Football in Texas is like a religion as it is taken very seriously. Texas is the ‘official’ capital of sports in the United States of America. It is home to a lot of national sports leagues in the United States. Football is especially popular in Texas. Almost every high school or college in Texas has an active football league and they are known for participating in several national and sometimes, international competitions. But it wasn’t always so. Football popularity is something that grew overtime.
Thanksgiving and Football
As far back as the early 1900’s when Thanksgiving was all about turkey, dancing, and music for the rest of America, Texans had a special tradition; football. It was not uncommon for people to hang around various football fields in the state watching one football game or the other. College football was also very popular at the time.
The move to abolish college football
After some time, there came the move to abolish college football, especially in church-controlled schools. The move was made by the Southern Methodist district conference. Their argument stemmed from the fact that football took too much time, leaving the students less time to concentrate on their studies. They also believed that football was a dangerous sport with dire consequences like serious injuries to the limbs and even death.
The group also argued that the football game gave young men a false ideal of manhood, where brawn is placed over brain and physical ability over moral courage. However, a man named Hudson Stuck, who was the dean of the Episcopal Church of St. Matthews, Dallas at the time, was able to help avoid this ban in North Texas. He was born in London and was very fond of Rugby and its American Version, Football.
Hudson Stuck helped form a football team in St. Matthews Grammar School and even wrote a rebuttal essay in The News where he encouraged parents to allow their children to play football, and knocked out their theory that football would cause injuries and addictions.
He wrote “For the healthy boy who plays the game under expert direction, there is surely no finer sport. And it is beyond question that where football has injured one boy, it has helped thousands.”
The college football continued to grow and thrive in Texas and became a sort of school tradition. Every school had its football team, which competed in inter-school leagues.
Texas, the state of the Tough and Strong
Another reason why football is so popular in Texas is because of the nature of people who live in Texas. Texans love to think of themselves as grinders; people who are tough, both physically and mentally. And what other sport displays those ingredients if not football?
The Super Bowl XLV
Super Bowl XLV is another factor that played a large part in the popularity of football in Texas. Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) and is viewed live by millions of people from around the world. The Super Bowl half-time would usually see popular artistes like Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Janet Jackson and the others take the stage. The Cowboys stadium in Arlington, Texas has been known to host the Super Bowl in the past.
The Texas Longhorns
The Texas Longhorns is an athletics program of the University of Texas, Austin. The teams participating in the games are called the Longhorns while the women teams are known as the Lady Longhorns. The Texas Longhorns is so popular all over the state and football is one of the most admired sports in the competition.
Besides the Texas Longhorns, Hudson Stuck, and other forces that helped nurture football in Texas, the facilities have also played a role in this. A state with a $450 million dollar college football stadium definitely does value football. Texas has all the facilities for world class football competitions and usually plays host to several college games, and that’s yet another reason why football is so popular in Texas, today.