Monday, August 8, 2011

A Whole Other Country

Montreal mascot Youppi
When I lived on the east coast of  California I followed baseball passionately. Being close to Nevada casinos I also kept meticulous stats to help with the occasional wagering. (Betting tip: A team winning the first games of a series will likely not do as well in the last game, especially on the road.)

At the time I could name the teams in each division and give the standings within a couple of games, with two exceptions. I never confused the Mets and Yankees, or Phillies and Pirates, or Giants and A's, but always had to stop and think which team was in Montreal and which was in Toronto. Expos or Blue Jays? That makes sense in a way. I had a mental picture of the other places and teams, but the concept of "Canada-ness" as something foreign would override any other categories.

The other exception? Rangers and Astros. I couldn't even remember from one day to the next which team dressed like layered Jell-O molds. That either says something about the foreignness of Texas, or its overwhelming identity as a state that the other 49 lack.

After beng here 20 years, I'd say it's both of those. The state tourism board used to have a slogan, "Texas: It's Like a Whole Other Country". They probably don't know how true it really was. And considering Gov. Rick Perry's prayer rally and other recent lunacies, I don't necessarily mean that in a good way.

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