My Car Eats Things

It’s a well-known fact that I work the late shift. I am usually one of the last people into the office and am usually one of the last people to leave. I’m not proud of it, but I own it. I just do not function well before 9 am but by 2 pm, I’m kickin’ things pretty hard! Mondays are Mondays for a reason — the first day of a long work week — and today was especially hard to get going because I’m having a new fence put up at my house and I had to talk to the fence guy to discuss things like which way the gates should swing and why they needed to cut down my two gorgeous boxwood trees1. You know, all the important things. Because of all the fence rigamarole, today was one of those days that I just didn’t have time to finish putting on my mascara2 before I left for work, so I grabbed all my eyeball accoutrements and threw them in my purse. As soon as I stepped into the office, things were in full-swing and I never had time to finish putting on my face.

Shockingly, though, I had a few extra minutes before a 4 pm dr appointment this afternoon and thought I’d take the time to dress up my eyes to impress my doctor and all. He is a plastic surgeon, not to mention someone I like immensely, so I forever feel the need to look my best. I had to fish around in my ginormous handbag for five minutes to get my new-and-not-cheap mascara out and when I finally did, it slipped out of its box3 and fell between the driver seat and the console.

There’s not much space between those two things, but I slipped my hand in the miniscule crack to try and fish out the mascara tube. I didn’t feel anything, so I got out of my car and looked under the seat. I saw nothing. I moved the seat back thinking I’d be able to see it, but nope. I moved the seat forward thinking it had fallen back behind me. Nada. By this time, I was totally late for my appointment, but was determined to locate the mascara that was clearly taunting me. I thought I should shed a little light on the situation, so I got out my iPhone and still saw nothing. I moved the seat forward again and, when I say that I was practically standing on my head, I was practically standing on my head in my backseat looking for this mascara. I put my hand in every nook and cranny within two feet of my car seat and still could not find that mascara. I finally conceded defeat and headed in to my appointment, mascara-less and with hair all a-mess.

I repeated the same exact exercise when I got home so I could really stretch out and could use my hot pink LED flashlight. My contortionistic poses did nothing to help the cause though and, for the life of me, could not fine that mascara! The conclusion? My car eats things. And I am none too pleased about it. All I can say is RIP-new-expensive-mascara-that-accidentally-dropped-between-my-console-&-car-seat-&-sucked-into-the-nether-regions-never-to-be-found-again. I’ll miss you. And so will my checkbook.

1 Thanksbeto the gardening gods, my fence guy is also a master gardener so he helped me figure out where to replant them so they won’t die a terrible, sudden death from being ripped out of the ground for the fence. Ahem.
2 Or as I like to say, “finish putting on my eyeballs”. My work-husband is all too familiar with this refrain.
3Yes, I am anal retentive and keep my mascara in its box. It’s how I keep track of the age of them! Why are you looking at me that way?!

Playing Catch Up

My blogging frequency has decreased about one million fold for so many reasons I can hardly count thee. Mostly, I blame Twitter and Facebook because who has time to actually write full-length blog posts when you can pretty much sum things up in <140 characters? I certainly don’t. I saw one of my friends from 1st grade tonight, though, and she practically begged me1 to blog again, beginning with the awesome and hilarious story I told her about some rodeo flirting that went awry. Way awry. More to come on that.

Anyway, I haven’t blogged in six months. I have thought about blogging but have been so freaking busy doing things I could have blogged about that I had no time to actually blog. Some would say I was busier than a one-eyed cat watching two rat holes. So to catch you up, here’s a very brief snapshot of what I’ve been doing, because I know you are all very interested. You’re welcome!

  • Fostered six dogs through K-9 Angels
  • Visited my friend LG in Chicago and ate at Alinea
  • Had a birthday
  • Went to Baton Rouge for my family’s 61st Christmas Eve Eve party
  • Eaten at a ton of great, and not-so-great, restaurants
  • Finished a huge project at work and started another huge project right behind it
  • Spent nearly every night from January 2 through February 9 at the Junior League for Charity Ball rehearsals
  • Spent nearly every night at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo both on the Calf Scramble Committee and with my peeps
  • Was a Transfer Advisor for the Junior League
  • Became a provisional mentor for the Junior League
  • Went to a bar every week for the last 36 weeks, which included becoming mayor of Blanco’s on Foursquare
  • Hired a tree doctor to give my 60-year old water oak trees a haircut
  • Laughed hard
  • Cried hard
  • Drank hard
  • Played hard
  • Worked hard
  • Saw George Strait. Really, is there anything else?
  • Basically had an amazing time

I’m sure there are 5,014 things I’ve forgotten that I’ve done in the last six months, but I still don’t know how to work iCloud on my iPhone and can’t seem to access my calendars prior to March2. Nevertheless, I’m really happy to have some time to blog again. I have no idea how long it will last and I don’t know where I’ll be going, but I know that wherever it is, it won’t be boring.
1And by “begged me”, I mean “mentioned it”.
2 Clearly winning.

How You Know You’re A Grown Up

The last two months have made me wish I had more middle fingers. It’s been what we in the biz call a “cluster”. I sold my condo and leased it back from the buyers for a few weeks. And because timing is sometimes a bitch, I moved out a week before I closed on my new house and had to pay an extra $500 to have the movers load all my worldly goods into a storage unit for seven days and then back into a truck and to my new house. In the interim, I stayed with a friend for two nights and then moved into the garage apartment1 of my sister-wife and sister-wife-husband2. I finally closed on my new house and moved in two days later. So there was that.

I’ll spare you the details of the other clusters that have ensued over the last two months, but I will recap the highlights for your reading pleasure. You’re welcome!

  1. My beloved boss was made redundant3, rendering my team bossless. And rendering me very sad.
  2. A relationship with someone I cared about very much ended. Which hurt and which sucked, but I kept reminding myself that everything happens for a reason. Speaking of reasons, whoever said love and reason were like oil and water was spot-freaking-on.
  3. I was accepted into membership for a volunteer organization and then un-accepted two months later on a technicality. Luckily, #’s 1 and 2 above had just happened, so I didn’t have time to dwell on #3 too long. Small miracles.
  4. I went to Baton Rouge for the LSU/Washington game, as I do, and had a little too much fun at the LSU Shot Ski tailgate, where this tailgating tragedy occurred.
  5. On my way home from Baton Rouge, I got a nail in the sidewall of my tire on my six-month-old car and had to spend $250 on a new tire. Who knew you couldn’t just patch the sidewall of a tire?! I do not remember this lesson in drivers ed or I would have tried harder to get the nail in my actual tire, natch.
  6. To top all this off, when I was leaving for work the Monday after the week of shenanigans, I walked out my house to see this yard tragedy. The limb broke at the midpoint of the branch, so it initially fell in the street and some kind neighbor was nice enough to drag it into my yard for me to deal with. Ahem. The tree from which it fell is a mature oak that’s been in front of my house for 60 years and it’s unfortunate to lose that huge limb. The tree produces so many acorns that I’m pretty sure it’s all tweaked up on ‘roids and am pretty sure it’s healthy but, to be sure, I’ve called an arborist. An ARBORIST! You know you’re a grown up when you’re calling a tree doctor to check out your sick tree. Anyway, it’s super fortunate the limb didn’t fall on a) my house; b) my neighbor’s car; or c) my neighbor. Like they say, there’s always a silver lining!

All this happened in the span of about two weeks. Before y’all speed off to church to light a candle for me, though, you should know I’m thankful my family and I have our health. And that I was able to buy an awesome new/old house. And that I have a great job and get to work with great people. And that I absolutely love the volunteer work I do. And that my 14 pound Tabby cat loves me unconditionally4. I don’t know much, but I know this: the best revenge is living well.

1 A 500 Sq ft garage apartment that I’ll point out was nicer than my house.
2 Actually one of my best friends and her husband who I see so much that we are practically married. But not in *that* way, so get your dirty minds out of the gutter, people!
3 What the Brits call being laid off.
4 And by “unconditionally”, I mean “when it’s 6pm and time for dinner”.

Burgers and Beer: The Only Kinda Combo Plate

The base of my food pyramid is inclusive of several things that includes, but is not limited to: french fries, Texas peaches, roasted corn, Mexican beer and a great burger. It was no surprise then that, when I was invited to CultureMap’s 1st Annual Backyard Burger Grill Off, my response was somewhere in the neighborhood of “not yes, but YES!”

The Backyard Burger Grill Off was held downtown at Discovery Green and was designed to find Houston’s best burger, something I know a thing or two about. For $40, patrons could taste all-you-could-eat sliders from some of Houston’s best restaurants with all the necessary accoutrements, and unlimited as-much-as-y0u-could-stomach beer from some of Houston’s best breweries. Discovery Green was bustling, mostly with parents trying to get their children to run like the wind so they wouldn’t be up all hours of the night, but also with a hip and hungry Houston crowd ready to decide the proprietor of our fair city’s best burger.

The first stop was the Southern Star Brewery table where we kicked things off with a big (plastic) glass of Bombshell Blonde. Not only do I love the cheery blue label complete with a blonde bombshell on it, I actually really love the beer. It’s a not-hoppy American Blonde Ale that is perfect for a hot Houston day. We paired this with the Tasting Room’s Corn Maque Choux and their slider topped with shredded pork. As much as I love The Tasting Room, I was disappointed with their slider; it was bland and, if a burger can even be this, kind of meeley. The corn maque choux was decent, but wasn’t life-changing by any means.

The next stop was the Saint Arnold Brewery table for some Santo. I am nothing if not a die-hard Saint Arnold’s fan, so when I saw they were serving Santo, I made a bee-line. You just cannot go wrong swilling anything from Saint Arnold’s and I may or may not have loitered around their table far longer than a properly lady should have.

The other burgers we had were from J. Black’s (which was great); Roots Bistro (meh); BRIO (decent); Vic & Anthony’s (really good); and The Grove (who won my “pink marble” for best slider of the night). As far as the beer was concerned, I liked the Weisse Verse from No Label and the Oktoberfest from Saint Arnold; however, I especially loved the Leprechaun Dry Cider! As adventurous an eater as I am, I have never tried a hard cider before last night and I absolutely loved it! It tasted like a cross between beer and champagne and, really, what could be better than that? As I always say, the only pain is champagne and combined with beer makes it just that much better.

As a side note, Whole Foods was serving their homemade potato chips (Vanilla Pepper! Maple Pepper! BBQ!) that I didn’t even know they made, and grilled ancho-chile pineapple. Pure deliciousness!

The winners of the best burger turned out to be a tie between J. Black and The Grove, although if I’d have known that they were going to close the voting at 7:30, I’m pretty sure I would have been the deciding voter. Silly swing voters.

The only downfall of the event was that they didn’t have any water — not even to buy. In fact, they had nothing at all to drink except beer. I get that it was a beer-sponsored thing, but it was about 100 degrees with the humidity and I would have paid $1,000 for a bottle of water. I must have looked really desperate at The Counter‘s table because they actually gave me one of their bottles from their own stash. Sweet y’all, so sweet.

All in all, the 1st Annual Backyard Burger Grill Off was a fantastic event. Being there with such great friends in a place I don’t normally go in Houston and finally being able to be outside after a brutal Summer made everything all right.

The post script of this story is that we went to The Railyard when a group of people more senior than us came in celebrating a birthday and carrying a blow up doll. That is certainly not something you see every day and, let’s just say I developed a bit of an affinity for this young, plastic man. He was handsome with big blue yes, trim, polite, and quiet, although a bit shoddily dressed. We snapped a picture and swilled a beer together, and it was actually the best date I’ve had in a long, long time.

Casa de Carmen

It’s been nearly 60 days since I last blogged. This extended absence was due to one reason and one reason only: I moved.

I’m not sure there has ever been a move in the history of moves that wasn’t a complete gong show, and mine was no different. Despite the fact that publishing the most mundane things about oneself is what the internets was designed for, I will refrain from boring you with the details of my moves, save for a couple of brief highlights:

  • One of the guys on the first crew of movers the moving company sent had a broken leg. My condo was upstairs. Ahem.
  • I *still* do not have the ding dang internets at my new house. Basically I’ve lived without it for nearly 60 days which is a blog post for another day, but all that needs to be said is Comcast.

Other than my move and not having internet access, there’s no good reason I haven’t been blogging. Maybe I’ll just chalk it up to having a ton of serious fun. Like Tallulah Bankhead said, “It’s the good girls who keep diaries, the bad girls don’t have time.”

Hot or Not?

My not-so-hot scratches, day one

I’m moving this week. Needless to say, my house and, basically, my life are in complete chaos. I am a firm believer that, in the midst of chaos, everybody needs a little time away so I spent my time away at a friend’s pool on Saturday. I am an avid fan of water, especially pools, and it was fantastic to hang out with friends, swim, do can-openers off the diving board, have breath-holding contests and drink cold beer. It was a much needed respite from shoving the contents of my entire life into 70 U-haul boxes.

I’m a dog person. I have a cat, whom I love dearly, but I am also a big fan of canines, too. And I think they must know how much I adore them because I had just done a seriously sweet can-opener and was treading water in the middle of the pool when my friend’s 150-pound Rottweiler jumped into the pool and started swimming towards me. Now, I consider myself a pretty good swimmer and am definitely not afraid of the water — I was a lifeguard and swam on swim team throughout high school, as well as taught adults to swim — and I could probably save an adult if I had to, but a 150-pound dog with

My not-so-hot scratches that turned to bruises, day two

ginormous claws turned out to be a different story. I’m pretty sure he just wanted to drown me play but, with my midget height, I wasn’t able to touch the bottom of the pool. When I realized he wasn’t going to swim past me, I tried holding him up, but his long, thick claws were scratching me as he tried holding on to me, and we both started sinking. Naturally, the people I was with were just staring at me (!) and yelling at me to go underwater (which I was trying to do as evidenced by three 8-inch scratches on my back) until, finally, one of the guys swam over and pulled the dog off of me. Good times! Also, I’m pretty confident I drank about two gallons of pool water, so I think I’m set on my chlorine intake for the next little while. Ahem.

I got all kinds of good-looking scratches on my arm and chest that have now turned into bruises from the ordeal, although they’re not really a huge deal. The scratches are just surface scratches, but it’s just a shame I don’t have a better story to tell. In fact, when people ask what happened, my story will probably go something like this — hot: the scratches on my chest and arm. Not hot: that they were from a 150-pound Rottweiler and not the hot guy I’m dating. So goes the story of my life. 😉

My Favorite Meal of the Week

The brunch board at Tiny’s

Here’s the scene: you go out on Saturday night, binge on vodka sodas, slink home at 3 a.m., sleep off your hangover late, wake up, and go to brunch. Brunch is simply genius. It lets you take a few hours out from the everyday hundrum of life, chill at some cool little restaurant,  talk about the food, read the NY Times, have a drink, and catch up with friends. It may be loud, but it’s low-key.

In Toronto, brunch was an institution. I met friends at Lady Marmalade — my absolute FAVORITE brunch spot on the planet — nearly every single Sunday I lived in TO. Nothing on earth is as tasty as their cheddar and mango eggs bennie — nothing. I think Houston’s brunch scene is catching up to other big brunch cities and while brunch here may not yet be an institution, I’d definitely at least call it a statement; an opportunity. That notwithstanding, I have a few Houston brunch favorites including, but not limited to, the Migas at Tiny Boxwoods and the Fried Egg Sammie at Max’s Wine Dive. Yes, please!

Here are a few reasons why I basically want to marry brunch and have its first born child:

1) Combining foods normally served after noon with foods normally served at breakfast is my idea of a damn good time. 

2) Brunch is the one meal a week that lets me lollygag around and lie in bed for hours watching Sopranos re-runs while still ensuring I get to eat all my favorite breakfast foods. Which brings me to #3…

3) The vast array of foods you can eat at brunch that you probably wouldn’t eat on a normal day. For example, you can dump eggs and salsa down your groaning GI tract. Or you can wolf down pancakes, waffles and french toast to soak up all the liquor acids still in your belly, or more specifically the Reese’s Pancakes at Frank’s in Baton Rouge, the Pecan Waffle at Goode Co. Taqueria, and the Creme Brulee French Toast at Max’s Wine Dive. Dear god yes.

4) Brunch is the perfect excuse to day drink. Not that I normally need an excuse, but swilling a carafe (or three) of an alcoholic beverage at 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday without any judgment is that for which I live. “Why yes, we’d like another round, please.”

Fried Egg Sammie at Max’s Wine Dive

5) Brunch is the one time of the week my friends and I can get together to discuss the haps and/or the gong show that was “about last night”. Basically, we gossip about boys, unless boys are present in which case we gossip about girls.

6) Brunch sets up the day for the perfect Sunday afternoon nap, while still giving you enough time to get your afternoon errands done. Full by 2 p.m., a nap until 3:30 p.m., and Nordstrom by 4 p.m.

7) But my most favorite thing about brunch can be summed up in two teeny little words: bottomless mimosas.

Airport Art Awesomeness

The Berlin-based firm ART+COM just finished this amazing new art installation in Terminal 1 of Changi Airport in Singapore. The sculpture, called Kinetic Rain, consists of two sets of 608 suspended raindrops made from lightweight aluminum covered in copper. They were then suspended from steel ropes attached to two escalators and appear as if they are floating in air. The drops are choreographed to follow a 15-minute, “computationally-designed choreography” where the two parts move together in unison, sometimes mirroring, sometimes complementing, and sometimes responding to each other.

I think it’s pretty fantastic, personally. Want to take any bets as to when Bush Intercontinental Airport will install something as wicked as this?

Real-Estate Chaos

When I moved back from Toronto, I gave myself a year to decide what I was going to do: either move back to Canada or stay in Houston and buy a new house. Living in Toronto was like living in utopia and I loved every single second of it, including living through the second snowiest winter in Toronto’s history. I applied for Permanent Residency, filled out the 974 required forms, got fingerprinted, got paperwork from both the FBI and the state of Texas saying I wasn’t a felon, and gave the Government du Canada a ton of cash for the privilege. But once I got back to Houston and started planting roots again, I decided to stay put. After all, my family and friends were here, the job I loved was here, I started dating awesome Texas boys, I made some fantastic friends in the Junior League, and just decided that it was less important to me to live in a place with an amazing quality of life (and yes, the sales and income taxes to go with it) than it was for me to stay in Houston for the things and people I loved. So I got my gajillions of dollars back from the Canadian government and started thinking about putting my condo up for sale.

Fast forward to January 2012. I found a way cool house and put in an offer to buy it. It was a foreclosure and needed about $100K worth of work, though, and after I started dealing with the bank (which was a complete and utter gong show) and thinking about how I was going to manage redoing a house while oh, I don’t know, working and living my life, I backed out. We’ll call this house #1. Then came the insanity of the Houston real estate market. Linsanity ain’t got nothin on the ding dang real estate craziness that was Houston over the last few months and, naturally, I was right in the thick of it.

I changed my focus from the location of house #1 to the Houston Heights, but low inventory and clambering to get into one of the two “good” public elementary schools in the Heights sent prices to infinity and beyond. Multiple offers were being put in on houses that weren’t yet active; sellers got brave in their asking prices, inflating the market even more; interest rates dropped and the school year ended, which caused even more chaos. I made offers on two houses (both of them <1,000 square feet, I might add) with multiple offers on both, and got zero.

Once again, I changed my focus and finally hit something. By that point, I’d become an official HAR whore and saw a new house in Braes Terrace come on the market. We were there at 9am the next morning, had put in an offer by 2pm and, by that evening, another offer had been made. We were asked to submit our “best and final offer” — an expression I came to loathe — and, after writing a letter to the sellers expressing my undying love for their home, got the house. Under contract we went!

Then came the fun part. The mortgage broker I’d been working with for four months — FOUR MONTHS! — informed me that since I hadn’t yet sold my condo (a teeny tiny oversight on her part), I didn’t qualify to “own” both houses. We knew my condo would sell fast, so we purposely hadn’t listed it so I wouldn’t be homeless. But the sellers of house #4 didn’t want to go under contract with a contingency, so I had to back out of the deal. It goes without saying that my heart was broken. I loved this house. It was exactly what I’d been looking for when I started this whole crazy mess, and I was beyond bummed. Everyone told me it was for a reason, just like they tell you when a relationship doesn’t work out. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “it happened for a reason” which basically sent me into finger-down-my-throat mode.

I expanded my search even further and started looking in Oak Forest. I saw a house I liked, but the seller received an offer the afternoon I looked at it. I saw a house I really liked in Timbergrove Manor and made an offer the same day. Thirty-six hours later, we still hadn’t heard back from the sellers and we knew — multiple offers. Sure enough, someone had outbid me on the house even though my offer was the first in the door, and they started and completed negotiating with the other buyer without ever telling us a thing. (I’ll also add that they had crosses all over every single room of their house but their behavior in that deal was anything but Christian, if you ask me. The selling agent was Elizabeth McCormick of Heritage Texas Properties. I never, ever speak badly about people or things on my blog, but I felt the way she handled that deal was completely unprofessional and, frankly, pretty slimy, and I would personally never use her or Heritage Texas. Like ever. But I digress.)

And then it happened. I was scouring HAR for the 27th time that day and saw a new listing. We were there at noon as the listing agent was putting the lockbox on the door and submitted an offer by 2pm. I made a full-priced offer — because that’s how insane things in Houston are right now — and found out the next morning that, although four other offers had been submitted, including two full-priced offers, the sellers had chosen me because my offer was in first. THOSE are the kind of people I want to deal with and a million angels began singing in the heavens!

This was three weeks ago. The inspections were good, financing was going well and the appraisal was ordered. Lo and behold, it didn’t appraise. Educational moment: before a lender will give you money, they want to know that the property they will essentially own is worth what “they” are paying for it, so the mortgage lender orders an appraisal. For example, if you try to buy a house for $500K, but the appraiser says it’s value is really $450K, then you either have to pay the difference in cash (and are essentially overpaying for something) or the seller has to lower their price (or go to another buyer and hope their appraisal might be better). There are apparently many appraisers out there and no two appraisals would likely ever come back exactly alike, but the number is what it is. When a house doesn’t appraise, you essentially go back to the negotiating table to work things out, which is where we are today. 

In the midst of all the buying drama, I sold my condo in three days very near what I asked for it (a good thing!) and will essentially be homeless later this month. Not one single part of this process has been easy. I’m sure it never is for anyone and I’m sure everyone has a real-estate nightmare story or two. I’ve been a homeowner for nine+ years (albeit a condo), so I’ve been through the buying part, but never the selling part and never in a real estate market that is New York-esque in nature. Who ever thought people would be paying over list price for a tiny house in Houston, Texas?! I sure didn’t and I can confirm that what they say is true: buying or selling a house is one of the top three most stressful things a person ever goes through.

All the drama notwithstanding, I’m glad I stayed in Houston. I know it will all work out like it’s supposed to. And if house #6 is “the one”, then I’ll be pretty psyched because it’s a great house with great bones in a great location. In the meantime, I’m living amongst boxes and not-so-organized chaos in my condo, and trying to find a place to live until everything unfolds. The moral of my story is this: if anyone needs a cute, sweet, cleanly, employed, very short-term roommate, you know where to find me. 🙂

Let’s Talk Football

Now that we’ve sprinted past the mid-point of summer and the debauchery (and discombobulation) of a mid-week Fourth of July, we can focus on what’s really important: college football.

For those who don’t know me, I’m an official card-carrying college football addict. There’s nowhere I’d rather be on a Saturday afternoon between September and January than sitting in front of a giant TV with a cold mexican beer in my hand. Nowhere! And for those of you who disagree about the beauty of college football, I ask you with all sincerity: where else would anyone possibly want to be?! I mean, I know college football doesn’t have the passing game of the NFL or the big egos of the NFL, but ultimately, football is football with touchdowns, helmuts and seriously rabid fans.

What the NFL doesn’t have, though, that college football will always have is the game. It’s just not about the game in the NFL. It’s about the money. In college football, the game’s the thing. The game is bigger than everything and everyone. The economics of the NFL just doesn’t lend itself to creating the kind of passion that brings 110,000 people out every. single. week. of every. single. year. to Tiger Stadium to watch the LSU Tigers play on a Saturday night in the sweltering heat of September. It doesn’t matter what happens to the coach or the players because that isn’t why people come. The people are still going to come regardless of Saban selling out to go to Miami or Jordan Jefferson not starting because of a silly bar-room brawl. 

The NFL may have fans, but they aren’t, and never will be, as passionate as college football fans. The tailgate parties, notably in the SEC, and the complete zeal of watching “your school” beat a nationally-ranked team (I’m looking at you, Boise State over Oklahoma) will just never be matched in the NFL. Frankly, the NFL will always be handicapped because of its collective lack of imagination. I can turn on a game on any Thursday, Sunday or Monday night, and will see the same exact plays every. single. game. Where’s the innovation? The NFL is always going to punt on the fourth down. They’re always going to be defensive. Always. This is because, in the NFL, it’s about self-preservation and self-promotion, rather than playing your heart out for “your school” and for something bigger than yourself (and, yeah, usually for a #1 draft spot and NFL contract, sadly).

For those who don’t know me, you should know I bleed both maroon and white, and purple and gold. I graduated from Texas A&M University (whoop!), but am an ardent, ebullient, devoted LSU fan (Geaux Tigers!). Needless to say, a lifetime of prayers were answered the day I learned A&M had joined the SEC. I immediately began speaking in tongues and high-fiving a million singing angels!

And then I stopped and asked myself: did A&M just become Texas Tech? As much as I love college ball, I had to ask why A&M would ever want to deal with Alabama, LSU, Auburn, not to mention the SEC East? After years of beating our heads against the Texas and OU walls, and struggling to do anything in the Big 12, how are we all of a sudden going to elevate ourselves after joining  one of the nastiest divisions in the history of college football? I’m sure a few of my Aggie bretheren thought exactly the same thing. But you know what? First and foremost, A&M is finally out of the shadow of big burnt orange. Everyone knows the SEC is a bigger and better conference than the Big 12, and A&M we can finally have our own identity rather than being just the team who plays UT on Thanksgiving night (tradition, though it may be). And even if LSU tramples A&M when they make the trip to Kyle Field in October in what will probably be one of the most fun and emotional games of the season, there will be about 100,000 of us who will watch the Auburn game the week after, and the Mississippi State game the week after that, and the Alabama game the week after that.

Don’t get me wrong…if someone gave me free tickets to an NFL game, I’d go, especially if it was to a Cowboys game at the new Cowboys Stadium (HINT). Let me say this, though: even if Texas A&M lost this entire season, I guarantee you that tickets for the next season and the season after that will sell out. Early and often. I’m pretty sure that would never happen with the Houston Texans. I know it wouldn’t happen with the Astros or the Rockets because I’m pretty sure they stopped selling out years ago. And if that doesn’t prove my point, I don’t know what will. 

Love and reason are like oil and water. I love college football, rational or not. And you know why? Because in college football, nobody’s bigger than the game.