Sep 14, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Prince Fielder (84) reacts to being doused with water and Powerade after the game against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Fielder hit a game winning two run home run during the eighth inning. The Rangers defeat the Astros 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Texas is and forever will be a football state. Some of the best football players come from the great state, and football is constantly on every Texans mind. If you need proof of just how much it means to the state, go to a local high school football game on a Friday night, where stands are packed and cheers echo throughout the town. People often call football a religion down in Texas, and rightfully so.
Texas high school football is in full swing now, consuming towns Friday nights. Baylor, Texas A&M, and TCU look to be football powerhouses yet again, and the University of Texas always has their strong fan base. Texas Tech, University of North Texas, SMU, and many other smaller schools are generating buzz as well.
Then you go right across the street to the Dallas Cowboys, a team with a starved fan base, hoping that this is the year that the Cowboys can go the distance. The Cowboys themselves showed the #NeverEverQuit mindset with their improbable comeback win against the Giants, propelling 90,000 or so into an absolutely frenzy. Football is back and the state of Texas couldn’t be happier. But I think that it’s the Texas Rangers, not these other teams, that is making September fun again.
The Texas Rangers are a 1/2 game out of the AL West lead, an absolute pipe dream it seemed once Yu Darvish went out for the year. But this Rangers team has embodied that same mindset that many Texans across this great state have, and that is just putting their head down and going to work. Constantly overlooked and under appreciated, this team has quietly catapulted themselves to the brink of AL West glory.
This Rangers team is exciting, laid back, and they love to have fun. We, as Rangers fans, get the pleasure of watching them every day. That’s the beauty of baseball after-all, that we have this beautiful story unfolding in front of our eyes night in and night out. Each September night has been, and will continue to be packed with high pressure situations, pitches, at bats, and scenarios. We are fortunate to watch these guys go to battle for a playoff spot, and that is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Steve Busby and Tom Grieve bring the game to life, with their voices echoing throughout the house, restaurant, or tailgate. While many have to wait until Sunday to get their sports fix in, we get it every night.
The best thing about sports, the one thing that we all wish for, is a rivalry that makes our skin crawl. The Texas Rangers haven’t had that in forever, a true rivalry, but they have it this year. This isn’t a Dallas Mavericks vs Houston Rockets or a Dallas Cowboys vs Houston Texans matchup. No, this means something, this is much more than that. The Rangers and Astros are young, exciting, fun to watch, and downright mean against each other. They’ve cleared the benches, thrown at each other, and flat-out brought it each game. Texas hasn’t had a baseball rivalry like this in a long time, and it’s making September fun.
So while we cherish our football in the Lone Star state, and rightfully so, I think it would be an absolute shame to let baseball go unnoticed. It’s an exciting time to be a DFW sports fan right now, or a sports fan in Texas for that matter, and the Rangers have an incredibly large part to do with that.
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