Archive for November 6th, 2008

Do not attempt: We are professionals

From the sports fan’s perspective, the elephant in the room when it comes to Austin is its lack of a professional sports team.  Sure, UT fills the need for just about any sport–football, basketball, baseball, volleyball–you name it.  In fact, we had something like 18 current or former UT athletes participate in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.  But some can’t help but feel unfulfilled by this lack of presence of “the big four” (although, let’s be honest, you people don’t and never will have a full appreciation of the greatness that is NHL hockey).

 

Austin lacks all of these professional sports, plus hockey.  Does that help or hurt the city?  Also, you can purchase these lovely foam balls by clicking on this image.

Austin lacks all of these professional sports, plus hockey. Does that help or hurt the city? Also, you can purchase these lovely foam balls by clicking on this image.

In basketball, the state more than makes up for Austin’s lacking.  With the Spurs in San Antonio, the Rockets in Houston and the Mavericks (a team of Mavericks?) in Dallas, it’s safe to say Texas is sufficiently covered for the NBA.  Not to mention the fact that all three teams within the last few years have been or look to be above average.

In football, you have your old standard and your…  maybe up-and-comers, being the Cowboys and Texans respectively.  I’ve always found it surprising to see how many former Oilers fans have remained Titans fans, once the team moved to Tennessee.  But as everyone knows, if one sport at UT dominates, it’s certainly football.  So that’s two down.  Two to go.

Baseball is tricky for cities.  On the whole, it requires the most effort on the part of the people because there are 162 games, 81 of which are home.  To fill a 34,000-person stadium, or come close to it, over the span of April to September is no small feat.  Houston and Arlington, homes of the Astros and Rangers, have also both built new stadiums within the last 15 years or so.  The Astros’ stadium, Minute Maid Park, in particular is quite impressive.

So that leaves hockey, a sport that’s already overcrowded with 30 teams in the league.  Of the 24 teams in the U.S., Texas has the Dallas Stars.  (Fun fact: can you name the six Canadian hockey teams?  Answer here.)  If any sport were to move into Austin, I think it would be hockey.  Let’s face it, the Ice Bats just aren’t cuttin’ it (and neither is their Web site!).  And I could see Austin liking the unique nature of a northern sport in a southern state.  Just a thought.

Then again, I think I would probably be opposed to any professional team coming to Austin.  Much like Columbus, Ohio, the major university in this city seems sustaining enough for its sports fans.  What sport would you choose to come to Austin?

-Jeff

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CO-OPS

A cooperative AKA a co-op or coop, is defined by the International Co-operative Alliance‘s Statement on the Co-operative Identity as an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. A cooperative may also be defined as a business owned and controlled equally by the people who use its services or who work at it.

-Wikipedia

Austin has a huge number of co-ops. When I was in preschool, I went to All Austin Cooperative Nursery School. A board made up of parents, the director, the teachers, and members of the Austin community runs the school. Each family is responsible for a support job; parents take turns helping out in the classroom once a month. It was a good experience, for my mom and I. Today I actually had lunch with my lifelong friend Taryn who I met when I went there in 1987.

There are many different kinds of Co-ops here:

If you aren’t involved or a member or a co-op, I would recommend joining one. They are great places to learn new things, meet new people, and expose you to a variety of perspectives. In co-ops you have a voice in the way that particular organization operates and are able to make changes in areas you wouldn’t be able to in places that provide a similar function that are not co-ops.

-Samantha

Overheard at Spiderhouse Coffee

Random lines overheard at Spiderhouse, within about two minutes of each other.

No, it didn’t make any more sense in context. I’ve begun to wonder if one can become a hipster by osmosis. I’m afraid it may be possible.

  • “Mmm, gentle Austin liberals walking through their fields with flowers.”
  • “You won’t say that when the black helicopters show up.”
  • “Yes, I know the kitchen closes in half-an-hour, but it’s closed now.”
  • “Yeah, well, Ecclesiastes is my favorite book of the bible. All is folly! I tried fuckin’ everything, and it’s all folly.”
  • “I feel like people should be more like Ethiopians.”
  • “Mmm, the dick jokes are comin’.”
  • “Yeah, it’s like Jesus would have come back, but he realized we’re all wearing crosses around our necks.”
  • And, in response, “I feel like I should wear a rifle pendant around my neck for JFK.”
  • “No, man, Luke didn’t actually write Acts.”
  • “I feel like it’s nice that at 21 you can do something that’s previously illegal, but I feel like we should extend that. Like, every birthday you can do something that was illegal. When you’re 65, you can litter without penalty. Then if you can make it to 100, you can legally murder someone.”
  • “I, you know, I didn’t become doctor because, you know, I didn’t want to lose my fascination for the female breast.”

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We all have a love/hate relationship with the place we live. In Austin, we're no different. Check out who we are and why we're here. What's to love/hate?

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