Saturday, August 1, 2009

N Deed

I'm a contranarian. I like to argue simply for the sake of arguing. Not because I like the conflict but because I thoroughly enjoy a lively debate and the discussions that it can spawn. I've presented myself as a ultra conservative to a die-hard Democrat and I've displayed a bleeding heart to a staunch Republican. But I'll never present myself as a vegetarian even for the sake of lively banter.

But my contrariness goes beyond politics or artificial debates. I tend to shy away from most things that occupy the mainstream of society. I like a lot of indy muysic and the stuff produced by independent labels. I nearly always root for the underdog when it comes to sports. And I shun any thing that comes with the term fashionable.

Why? Well that is an answer I can't answer in definite terms, but I will tell you my lack of conformity sometimes leads to ridicule, especially when it comes to football.

Now football is huge here in Texas. From high school on up to college ball and the NFL. Guess what? I do not root for The Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, or even Texas A&M.

I bleed Nebraska Cornhusker Red and I have since elementary school.

Why? This one I can answer. My best friend in grade school was an Oklahoma Sooner fanatic. His room was decorated in OU paraphernalia and only his love for the TV show Dukes of Hazards compared to his passion for Sooner football. This was in the days of Barry Switzer. When every OU recruit got a free Uzi and prostitute. (Sorry Driller and Skeeter) Needless to say OU was a powerhouse in those days. Their only true rival at the time was Nebraska and the mighty Tom Osborn led Huskers. My buddy Mark hated the Huskers so my only choice was to adopt them as my team which they have been ever since.

My friend grew up, went off to Texas A&M and became an Aggie while I stayed close to home and rooted on the Huskers.

Soon enough Texas and Nebraska became rivals of a sort when their conferences were combined and suddenly I became a target for Longhorn fans. One particular year the two teams were scheduled to meet in the Big XII title game and Nebraska was heavily favored. I tried to find a few Texas fans to place a wager on the game but despite the fact I was spotting them three touchdowns not a single UT fan wanted to back their team with so much as a buck from their wallet.

Then in a shocker, Texas upset Nebraska and if that wasn't enough to ruin my day, I left work to find out my Jeep Cherokee had been vandalized. Orange shoe polish covered the windows, gaudy orange streams hung from the mirrors and antenna, and the hideous score was written across the hood in what appeared to be ready whip. This was early December and I froze my butt of cleaning the offensive material from my vehicle. With every shiver I plotted my revenge.

Putting my sleuthing skills to work I soon learned the identity of the culprit as one of my coworkers. A workplace buddy that didn't yet realize his was but the first shot in the war. Just for the record it does not pay to brag about your crimes.

One lawn mower, a dozen cans of red spray paint later, this is what my so-called buddies lawn looked like.

I wish I had a better, bigger shot of my artwork. For the record, that N is sixteen feet high and fourteen foot wide. To create it I cut his lawn as short as it would go and painted both sides of every blade of grass. All in broad daylight and without shame.

My buddies neighbor came out and asked what I was doing and without missing a beat I answered making a Christmas decoration. He replied with, "Don't get any on my yard," and went back inside without another word.

I only wish I could have seen the look on my buddies face when he came home.

The story doesn't end there. He spent some much time watering and raking that one area to get rid of the red paint when spring came he had a big green N which took most of the summer to blend in with the rest of his yard.

After that he declared a peace treaty with me saying under no circumstances would he ever do anything to me again no matter if Texas beat Nebraska a thousand times. I told him that was good because my other idea had involved climbing up on his roof and dumping a thousand pounds of feed corn down his chimney.

And for the record no I do not root for the Dallas Cowboys either. I am a New Orleans Saints fan and before you call me a trader to the Lone Star Ste let me remind you that the Cowboy owner Jerry Jones is an Arkansas oil man not a Texas and anybody who would dump a Texas legend like Tom Landry in such a callous fashion is the true traitor to our fine state.

Yeah I know this post was a rambling affair, but I given the fact I'm on the ever of vacation it's a miracle I strung anything together. This time tomorrow I'll be knee deep in a cool refreshing trout stream without a care in the world.


Being Beth said...

I grew up in a home with a Nebraska/KU rivalry, but if Nebraska lost ANY game, my mom (the Nebraska fan) refused to cook. Fortunately, that was during the Tom Osborn dynasty, and we got supper 99% of the time, and we learned to love Nebraska if for no other reason than supper. LOL!

I married an Aggie, and we've got our own system -- we both root for Nebraska unless they are playing A&M, and then we're an Aggie fan. It works.

I'm envious of your vacation in New Mexico. I was born in Albuquerque and have spent many days fishing the Jimenez and the Pecos. Here's hoping you catch your limit every day.

sybil law said...

I love the N and the big revenge!!!
Enjoy your fishing and vacation!

Miriam S.Forster said...

Bwahahaha... That's perfect revenge.

You are what my husband terms and "escalate-er". Someone who escalates a contest/debate/whatever into a full-fledged war.

He says I'm one too, which is a blatant falsehood. :-)

grace said...

Also the Dallas Cowboys are the epitome of all that is evil in the world. I mean, second to the Stars, of course. So it's good that you don't root for them.

also have you blogged this story before? I totally remember it from somewhere...

Cloudia said...

Say "Aloha" to the trout from my friends the Hawaii sea turtles.

O U Travis ;-)

Comfort Spiral

Teresa said...

Have a great time fishing, Travis. I love your "Cornhusker Revenge". Too bad your friend called off the war... it would have been interesting to see what he would do to top that bright red "N" in the grass.

Melissa Marsh said...

I'm a born and bred Nebraskan, and though I'm not as fanatic about football as other Nebraskans, there's a special feeling here in Lincoln when it's game day. Love it.

Go Big Red!

Jason said...

It's okay. I grew up there too but I'm a big KC Chiefs fan (not the Royals though). I'm sure living in KC helps me love the Chiefs, but my heart is 'red' now too.

And I'll be at the first pre-season game for the Chiefs on the 15th...cheering for them...against...Houston.

The Texan in me just spit on me.

Angie said...

He spent some much time watering and raking that one area to get rid of the red paint when spring came he had a big green N which took most of the summer to blend in with the rest of his yard.

That's classic! :D I couldn't care less about football at any level, but I'd have loved to've been your co-worker's cross-the-street neighbor or something just to watch the developments. LOL!


ddusty said...

1. Orange shoe polish? People with orange shoes somehow feel the need to polish them?

2. Love the riff about cornhuskers, pretending it is a football team when everyone knows it is hand lotion.

3. Tom Landry was a gentleman and a football genius and the jerk who fired him is a scurrilous twit.

4. Have a great time fishing--don't forget to take along butter and lemon.

5. Fun post!

Eric S. said...

Remind me never to get on the wrong side of your sporting debates. But I have to say I'm a Broncos fan, not that I'm all that much into football.

Fun story, I enjoyed it much, and had a good giggle too.

Rebecca said...

Good luck with your trout fishing! Toby and Aaron sure had fun doing it. If you're planning on riding the ski lifts on your vacation, let me know. We know how to get a discount on the tickets :)

the walking man said...

Dude if you're going to cut it , you can do whatever the hell you want to my lawn...even paint it in Lion team colors...the under dog of all dogs.

Good fishing.

Vodka Mom said...

travis- I loved this post. But you KNOW dude, I bleed blue and white.

Angie Ledbetter said...


Hope your fishing is wonderful.

PS (Did you know there's a Trojan Ecstacy ad at the bottom of your post?) :)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

N is for Knowledge.


Charles Gramlich said...

Never liked the Cowboys either, and always hated the Longhorns because they were the hated rival of the Razorbacks. But since the Austin folks were so kind to us after Katrina I've started rooting for the Longhorns just a bit. Unless they play Arkansas.

Melanie Avila said...

*makes note to never piss of Travis, or at the very least, don't get caught*

bookbabie said...

Funny story. Read your last post too and feel the same way sometimes about writing. After a tough personal year with my mom's slow crappy death I have been caught up in a bit of a brain freeze in the writing department. Been doing more photography because I'm having more success with it. I think we all start out knowing we'll have to deal with rejection when we take up writing. Really, when you think about it the writer's life can suck. You sit alone in a room and lay your naked little soul out on paper for all the world to see and then you're told basically you're not good enough. Maybe we aren't young and hip enough (just using the word hip is an example of that point!) maybe we don't live in New York or L.A. and hang with the right people, or maybe, God forbid, we simply don't write good enough. Whatever. Take a break. Talk to the fishy's. Contemplate your navel. Do whatever it takes to help you decide why you write and whether you can be you without it. Oh yeah, and now comes the part that actually makes you feel a little better. At least you don't live in the Detroit area and have to watch the Lion's attempt to play football on Sunday afternoons. Now that's something to be depressed about;)

Beer Man said...

I enjoyed this - I actually just wrote a little blurb on my blog about favorite sports teams, but never did get into the war with friends aspect.

I can't believe your buddy bailed after the first battle. (Personally I would have just bought green paint and painted my yard - but hey, it's even better that your win lasted so long).

DOWN WITH THE COWBOYS - where are we at now 4600 days since their last playoff win (1996) and counting....