We will get to the riveting Texas-centric sports discourse in the future, but allow me to first introduce myself. I’m a Vietnamese American. More accurately stated, I am a Vietnamese Texan. I am proud to be Vietnamese. I am equally proud to be Texan. When I ask if people want some Vietnamese food, I say “ya’ll want some pho?” My parents came independently to the U.S. from Vietnam, crossed paths, and settled down in Houston, where they happily had me.
You can’t pick where you are raised –you either get to be happy or regret it– and when you grow up in Texas, you are Texan for life. It doesn’t matter if you move to Michigan, Florida, or the Nation’s capital. I had a happy childhood in Houston, and I sure as heck do not regret being Texan. Growing up, I never considered what kids were like in other states. Not that I spent any particular amount of time mulling over the matter. Young Viet cared more about mutant turtles, morphing teenagers, and busters of ghosts. He spent his time virtually storming castles to save princesses, textually choosing his own adventure, and methodically perfecting his Dream Shake. He etched and sketched schematics for fortresses composed of interlocking micro-bricks. He loved Back to the Future, his mother’s cooking, and the Houston Rockets. He still does, in fact.
When he hung out with the neighborhood kids, they would do things I assume kids do in other states. They rode their bikes over makeshift ramps and pretended they were moto-racers. They played backyard football and street hockey. They pondered which local businesses had slime in their ice-machines. They battled Stretch Armstrongs and geeked out over Gak. They made sure nerds that played with yoyo’s got super soaked. They waged hellish wars armed with a wide assortment of weapons capable of firing foam darts of mass destruction. This may just sound like typical pre-adolescence for anyone from any state. It is. There are things about growing up Texan, however, that kids from other states may have difficulty relating to.
We are indoctrinated with a wealth of knowledge about our state that is unparalleled. You may be proud to come from your state, but you probably don’t know much about it and its history. Not your fault–your state didn’t prepare you the same way ours did, and frankly, there isn’t as much to want to know about your state. You see, we remember the Alamo. William B. Travis is our William Wallace. We don’t play capture the flag, we play Come and Take It. Sarah Dewitt designed our version of the smiley face t-shirt. A lot of Americans don’t even know the technicalities of how the American Revolution ended, but most Texans know how the Texas revolution came to a close (Battle of San Jacinto, to save you non-Texans a wiki trip). We have the most rustic stars and welcome mats per capita in the entire world. Every spring, blossoming wildflowers adorn our countryside and we’ll stop to admire our state flower. Mind you, there are many types of blue lupin, but it is the Lupinus texensis, or bluebonnet, that holds a special place in our heart.
We refer to all carbonated beverages as Coke. We play Paper/Rock/Scissors. We measure distance in time–it’s twenty minutes to the store, because that might be along a highway that takes you twenty miles. If Zac Brown were born in Texas, he would have liked his steak chicken-fried. We don’t think Gomez when we hear the name Selena. Our parents raised us to be polite and our state encouraged us to be friendly.
The thing is, we were not bought and paid for. We were a sovereign nation, the Lone Star, and we willingly entered into a partnership with the United States. There was no promise of gold to attract folks to our state, just the opportunity to make an honest living and enjoy the most beautiful view of the stars on God’s green Earth. They may do some of the same stuff in other states, but in Texas we just do them a bit bigger. We liked the Washington Monument so much we got our own. The San Jacinto Monument just happens to be 13 feet taller. You may be proud to come from your state; we’re just a bit prouder. Texas will always be our home.
I tell you all of this because it better informs you of who I am and what you can expect from my articles. I have a soft spot for anything that reminds me of home, and few things do that more than my Houston Rockets. I’ll be covering the Rockets with trademarked Texan pride and enthusiasm. The sleuths among you can probably ballpark my age. The closest thing I had to an iPad was a Game Gear. I remember being mad at O.J. Simpson for interrupting a Rockets game. I went to Six Flags AstroWorld in the summer. I’ve been a Rockets fan since right before Clutch City. I was there for Llano Estacado and I’ve been saved by zero more times than I care to remember.
I encourage ya’ll to follow me as I (Houston) chronicle the Rockets this upcoming season for TexasTriangleTrio.com. Good, bad, or ugly, I promise to be here and to provide my thoughts on my favorite sports franchise. The humor may sway esoteric, but it only serves to contrast the generalist nature of sports. This isn’t a one way street. I’d love to hear from you, regardless of fandom. If you want to contact me, hit me up on twitter @facethefacts22. I also host an *award-winning podcast covering MMA where we breakdown match-ups and bring on current and former pro fighters to talk about the fight game. If that interests you, you can check that out at BroestBros.com. That is all for now, just a hello and a hope to see you again soon. Enjoy the Olympics and remember, for all of your Texas sports talk needs, keep it right here at Texas Triangle Trio!
*hosting site congratulated me for successfully uploading a file with a blue ribbon emoji. Still counts.