping their knees together at all other times.
Snackers around the world munch 16 million packages of (Dallas-based) Frito-Lay products daily. The company grinds up 600 million pounds of corn a year to satisfy our cravings for Fritos, Doritos and similar morsels.
Some people don't seem to understand what burgers are all about. At the "21" Club, New Yorkers pay $24 for a burger that doesn't have enough grease to oil a paper airplane.
University of Texas students sing "the Eyes of Texas" at football games as though it's a hymn, but actually the song originated as a prank. An early president of the university liked to admonish students to remember always that "the eyes of Texas are upon you." In 1903, as part of a minstrel show, an undergraduate mocked the phrase by setting it to the tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad."
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