The origins of the word California are disputed. Some claim it is Spanish decent. Others claim the word California spring from Latin roots. Still others claim it to be of Native American heritage.
Most Texans don't give a damn where the word California came from. What they do know is it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. For most Texans California is a synonym for liberal. For crazy. For flaky ideals and shaky morals.
I myself have only been to Southern California once. I had a good time but truth be told that is entirely too damned many people in one place for me. And that hectic pace didn't quite jive with my laid back demeanor. But to each his own. I get the fact some folks cringe at the idea that the Lone Star State is home to an estimated 48 million guns. Given there the 24 million residents that means there are two firearms for every man woman and child in the state.
Don't Mess with Texas might have started as an anti-litter campaign but simple math shows the motto carries a bit of oomph beyond a ticket for tossing your Slurpee cup out the window.
Yeah, I really am going somewhere with this post.
Tonight the World Series begins. Texas against California.
And not just California but San Francisco, California. To the average Texan not a damn thing worthwhile has ever came out of San Francisco, the hippie, homosexual, tree hugging capital of the world.
For the average Texan this world series is a battle of good versus evil. Right versus wrong.
I am not the average Texan.
I have voted for a Democrat. I write women's fiction for God's sake. That alone is enough to make a few of my fellow Texans question my sexual orientation. I would be tickled pink if both the Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys never won another game. Heck, the very fact I used the words tickled pink damn near makes me a commie in this state.
And to add insult. I don't really like baseball. I find the game boring. Especially on TV. At the ballpark with a beer or six and a bag of salty peanuts I can take in a game and actually enjoy doing so, but sitting on my couch watching grown men play a child's game simply does not do much for me. I'd just as soon go stand in front of the mirror and watch myself scratch my own balls.
But there is one thing going for the Texas Rangers that draws me in. Part owner and team president -- Nolan Ryan.
I admire the man. A native Texan he is by far my favorite baseball player of all time. Yeah I know he played for the Mets and Califonia Angels but I don't hold those stints against him. He also pitched for the Rangers and the Astros.
In August of 1993 a 46 year old Ryan made the much younger and larger Robin Ventura look like a fool when he charged the mound.
I loved it.
My second favorite Nolan Ryan memory came in 1990 versus the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals Bo Jackson (yes that Bo Jackson of Bo Knows fame) hit a screaming bouncer back to the mound. Ryan misplayed it and the ball smacked him in the mouth. But Ryan grabbed the ball and threw out Jackson at first.
Blood poured from Ryan's lip but he refused to leave the game. He kept pitching and the Rangers beat the Royals, 2-1.
So when the first pitch is tossed I'll be on my couch along with a slew of other Texans cheering on the Rangers.
But of course as I've made clear on this blog for a long time, I can be bought. Especially to advance my writing career, so if a certain San Francisco based literary agent wants to sign me up and start hawking my books to New York editors I'd put on a Giants hat. Hell, I'd even dawn a damned Yankees cap if that what it took, because like Nolan I'm gonna keep pitching no matter how many times I get smacked in the face. The Rangers made the fall classic after 50 years of franchise futility. Hope it doesn't take me that long to reach my goals.