Thursday, February 16, 2006

Let’s Get It Over With and Change the Name of the Town to Lopez de Santa Anna, Texas

Let’s see: The Los Angeles-based owner of Houston’s Major League Soccer franchise wants a new soccer-only stadium, which his local representative, the former head of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, has said won’t require taxpayer money. The team is named 1836, but after a supposed uproar (confined mostly to media and academic circles) over the name, the team accedes to what the Houston Chronicle describes as “a radical measure … demanded by many in the Mexican-American, corporate and political communities” and agrees to change the name (as soon as they can come up with something).

Just the sort of people you wouldn't want to offend if you were looking to dragoon some local government with bonding authority into partnering with you to build a new stadium.

This was such a pressing issue that the lone Hispanic on Commissioners Court, whom we sort of like (or did), felt it necessary to have an emissary---and a gringo at that!---meet with the team owner in Los Angeles to come away with an assurance that 1836 is history. (Hope we didn’t pay for that trip.)

Again, from the Chronicle:
Although 1836 was meant to symbolize the year Houston was founded, it also has links to other significant events some Mexican-Americans might find offensive. Those include Texas' independence from Mexico, the Battle of the Alamo and the defeat of Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican army at the hands of Gen. Sam Houston in the Battle of San Jacinto during the Texas Revolution.
Says Plucky Ollie Luck, the former sport authority head who’s now president of the MLS team, "We believed, and many people still do, that 1836 was a great name because it symbolized the founding of the city, and we thought people would rally around that. But obviously we hit a bit of a raw nerve within the Mexican-American community."

It’s true that we don’t get out enough, but we haven’t heard any Mexican American complain about the name. Nary a one. And neither has this guy, who’s either the reigning or dethroned champ-een political operator in the local Hispanic community.

For reasons obscure to even us we watched the Municipal Channel’s replay of the ceremony at Lanier Middle School at which Luck and Co. unveiled the 1836 name, and we recall seeing City Councilman Adrian Garcia taking the stage that day and rambling on at length about what a super-great-wonderful name 1836 was, etc. (said effusions causing us to wonder whether the councilman was, like, on the team payroll).

Yes, things are changing around here. By “here” we mean Aztlán.

On Wednesday evening we heard some reporter from Channel 11 proclaim that her station was the only station the judge had allowed in the courtroom to film the trial of the bus driver who’s accused of taking a branding iron to the backside of his girlfriend. That’s exactly what the reporter said, implying that Channel 11 is so wonderful that the judge barred other locals from darkening his or her chamber’s doors with their cameras. We presume that what actually happened was the judge let Channel 11 in to provide pool coverage for the other stations and thus keep the commotion in the courtroom to a minimum (or maybe the other stations didn’t bother to ask to be let in). But in case we’re wrong, we’d like the name of that judge …

On Thursday evening whe heard Rice University’s Bob “You-Need-A-Quote” Stein proclaim on Channel 11 that City Councilwoman Carol Alvarado is “fighting for her political life” because of the payroll scandal in her mayor pro tem office. Stein felt confident enough to issue this judgment less than 24 hours after news of the scandal broke and when very few actual “facts” are known.

But that’s thing about Bob: He'll let nothing stand in his way when it comes to giving good quote.

We’re glad to see that Dick Cheney, a frequent visitor to Slampo’s Place (or maybe we have him confused with somebody else), took our advice to man up and come out to publically discuss what he called his “unprecedented” wounding of a hunting buddy (if sitting down to chat with Britt Hume can be considered “coming out”). We did concur wholeheartedly with one thing Cheney said: that the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is “just as valid a news outlet as the New York Times is” as far as being the recipient of the call from the South Texas rancher lady who informed the world of the unfortunate mishap. Except … the call should have come from Cheney’s office, about 20 hours earlier than it did. (And what’s this about his self-proclaimed authority to leak classified information? The man’s becoming more creepily Nixonian by the day.)

No comments: