November 17th, 2010
Dear Houston: Billboard City
What’s up with that billboard on I-45 and I-10 congratulating the Rangers on their Series loss to San Fran? “Texas’ Team”? Do I have to be a Rangers fan now?
If a ginger ale-soaked Jordan had come back from Barcelona in ‘92 donning a silver medal, we all like to think that we would have still patriotically anointed the team in oils and thrown them a tickertape parade, but let’s be honest- we would have all sat around scowling and asking “What the ____ just happened?” Drinking our Hawaiian Punch straight from the jug and thriving on a diet of Cheeto’s and Hungry Man’s, we’d have had no room to judge, but judge we would’ve.
The Rangers are no Dream Team, mind you, but as much as it hurts, I similarly don’t have much room to whine or criticize. Wearing that billboard on my chest reminds me of the time I signed up for a marathon and got too drunk the night before to actually run the next morning. Afterward, I never heard the end of it from my buddy Boston, and come to find out, he didn’t even finish the race. Yeah, he was being a douche, but what could I say about it? Maybe he didn’t quite make it, but I was the one still in bed at 2 p.m. quaffing down Tylenol, wondering where my keys were and how I got gum in my hair.
Some more painful perspective, Michelle:
Having the Rangers outperform the ‘Stros time and time again is a slap in the face.
Having the Rangers outperform the ‘Stros and make their way into the World Series while my band of misfits sits on the couch and watches Maury reruns is a Rick James-style pimp-hand to the mouth.
Having the Rangers outperform the ‘Stros, make their way to the Series, lose and then have the audacity to brand me with this scarlet letter on I-45 is an absolutely epic beat down. Think Pacquiao vs. Woody Allen.
Having no rebuttal for this slight rubs salt in a gangrenous wound.
So where to from here? I could go off on a Reagan-esque tangent, cajoling the Houston populace to “Tear down this billboard!”, but I won’t. I hope it stays up for months. Years even. I hope when it’s faded and tattered, they refurbish it and use it as wallpaper in the Minute Made locker rooms. I hope they make cups from it for the players to drink their G2. I hope Mr. McClane gets the image screen printed onto his duvet cover and pj’s or makes it into a custom Fathead for his panic room. I hope it’s used as wrapping paper for those garbage corporate Christmas gifts. A side of humility in your basket of kangaroo cheese, caramel popcorn and dried sausages from around the globe. Whatever it takes so that every time my Astros take the field, the entire organization is reminded of what travesty they have wrought.
“Ah, but let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart”— Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
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