The Buc Stops Here

3 Nov

Texas 31, Texas Tech 22

Nov. 3, 2012 • Lubbock

The Texas Tech tortilla tradition started back in the early ’90s, when I was but a fresh, young Texas Ex venturing out into the world. Some ESPN commentator had said there was nothing in Lubbock but Tech and a tortilla factory, so enterprising Red Raider fans took to tossing the flatbread-cum-Frisbees at their games.

I don’t know if Tech fans still throw them these days, but the connection remains. Year after year, I end up spelling Texas with tortillas. Gotta love a spelling medium that’s (a) cheap, (b) accessible and (c) easy to cut into letters!

Last year Katie and I took to the tortillas at our Austin tailgate in between sessions of a big marching band contest in San Antonio. This year, the Horns were in Lubbock, but I was back in SA for another band contest! On my way to Bexar County, I made my first visit to Buc-ee’s. And it wasn’t just any Buc-ee’s. This was the New Braunfels Buc-ee’s, the “world’s largest convenience store” that opened last March.

The beef jerky. The Beaver Nuggets. The 60 gas pumps. The palatial bathrooms. I’d heard all about it, so this was my chance to take it all in. How could I commemorate such an important occasion?

By spelling Texas there, of course!

Yep, those tortillas were placed between the two feet of Buc-ee himself.

Now that I’ve tasted the nuggets, I know what all the fuss is about. Pretty amazing, that Buc-ee’s. But you know what’s even more amazing?

Beating Tech. In Lubbock. THIS year.

While two of my football buddies were in Jones AT&T Stadium, I was in the Alamodome watching my kids march.

Since their prelim time was 2, I made a quick exit after their show to find a TV. I ended up at the Grand Hyatt just across I-37 from the stadium. It turned out to be the perfect place to watch the game.

Not only did I have a TV right in front of me, but I got to visit with some other football fans and eat lunch. (Well, I had good company once the sooner fans took a hike!) The Thai Chicken Quesadilla was delish, but the way our offense was clicking was even spicier. J Gray continues to shine, and a couple of TD passes from Ash (to Shipley and Davis) proved that the rumors of David’s demise were premature. After watching our D give up so many yards and points all season, it was mighty tasty to see our guys end the cycle of trading TD for TD. Once the Texas defense held Tech to field goals on two possessions, I was in. “I believe; help me with my unbelief.”

Around halftime I returned to the Alamodome to hear the prelim results. Once I found out our band placed second in its class and advanced to finals, I high-tailed it back to the bar to watch the rest of the game. The third quarter was rough for our Horns, but we pulled this one out relatively comfortably. The key possessions: With the Horns lead cut to 2, Ash hit “Magic Mike” Davis for a TD. Then our beleaguered defense managed to keep the Red Raiders out of the endzone even though they had 1st and goal! Once Carrington Byndom blocked the field goal attempt, we were in for the win.

That’s sweeter than a bag o’ Beaver Nuggets.

After the game ended and high-fives and handshakes had been shared, I was leaving the bar when I noticed its name: Bar Rojo. Ha! If I’d known the place was called the “Red Bar,” I probably would’ve been too superstitious to watch the game there!

No matter. By the time this game ended, that place had turned into Bar Naranjo.

P.S. – After the game I was back at the stadium for the marching contest finals. Our kids placed 10th out of 62 bands. What a great Saturday!

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